When I visited my parents during the summer of 2019, my dad told me that his ribs were in
constant pain. After going to an orthopedic, dermatologist, and going from one doctor to
another, he finally took a CT scan. To everyone’s surprise, he was told that he had inflammation
in his gallbladder and needed immediate surgery. Fortunately, the operation was quick, but
about a month later, biopsy results showed that he had cancer in his gallbladder. That day, he
was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer. From then on, my siblings and I researched so many things,
such as diet and lifestyle recommendations to help with his cancer.

Cancer patients and their families continue to face a crossroads of choices while fighting their
illnesses. After being diagnosed, we faced many uncertainties upon hearing the shocking news
and felt like we were in a dark tunnel. We had to make countless decisions about whether or
not to undergo surgery, which doctor to get the surgery from, whether to try chemotherapy or
natural treatment, what kind of food to eat, and how much.
My dad was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer at the age of 79, and he seems to be grateful for
his life this far and wants to live and die while enjoying the rest of his life despite his illness.
But from his daughter’s point of view, I continue to nag him a lot, hoping that he would work
out harder, cut down on bad food, and do his best to receive treatments, but my father chooses
to live stress-free. To this day, as he is still battling cancer, he does what he wants to do, eats
what he wants to eat, bought himself a new car, meets with friends, travels, and watches TV
dramas he wants to watch.
Since a few years passed after his diagnosis, now that I think about it, it seems that the way for
patients and their families to have no regrets is to allow patients to live as they wish because
there is no right answer to treating cancer. While my dad was fighting cancer, I heard a lot of
stories from family members who were in the same situation as me. There were cases where
the results were not good even though they were devoted to receiving treatment, and there
were people who lived for several years, even if they were in a terminal stage.
It’s hard to understand how much your heart breaks as a cancer patient’s family unless
someone is in a similar situation. Some of my friends lost a family member when they were
young, but at the time, I didn’t understand the extent of their grief. But now I do, and the
struggle is real.
In my opinion, what we should do is support and honor patients who are accepting their
situation and want to live with a comfortable mind. I think the most important thing is to spend
as much time as we can together to leave more meaningful and enjoyable memories to carry
on for the rest of our lives. I want to encourage all of us to make the most of what this life has
to offer us because the time each of us has we have in life is limited.
Sharing this story helped me reflect and process my emotions about my dad’s cancer journey. I
want to thank the Living Hope Project for creating this safe space and supportive community

for patients and families who are fighting cancer. It gives us a lot of encouragement to spread
hope and know that we are not alone.

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