Hatwalk With Me

October 14, 2004

I’m sure only I see the irony here, but before I sat down to blog, I had writer’s block. Then I opened up my (snail) mail and realized what day it is: Today makes it five months to the day since my mom passed away from breast cancer.

In the mail I received an invitation to Hatwalk 2004, a gala benefit presented by the Asian American Cancer Support Network (AACSN). What a great fundraiser! Hatwalk (according to AACSN) “celebrates the value and importance of hats in bringing comfort to cancer patients.” The second annual Hatwalk will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, CA on Saturday, November 6. Models will “hatwalk” down a runway in hats designed by AACSN volunteers; there will not only be a three-course dinner, but a silent auction and taiko performance. (For more information, key up their website or email: hatwalk2004 [at] aacsn.org)

According to the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training, “Cancer is the #1 cause of death for Asian and Pacific Islander females.” I never bothered to think of cancer in terms of demographics (race or gender). It was (and still is) personal to me because my mom fought cancer for over five years and it was hard to not only watch, but live through with her…and now without her.

Since the day my mom was first diagnosed with cancer, I stupidly continued to smoke my cigarettes. (I started smoking when I found out she was sick; of course I hid the fact that I smoked. My excuse to justify the habit was that it was a “stress reliever.”) Today I vow to quit smoking. I never really stuck to that resolution before--I also never really put too much effort in trying to quit. To commemorate this promise to myself, I am writing a donation check (in an amount bigger than I normally would) to AACSN. I’ll consider it a fraction of the utang na puso (“debt of the heart” in Tagalog) long overdue to Mama.

You have permission to chastise me if you see me light up.




Kudos, Audrey for your effort to quit smoking. My dad died a little over 3 yrs. ago from sinus cancer (he used to smoke, but had been smoke-free for years before he was diagnosed). Since then, I've learned that my family has a history of getting various cancers, so this issue certainly remains close to my heart. I'll give you some gum the next time I see you.
Can I hit you if I see you smoking? So many of my friends smoke. I wish they'd stop. Your chances of living a normal, healthy lifespan go up dramatically if you quit before you're 30.Not a day goes by that I don't think of my friend Steven, who helped with Hyphen (and many other AA arts and media projects) before we launched. He was diagnosed with lymphoma right before his 30th birthday and died two months later. We miss you Steven.
good for you, audrey. i'm contemplating quitting smoking, too (just started again a few months ago out of stress.) addiction is a terrible thing, and this one is the worst, because you're totally functional with it--until it kills you.
Andy officially took my cigarettes from me today. He started breaking some of them in half in front of me, but then he stopped. Later, he just dumped the whole pack in the trash.Although it's hard, I really want to quit and I definitely need the support to do it; I'm glad I have people on my side looking out for my best interests.