Pacific Crest Trail

Can you live happy for your whole life and die?

It might sound ironic, but I live happier since I got sick. On the day that I got diagnosis, I neither sad nor angry. I was more painful than worried. Many people asked, “What do you think at that very moment?” — I could not recall how I feel, but it was very similar to “Is this a dream?”

I got my second CT scan result in March 8th, but I could not make time to update. The tumor continue shrinking, not as much as the 1st scan, but it’s still stable and not growing.

On March 22nd, I had my very first movie Premiere of “She Started It” in USC, it’s the first time that my family and friends get together seeing my entrepreneur journey in the past 3 years. I wear a white dress, put on my glamour look, and walk down the red carpet. It was a mixed feelings indeed, I feel grateful that I could put together this event for my Mom to see the movie before I leave this world.

She Started It Screening at USC — Photo by Gina Clyne

On the very next day after the screening, I travelled to Anza-Borrego State Parks with Heather and then go to volunteer at Pacific Crest Trail. It’s my first time on this trail though I’ve heard about the trail via a story of Kira Saniford. I came across the trail-work maintenance opportunity at Mormon Rocks and that was another best decision that I’ve made.

When I put on the working clothes and wearing a hard-hard helmet like any other volunteer, I was so happy. It’s the feeling of the little kid that got her favorite candy for the first time.

Pacific Crest Trail — photo by Steve

My next 5 days on the trail was filled with laugh, and fun. I have no idea how to use any of the tools, but I’m learning from making the drain on the trail, to clean up the wild flowers to make the trail more beautiful and safer to walk.

While I was on the trail, I thought about my time in Vietnam, and that was a very different world to where I am right now. I never feel that I belongs to America since I came here in 2003 with my family. However, this is the first time I feel that I’m useful and not being outcasted. Maybe God wants me to have cancer after all because he wants me to experience other feelings that I didn’t yet.

My non-profit organization in Vietnam starts getting stronger with lots of support from the volunteers, and here I recently got featured as “Humans of the Year” by VICE News. I feel absolutely honored and overwhelmed by all the supports. I start wondering where this journey is taking me to.

— Rosemead, April 24th, 2017 —