Gosh Darn It…. My Dad Has Cancer

It’s World Cancer Day; and its time I share my story. I’ve been holding onto a secret; a big secret! My dad has stomach cancer. We’ve known for exactly 2 months. Two insanely, crazy, horrible months of going to doctors, seeking expert doctor opinions, seeing specialists, praying, getting tests, agonizing tests, more tests, receiving results, recovery, dealing with insurance, self researching, reading blogs, crying, analyzing results, appealing insurance stupid decisions, making decisions, waiting, doubting, praying, and more crying. I’ve become an Medicare/HMO Insurance expert, and it feels like I’ve taken an excel medical education in Gastric cancer too.

It’s World Cancer Day; and here’s my story. I’m an only child and my parents are my heroes. I love my parents; and I truly, truly cannot imagine my life without them. My mom was born in Poland; my dad was born in Japan. When my mom was in her late twenties, she met my dad in Paris. They fell in love,  got married and moved to Los Angeles. For both of them, English is not their first language. So naturally, when we found out my dad has cancer, I took the role of “caregiver.”  I am extremely grateful that my husband is allowing me to be a daughter first; and a wife second, because we are fighting this nasty cancer head on. This fight has become my full-time job. While my dad’s focus is to stay positive and healthy; I deal with everything else.  Gastric cancer is extremely aggressive, and under researched in the United States. The most frustrating part is that there is no clear consensus on how to “cure” my dad. One surgeon felt very comfortable removing my dad’s entire stomach (Total Gastrectomy) just after one biopsy.  WTF? He didn’t even feel the need to stage the cancer. Five tests later, I’m arriving to that same conclusion, but now I’m more worried about lymph nodes and cancer metastasis. The five-year survival rate is ridiculous. I won’t even look at it.

It’s World Cancer Day; and I’m so lucky that my dad wants to live. He is so remarkably strong and I’m amazed by his incredible spirit. I wish I could be more like him. For me, I’m consumed with worry and insomnia. In fact, I spent three hours in Urgent Care this morning because I’m so sick. The stress has taken its toll on me and I need to be strong for my dad’s surgery next week.

It’s World Cancer Day; and I’m scared.


A blog about stomach cancer gastric cancer adenocarcinoma chemotherapy FOLFOX radiation therapy surgery Total Gastrectomy caretaker stage 3 cancer

With Stomach Cancer: The Blog

5 thoughts on “Gosh Darn It…. My Dad Has Cancer

    • It sounds like you are going through hell. I am so sorry, Aki, to hear of all the bad and sad things happening to your father. Cancer sucks! Keep praying and be positive. You just never know what God has in store for any of us. The main thing is family. . .stay close to each other,. lean on one another, share your feelings,. . .and never lose faith.
      We are suppose to live every day as if it’s our last. Have you been doing that? People love you and want to be there for you. Don’t ever forget what family means to you. That means both sides of your family!!!

      Tommy: I’m sure going through all this with Aki and her dad must remind you of when your dad was so sick. You sat by his bed playing games, and talking to him until he took his last breath. I miss my brother more than you will ever know. You were such a good son then. Be a good son now and start communicating with your family. Put all anger aside for whatever reason, and tell them how much you love and miss them. I love you, Tommy!
      Your Aunt Sandi

  1. Oh, honey, I am sooo very sorry. I’m sitting at work, trying desperately to fight the tears. I understand every word you wrote and those you could not put a voice to. I know the panic that jolts you awake from much needed – but far to little – sleep. I have sat stoic, trying to breathe and stay composed, as a clinician starts off, “I’m sorry…”. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you, Shigeo and Anna as you go through this fight. If I can help in any way other than that, please let me know. Love, Suzan

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