Macau ambassador Clark Cheung’s story:
What I’ve learned as a cancer survivor
澳門品牌大使張嘉耀分享成功抗癌的苦與樂

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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. 

問:你發現自己確診淋巴癌後第一個反應是什麼?
答:第一個反應是接受不到。因為發現時已經是第四期癌症,癌細胞已經擴散至骨髓,我的心情瞬間跌到谷底。心裡想著為什麼我這麼健康都會有癌症?我感到過往一直努力健身、控制飲食和保持良好生活習慣都是是徒勞無功的。

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.

問:由第一日發現確診淋巴癌到完全康復,中間用了多少時間和經歷了什麼?
答:每三星期進行一次化療,但第三次化療後身體來不及復原,要改為四星期一次,前後用了六個月時間。化療後讓我感到最辛苦是反胃和頭痛,這些不適在化療當日便會出現,持續一星期,還未食早餐已經會感到反胃和頭痛,感覺就像喝醉了但嘔不出來。經歷化療後,我明白為什麼有些人會放棄化療,只要意志稍為弱一點可能也完成不了。

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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:是什麼讓你在治療期間堅持下去?
A:我覺得與我的成長環境有關,我在香港長大,成長環境不算富裕,所以特別拼搏和「捱得」。而且作為一位健身教練,我習慣了堅持。我將心態轉變,把化療當成極高強度的運動,我跟自己說只要完成六次極高強度的運動就完成了,然後我便續次倒數。我知道有人恢復情況未如理想,要延長療程,亦有人做了化療也康復不了,所以我特別多謝自己有做運動的習慣,運動訓練了我的心態,健身即是健心。

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.

問:康復過後,你有什麼轉變?
答:患上癌症是我控制不了的,現在的我變得不再執著。我以往習慣了急促的生活節奏,但面對癌症一切都急不了,只好放慢來。以前我會因為一件事而想很久,現在變得豁達了,過去的事不再執著,發生了的事就好好面對。今次患上癌症,使我失去了健康和金錢,但同時得了身邊人的關愛和更多休息的時間,讓我看到更多、感受更多。就像我今次回香港,我特別珍惜跟朋友相處的時間,以前回來香港都是匆匆忙忙,趕來趕去,現在多了時間停下來感受身邊的一切。

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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.

問:你現在的目標是什麼?
答:以前,我想要得到關注,現在,我更想要關注別人。在我患上癌症之前,有人會因為想練出像我一樣的身材而做運動。但是,現在的我想以我戰勝癌症的經歷,更深層次地啟發別人。我覺得跟人面對面,真誠地溝通很重要,遠勝於傳一百個訊息,因此,我想跟更多不同的人進行有意義的溝通和分享。在今次回港之前,我已經透過澳門的癌症基金、護老院和弱勢社群等進行了大概十次分享,希望這些分享能夠幫助到一些人。

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.

問:你有什麼想跟正在接受癌症治療的人說呢?
答:習慣堅持,堅持下去之後,才可以以另一個角度看事物。假如太容易放棄的話,人生有很多事情都做不到。人生本來就不可能凡事盡如人意,當我以為自己很年輕,事事順利,怎料到會患上癌症。換另一個角度想,如果不是因為癌症,我並不會有機會在匆忙中停下來。或者這是上天對我的考驗,或是一個使命,讓我以自身經歷影響同路人,希望他們可以用另一個心態去面對癌症。

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