"I go forward. I never look back."
I have been a patient at ICHS’ International District Clinic since I first came to the United States almost 35 years ago.
My name is Khai Tran La. I am 64 years old. I live in Seattle with my husband and daughter. I’m originally from Vietnam, but I was born in Cambodia.
I have been a patient at ICHS’ International District Clinic since I first came to the United States almost 35 years ago. Our family doctor is Dr. Tracy Tran and she sees my whole family. When I got cancer, she asked, “Do you have insurance?” I told her I didn’t have insurance. Because of my business, I could not afford private insurance. “Go apply for insurance,” she said. “I can refer you to the specialist.” I applied for insurance under the Affordable Care Act and got approved. I was in the second stage of my cancer.
The doctor told me I might lose my teeth after chemotherapy treatment. I might lose one side of my thyroid. A lot of hair came out when I put on my sweater. I told my daughter that it looked weird and asked her to help me shave it. My daughter said, “Okay, mom. I know that your heart is broken.” They cut it. I was bald headed.
After my second chemo, I was dying. I lost consciousness. I cannot talk. I cannot dream. I can only blink my eyes, shake my head. I cannot eat, I can only drink. When I got discharged, I cannot walk. My husband held my arm, my daughter held my arm, they pulled me up and my feet just pedal-pedal in the wind. I got home, I lay in bed. My husband never left for a step, always by my side.
Family support is very important. Now, my family is always saying, “Mom, you look good.” I don't feel depressed. I didn’t give up on myself. I go forward. I never look back.
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