Denise Tam

Moments in Life


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Stretched to be Shaped

Posted by Denise on November 11, 2014 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The buzzing was mostly annoying. But then came the vertigo that was also accompanied by nausea and followed by severe headaches. Did I have a tumour in my brain? For someone that has a history of cancer that was actually not so drastic of a question to ask.


The scan came back clean. I was put on some meds for the vertigo and it disappeared soon after. The buzzing in my right ear however increased and as it increased my hearing decreased when one day I just couldn't hear wit...

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Posted by Denise on October 24, 2013 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (4)

Chills came from deep within my bones and out towards my skin as I sat in the pew paying respects to a family friend's mother who passed away.


I first met Popo through the fish soup she made me when I spent some time at Queen Mary Hospital in August 2012 due to the relapse of my lymphoma. I never met her, but she heard about me through her daughter and son in law whom are friends of ours at church. And having had gone through cancer herself she knew it was important to eat...

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Moving Forward and Looking Back

Posted by Denise on September 6, 2013 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (2)

Sorry for the extended silence.


Silence (on my end) usually means I'm busy with things and life in general is going well. But don't fret, this post doesn't contain any bad news, just wanted to update you on life after my initial chemo treatments.


The consecutive rounds of chemo ended in January. For my maintenance I went back on a target chemo (Rituximab) in April and had a second round in June and another one in August. In between I was fortunate to ta...

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A Mother's Strength in a Daughter's Cancer

Posted by Denise on May 14, 2013 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (1)

As published in the Huffington Post

She was with me as we heard "it's most likely cancer" from the doctor's mouth.

I was silent.

She was furious. "If you're not 100 percent sure, don't say it's cancer," she snapped back.

She was with me during my first bone marrow biopsy.

I was in tears.

She was compassionate and helped wipe my tears assuring me the worst is ov...

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Understanding Cancer (at least part of it)

Posted by Denise on May 14, 2013 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (2)

Published in the Huffington Post

It was 4 a.m. and I couldn't sleep for the past three hours (a side effect from the chemo I was on). Lying in bed with my eyes closed but with my mind awake always leaves me frustrated so I surfing the net, catching up on news and watching mindless YouTube videos. After a while that usually does the trick and my eyes become heavy, but that night during my a...

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Learning to Love Me

Posted by Denise on April 20, 2013 at 1:55 AM Comments comments (1)

Snoop loved to run off and get lost in his several acre playground- sometimes getting so carried away that he would lose track of time and forget his way home or even follow someone else home. Each morning he would anxiously wait for me to open my bedroom door and greet me with his wagging tail hoping I would open the door for him to play and of course do his business.


After being declared in remission in February, it brought more anxiety than relief. Of course ...

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Perfect Peace

Posted by Denise on February 6, 2013 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (4)

He says He gives peace not of the world, peace that surpasses all understanding, peace that comes with faith and believing - perfect peace.

I've heard this countless times, but it's only during the past few years - which were some of my most difficult, did I come to truly experience and thus understand what He means.


As I waited this week for my PET-CT scan results to come out, there were admittedly moments of doubt, but for the most part I fel...

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Posted by Denise on January 16, 2013 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (1)

Over the Christmas holiday I like many others paid to sit in a dark room to either fight off tears or give in to them as we watched the famous story of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo unfold in song on the big screen.

I grew up watching the musical several times on broadway and singing along to 'I Dreamed a Dream' and 'On My Own' as I played them on the piano (when I should have been practicing my own pieces). Watching it as a movie and at least 10 years older, I have come to better appr...

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Release & Relief

Posted by Denise on December 9, 2012 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (2)

"There's a 40 percent chance of preventing a relapse"

"You're young, so you have a 10 percent chance of death during the transplant, it's usually between 10-15 percent"

"The chances of your sister's cells attacking yours (also known as graft versus host disease) is about 30-50 percent, even with you and your sister being a perfect match"

"Around 20 percent of patients will go through more than one transplant (due to transplant failure"


These st...

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Child-like Honesty and Faith

Posted by Denise on December 2, 2012 at 5:30 AM Comments comments (2)

"I loooove women," Carlos proudly announced, pouting his lips out as he outlined a woman's body in the air with his hands.

We all burst into laughter. Bed 38 and 39 were reunited again for my fourth chemo this past Monday. I was having an infusion to increase my extremely low immunoglobin before my chemo when Carlos, a family friend, surprised us with a visit.

He entertained us for a good few hours with stories from his days with beautiful women and his tr...

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