My name is Jessica Alcantar. I am a 34 year old daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. On August 3, 2015 we found out my 51 year old mother had stomach cancer. She was referred to one oncologist after another. Her insurance kept referring her to oncologists that DID NOT specialize in G.I. cancer. We went to about 6 appointments and essentially wasted our time for two months because none of them were G.I. cancer specialists. After two months had passed, and we had no idea at what stage she was and whether or not it was growing, I finally lost my patience! I went to her primary physician and made a scene. I told the referral lady that she was useless, and I demanded to see a G.I. oncologist specialist. While we were waiting in the office for some answers, I started researching oncologists in the Southern California area and came across an oncologist at UCI. I called and verified that their office handled G.I. cancer patients. THEY SAID YES!!! I immediately told her primary physician and requested a referral to see that specific doctor, but the insurance company denied us! I called and called and called and pushed and pushed and pushed him, and after about the eighth phone call I was able to get an approval! By this time my mom was at a local hospital in an emergency room because she couldn't take the pain. The hospital wanted to send her to Loma Linda University where again they did not have a G.I. oncologist. As soon as I got the UCI approval, I could not get to that emergency room fast enough! Later that same evening my mom was transferred to UCI! Once there we found out she had stage 4 esophageal stomach cancer. Our world turned upside down and inside out! She was quickly started on Folfox, and after the very first round of chemo she was able to eat again. A few visits later we found out she was HER 2 positive, and they started her on Herceptin. Her body was very receptive to the treatment, so much so that her tumor started shrinking. In June 2016 she had a complete gastrectomy and a HIPEC. She got an infection after the surgery, so they had to open it again and treat it. She came home with an open wound and my brother, sister, and I became instant nurses. She was able to come home in early July, and her new journey started. She slowly recuperated and her wound slowly closed. Fast forward to August 2017. My mother was all done with chemo and there are now traces of cancerous cells!