Readers Response to Yang Chen's Blog
Your husband gave my Dad great hope and faith ....he is fading from his cancer...I am so glad we met the Dr.
Hello, Alice. We met briefly in the UCH cafeteria while I was there with my wife who was in stage 4 of pancreatic cancer. I remember your kindness to us very well, and you told me about this website. My wife graduated to heaven just a little earlier than your husband (October 9). I will be praying for you and your family in your season of grief (but as one who has hope!).
Dear Alice, I continue to pray for you and your family. I am also sharing this blog with a dear cousin of mine who just lost her 55 year old husband to brain cancer after a 21 month battle. I feel certain she will find some comfort in your words. Thank you.
My deepest condolence to the Chen family. For the past 2 years that I have followed his journey, he kept me grounded and reminded me that we are living in borrowed time. Our body as a human being will cease while our soul will seek to unite with our Supreme Being "GOD"
Yang has accomplished so much in one lifetime. He has encouraged countless people with his "A Doctor's Journey With Cancer," including myself, an 8 year cancer survivor. Following Yang's journey has given me hope. His spirit and love for the Lord was unconquered, even in the midst of his failing earthly body. His witness has given me courage to walk forward into the future of whatever the Lord has planned for me.
Dr. Chen never met me and knew nothing of me---yet when I wrote him an encouraging email after reading his medical update (forwarded to me by my sister-in-law) he responded to me within a week. I was amazed. I had merely told him that his words were an encouragement to me as I was facing some "demons" of my own at the time. His immediate outreach to a stranger when his own time was so valuable and his needs so great, was no less than amazing to me. I have followed his updates for two years. I will miss him but I am better for having "known" him.
Before Dr. Chen’s death:
Dear Yang I continue to read of your progress and treatment. There have been some difficult times and I have deep admiration for your courage and faith. I have referred your website to others. A friend who went to high school with me and who then did medicine as well was recently diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. I asked him to look at your website. My thoughts are with you constantly.
I happened on your site---I have lost many to cancer and was intrigued by your progress and certainly wanted to tell you that your story, your faith in Christ and your walk inspired me---with all adversity, you continue to glorify Him . Praise God and may He continue to provide you with improved health so that you can touch many others--:)
Hello ... I've been reading your journal for several months now -- My mother has stage 4 NSCLC diagnosed in April 2008, she was on Tarceva for 10 months but it eventually became ineffective and now is on Alimta. Your last post really peaked my interest (not that all of them aren't interesting:), my mother has suffered from chronic nausea for over a year. Tarceva helped the situation, making it tolerable, but as it became ineffective on the cancer, the nausea returned. She's now on Alimta, it has not aided in getting rid of the nausea even though she is responding to the drug, this has been ongoing since April. She's also experiencing loss of appetite and taste changes. The doctors are flummoxed. If you find a solution for this most troubling and puzzling GI symptom, we sure would love to hear about it, any lead helps... we've tried all of the nausea medications, in escalating doses, we've now trimmed back because it was ineffective and most likely throwing fuel on the fire. Thanks for writing about your journey -- I truly wish health and happiness for you and your family.
Having worked for several years at National Jewish, my interest in understanding lung cancer has grown exponentially. I want to thank you for sharing the personal impact that this disease has had on you as the remarkable person you are. We all have much to learn about truly holistic care for the suffering to whom we administer and I am learning from you. May God bless you and keep you.
My father in law sent me the link to your website. I’m not sure if you remember me, but you have done three procedures on me, the last being 30 days ago. I just wanted to send you a quick note that I’m doing well and I appreciate everything you have done for me. It means the world to me that you have taken an interest in my care and have tried when others have simply given up. I hope you are doing well and I’m sorry you are facing such a tough journey. You are truly a great doctor and a kind man.
I came across your website while doing my homework prior to my daughter in law’s upcoming appointment with you shortly after the first of the year. It is my new favorite website as I suffer from recurrent prostate cancer and my wife is recovering from the full breast cancer catastrophe -- surgery, radiation, chemo. I wish you all the best for a long list of reasons, among them very selfish ones. We need you badly. Merry Christmas and best wishes to you and your family at this special time of year.
I have heard about your website for a while but did not know how to access it. I have finally found it this morning! Thank you very much for sharing your very personal and obviously challenging experience with us. In our field, we deal with so much cancer and dying experience on a daily basis, but we tend to insulate our emotions to avoid getting "involved". What you are writing is both humanizing and inspiring. Thank you.
Dear Dr. Chen, I happened stumble across your website today. Your courage and strength are remarkable. I also thought your calculations about peas and residual brain was hilarious. Looking forward to meeting you during next year's RMIE.
Hi Dr Chen, I wrote to you in 2007 about my dad’s experience with cancer. That year God healed him of cancer and brought him through a heart attack and open heart surgery! My wonderful dad has a new lease on life which we are so thankful for. I am so encouraged by your writings about your trust in God for the future and the many miracles you have experienced along the way. I was fascinated and somehwhat amused by the information regarding how many peas would fit in your brain! I am certainly no expert but I think for that alone you should be allowed to go back to work! We in Australia have a slightly warped sense of humour and sometimes, not very kindly call someone a "pea brain" usually meaning they are not very smart, but you have given a whole new dimension to that expression for me! It is so encouraging to hear how God is so beautifully enveloping you and your family with His presence and His peace, a most amazing gift and miracle. Thank you for your continuing transparency and grace.
Yang - Your pea calculations make perfect sense to me. As far as I can tell, you are "good to go!". I look forward to seeing you at the budget meeting in October and my prayers are always with you and your family.
Dr. Chen, Thank you for your inspirational "You can soar above the storm" writing. My thoughts and prayers will be with you on the 23rd for your radiotherapy. God bless, Marcia...another lung cancer journey survivor
My Mother has been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. We met with you on Tuesday and I wanted to Thank You for all your kind words and advise to her. All of us girls said when we left your office that we are very Thankful to have you as a doctor. Keep fighting every day, our thoughts and prayer are with you.
Thank You for sharing your life with us. You are a gift to so many who walk the path as well. Thank you for sharing your belief and understanding and your peace.
I sent you a message when I first discovered your site sometime ago. I have checked it periodically and it is so UPLIFTING to read of your deep faith and realization that your survival thus far is indeed a miracle. I wish that every cancer patient could read your inspiring words. I lost my 74-yr-old husband, Frank, to leukemia 6 months ago. He lived 2 years from his diagnosis and was very brave. God gave us strength for the journey - one day at a time. I miss him very much but it is comforting to know that he is no longer ill and is with our Heavenly Father. May God continue to bless you and encourage you. (Isaiah 43:1-3 was a great comfort to us)
As always, we thank God for you and your miracles and we make every opportunity to share your story thru your website to relatives and friends who are suffering from cancer that they, too, thru your testimony and our prayers, they may seek the healing power of God, if not physical, but in a more spiritual sense...for their salvation. We're still keeping you in our prayers!
Thank you for your inspiring website. I have a loved family member who was recently diagnosed with adeno ca stage IIIb. I believe your story will give her strength.
Thank you for sharing your journey through your cancer experience and the impact that all of it has had on your life and family! I can identify with some of your feelings, thoughts, struggles and experiences as I have had endometrial CA and also am a receiver of the love and grace of Christ! I will share your website with any other doctors that have cancer so that they may be encouraged to grow in their relationship with Christ!
Hope you are feeling well. We think about you often and pray for you and your family daily. Looking forward to your update. My husband will be going into PSL in Denver March 10 for a stem cell harvest. He is doing well and actually gaining some weight! Pancreas is great. Words can never express the appreciation and admiration we have for you. Thank you for literally saving his life. I hope you are continuing your walks on these beautiful Colorado days we are having. Stay strong, in every way.
Thank you so much for your inspirational reflections. My husband, Bill, will have a bronchoscopy next Tuesday but according to his CAT scan results he has a tumor on his left lung with multiple nodule, possible metastatic foci. I was completely overwhelmed but after reading your reflections I feel a sense of calm and for the first time in a couple of weeks I have a feeling of hope. Your journey has been a long one but you are here and that is truly a blessing. Thank you for devoting time to your journal and for sharing it. I know I will sleep with a less heavy heart tonight.
Hello Doctor, thank you so much for create this website. I know exactly how you feel. I am too just recently diagnosed with stomach cancer stage IV. The news is just a big shock to me and my family. To be honest with you, I don't really know how to even think. I have a little boy. He is 8 years old. I think I will start to have my Chemo treatment at City of Hope by the end of November. I don't know how tough my journey will be, but reading your story on this website, I know that I should be strong just like you. Thank you.
Dear Dr. Chen - I heard your brief story last night on NPR and listened with a great focus! I was diagnosed with lung cancer in June of 2004. The tumor was removed with an upper left lobectomy - and there was nodual involvement. I have been on Tarceva since Aug. of 2005. I have had several brain tumors radiated, and several areas of bone metastases radiated, and my lungs remain clear. I also work with the oncology team at Anschutz in Denver. I was so interested in your story and your website as this has been quite a long, and sometimes very lonely, journey. I, too, have consistently given attention to the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of my life. I have come to learn that I AM the integrated clinic I have been searching for. I really don't know how these blogs work, but would love to hear from you...and even possibly meet, if that were possible. I live in Boulder but travel to Denver for my medical care. I include you in my prayers and hope that you are doing well! Thank you for creating this website!
After nearly dying a number of years ago as a result of a severe case of pancreatitus brought on by an endoscopic procedure gone very wrong, you were the only person I trusted to do my many, many follow-up procedures. I was so grateful to have someone I could so completely trust to perform procedures which subsequently terrified me. I have always held you in my thoughts and prayers for the grace and serenity you helped to bring back into my life. I find now that I am once again inspired-now by your journey and healing.
My husband was diagnosed with squamis small cell lung cancer, stage IV, this past December. According to his pet scan this month, the chem/radiation treatments have made a significant decrease in the size of his cancer. We are advised to wait until Dec and have the tumor/cancer checked again with a pet scan. The hope is for further shrinkage of the tumor, and if not, probably more chem/radiation. Surgery is not an option. We welcome any information that you share concerning lung cancer, and we are very interested in the medications that you mentioned that keep cancer in remission. We were not aware of these meds. Thank you so very much - your website is such a help, comfort, and so appreciated.
Dear Dr Chen, I heard about your illness and website on Christian radio this morning in Australia. I am so inspired by your ability to take your devastating illness and use it to glorify God. When I saw you had a music section on your website, I thought of a special song that means a lot to me; then I saw that God had already brought this song to you - 'Still'. A close friend of ours lost their son to leukemia two years ago, and this song sustained them in many ways. It is still hard for me to sing this song and yet it fills me with such courage when I think of the strength of this young teenage boy and how strong was his faith in God. He died in utter surrender to God and peace in the knowledge that the next thing he will see is Jesus' face. Your website is giving many people this same inspiration. You can and will touch many lives with your journey. You and your family will be in our prayers. May you soar above the clouds of your struggle and find strength in God through your journey.
Dear Dr. Chen, I am a pulmonologist with a special interest in lung cancer; I was at the U of Buffalo for 15 years (and even collaborated with lung cancer Docs at the U of Colorado in those days); I am now in practice in Spokane and my endo nurse, Jane, shared your website with me. I am touched and overwhelmed with your openness and willingness to share your journey...I see a lot of lung cancer patients and I will certainly include your website as a tool to help my patients. Thank you for your gift to all of us.
Dr Chen, I was saddened to hear of your illness. I am the GI nurse from Swedish Medical Center who visited your lab in January to view Spyscope procedures. You made me feel welcome and were so kind to take the time to teach all of us that day. I admire your inner strength and positive outlook. What a noble thing you are doing by sharing your journey with others. I just got back from a visit to Vancouver where my sister is undergoing treatment for newly diagnosed lymphoma. I will be sharing your website with her. I was happy to read the recent good news in your update.
Hi Dr. Chen, What a fantastic web site!!! With all that you are going through, you are still thinking of those around you...as we have been very concerned, it does help to have something like this to be able to "stay in touch" without draining you with having to respond. As I'm sure the number of people who care about you and want to know how you are doing is quite staggering, this web site is really a great idea! It is Easter Sunday morning as I read your web site. Your reflections and updates are inspiring. Your faith provides you with a constant companion as you go through life...but know that there are a whole lot of us that are with you as well. My best to you and your family on this special morning.