Hi, I’m Nalie
I’ve been battling breast cancer since 2013 at 24 years old. I know right? So young! I didn’t even think it was a possibility. Out of all my friends, I was known to be the healthiest and most active! Contrary to my 2 big brothers, I don’t have a single allergy or did I ever break a bone. My parents always joke around by saying “3rd time’s a charm! The last one came out perfect!”
Perfect. All except for… cancer.
My Diagnosis and Treatment Plan
In July, 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Breast Cancer. Estrogen and Progesterone Positive. HER2 Negative. I had 2 tumours in the left breast and 1 in the lymph node. I underwent 16 rounds of chemotherapy. 4 A/C and 12 Taxol. Followed by a total mastectomy of my left breast and 29 rounds of radiation.
In July 2014, I was able to scream at the top of my lungs that I was CANCER FREE.
I was ecstatic! Once the Doctor cleared me, I travelled for 6 weeks to the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. I wrote the “Chemo Secrets” e-guide, did a TED talk and spoke at several important events. I got a job as Project Manager at the Association for Children with Cancer and continued to pursue my YouTube career by launching The Nalie Show! I was living my dreams!
3 years later…
On January 6th, 2017, my biggest nightmare came true. The cancer came back. An annoying cough and shortness of breath forced me to the emergency where I did an X-ray that revealed several nodules in both my lungs… I couldn’t believe it.
I, Nalie Agustin, now had Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer in the lungs.
Chemo was to start immediately – AGAIN. Adriamycin & Taxotere. 3 – 4 cycles then a CT scan to see if it works. And that brings us to today. My Oncologist says, “There is no cure but treatments that can put you in remission for years and years and years…” I now have to accept that I must live with cancer for the rest of my life… but if you’ve gotten to know me by now…
Incurable is not a declaration… it’s a DARE!
As a Writer, YouTuber and Speaker, I share my journey for 3 reasons:
Inspiration: I want to inspire you to NEVER GIVE UP! Whether it’s cancer, or whatever it is you wish to conquer, take whatever you can from my crazy journey and let it catapult you into LIVING the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Aspiration: I have big dreams and I refuse to let cancer stop me from achieving them. Knowing that life is short and clearly, we have no idea what tomorrow will bring – every day, I aspire to be better, do better and make a difference in this world for as long as I’m in it.
Awareness: It is my duty to prove that breast cancer doesn’t just happen to elder women. That even the healthiest people are not exempted. Generation X- Y – Z: Check your boobs! I vow to leave as much information as possible for women who may follow my footsteps by providing knowledge that I wish I had!
Nalie in a Nutshell
I’m a Scorpio, obsessed with the color purple, 90s R&B, sushi, monkeys and my chihuahua, Neo (whom I like to think is the monkey I always dreamed of owning). You’ll never believe me (because no one ever does) but I’m full Filipino! No… not a mix! But please don’t ask me to speak Tagalog. Family is everything to me. I grew up with my Mom, Dad, Lola (grandma) and 2 big brothers who are like my best friends. I’m head over heels in love. My life partner and Co-survivor, Vee, makes me feel alive and beautiful despite everything. I have a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Cultural Studies, which probably explains my profound need to express myself.
Hence, the birth of my blog! My therapy.
What makes my blog so different?
I share my journey in real time (or as fast as possible) so that we can learn together! I don’t censor or overthink anything. I write what I feel, film whatever is happening and share it with you. This isn’t an “in retrospect” blog or a formal support group (because those just never worked for me). This is simply my life, my experience that I openly share with you as real and raw as possible so that we can grow together and when I am NED (No Evidence of Disease) … I will teach you HOW to do it! But let’s get through this little hump first ok?
I love social media because it’s where I really get to interact with you! So feel free to follow me on Instagram (my favorite), Facebook and Twitter! Don’t forget to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to catch weekly vlogs and episodes of The Nalie Show!