Please tell us about yourself. What has happened in your life and how did you get here?
I am 41 years old. Happily married and have 5 sons. My husband and I are both school teachers so we spend a lot of time with kids!!!
My mum is from Singapore and my dad is from New Zealand.
I have a sister who lives in Bali and a brother who is in NZ.
Tell us more about your 5 boys? How does it feel to be a mother of 5? We want to know all the good and the bad.Haha such an interesting question!!! Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a Mum.. I loved kids and loved spending time with them.
And when I pictured myself as a Mum, it was always to girls!!!
I guess the universe had different plans for me!
I love being a mum to boys. There’s something really special about it. They are all so different, unique, and strange in their own ways.
I have sons who are sensitive
Sons who are sporty
Sons who are reckless
Sons who are loud!!
I used to really long to have a daughter… but after two pregnancy losses that I have faced along the way, I really do feel so blessed with my boys. I know that so many women struggle with having children so I see myself as being so fortunate.
And thankful that I had 5 healthy sons…
Mothers Day 2021
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you find out that you were diagnosed with breast cancer? How do you get yourself out of the mindset afterward?
I think I went into shock.
It was Dec of 2018. Three days after Christmas.
I had felt a lump in my breast and had a mammogram.
The doc said he was very concerned about a “suspicious lump”
It all spiralled from there…
The biopsy confirmed pre-cancerous cells, with some cancerous ones tucked in there too!!
I knew I had choices along the way about what I would face.
And I knew I had options along the way.
Facing it head on was the only way I saw myself dealing with it.
My first chemo: with my husband Jade
The day I shaved my hair: note the glass of wine. haha
Moments after it was all shaved off
Tell us more about the treatment, any struggles and how you overcome them.
I had a mastectomy in March 2019.. during my recovery the doctors told me that I would need to do chemo. I remember the only question I asked them was “Will I lose my hair?’’ Seems so vain when I think about that now… I had chemo once a week for 12 weeks. After the 3rd session, I noticed my hair started to fall out in quite big chunks. It was so scary. I took control of the situation and had a party!! A friend of mine shaved my hair off. It was actually quite empowering, taking control of a situation that at times was so out of my control. It was liberating and terrifying all at once.
I felt less feminine without my hair… luckily it was winter so I was able to wear a beanie every day.
My husband was incredible during this time, and never looked at me differently. He loved me during a time that I didn't really love myself. I'm so thankful for him.
I stayed active during this treatment. I went to the gym, I went running. It was so therapeutic for me… again I had some control over that difficult time.
I had reconstruction surgery in October that year. My surgeon was amazing, and put implants in both breasts.. a boob job!!! After breastfeeding 5 babies, I wasn't left with much so this was quite the treat!!
Everything that seemed like a struggle or a fear, became a challenge to overcome. I changed my mindset… turned it around. Instead of saying why me? I said why not me?
Why shouldn't I go through hardships?
What makes me so special to be exempt from trials in life?
The answer is: nothing!!
This change in mindset helped me navigate my way through this unknown time.
My husband Jade; my rock throughout it all.
The day after my reconstruction surgery
As my hair grew back, I had fun going blonde!
What are your daily goals, and how do you balance them with life?
My husband and I are so busy all the time!! Life with 5 kids can be crazy at times. We both have busy jobs and have lots of commitments.
My day starts at 5am. I go to the gym for an hour. This is the best way to start my day, and it always puts me in a good mood!!
I try to stay positive, I try to be enthusiastic and fun.
I try to put myself in other people's shoes, and I try to show empathy, especially to lots of my students who have troubled backgrounds.
Life can get chaotic at times, just remembering to slow down and be thankful is crucial.
A student in my class shaved her hair off with me on the same day! She was such a star.
This was the first night I went out to socialise, without my beanie on!!
Do you have favorite places/things to do when things get a ‘bit too much’? Perhaps to take a vacation and travel somewhere new? Or stay at a resort that you love and enjoy your me-time?
I love hanging out with friends, I love to be social. It fills my cup to talk to people I care about and spend time laughing!!!
My favourite place to travel is Bali, my sister lives there so it's a place close to my heart. I love the friendliness of the local people on the island, and I love the weather!!
My favourite place to travel to in NZ is Queenstown, such a beautiful part of our country, and something really magical about the area.
Can you tell us a bit more about when you first received our swimsuit? What do you like the most? And what does it mean to you to wear it, after all you have been through?
I fell in love with this swimsuit the moment I tried it on. The style, the fit, the colour and fabric just ticked all the right boxes. I have not always enjoyed shopping for swimwear, it never really felt right or looked right. But HAI was different!!
I would happily live in this swimsuit!! Haha
For me, I want to feel feminine and comfortable. HAI swimwear does this for me. I don't want the awful things I have been through to define me or impact me negatively in any way.
I want to take the power back, HAI swimwear makes me feel like I can do exactly that.
My first purchase from HAI
Any words of encouragement to other women who are in the same situation?Oh gosh, this question makes me emotional.
Take a minute for yourself.
Look after your mental health.
Lean on people for support when you need it.
It isn’t always easy, but you have to have a strong mindset about what you face.