On August 22, 2019, my dad was told by a local small branch hospital that he had cancer after he admitted to an emergency room and then ICU. They just said he had a cancer and that was it, nothing else and they just looked at us because we said nothing and were kind a not hurry for anything. Actually, they told us with the way kind a for sure that he had a cancer right at the beginning and told us again and again many times after. Every time, when they said that, I asked them, “is there a result already?”, they said that not yet but it was likely cancer.
They, especially the hospital surgeon’s physician assistant, were kind a pushing him to get a surgery at first without explaining, not in details and then later pushing him getting chemotherapy. I asked a hospital oncologist is it stage 2, she said stage 4 because there were a spot in his liver, a spot in his lung, spot/spots in his pancreas and her assistant pointed to her something in the paper and then she asked her in lymph nodes and her assistant said yes by saying she checked this morning and an oncologist looked at her and turned looking at me and said now showing in lymph nodes too. I turned to glance over her stuffs of paper on her hands because I thought there was/were a picture(s) there but there were nothing (no picture); I asked her is a picture? She said she had no picture but she could pour out/retrieve it… My dad asked her so how long he could live, “How long can I live”. She answered him right away by saying less than six months, “less than six months” and for year if treatment. At that time, after hearing stage 4 cancer, I might not be normal but I didn’t know; I was just acting like normal, so now, I was not sure that I heard she said for year or years, but for sure, I remembered not hearing the sound of “s” at the end of the world clearly. But anyway, since, from that moment, in my mind and my dad’s mind, it was a year, not years. Then, I didn’t care to look at the picture anymore because she said stage 4, to me, done, no chance back to the normal… didn’t matter anymore… My dad told her he chose not for the treatment at that meeting and it was the last meeting with a oncologist of his life.
In my mind at that time was even though if going through the treatment and then told that the cancer is clear and suddenly the cancer is coming back later, in less 6 months anyway, and spreads anywhere and done, so go home, keep eating and do as he normal doing and cancer stays there, not expanding or slowly spreading and and… find another way… I was kind a nut, is it right? Now, looking back, I should requested pictures, seeing in details, asking more and more questions… not just listening to them. Things turned worser and worser when my dad visited a family doctor after discharging from the hospital couple days later. They discharged him right after he refused the chemotherapy treatment, discharging without any medication… even though we/he reported that he had no family doctor at all at the time when he admitted to the hospital.
I tried to make my dad going to here and there. At first, he didn’t want to go with this excuse and that excuse of his health. I told him that so when it happens, do this, do that… and finally, after many times, he agreed to go. Later, he the first one to have an idea to go here and there because lately, I started lazy. We didn’t have anywhere to go, we just went to the shopping for grocery. Every time, we went to the grocery shopping, I didn’t plan to buy anything, just wanted my dad having a free of mind, continuing the normal life, shopping without thinking negative… Actually, I didn’t let him having a free time to think negative stuffs but he usually went to the garden do this and do that; I don’t know whether he had a negative thinking there or not.
But the thing was not as I planned it lately. The state where I live got hit by COVID-19 which was called, at that time, as “China virus” which made some people without properly educated started targeting Asian look-like people because they assumed them are Chinese… and then the state shut down… Actually, corona virus was already in the state where I live for months before it was officially having in the local news outlets because we have family members worked in the personal care field where people come and go, chit chat this and that… The world was streaming with all kind of bad news about Coronavirus, people died, people suddenly collapsed and died on the street, this person died of this, this person died of that, news of people we knew and having heard for a while died (died of accidents, died of cancers, died of heart diseases), this person that person we knew had dementia/Alzheimer, this store that store had people infecting COVID, blah blah blah… the sirens of the ambulance cars/fire trucks popped in up in the area… no fly in and out of the area, no sound of the airplanes, completely quiet on the sky; that was completely not normal at all after living at the place for 23 years. Normally, always noisy of the sound of the airplane almost everyday especially on the weekend and on the holiday seasons; sometimes, made us turning mad because too noisy.
After the last trip of grocery shopping, Sam’s Club Wholesale, my dad rarely visited any store because we knew that the virus was spreading around but how bad was it? not for sure… so rather preparing, be caution… so we didn’t encourage him to go anywhere; he just stayed home all the time (back in the garden). I, myself, didn’t ask him to go places to places anymore.
Not only his cancer and coronavirus itself, he got harder hits from the homeowners association lawsuit with fault claim stuffs starting by a property manager, just because she is jealous at people who own houses especially elderly people in the subdivision. After noticing some issues, I doubt that every time she started picking on the homeowners was that time she was in a bad/poor personal financial situation. Now she is not like she used to be as a professional appearance; she is wearing things which is alarming me she might be not good as she first started managing the subdivision and might be turning bad one day in the future. She claims she is white but she can speak French and Spanish and a short status with blond dying hairs.
Sometimes, I asked myself, why all stuffs happened in the right time, right place, right thing, right people… like cutting down my dad’s path of surviving. It didn’t matter how many stuffs I came up with after many thinking, creating, planning, advocating, fighting to correct the things…
Oh, one more thing I haven’t say it yet. Not just only what I mentioned about my nut thinking above but there was one thing which was kind a strongly supporting my nut thinking was waiting for a new treatment which I saw in a local Sunday newspaper at the hospital lobby desk while a male nurse asked me stepping outside the room so he could taking care my dad’s personal stuffs. When I was outside of the room, I started walking around, ended up to the lobby, and saw a big headline news on the frontpage of a newspaper laying right there on the table. Then I got closer and started reading every words on that article and read again, looked closer in details and tried to memorize the importance things. After reading, I saw that treatment is much better and kind a having bright future. At that time, the treatment was only available for certain types of cancer which did not include my dad’s type of cancer. I think I told my dad about the treatment I read in the local newspaper just published while he was in ICU too. At that time, there was no officially from the lab that he had a cancer yet. Lately, many stuffs hit, I forgot about that type of treatment of cancer. I don’t remember my dad ever mentioned or talked about that treatment after I told him at all.