Our Macau ambassador Clark Cheung is a fitness trainer and stage artist, who brought the Animal Flow craze to Macau a few years ago. Even though Clark has been leading an active and healthy lifestyle, he was diagnosed with Stage IV Lymphoma unexpectedly. Facing the hardest challenge in life, Clark chose not to escape but to go through the treatment. After his battle with cancer, Clark looks at things in a different way now.
澳門品牌大使張嘉耀 (Clark) 是一位健身教練及舞台劇演員， 數年前更將新興運動 Animal Flow 引入澳門。一直注重飲食和積極運動的 Clark，去年四月卻被診斷出患有第四期淋巴癌。面對這個重大的人生難關和挑戰，Clark 選擇接受化療，積極面對病情。康復過後，他對人生和自己有了不一樣的看法。
Q：How did you feel when you were first diagnosed?
A：I was in denial. My heart sank when I was diagnosed with Stage IV Lymphoma that had spread to my bone marrow already. I asked myself “Why me?” “Why did cancer enter my life even though I have been leading a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet?” It felt like all my effort had been in vain.
Q：How long were you in treatment?
A：At first, I received chemotherapy every 3 weeks. But my body needed more time to recover after the third dose, so I received it every 4 weeks afterwards. I completed the full treatment in 6 months. The side effects were harsh. I felt extremely nauseous and had severe headaches, which would happen right after treatment and last for a week. Going through the treatment make me understand why some people choose not to take it. It’s tough and once you lose your faith, you’ll give up easily.
Q：What helped keep your spirits up during this period?
A：I grew up in a less well-off family in Hong Kong and this shaped me into a persevering and resilient person. I adopted the mindset of a fitness trainer and took chemotherapy as if it were high-intensity training. So, my treatment would be done after 6 times of such training. That’s how I told myself and started to count down. Some cancer fighters have to extend their treatment period because of poor body recovery. Some lost their battle with cancer after undergoing treatments. That’s why I am thankful to myself that I exercise regularly. It trains my body, as well as my mind.
Q：How has this battle changed you?
A：I have learnt to let go of what I cannot control, like my cancer diagnosis. I used to have a very fast pace of life, but when it comes to cancer treatment, I can only take one step at a time. Before I had cancer, I wasted a lot of time over-thinking about what happened in the past. Now, I focus on what happens in the present. Cancer affected my health and income, but at the same time, it brought love from people around me and time to rest and reset. I went too fast before that and I couldn’t truly feel and experience things around me.
Q：What is your goal now?
A：I used to be an attention seeker but now I want to care more about others. On top of motivating others to exercise and get into shape, I hope to inspire others on a deeper level with my personal story now. Moreover, I have realized the importance of whole-hearted and face-to-face conversations. So, I am ready to meet new people, talk to them, listen to their stories, and share my own. I am so grateful to be able to help others through sharing my experience, like what I have done with cancer funds, elderly centers, and underprivileged groups.
Q：What would you like to say to other cancer fighters?
A：Hang in there and eventually you can see things differently. If you walk away easily, you’ll miss a lot of beautiful things in life. Life is never easy. Everything seemed so smooth in my life until I was diagnosed with cancer. Thinking in another way, I wouldn’t have had a chance to take a break from my busy life if I didn’t have cancer. I accepted this challenge and I hope to inspire other cancer fighters to see cancer in a different way with my own experience.
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