In 2008, my sister and I celebrated our 11th birthday in my dad's hospital room while he began chemotherapy. Having just been diagnosed, chemo and radiation were chosen for the treatment plan since they seemed to be the least invasive treatments. My dad was unable to talk for weeks due to the blistering of radiation. We communicated only through the white board.
After multiple re-occurrences of the same cancer called for operations on his jaw, the floor of his mouth, underneath his tongue and on his right clavicle, in February 2010 Dad had his last surgery and has been cancer free ever since. Because of life-saving research and cutting-edge surgical techniques, my Dad is still around to hike with me and enjoy life.