Featured MassKicker

Gia B. Sison MD

Never lose hope and believe in better days.

Dr. Gia Sison is the First “Featured mAss Kicker” from the Philippines.  She has a very impressive educational background with a MD from The University of Santo Tomas in Manila, a Master degree in Occupational Health from the University of the Philippines, and a degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Occupational Health, Hygiene and Toxicology.  She is currently a consultant for the World Health Organization, Western Pacific Region – Philippines.  We were fortunate to meet her last year and speak with her at Ateneo de Manila University for healthcare students.  We caught up with her recently and asked her a few questions.

mK:  Thanks for doing this Gia!  What/ when was your diagnosis?  How did you find out about your diagnosis?

GS: I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer Stage 2A last March 15, 2013. It was an “incidental finding” which I found out when my Dad gave me a call and since it was quite a long conversation I decided to support my left arm with my right hand and that was when I palpated the 5 cm mass on the outer left quadrant of my breast.

mK:  What were your symptoms?

GS: Ironically, I had no symptoms.

mK: Why did you get involved with advocacy?  What exactly do you as an advocate?

GS: The advocacy was my passion even when I was not yet diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It is my personal belief that there really is life after cancer.

mK: You must have felt very prepared for the journey you were about about to embark on!  Who is your hero or heroes?

GS: Just my Ultimate Healer who carried me through the journey I took.

mK: What motivates you?

GS: Doing what I love and that is to fulfill my duty as a doctor.

mK: When was the first time you felt like yourself after your diagnosis?

GS: Honestly I never “lost it” thanks to the support of my family and  peers.

mK: They are “mAss Kickers” too!  What makes you laugh, cry, angry?

GS: Life is a roller coaster ride of emotions. Nothing specific just discrimination, which makes me angry.

mK:  What would you say is the most interesting thing you’ve done?

GS: Being a doctor of service was and will be the most interesting thing I will ever do.

mK:  What was the toughest challenge you faced as a survivor?  How did you overcome it?

GS: The roller coaster of emotions during chemotherapy, being away for 3 months from practice was tough but prayers and tons of it carried me through and support from family.

mK: What is your guilty pleasure?

GS: Bags

mK:  Hee hee… At least they’re functional right?  If you could only eat 3 things for the rest of your life, what would they be?  Why?

GS: Pizza, Pasta, Burgers. I’m a junk food addict!

mK: HAHAHA!  Nothing wrong with that as long as you can control it!  What do you like to do in your spare time?

GS: Do crossfit. Go out with friends.

mK: What are you up to now?

GS: I’m currently back to my clinical practice and loving every single day of it .

mK: Any advice for people or loved ones that get daunting diagnoses?

GS: Simple- never lose hope and believe in better days.

mK: Tell us something about yourself that people probably didn’t know… anything.

GS: I’m a crossfit addict, can’t go through a day without it.

mK: Fitness and physical activity is very important in living life after a tumor/cancer diagnosis!  Any parting words for all the mAss Kickers?

GS: Life is good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ma. Gia Sison MD:  junk food “junkie”, crossfit addict, handbag pack rat, professional “title/credential collector”, physician with a unique perspective, and powerful leader in post-treatment “thrivership” in the Philippines!  Check out her blog when you can!

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