I have to admit, there is a part of me that is nervous to even post this because ironically enough, the last time I posted something similar to this on October 28, 2010 (http://jackiesorkin.blogspot.com/2010/10/think-pink-cancer-story-you-should-read.html )my dads cancer came back for the 2nd time and with a vengeance. Because of my dad, I now have NO FEAR and this is too important for me to not share it and possibly reach thousands of people who need some hope & some help. I promise to try and not make this a 10 pager and as much as I like expressing myself about what’s important to me I will try to be kinda brief. My family is the only thing in this world I can’t seem to function or live without and I happen to have a massive sized Latino family ( Mexicans, Dominicans, Argentinians, Peruvians, Puerto Ricans, Costa Ricans, Columbians, Brazilians..) who all look out for each-other and celebrate life together too! When something happens to one of us, we become paralyzed and immediately GO, GO, GO! I altered a popular quote by Muhammad Ali during my dads 2nd battle and I will say it again- When we’re forced to deal with life’s difficult circumstances we have two choices, to give up or fight like hell and my dad George chose to put on his boxing gloves and fight for his life every single day without hesitation. My dad made the choice to live for all of us, for his grandchildren, his wife, his friends, his beloved dog Mr. White and because he loves us and life so damn much he wasn’t going to let anything or anyone especially some piece of SH*T cancer take it away from him!
What kind of cancer was it? Stage IV Metastatic Melanoma which metastasized onto both his lungs in the form of 2 small tumors is what we were told. We were also told he was inoperable with a very poor prognosis, all the available treatments in the US had very little hope with the smallest percentages of any success. My dad is not a sun worshipper, does not smoke, goes to the gym religiously for over 20 years, every week, eats a relatively healthy diet etc. Of course we were shocked! These are the moments where as my parents daughter, I knew I had to turn into the adult, get it together and find us more options. I’m tough with so many aspects of my life. a no nonsense, no BS type of girl but my family is also my Kryptonite and can bring me to my knees when one of us is in trouble. I won’t tell you the whole story but I will say, my life became 1000% consumed with my dad & saving his life. My days & nights were no longer about my life. We researched doctors, scientist, alternative therapies & treatments, we tracked people down who were survivors and I almost became a raging stalker until they responded to me. I will never forget the emails and messages I left them. I said, ” Hi My name is Jackie, I’m 31 years old, I have a little baby and my dad has stage IV metastatic melanoma, please help me- I’m not crazy, I just need my dad to live and need to speak to you urgently please.” And one by one they responded to me by phone by email and even visited me at my own home. Dr. Bruce Hensel a popular doctor on NBC had even responded and had my dad on his radio show. My point, most people worry about being a pest and pain in the ass but when things matter to you being a pain in the ass is totally acceptable!
When my mom told me she was so scared that she’d never see my dad smile again and we sat in the car and cried- I’ll never forget that moment. I’ve kept replaying it and even as I sit here and type with floods of tears on my key board because it’s still a very raw emotion for me, I have to share & I have to write about how we had to fight because I know other people and other families are fighting this right now too. I want to try and wrap this up but fast forward to August 2011 and dealing with this for almost a year and guess what? Dad walked out St. Josephs hospital last Friday after a 2nd cancer surgery to remove the 2nd tumor, no signs of spreading, no other cancer.. essentially, Cancer Free! A miracle perhaps and trust me, we had hundreds of Latinos praying to La Virgen de Guadalupe day and night, God heard our prayers for sure and blessed those who my dad crossed paths with along this journey. The team of Doctors, Scientist, Researchers & Nurses at Chipsa Hospital in Mexico like Gar & Dr. Mora http://www.chipsa.com & his team of Doctors & Surgeons here in the US at St. Jospehs hospital http://www.stjosephs.org and even this super nice guy who helped me while I cried to him Mike Rosenthal from www.Foundhealth.com & ass kicking cancer survivor Ms. Sharon Brockman who cared about my family and my dad simply because she wanted to & is that kind of person.Be clear- Alternative treatments ( sadly not offered in the US which is a damn shame) & conventional US medicine saved my dads life. I’m not going to go nuts on this issue but Cancer treatment & options in the US need some major changes and now! We were radical in my dads treatments to save his life but that is not how it should have to be especially in this country.
We are committed to helping others along the way, my dad never really said, ” WHY ME?” instead he looked so deeply within himself and said, ” TIME TO FIGHT GEORGE. ” We call him a hero and he says ” I’m no hero, I just love my life & my family and wanted to live.” Whatever he says is ok by me but my dad is my hero who Kicked Cancers Fat Ass TWICE. YES! I know, I’m quite public with my life, our lives and some may feel like that’s weird but that’s OK too. I mean, soon and very soon you’ll really get to know us but that I will explain when the time is right. I was never “normal” to begin with so why try to be now. How I’ve chosen to live and my family has chosen to live has worked for us and knowing my dad wants to help other Cancer patients through his own story is such a beautiful thing. After-all I always say, Human connections make this world go round! I love you dad and anyone who has helped you or cared about you along the way gets FREE CANDY FOR LIFE! Hopefully that statement won’t put me out of business either but my word is my bond so I’ll keep my promise.
XoXo, Your daughter who loves you like a lunatic.