Welcome to the Choi Family's CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. **We don't need any donations for this site so please ignore the Caringbridge page in Daves name asking for such- it's automated and we did not set that up.** We appreciate your support through friendship and words or cards of hope and encouragement. Write or post as often as you wish- it helps keep us hopeful. :) Thank you for visiting.
On May 10, 2017, Dave noticed a marble sized lump under his skin on the upper right quadrant of his abdomen. By May 14, 2017, it became painful to the touch and was the size of a walnut and inflamed. Late that same evening, Dave drove himself to the hospital as I stayed home (since the kids were asleep and had school the next day), he thought he was having symptoms of a hernia and we didn't know if he'd need surgery. By 1am, they had taken a cat scan and results showed no hernia, but there was a small mass in between his outer abdominal muscle wall and skin. The next day Dave began his two week work week being On Call and in between seeing patients he went to see a general surgeon in the hospital where he works, to ask questions about the lump. They decided to make a 1.5 inch incision under local anesthetic to see if it was an infection and if so, to drain it. However, the surgeon said there was no fluid inside, and so they removed the mass and sent it to our hospital's pathology department for analysis. In the meantime, since Dave's abdomen was swollen, irritated and "angry feeling"(his words) in the area where the lump was, they left Dave's incision open to drain, to prevent infection (and since muscle wasn't cut this was perfectly fine to do so), they packed it with medicated gauze, wrapped it up, and he went back to seeing patients, and working non-stop that week into the weekend without any complaining from the pain he was dealing with- in fact most people had no idea what we were dealing with. Have I told you how amazing my husband is?! We were told we had to wait up to a week for results. It was hard waiting and not knowing, but we immediately asked our close faith-filled friends and family to begin to pray bc our strong faith in Christ reassures us that when two or more agree in prayer, there God is with us- fighting for us! On Saturday night, May 20, 2017, Dave called me from work. He had just seen the local pathology report that said the mass removed showed cancer cells, but that it was not the typical type of cells they are used to seeing so they had to send his tissue to another lab out of state in TN and we would have to wait again until another report came back with more information. This cancer cell report hit us like a ton of bricks. We both have healthcare degrees and unfortunately that works against someone when they "know too much". We immediately put the word out for intense prayer and encouragement to a close knit group of strong- faithed -believers bc at that point we knew we needed the spiritual and emotional support. The next step was to see an oncologist as soon as the weekend ended and new week began. Dave continued to work hard and by Tuesday afternoon we got word that the lab in TN gave a general diagnosis that Dave had some form of 'T Cell Lymphoma', but because this type of cancer is rare, they would have to send the tissue mass to the "be all end all" for Pathlogy detailed reports- The Mayo Clinic in MN. We were told that it will take more time to wait and that we may not have results of what specific type of 'T Cell Lymphoma' Dave has until around May 31, 2017. On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, we met with the oncologist and had blood labs drawn, Dave had a full physical and he also had an echo done on his heart (just in case the final report shows an aggressive form of cancer, we would have to begin chemo treatments right away and they would need a baseline echo heart reading to compare it to when he would have chemo treatment- chemo drugs have poisons that affect the heart ejection fraction and so they have to monitor a patient's heart function throughout). We were hopeful in that the oncologist said that Dave's blood labs and physical exam were stellar meaning he is not showing any other sign of cancer so it may not be a systemic cancer that has spread- It is baffling to the doctor so far bc Dave appears and presents so healthy overall. But we do know that T Cell Neoplasm (cancer cells) were present in his body in that lump so we have to wait and see the Mayo report. That evening, we had a long appt with our Financial Advisor who is a man of strong faith. He prayed with us and went over all of our finances and insurance etc to give us peace of mind hat we are ok if dave has to stop working for an indefinite amount of time. We were happy in having that burden lifted as we have planned in advance years ago and bought the correct insurance policies and have saved a nest egg for an emergency situation- we will be fine is what he told us. Thank you Jesus for peace of mind in that area! On May 25, 2017, we went into the hospital to have a PET Scan done. They injected Dave with a radioactive sugar and he waited for an hour so his body would absorb it throughout, if there are cancer cells in any other area of his body, the cancer would eat up the sugar solution (bc cancer thrives on sugar!) and when they give him the scan, it would lite up and show us if his cancer is systematic (spread into his system/organs etc). I'm creating this site as I sit waiting for my Prince Charming to finish his PET Scan. Today, we woke up feeling strong. Today, we feel at peace- the type of peace that surpasses all human understanding- the type only our Heavenly Father can give. We are praying that this Scan will show no systemic cancer bc then that would mean his lump was localized cancer which would have a great prognosis and easy treatment. We pray that the shirt dave is wearing today that says "I Believe in Miracles" (see his profile photo on this site) is just that- that this will be a miracle and a miracle will come out of this! We still have to wait for the Mayo report so we know exactly what type of cancer this is and make a plan from there. We are believing for complete healing, but also pray that God's Will, not our will, be done, and we will fight through whatever is in store for us- good or bad- and God will get the glory either way. We praise Him through the good times and especially through the dark valleys bc we know that we are not alone. :) The girls have been amazing and strong. They have walked through all of the above with us and are encouraged and hopeful that this too shall pass. When mommy and daddy broke down earlier this week, they prayed over us and ministered to us!? They said "God's GOT THIS! DoNot Be Afraid." Out of the mouths of babes.