The ABC Cancer Diaries

A young, American-Born-Chinese woman living with metastatic breast cancer

Wynne’s Facebook account August 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevenwaseda @ 1:39 am

I just logged on to Wynne’s Facebook account and was looking at the status updates for some reason.  It felt strange to be looking at the Facebook-filtered world that she would have been seeing.  Posts from friends and relatives, from people’s names I don’t recognize, and even posts by me with photos of Helen or about how I cooked lentils and rice with caramelized onions.  These are all things she would have seen.  Maybe commented on, or commented to me directly if I was in the room with her.

It’s almost as if she’s still alive in some way because her Facebook account still goes on and I can still look through her eyes.  But it’s a very hollow sense of being alive and ultimately a reminder that she’s not.

I think this is one small part of the grieving process that everyone says you have to go through.


Oberlin revisited August 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevenwaseda @ 3:39 pm

Last year, right about this same time in August, Wynne and I took a trip to Oberlin following my cousin’s wedding in Cleveland.  Wynne had always spoken so positively about Oberlin, and it clearly had a very positive effect on her life.  I looked forward to going there with her, seeing it, feeling it, and hearing memories come back to her mind and out of her mouth.

Wynne as a student at Oberlin (thanks to Jennifer for sharing the photo)

We were only there about two days.  It’s a small campus and an even tinier town.  And there were no students on campus.  Yet it was a wonderful trip and I loved watching Wynne getting excited seeing things and telling me stories and why such and such place had significance and all the stories (and political controversies) behind it.  The arch in Tappan Square.  The Conservatory (whose students are referred to as “connies”).  Asia House where Wynne lived from freshman year.  The wheat donuts from Gibsons.  The Ben Franklin 5 & 10.  And of course, Oberlin’s favorite (and more or less only) hangout spot, The Feve.

I also had the pleasure of staying with and getting to know Deb and Carl, who have run the Shanxi Program (i.e., Oberlin in Asia) for a number of years and who were very much part of Wynne’s support system while she was in college as well as in the years since.

With all of this in mind, I thought it would be nice to take another trip to Oberlin this year.  This time with Helen plus two of Helen’s godmoms, Anita and Young, both of whom were close friends of Wynne’s from Oberlin days.  We were there all of 24 hours but had a really nice, and at times emotional, chance to reconnect with Oberlin and with Wynne.

Here are some of the photos from our recent trip.  (For some reason I can’t find any of our photos from our trip last year.)

Helen sees where Mommy got so good at piano


One of the performance halls in the Conservatory where Wynne once performed


Anita and Young show Helen the proper way to approach the controversial arch at Tappan Square in solidarity with her Chinese brothers and sisters


Helen sits atop a new bunkbed in Wynne's old dorm room in Asia House


Helen outside Asia House with a view of Wynne's second floor dorm


The Mandarin: The one and only Chinese restaurant in Oberlin and the place where all China-related vistitors of status to Oberlin were always brought for dinner (according to Wynne)


"We be chillin' at the Oberlin Inn....."


Helen meets Deb and Carl!


Tater tots at The Feve!


Wynne eating in Shanghai August 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevenwaseda @ 1:56 am

I checked Wynne’s Facebook account for the first time in a long while and came across this photo from our trip to China in December 2009 along with the below comments from Wynne and some of her friends which made me smile.


Wynne: Breakfast burrito goodness in Shanghai! 煎饼——好吃啊!

January 11, 2009 at 1:32pm


Susan: aiya, that looks SOOO good! wo dou yao liu kou shui le!! *drool*

January 11, 2009 at 3:24pm


Kathy: omg, that thing is bigger than your face…yummy!

January 12, 2009 at 11:19am


Wynne: It’s actually mostly thin crepe! After I shared that with Steven, we still had scallion pancake, and dumplings!

January 12, 2009 at 8:55pm



January 13, 2009 at 2:44am


Sophie: that looks like you get a lot more bang for your buck than you would with an erkuai!

January 18, 2009 at 9:38pm


Young: I guess I haven’t seen this photo till now, but I would know that coat anywhere!


Pre-Helen Era August 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevenwaseda @ 3:14 pm

Here’s a great photo of Wynne and her wonderful smile I found from the day we had some pre-Helen practice and took care of our nephew Preston for an afternoon.


Chinese take on Sarah Palin August 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevenwaseda @ 11:54 pm

I have a feeling Wynne would’ve found this first and showed it to me.  I know she would’ve really enjoyed it.


General Greene ice cream August 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevenwaseda @ 2:44 am

I went with Helen tonight to get ice cream at the General Greene.  I kept thinking how nice it would’ve been and how strange it is that Wynne wasn’t with me tonight and how much she would’ve enjoyed it.

Here’s what it would look like:


A book for Wynne August 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevenwaseda @ 10:33 pm

I had a nice lunch with Wynne’s BHSEC colleague and close friend David yesterday.  And he told me about a book Wynne would’ve loved called 97 Orchard:  An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One Tenement House by Jane Ziegler.

If you know Wynne, you can see right away why should would enjoy it.  It’s about the Lower East Side, where Wynne grew up (and where she also spent a summer a few years ago serving as a tour guide for the Tenement Museum).  And it’s about food.  The kicker, however, is that the author is an Oberlin grad!

Here’s the NY Times review of the book:

I’ll be getting a copy for myself, and hopefully Amazon delivers wherever Wynne is now so she can read it too.