Those of you who have read my blog know how Saint & Zee changed my life and my child’s life during the hardest time in my life. I have tried to find a way to express my gratitude, never sure if letters reached him or he understood how grateful I am to him.
Backstory – Warning – Heavy Topic/Skip If You Need or Want
Here’s a brief backstory for those of you who are new to my site. I’ve followed Saint for a while. For around three years. And Zee too.
Warning – Heavy Topic (skip this section if you don’t want personal details)
At 13 years old, my child was diagnosed with bone cancer in the knee area and above. He went through chemo, surgery to replace his knee and part of his femur, then more chemo—all within ten intensive months. Fast forward a few years, a few months after his 16th birthday, we found out cancer had returned, this time in the pelvis and his lungs.
The prognosis was iffy. There were two outcomes we hoped for, surgery to remove & replace the pelvis and another surgery to remove lung nodules—lots of Chemo, radiation, and potential tumor targeting medicine.
We walked around, beginning to adjust once again to cancer life. Chemo, radiation, and everything not working. Cancer kept popping up in other places—a continuous game of whack a mole, where we were losing.
I was following Saint then. This clip changed my life and that of my child’s.
This man, who is only four years older than my child, thought and felt deeply about the nature of suffering and happiness. He didn’t answer that happiness is better. He explained why he felt both feelings were valid.
So I read about his life, his challenges, and obstacles. I shared it with my child. We looked into Saint’s strong faith in Buddhism, finding truths that resonated with us.
Suffering exists. It is a truth in the world. Everyone suffers but in different ways. You can’t escape it. But it doesn’t have to define you. The more I read Saint’s views on the world, the more it spoke to me.
We decided to stop looking ahead. We did what we could do to help Nicholas battle cancer, even replaced 1/2 of his pelvis. But it took over his life & ours.
By following Saint & Zee, it helped me realize suffering exist, but if we are present in each day, we can find happiness where we are. This attitude made a huge difference in my outlook and Nicholas’. He spent time online with friends. As much as he wanted, he gamed with friends. And we took a trip to Mexico City before his extensive surgery. Every day, despite the pain and tears, there was laughter and joy.
Zee helped me realize we can find joy in simple places. My cats bring me peace and comfort. Whether it’s a walk around the block or in nature, a time to enjoy the sunshine and the grass beneath my feet. Those can bring happiness. My child napped every day with the kitten on his lap.
My joy came in a different form when watching Why R U; I felt the urge to write again. The story and the characters drew me in. I began this blog with encouragement from my child. Instead of hovering & worrying about something I could not change, while he gamed and chatted, I wrote. I found my happiness. Saint & Zee and their bond made my heart feel lighter too. I could always count on an interview with them, a Livestream, an event, even photos made my heart lighter & my smile brighter.
Nicholas always wanted to help others. When he could, we would go to rallies, sign petitions for injustices he saw in the world. We would make gift baskets for kids on the cancer ward, any way to help those who needed it the most.
My child identified as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, sometimes as Nicholas, sometimes as Zoey. We supported them at the time when their rights were taken away. He was always active on social media. Police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement stirred him a desire to help those people marginalized in society. Despite fighting cancer himself, he wanted to help others.
When the pain became too heavy, he distracted himself by watching old episodes of his favorite show, Top Gear. They never failed to make him laugh and smile. Even in the last two weeks of his life, he cracked jokes with the doctors and nurses. He found his laughter despite the trauma.
Nicholas left us a few weeks before his 18th birthday last year. I miss him so much. I kept up with this blog while creating reviews on the Love Without Gender site (formerly psycho-milk.com)
Chinese Valentines Day – The Call
August 14th – QiXi (Chinese Valentines Day) The Call
Wow, I’m wordy. A few months ago, I made a large purchase in TaoBao with help from our fantastic Twitter: CactuZShome admin and Twitter: Yuyen_Huang. Of course, I wanted the snacks, but it’s a bit tricky with importing foods into the country. I desired the benefit that came with it. A 3-minute phone call with Saint Suppapong. So the rest of the snacks, minus one jar of the spicy mushroom, will be donated to help people in Bangkok.
I wanted, no, needed to thank him for changing my life, making my child’s life better during those last few months. I got my chance this morning.
I was so nervous, anxious, and a little scared. I don’t like talking in front of others, but I had to thank Saint. Thankfully he had a Chinese translator who knew English to help us communicate.
During these 3 minutes, I felt my child with us. I talked about my child. I gave thanks while making a short, sweet version of the events.
I won’t share the exact conversation because I feel self-conscious about it. I am a little embarrassed by my words & actions, but we are always our own worst critics. I hope he doesn’t think I’m an awkward crazy American, but if he does, he might be right. 😁 However, I will take a minute and tell you my impression of SupSup.
His smile radiated from his whole body. When he came into view, after I answered the call, I felt happiness. This man, just by his smile and kindness, lightened my soul. Peace and joy, besides nervousness, were the emotions running through me.
I hope I expressed my love & gratitude for who he is to me. I know many of you feel this way too. He touches so many lives, making them better.
His heart is full of love and compassion. You see it and feel it when talking to him. He forever changed me.
We wrapped up our conversation, and it wasn’t all dark.
Funny story, Saint asked where I was from. America, I told him. He seemed surprised to know he had fans in America.
He asked where in America, and I told him the state I live in; he had no idea where it was, so I said the southern USA. I should have put it between two points of reference he could understand, halfway between New York and Florida…😂
He won’t graduate this year due to Covid issues, which is entirely understandable. You can’t hold a ceremony in the middle of the pandemic.
I thanked him for inspiring my writing again, and he asked where he could read it. Sup Sup, if you read this, you are loved beyond measure. I will always love you & support you. I posted both blogs to WeChat as instructed by Mr. Translator. I pray someday he reads this.
My Next Big Dream – A Saint Suppapong Interview
Saint Suppapong, my next dream is to interview you. I want to ask you deep questions about your thoughts, ambitions, and views on life. I pray someday I will get this chance. Of course, I want to talk about your current work, but I want to ask you philosophical questions. I would love to know your thoughts on so many things.
All my love to all my friends, who gave me comfort & confidence to speak to him. Lindsey, Ann, Vilma, Jade, you girls are my rock. You keep me going every day. When I’m mad or sad, you girls talk me down. And when I need a laugh, Lindsey makes me roll on the floor with her fantastic stories. Ann, you help organize projects and keep us coming together for every occasion we can celebrate your two sons. I can’t call them that….not with all those sexy photo shoots lately. 😏. Vilma, you are my steady rock, my reassurance, and my love & logic partner. Jade, you keep me young, connected, and passionate about the boys. Love you all, my sisters. And it never fails that when I feel sad about Nicholas, you all give me support, love, and encouragement.
And super special thanks to our CactuZS admin, the kindest, sweetest soul in the universe. She always helps me send my love to the boys. She’s there to listen and help me through sad days. She is a fantastic friend to have because she sees the good in everything. She helps me see it too. We love to brainstorm merit projects. She always finds out who needs help during this time of crisis, then organizes everything. Truly amazing.
My editor, TheFNG, listened and comforted me through days where I cried so many times. He also bullied me into getting help when I needed it and listened to me go on about Saint all day, every day without complaint. He’s now a Saint fan. And BLHaven, whose confidence is an inspiration to pursue my dreams. No matter what, he said I could do it and should do it. Because of him, I reached out to Aof and Chen to see if either boy was available for a live chat. That was pretty terrifying. But I did it. We might be fanboy/fangirl quite a bit on our site, but we admit our affection towards him on http://www.psycho-milk.com.
I love each and every one of you. I love my CactuZS family very much too, all my Thai sisters, you girls are amazing! I’m going to keep learning Thai with the hope of visiting one day and meet you all.
Thanks for reading this long meandering post. It means a lot to me.
With love to all, Jen (proud mom, writer, MingEr, CactuZS & LGBTQ+media fangirl)