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Helping other women who were in the same curcumstances with me gives more energy to live

Since I got to the hospital, I felt happier than I was at home. Many people had wondered why I could smile throughout the day. Maybe the fact that I needed to overcome my disability since I was young had helped me to be conscious. I said:” I need to smile and sing happily to go through these pains”. I must survive because I have a desire to bring back my brother’s remain at Ho Chi Minh city to our home.

My name is Dao Thi Hue. My hometown is Vu Thu district, which is located in Thai Binh province. My parents had passed away for a long time. My two brothers are also gone. There is only my younger sister, Hoa, who is staying with me. I have been diagnosed with fibrous breast tumor since 2005. I went to the hospital after examining some nodes around my breast. Being told that my tumors were benign, I was assured by the medicine and the periodic medical examinations of the hospital. Once I got my examination, the doctor told me to transfer to the central hospital while I didn’t know where it was. However, my sister cried out loud after hearing the news. She knew that it was K hospital, which was especially for cancerous patients. About me, I had nothing to do but smile. I was 64 years old at that time.

I had an operation for both my breasts at that year. Then I went home after being informed that I need hormonal drugs instead of chemotheraphy. However, I was fine for just a period of time before having some bad signals from my body. I lost weight and felt painful all over my body. That was when the cancer metastasized to my bone. I’ve moved to the hospital and stayed there as my second house for 2 years. All my personal belongings were packed in some bags and left there.

I’ve had treatment for two years but there was still time I couldn’t help crying. I got to encourage myself to overcome the tough time when I was fighting against the pains. I always try to encourage other women who were in my circumstances. Some of them felt better to get ready for healing. There were other women who still desired to recover even they were 82 or 94 years old. Therefore, we would try our best to defeat our sickness.

What I worry about the most was the hospital expenses.  In total it costed me 300.000vnd for the traveling expenses, which included 170.000 vnd to move from my hometown to the hospital by car and 130.000 vnd for the motorbike driver to pick me up at the station. These things didn’t consist of treatment expenses. My handicapped fund was only 180.000 vnd and we couldn’t get other incomes because my family farmed for a living. That was also the reason why I chose inpatient treatment to save the traveling costs. Fortunately, I was supported by many charitable activities from Linh Son temple, Dong cam project, Ngay mai tuoi sang fund, etc which I and many other patients got free meals and money to countinue our treatments.

Since I got to the hospital, I felt happier than I was at home. Many people had wondered why I could smile throughout the day. Maybe it was the fact that I’ve dealt with my disability since I was young, and it had helped me become stronger. I said:” I need to smile and sing happily to go through these pains”.

I must survive because I have a desire to bring back my brother’s remain at Ho Chi Minh city to our home.

The story of Mrs. Dao Thi Hue

Photogragher: Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thu Huong (1987)

Writer: Mrs. Vu Thi Huong Giang (1987)