On Thursday, Feb. 27, 2019 at 11:54PM, my father passed away peacefully at Houston Hospice. He took his last breath the day after my birthday. This run is going to be of even greater significance to me. March is colorectal/colon cancer awareness month & it just so happens the Oral Cancer 5K got rescheduled from October 2018 to this month. I know my dad would have been so proud of me!
After 2 months in the hospital (with an extra month in physical therapy), my dad was discharged to go home before Thanksgiving 2018. He started chemotherapy and radiation for oral cancer mid-December. He was able to finish it out at the beginning of February. Sadly, he was already considered at stage 4. At this point, his care team wanted to tailor his care plan to prolong his life since it is no longer curative. He decided he was not going to continue a new regimen of chemo/radiation and spent his remaining days with family and wonderful friends who came by to visit.
Just earlier last month (July 2018), my sister and I were talking about how we can celebrate my dad's 61st birthday. We're now in the middle of August and he just went through his first major surgery of his lifetime; he was recently diagnosed with colon/colorectal cancer, which thankfully, is localized to a certain area and has not yet spread. Medically speaking, it is identified as an adenocarcinoma. This was the result of an annual colonoscopy screening that led to an abnormal polyp that posed concerns to clinicians. We all received the news with disbelief. During this time, my dad also developed a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. He had a small abscess that formed inside his mouth cheek. We didn't think much of it until he started having mild dysphagia. After reporting this to his primary care provider, a series of labs were ordered and imaging concluded that he has oral cancer. Being diagnosed with two different types of cancers is terrifying. it's tricky and requires a lot of medical attention and coordination in order to dictate the best plan of care for my dad. My dad will undergo a second surgery in September followed by an intense 7 week period of radiation. I kindly ask that you all continue to keep him in your thoughts and/or prayers.
One of my favorite things to do is run 5Ks for charities and a huge part of that is associated to my growing curiosity of learning what each organization/foundation contributes to humanity. This time is no different. I'm constantly reading research articles and learning more about what colon and oral cancer entails so that I can be the best advocate I can for my dad. On October 20, 2018, I will be running this 5K for my dad and I hope that my dear family/friends near or far can contribute to this wonderful foundation in order to sustain their continuous growth in research and education.
I have faith that my dad is within good hands as he is under the care of a synchronized team in Houston, TX (where it is renowned to be one of the best cancer treatment centers in the world). We will persist and remain as strong as we can for him. Even if it's just $1, anything will be greatly appreciated.