Pole-dancing mother of two battles cancer

Ms Jasmine Han feels free when pole dancing.
PHOTO: The New Paper

"I'm a warrior, not a survivor."

That is Ms Jasmine Han's motto.

One of the founders of Slap dance studio, the 40-year-old, who has breast cancer, not only runs the studio - managing 25 workers handling more than 1,500 pole-dancing students, she is also a mother of two children aged five and seven.

Ms Han herself is an avid pole dancer and was an instructor for 10 years until she was diagnosed with breast cancer last November.

She is in Stage 1C and is undergoing chemotherapy. She had a mastectomy last month.

"I only found out I had cancer when I went for a check-up after a miscarriage," said Ms Han.

"My energy level was so low in the first week after my first chemotherapy (session). "

She never lost hope or stopped dancing. She says she feels free when pole dancing, as it requires her to fully concentrate on the music and tricks.

The support system of family, friends and staff has helped her maintain a normal lifestyle.

"I'm never alone during visits to the doctor. I always have a listening ear without fearing judgement and am very grateful for my circle of care," she said.

Ms Han shared some tips on how she juggles her responsibilities.

She said: "I recommend cooking and cleaning as much as you can when your energy allows you to and stock up as much food as possible for quick prepping."

She stressed the importance of choosing a doctor, because she describes it as a long-term relationship both parties have to be comfortable with.

"It's important to look for a doctor who adopts new techniques and methods. My oncologist, Dr Karmen Wong, picks the right treatments for me based on my individual case," she added.

She shares her life lessons:

Breathe- it is the only thing that keeps us living.

Surround yourself with the right people.

Take things one day at a time, because you never know what will happen next.

She also emphasised the importance of having insurance and for women to go for regular check-ups.

Members of the public can sign up for cancer insurance with the likes of Income, OCBC Bank and FWD Singapore, and Ms Han added: "You don't have to wait till you are 40 to go for mammograms."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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