Like most young girls longing for the love of their Prince Charming, Q May Chen spent many of her childhood days dreaming up her perfect fairytale wedding.
She envisioned an elaborate photoshoot complete with close family, bridesmaids holding savory-sweet bouquets, and of course, her handsome knight in shining armor by her side.
“When I was younger, I loved to dress up and always hoped that I would one day be able to do my own wedding shoot when I got married,” she told BuzzFeed.
But at the ripe age of 27—those childhood dreams came crashing down on Q May when she heard the most dreaded words in the oncology world: “Stage Four.”
Back in 2013, the Taiwan native was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer and was thankfully declared cancer-free after treatment. But her remission didn’t prove to be as resilient as she hoped.
Just two short years later, the ‘Big C’ came back stronger than ever, this time worsening to stage four. Receiving the terminal diagnosis quickly triggered Q May to reorient her perspective on life and make the most of the time she had left.
“I couldn’t have known that stage four cancer was waiting for me, but I’m making the most of the limited time we all have,” she said.
Q May didn’t have a groom, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t give herself the gift of a childhood dream come true.
So for her birthday, that’s exactly what she did.
“I waited, but then I got sick again,” said Chen. “That was when I finally decided that this was something I needed to do.”
Since taking the solo series of breathtaking photos, Q May says she’s never felt so empowered.
“I realized that even though I am alone, I can accomplish so much in life,” she said. “You don’t need to wait for someone to complete you.”
Since the photoshoot, Q May has continued to step out of her comfort zone by doing things she once deemed impossible, like getting her driver’s license, so she can travel wherever her dreamer’s heart desires.
The next adventure she has planned is to travel to Bali with her mother for what would have been her “honeymoon.”
Though she’s got a tough battle ahead of her, Q May prays that her story may bring encouragement to others who are fighting for their life.
She perceives her grim diagnosis not as a death sentence, but rather, an opportunity for God to grow her into a stronger woman.
“I feel like sometimes it may seem like God has made you fall over, but maybe it’s actually Him pushing you to achieve something more.”