Despite her youth - she's still in her early 30s - Thipayanipa "Noo Dang" Samalapa, nee Krairiksh, has been through thick and thin, from the untimely loss of loved ones to her own struggle with end-state lymphoma, all in her teens and 20s.
There were worthwhile lessons, though, and she wants to share them through her biography "Cheewit Laksee" ("A Colourful Life") by Supatra Suksawasdi, launched last week at Bangkok's Baan Krairiksh with former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun among those in attendance.
Noo Dang is a svelte, good-looking woman with flowing dark hair and eyes that radiate cheerfulness. Her mannerisms reflect good breeding, a sound education and plenty of travel.
She's the only daughter of Sakthip Krairiksh, who has been Thailand's ambassador to Tokyo, secretary to Sidhi Savetsila when he was foreign minister and head of the ministry's policy and planning and information divisions.
The long Krairiksh bloodline includes Siamese royalty and gentry dating back to the Ayutthaya Period, a Chinese merchant bringing the family to Siam and his offspring serving King Taksin of Thonburi and rulers of the Chakri Dynasty.
After completing Grade 3 at Rajini (Bon) School, Noo Dang moved with her family to Washington DC, where her father was minister counsellor at the Thai Embassy.
She enjoyed her big new house in neighbouring Bethesda, Maryland, with its backyard pool, and her academic life at the Wood Acres Elementary School. She remembers sitting in class, like millions of other schoolchildren were doing across America on January 28, 1986, watching the space shuttle Challenger lift off.
The promise it held, with schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe on board ready to beam lessons down from space, evaporated in an explosion seconds later.
Those three years in the US were memorable for a multitude of reasons, though. Noo Dang once attended the Christmas celebrations at the White House and got close to First Lady Nancy Reagan.
Back in Thailand, she continued her studies at Ruamrudee International and Triam-udom Sueksa, then delved into mass communications at Chulalongkorn University.
After two years as marketing executive of iTV, Noo Dang returned to the US in 1997 to get a masters degree in women's studies at Harvard University. There, with plans in mind for a career in the civil service, she met Pum, her future husband.
In the meantime she lost her grandfather and her elder brother, who was murdered by a mugger in the US, and her younger brother suffered serious head injuries in an accident.
And then, not long after her return to Bangkok, Noo Dang was diagnosed with terminal lymphoma. She was 26, and had just given birth.
"I was very afraid of every word the doctor was telling me," she recalls. "He didn't guarantee anything much. I didn't learn from him directly how much longer I could live, but other family members knew."
What followed was a draining routine of hospital visits to undergo often-painful chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants. The search for bone marrow that matched hers was an enormous challenge.
Moral support from the family and particularly the guidance she received from her mother pulled Noo Dang through. She set out to recover her balance, physically and spiritually, by taking dharma lessons.
"The treatment procedure is both physical and psychological. Dharma teachings came in very useful. I learned to think positively, keep calm and meditate."
After 10 months her condition improved, and now, she says, the cancer has disappeared. Her immune system remains weak, however, and she suffers from allergies. But her attitude to life has changed dramatically too.
"Most importantly, I've become much more flexible," Noo Dang says. "My perspective has changed, in that I don't take happiness and sadness too seriously, because now I know they are transient. I've learned to enjoy the simple pleasures in life and think positively."
Currently based for nine months in Sydney, where her husband is an investment manager at JP Morgan, Noo Dang believes she's found genuine happiness. She sends her kids to school in the morning, takes classes in holistic counselling in the afternoon and then welcomes the children home to hours of shared playtime.
She's a long way from the anxieties that her social obligations in Bangkok used to bring.
"Holistic counselling has taught me that life is shaped by all sorts of things surrounding us, from the people to the environment itself. It's like studying dharma, because you get to know yourself much better. You learn to respect yourself and others while having confidence in yourself and others too.
"So in good times and bad, I try not to be too happy or sad, because I know these things go in cycles. When I become happy, I go for a brief meditation session."
The path of life has its ups and downs, she says. You can't let happiness carry you away, because bad times will reappear eventually.
"Cheewit Laksee", from Volume Publishing, is available at leading bookshops for Bt180.