Wed, Feb 01, 2017 - Page 2 News List

DPP lawmaker details her battle with ovarian cancer

By Chiu Yen-ling and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) recently spoke about her battle with cancer, offering advice on maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle.

After discovering she had ovarian cancer in 2011, Chiu said she became particularly conscious of her health and daily habits.

Chiu said that she began waking up earlier and started jogging 5km per day, adding that she also started hiking with her husband on days when they were both free.

She said that she started every day by drinking juice she made from apples, pears, guava, broccoli, celery, cabbage and beetroot, to which she added “anti-carcinogenic ingredients,” including ginger, almonds, soy beans and ground sesame seeds.

Chiu said she used a higher proportion of fruits than vegetables for flavor, adding that the drink has always been more than enough to satisfy her appetite.

For other meals, Chiu said she followed a few basic principles, such as avoiding deep-fried, pickled and processed foods.

“It has already been five years since the last time I ate Taiwanese-style fried chicken,” Chiu said, adding that she still enjoys Thai cuisine and spicy foods.

When she was asked by a friend who also developed ovarian cancer if only boiled foods were safe to eat, Chiu said she advised her friend to “eat for enjoyment and enjoy eating.”

Only by eating a variety of foods will your body have the ability to fight cancer, she said.

Asked if battling cancer has changed her outlook on life, Chiu said she now “goes with the flow” rather than insisting on a particular course of action.

“You never know if tomorrow will come,” Chiu said, adding that she still fights for what she believes in, but is not as demanding with others as she was before.

Asked about the role of her husband, Hakka Affairs Council Minister Lee Yung-te (李永得), in her battle with cancer, Chiu said Lee is an analyst who helped her understand her situation rather than encouraging her in any way.

She said that when she first learned about the cancer she was afraid, adding that Lee presented her with statistical data about cancer survival rates and successful treatment regimens.

“He is a rational person who knows how to persuade me,” Chiu said.

The cancer was first discovered when Lee took Chiu to the hospital after she complained of dizziness, she said.

During her recovery, Chiu decided that she needed to exercise more and perspire more, she said, adding that she had read in several books that going to sleep before 10pm is important, as it promotes cellular health.

She said her best advice for cancer patients would be to follow their doctor’s orders and maintain a positive attitude, adding that keeping busy is important to avoiding negative thinking.

Exercise and a healthy diet are more important than medicine, Chiu said, adding that many foods have healing properties.

“Eating is important to gain the energy needed to fight cancer. Without food, you cannot fight,” she said.

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