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  • Tomas Lee

Yes, I Have Cancer


I've struggled quite a bit before making the decision to share this personal news to public. It takes me a lot of courage to step up doing this. I am a very private person as some noticed and my personal life has been kept very privately at work as being well known for, but I fully understand I can't fight this battle like a lone-wolf In here, I first have to deeply appreciate my best friends, Chou's family, Wung's family and my Little Sis, give me their best supports thru this challenging period. I would never forget their helps and don't know if ever have my chance to repay them (I believe I will). I also deeply appreciate the advices shared by my old colleague and his wife during lunch on 27th, and their inspiration strengthened my belief in chance of healing.

Yes, I've been diagnosed by UCI Health Center MD, Dr. Nangia (Hematology Oncology) and Dr. Daroui (Radiation Oncology), that I have the Nasopharyngeal Cancer in Stage 4A.

This is all began with the lump in my right neck caused by a swollen lymph node from two to three months ago. I went to my family doctor, then the Eat, Nose and Throat Specialist for diagnosis. After the CT-Scan, a mass lesion was found in the right nasopharynx obscuring the right fossa of Rosenmller. Small lymph nodes were also noted on the left. I've been advised to have biopsies for further verification. Then, I searched out the internet for the cancer experts in So. Cal and noticed the UCI Health Center Otolaryngologist, Dr. Verma. At my first visit on March 9th, after carefully reviewed my written journal and all medical reports I have, he inspected me with the nasal endoscopy and concluded I have cancer. Instantly, he called and emailed his associate in Otolaryngology, Dr. Tjoa, and other colleagues for more examinations on the next day. On the 10th and 16th, I was given biopsy in my nose at the office and a throat microscopy operation in the hospital. At the recovery room, after awaken from the anesthesia, I felt like walked off from death one more time. That feeling wasn't strange to me at all because I had a small operation in rectal during 2009. At that time, it's the best secret I kept. I went undergone the surgery myself. My girlfriend at that time didn't even know until she found out I missed work, didn't pick up calls and refused to seeing her after discharged from the hospital, and also, my close friend and lunch buddy, Tiff, knew because I went missing in action for a whole week. It's the very first official time I escaped Mr. Death. But deep down inside, I knew myself this nine-tails fox will face him again because it's a curse running in my mother's family. Two of her 3 younger brothers had passed away before age 45 in Nasopharyngeal and Colon Cancers. Before that operation, I already quitted smoking and tried living in healthy life. In 2011, I felt joyful and met someone special in life, and thought everything worked out great by then (Thru the difficulty, thankful she broke the ice and provides mental support to me).

In 2012, I got dispatched to the Shanghai and had a full body check-up per working visa requirement. Another bad news happened. My liver had found a small nodule to be hemangioma, a sort of birth deform and also a by-product of yearly depression. But the doctor suggested me not to be concerned of, as long as checking up annually. In every year or so, I will have a scan there to see any sign of growing. Until now, it's not something I shall worry of. One more time that Mr. Death remained me to behave and do good deeds. But I didn't listen. Bad smoking habit was picked up again in China. During then, I'd under a tremendous of stresses from personal and work life. The level of my depression was built up higher and higher. I lost some weights but in a healthy way. Nothing unusual was detected. After my return from China, I thought my life would resume normally but it wasn't. The roller coaster ride seems more crazier than ever. The break down begun....

Last year, the loss of my beloved daughter, Popo, was the worse life event I experienced. She's the only mental/spiritual pillar I have for 14 years. Many mightn't know that I was an introvert living alone in the States since age 17 without any family or relative here. That also explained why I seriously cherish all my close friendships and see the "Gang" as my true family here. Moreover, another reason why I took a corporate career break and tried to discover my new future path - Entrepreneurship.

And now, unfortunate that I must receive the only treatment option, radiotherapy + chemotherapy, for an extended period of time (I am seeking 2nd option for a better treatment option). However, there are so many negative clinical studies (statistic shown even Doctors themselves refuse these treatments) and unwelcome feedbacks from other cancer patients. Am I feeling helpless, feared and worried? Yes, I won't lie that I ain't (But very grateful my friends are here to support in regardless). Am I afraid of death? No, but still being frightened of the mental+physical tortures and potential financial burden thru time being but I absolutely want to fight for my survival. But... if in between quality of life and being not a half-functional man after treatments, I rather prefer former. At this very moment, I really feel like owing my parents a lot. It's a sense of guilt that I didn't take good care of myself and can't serve both elderly as a child should be (Only a few very close friends was first informed; And on Sunday evening, I had gradually told this shocking news to my immediate family in Asia).

In here, I am NOT seeking any enclosure or sympathy but sincerely ask for your expertise knowledge and wisdom for my case. If any medical advice or reference, pls kindly do PM me. Deeply appreciate that.

PS. Pls DO NOT leave me any comment, NOR IM, txt or call me for a social conversation. I do not feel like being a social topic in the industry, nor this sensitive subject should (Kindly respect that). I really appreciate for your kind greetings in advance, but what I need now is to rest more and focus 100% energy in curing this disease ("Cancer is a process, not a thing"). Thanks for the full understanding, and pls forgive me for being rude, ignorant, and disorganized in writing this note. If you feel like giving me your prayers, I sincerely cherish that. Live Healthy and God Bless You All.

#Cancer

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