inspiring women series // 1
Every october, we celebrate breast cancer awareness month. This month, we are inspired to do an “Inspiring Women” series, and what better way to introduce than to cast the spotlight on Jasmine Han - breast cancer warrior, pole dancer, author and entrepreneur.
She is also a proud mother of two kids, Sarah, 10 and Jack, 8, and a loving wife to David, now retired, whom she met through a mutual friend.
Although born and raised in Singapore, Jasmine is not your typical Asian mom. She is vivacious and goes on to conquer the stage in her heels and in life. Jasmine made her first foray into pole dancing after taking classes with her friend who wanted to lose weight after pregnancy. Along with her co-founders, they birthed SLAP Dance Studio.
Her breast cancer journey was not a smooth one - she shared with Sassy Mama that she was one of the rare patients who were recommended a full mastectomy, and pre-empted her young kids (then 5 and 7) that they could expect to see her cry at times, but that should it happen, to not be afraid and be calm instead.
It was late 2018 when she discovered she had breast cancer, after a routine mammogram and ultrasound check. Her mother and grandmother both had breast cancer, so it did not come quite as a surprise to Jasmine. Still, experiencing it firsthand is something new altogether.
We asked Jasmine some questions about life and skincare, so let’s hear from her:
honest & gentle: What went through your mind when you discovered you had breast cancer?
1. Who’s going to care for my children when I am dead or undergoing therapy?
2. My friends and family are going to be devastated
3. Where can I find emotional support for my husband?
honest & gentle: What did you learn from this journey?
jasmine: Set my standard lower for everything - it’s ok, we don’t need to go into BEAST MODE all the time :) settle for less, it’s really ok!
honest & gentle: Has your perspective of life changed?
Jasmine: Yes - learn to be deaf, blind and mute in most events.
honest & gentle: What advice would you give to people dealing with cancer?
Jasmine: Interview your doctors, choose them well, be courageous to ask questions. Tell people to shut up when you have had enough chat. Your brain is only small, fill it with good stuff ;)
honest & gentle: How did you juggle SLAP, motherhood and battling cancer?
Jasmine: Be efficient in your home, prep everything ahead... food, clothes, activities for kids. Keep a rigid sleep and eating routine for all. Wake up 2 hours earlier before everyone else, make time and space for you.
honest & gentle: What if cancer comes back?
Jasmine: Cross that bridge when we come to it. Chemo has melted most of my brain cells away, so I will keep the remaining brain cells occupied with good things for now :)
honest & gentle: What are your dreams?
Jasmine: To be on Masterchef and to have an all-in-one HUGE foster home for kids and animals.
honest & gentle: What is one mantra you stick to?
Jasmine: When people show you who they are, believe them. And, repeat to self: “Who cares? Do it anyways.”
honest & gentle: Any skincare tips?
Jasmine: Drink plain water, eat fresh fruits, veggies, non-processed foods and no dairy products.
Jasmine is such an inspiration to us as we see her thoughtfulness, dedication and optimism shining through, as she courageously rides the waves in life, tackling them as they come. Perhaps, we can all take a leaf out of her book and surf our waves like her. Often, it's how we choose to perceive what goes on around us that affects our happiness levels. Also, while we may be in difficult situations, we can learn to pause and spare a thought for others around us.
We are heartened to know that Jasmine has completed her chemo treatments in March 2019, with a good prognosis. She is currently living in the UK with her family to care for her in-laws, and provide the opportunity for her kids to learn about their part-heritage. However, the family plans to return to Singapore.
Thank you for sharing with such openness and authenticity, Jasmine. We are humbled to learn from you. Wishing you continued good health and fun-filled days ahead!
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SLAP Dance Studio was founded in 2014, by Jasmine and her co-founders. A “happy place” was what they desired to create - one that is welcoming, where everyone has the freedom to choose their preferred difficulty level to dance to, as well as the genre.
“I’m Not Perfect. I’m a Mom” is a book she co-authored with her friend, featuring light-hearted, true stories about pregnancy, and surviving - not perfecting - motherhood.