5 Things Keeping You From Being Happy, and How to Overcome Them.

So many things that we learn in life, we learn from our parents.  My dad, probably more than anyone, taught me how to be happy. Dad grew up during wartime Vietnam.  He lived through violence, oppression, and unspeakable hardships that would have made weaker men give up and die. But he didn’t. He persevered, escaped from the…

Life with Cancer, Entry#01: Ground Zero

Project Introduction:  Each person who has been touched by cancer goes on a very personal journey.  Many people prefer to keep their medical status private, not even sharing the news with anyone outside of their immediate family. At the beginning of my journey, I was one of these folks.  I didn’t want to bother other…

10 Things to Keep in Mind When You’ve Been Diagnosed with Cancer

  Getting diagnosed with cancer can feel like a death sentence, and in some cases, this is true.  However, much of our journey with cancer has to do with what goes on inside our minds.  Our outlook on just about everything becomes critical in defining what our experience will be like with this disease. There…

The Wishing Glass: Table of Contents

Ayune Takeda, a twelve year old girl struggling to cope with her father’s losing battle with cancer, discovers a magical world full of wonders, adventure, and . . . a possible cure.  What sacrifices is she willing to endure to find it? Can she save her father before it’s too late?  There’s only one way to find out. ….

Life with Cancer, Entry#14: Different Tastes

There are people in Asia who consider dog as a delicacy. Our dog considers Asian people a delicacy. What goes around, comes around… words worth remembering, indeed. Lol    

Life with Cancer, Entry#13: A Girl and Her Dog

Nhi has always wanted a family dog, but we never got her one because of her severe animal allergies. She would break out in hives and blisters within minutes of contact with a dog or cat, and we’d always thought that she would be doomed to a life of owning pet fish. Following my surgery last year,…

Life with Cancer, Entry#12: Sacrifice

All parents make sacrifices for the sake of their children, but mine I think, have made more than most… My grandfather was a medic during the Vietnam War fighting for the Democratic South against the Communist North.  After the South lost the war, he was branded as a traitor, sent to prison, and his children…

Life with Cancer, Entry#11: Matchmaker

Two of my dearest friends from high school: Tam, Pham, and their adorable minions. Today, they made a five hour drive from their home to visit me after learning that I was ill.  Tam told me the other night that he had something important to tell me, but he wanted to do it in person. In…

Life with Cancer, Entry#10: Dead Man Talking

My brilliant nephew Carter, who always makes me laugh. At my sister’s New Year’s Eve party the other week, I had a nausea attack and had to go sit in the restroom. I was on the floor leaning against the wall with my eyes closed when I heard the sound of footsteps and Carter’s voice,…

Life with Cancer, Entry#09: Love is a Bowl of Soup

Love is a bowl of soup. For some people, love means diamond rings and fancy things, to show off to their friends, and feel like queens and kings. For me, love is my wife who cares for me each day. She took a job far away, with 25% less pay, so that I would have insurance…

Life with Cancer, Entry#08: Bad Day

I have good days… I have bad days… and I have really bad days. Yesterday was one of those really bad days. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t get out of bed.  I just laid there shivering in cold sweat, praying for it to end. Mai was at work, Nhi was at school, and…

Life with Cancer, Entry#07: Hope

Today, I made a new friend, and her name is Hope. Hope works for a local Vietnamese television station and stumbled across my blog the other day. She, too, lost her father to cancer when she was a teenager and so my situation in relation with my own daughter resonated with her when she read my…

Life with Cancer, Entry#06: Quality over Quantity

I used to think that popularity meant happiness. The more friends I had, the cooler I felt. Then I came to realize that we each only have 24 hours to spend in a day. The more friends I had… the less time I could spend with each person… the lower the quality my friendships became…

Life with Cancer, Entry#05: Looks Can be Deceiving

Cancer is an odd disease. It’s not like a cold or the chicken pox where you pretty much know what to expect and how long to expect it for.  Even two people with the same type of cancer can have very different experiences with the affliction. Some people with cancer look like death, but are…

Life with Cancer, Entry#04: The Power of Prayer

What is the power of prayer? Since I’ve fallen ill, I have been blessed with more people praying for my well being than I can track, with prayers going out to just about every deity in the religious spectrum. Each person praying for me holds the conviction that their religious God will be the one to…