Papi's Battle w/Cancer

First off, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read and share my father’s GoFundMe page. We are a very close family, and the financial burden is felt by everyone, especially for him, and so in an effort to alleviate the worry and burden I'd like to ask for your prayers and generosity. May he know and see all the supporters that are here to help him and his family during this difficult time.

(They say a daughter’s first love is her Father, I’d just add that nothing in this world will ever change that!)

My dad is one of the greatest person’s you would ever meet. I don’t just say this because I am his daughter, but this world without him will definitely be missing a very kind, genuine, super funny, easy going fellow. His smile will not just light up the room but your entire life.

On March of 2016, we started noticing some real issues with Papi's health. No longer was his appetite the same, his energy, and it seemed sudden that even his strength was diminishing. After complaining of belly pain, and an inability to use the restroom, he was rushed to the ER after he was unable to keep anything in. Twenty-four hours later we learned he needed emergency surgery for a malignant tumor/bowel obstruction they were able to detect. Doctor’s didn’t even have time to determine if it was cancerous, all they knew was it needed to be removed immediately.

As a family, we surrounded Papi, with love, our prayers, and with our faith. But for the first time in all my years of life, I saw Papi cry. Staring into his eyes, and with a kiss on the cheek we each reassured him that the surgery would be fast, and with a blink of an eye he would be back in the room, and this would all be behind him and we would go back to normal. As they wheeled him away, I prayed that God would just be merciful and bring him back to us safely.

April 13, 2016 our life changed forever. We were informed, although the surgery was a success, the doctor wanted to follow up with him concerning what they saw and what their next steps were.

His doctor asked if I could translate everything to him in Spanish, but I was never prepared to hear the words that the Dr. spoke that morning: “We are sorry, but his cancer is inoperable. Unfortunately, his cancer in his colon had metastasized to his liver, and abdominal cavity however to do the late discovery time would work against us but that they would try their best with Chemotherapy to control, or attempt to shrink the size of the tumors”

Papi, waiting for me to translate, I looked at the Dr., and for that moment, the world stopped spinning. How could I tell him something that will break his heart? However, I knew I had to. So I took a deep breath and gave him the news. I noticed an expression on his face I would never want anyone to witness for their loved one. Nothing went back to normal.

Leaving, I wanted to yell, scream, cry, many different emotions, but I smiled and put his favorite song in the car and drove to the supermarket in an attempt that I would do everything in my power to help him fight this cancer.

Going home, and our whole family awaiting news, positive, and I just couldn’t speak. Give me a few! I ran upstairs, and I’ve never felt so much pressure- However, I had to remind myself, “If God has brought us to this, he will help us through it!” From the oldest to the youngest, everyone knew at that moment, nothing in the universe could be so heavy in our hearts than the thought of seeing our father suffer, and the thought of his absence just consumed our minds.

With Our mother Sandra by his side, and (7) Children (Luis, Jensy, Eli, Andrea, Angel, Irma, and Carlos) and (19) Grandchildren with two on additional one’s on their way, there was much to fight for. The youth at church, and the community just couldn’t believe that Angel (Papi) as they all have grown also to love and care for Papi as a Father figure or another Uncle that he was facing this battle.

May 2016, Papi began his chemotherapy sessions. With the support and guidance of great medical staff, and hospital employees, I could see the determination in his eyes to overcome. The many laughs, conversations, and weekly visits, soon became very regular for him and although it was difficult for him to eat as he once did, we were sure, he would beat it!

Until recently, almost a year and one month, on the day of his birthday (June 2, 2017) a day before mine, he couldn’t walk, those strong hands that held our world together, couldn’t hold a cup in his hand without expressing pain, unable to walk for the first time I carried my father in my arms to move him from our outdoor gathering back inside the house.

June 18, 2017 we all celebrated Father’s day and honored Papi the way he deserved. Surrounded by laughter, hugs, family, and love. However, something was different. I can’t explain, but everyone knew Papi’s health was on a decline. The very next day, during his morning hydration session with his Cancer treatment team, they rushed him to the ER with blood pressure through the roof, and in the worst pain, any of them had witnessed.

On June 22, the doctors told our family that his cancer was too aggressive and at this point, he will be unable to provide treatment because will be too toxic and Papi is too weak. It was the hardest words I’ve ever had to hear… I wanted to cry, yell, scream, but instead, I put my finger up in a gesture to the doctor to give me one second. I kindly said, “Dr., with your years of experience, your knowledge, the condition of my father, all things considered, do you think I will have my dad here for much longer?

I can tell from the way he looked at me, that he wasn’t expecting that to be my response, but his reply was: “This is the hardest thing about what I do, I try to help control cancer, but there comes a point, depending on the patient where we give up on the treatments because ultimately they only prolonge life and there really is no cure.”

Walking out of that office, I felt as if I had a hole in my heart, and I was bleeding out. Thoughts were raging, “How can I tell my family?” “Does Papi know?”…As I managed to hit the elevator button to see Papi in the ICU, all I could think of was his smile, his joy. Tears streaming down my face…everything in me hurting..walked down the hallway, and I told myself I must compose myself, and be strong for him. To my surprise when I entered his ICU room, that joy…was still evident. His smile gave me peace. That is just it… Dr.’s are saying now that Papi’s condition has worsened and the hospital at this point are unable to operate because He will not survive the surgery, but unfortunately he won’t last very long with his cancer metastasis into the areas that would help him eat and drink.

He is in Hospice now, and only God knows when heaven will gain another angel. Today his smile was upside down, and he shared how everything he has ever done, was with our family in mind. Moving to the United States, without speaking in English, experiencing racism and discrimination with 7 children was never easy, but even if it was a winter with no heat, or walking with all of us to supermarket because we lacked transportation in the middle of winter or the heat of the summer, no matter what Papi always provided for our family, we never felt poor, because our parents loved us so much, and sacrificed everything so we could have it all.

Although, we won't give up and we will keep the faith, hospice nurses and Dr.s, have informed the family about his terminal diagnosis, and with him not being able to obtain the appropriate nutrition and have energy, they informed our family to be prepared.

With deep sadness, Papi’s greatest concern is not that he didn’t do enough for the family, but the financial burden he will leave behind. With no life insurance policy, as they no policy covered a cancer patient at the Stage his cancer was found. He feel's he won’t be around to help mom and our family.

So, all we ask is that you help show Papi, that we will be okay. That we will also send him with a proper funeral and service and his life will be celebrated by many. #KeepSmilingPapi

Any amount is greatly appreciated. All funds go to his daughter Elisa Garcia who is in charge of his arrangements.

God bless you!
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Elisandra Garcia 
Allentown, PA