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 people with my own problems, and I certainly didn’t want the pity.
It wasn’t until months later that I was convinced to change my mind.
A friend had come to visit me one day and mentioned how impressed she was at my positive outlook on life despite my prognosis of almost certain death. Stage 4 liver cancer is no joke.
She then shared something very personal with me: She had a brother who was diagnosed with colon cancer at the tender age of 25. Halfway through his chemo treatment, he committed suicide.
She felt heartbroken that he had chosen this path and told me that he never spoke to anyone about his mental condition or his thoughts of suicide. She then asked me if I would be willing to share my journey and my outlook on life, so that others who are struggling may also find a way to hold onto hope.
It was with this in mind that I added “Start a Blog” to my bucket list. You can read about my own struggles with this topic in Entry#16: The Lure of Suicide.
With that, I present to you this series of posts that I will simply call Life with Cancer. It is a compilation of my reflections and thoughts, random or otherwise, as I embark on what may very well be, my final journey. I will continue it as long as my health permits, until I beat this disease, or this disease beats me.
Won’t you join me on my adventure?
Life with Cancer, Entry#01: Ground Zero
This photo of me was taken in June of 2017 — the day before I was released to go home after having surgery to remove a 15 x 15 x 8cm tumor, my gallbladder, and a quarter of my liver.
The surgery was initially deemed too risky and they weren’t going to do it. Instead, the medical staff had given my wife and I information about in home hospice to take with us so that we may prepare for end of life care.
It was due to the kindness of a complete stranger — a doctor who was also a cancer survivor — that ultimately saved my life. She made multiple phone calls to pull strings and curry favor from her team to convince them to take my case. Were it not for her, I would not be alive today.
Miracles do happen, and it has happened to me… so whatever tomorrow may bring, I have already been blessed with borrowed time today, and I am grateful for every moment of it.
Above all, let’s not be afraid to go out of our way to take care of one another whenever we feel that we can make a difference in someone else’s life.
What was, to that doctor, a simple act of kindness and a few signatures… meant a second life, for me.
In the same spirit, if sharing my personal story can somehow help even one other person out there, then it will be worth all the effort and time.
Let the journey begin…
Please help me in my quest to raise public awareness on how cancer originating from Hepatitis B (the cancer that I have) can be easily prevented. One simple test can save someone their life. Learn more by visiting my Donation Page.