Our Battle with Cancer. Chapter 1.

No one ever told me it would feel like this.

I’m not the one with Cancer.

But when it hits someone in your family, it hits everyone in the family. No matter how tightly you hold on the one another’s hand, at the end of the day, you deal with the news in your own way.

I’ve always felt that among my siblings, I’ve always had to be the emotionally stronger one. The one who can make swift decisions even when everyone else can’t. The one who can hold back the barrage of emotion that’s always threatening to unravel. The one who can put on a strong front and inspire strength in everyone else.

It’s the loneliest, gloomiest place to be in.


My father was diagnosed with Pneumonia last week.

3 days later, the doctor said it was emphysema.

2 days later, his CT scan results revealed that he already has lung cancer.

Based on the same report, there’s a possibility that the cancer has already metastasized to his liver, lymph nodes and bones.

I was with Mom and Dad last Saturday when we found out the news. Actually, the doctor wasn’t inclined to be brutally honest when face to face with my folks. So he asked me to call him when I had gotten home. When I called him, his prognosis was much worse than it was when we were in his office.

On the one hand, maybe it is easier hearing the worst news you could possibly hear from your own daughter… rather than from a doctor.

On the other hand, being the bearer of bad news is not the best role in the world.

When I was around 13 or 14 years old, I buried my 2 grandfathers, two consecutive months in a row. It was the first time I’ve ever encountered death at so close a proximity. My paternal grandfather died of Cirrhosis of the Liver (although he already had previously suffered multiple strokes, and had emphysema). My maternal grandfather died of lung cancer.

Around 2 years ago, one of my best friends from College passed away from Pneumonia, as a result of complications associated with a Kidney transplant. He was 32 years old.

Those were the 3 instances in my life when Death became a little bit more personal. I shed a couple of tears, and spent many nights worrying about everything.

But facing a slow, silent killer when it already involves your own parent, regardless of your relationship…. well, no one ever told me it would feel like this. How could they have told me, when I myself don’t even know how to describe how it feels now?

What I do know is that lately, I find myself gravitating towards people who’ve already buried a parent; or who like me, have a parent battling a terminal illness.

I now understand what a friend of mine told me a long, long time ago when she buried her father when she was only 13 years old. She said something to the extent of – the words ‘i know how you feel’ don’t mean anything coming from those who’ve never buried a parent, or who’ve never had a parent with a terminal illness. The death of a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle… that’s nothing compared to the pain you feel when it starts happening to your own parent.

Anyway, we’re far from done.

Dad needs to undergo a biopsy this week to get conclusive results on what stage his cancer really is in. We’re still hoping that contrary to what the doctor told me, that he isn’t at Stage 4 yet.

Mom also knows a doctor, an oncologist and cancer surgeon who, without a biopsy, is able to diagnose the cancer stage and can appropriately and quickly recommend the best treatment.

This week, we’re seeing all the doctors we need to see. And trying to raise the funds we need for cancer treatment.

At this point, it’s too early to conclude anything.

We continue to hope and pray for the best.