Notable Roster Cuts: My Entire Stomach

As you are reading this, I am probably having surgery to get my entire stomach removed.

I used to hear about people have life-changing health issues and I’d feel sad for them, keep them in my thoughts, help if I could, but it never occurred to me that it could happen to me. These type of things seemed so remote. In high school, I remember sitting in the back of Biology class and listening to my teacher lecture about the process of conception. The lesson was about the frantic race between sperms to get to the egg, and I thought to myself how lucky I was to be the one that emerged from the successful gamete that won for me the right to be born. In February 2016, I listened to another science lesson from my genetic counselor, this one about how I was actually the unlucky organism that carried a genetic mutation called CDH1. My mom’s side of the family carries this gene, and carriers are at 70-80% risk of developing stomach cancer by the age of 38.

My mom’s side of the family has had a long history of young deaths at the hands of this deadly disease, including my mom herself, but it was only recently that they discovered the gene that caused it.

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Essentially, my stomach is a ticking time bomb.

Stomach cancer is extremely hard to detect and my doctor told me he believes that there is at least microscopic levels of cancers forming already, so my only option for survival is to have my stomach surgically removed. Food will go straight to my intestines and eventually they’ll stretch out enough to serve as a kind of small stomach. It’ll be a difficult healing process, but I’ve reached out to multiple people who have had the surgery and have learned that they’ve led normal lives after. I won’t be able to devour unnecessarily large meals like I’m used to any more, but at least I’ll never be obese, so there’s that. I guess.

Viv's Cdh1 Graphic

(Graphic created by Vivian Trang)

After a two-year battle with stomach cancer, my mom died at the age of 38. My dad worked out of town and was home maybe one week out of each month, so we kids were left to the care of my loving aunt, uncle, and grandpa. Things weren’t always been easy but we’ve managed to do pretty well for ourselves. I have a degree from a top college and I just received my master’s in June. My brother just graduated from a four-year university and is going to the police academy soon. We both played high school football and I truly believe that the lessons we learned from playing football helped us stay on the right track. Playing football teaches you that hard work isn’t always rewarded right away, but if you keep fighting something good will come from the struggle. That lesson is going to be invaluable to me in the dark days of my recovery.

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I’ve been an educator for a couple of years now, but I’ve been a football coach since 2007. Coaching has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life, but, unfortunately I had to resign this year because I will be having surgery in August. Although I’ll miss the game-planning, the meetings, and the play-calling, I’ll miss the camaraderie the most. Nothing is more satisfying than feeling a team truly come together, unite, and find its members play for each other. Although I’ll probably do some remote-coaching, I’m not going to feel that camaraderie this year. But I know I’ll be back eventually; I’m just not sure when. This offseason I have found a nice hobby in writing about football and although I won’t be coaching, writing it and discussing football with my readers will be enough for me this year.

Me reliving my QB glory days with a little flag football action. 

Fortunately, I have an amazing support system around me. My family, my, friends, and my girlfriend are my team now and they’ve been here with me at every turn. Seriously, they’ve tried to look for ever single opportunity to help even when I’m not asking. They’ve been my counselors when I’m discouraged and are going to be my lifelines when I need them most. I tried writing out a list thanking everyone individually but he list is too long. I’m completely infatuated with my girlfriend, Vivian, and having her by my side is going to be invaluable to my spirits.  I feel like this discovery and this surgery couldn’t have come at a better time.

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Another benefit that football has blessed me with is a lifelong focus on my health. I was in good shape when I was diagnosed and, thanks to my brother, cousin, and my lifting partner (Daniel Eusebio, I’ve put on fifteen pounds of muscle and feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. Physically, I’m ready for surgery. Mentally, I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t terrified. Recovery is going to be painful and there are going to be times when I’m down, but I promise I will keep my head up.

For now, I plan to focus on my writing while I’m bed-ridden, which I don’t expect to be more than a month. I started this blog to inform my friends and readers about my situation. Don’t feel sorry for me, but I’d appreciate some coaching if you see me stop writing. Be harsh; I can take it. “Breakdown Derek Carr’s five touchdown performance you lazy bastard!” Instead of asking for donations I will be writing a season preview I will sell more a small amount so be on the lookout for that!

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I still believe that I am that lucky to be blessed with the gift of life. I’ve been given a second chance that many cancer patients including my mom would have loved to have. Although this was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever made, it is one that I had to make for me, my family, and especially to honor my mom.I will be back to my normal self in time, but for now, thanks for reading.

Ted Nguyen is a football coach, offensive coordinator, QB coach, teacher and blogger. He graduated from UC Davis with his degree in English-Critical Analysis. He enjoys long walks on the beach and researching and writing about the latest developments and trends in football strategy.

19 comments on “Notable Roster Cuts: My Entire Stomach

  1. Matt Danely

    We’re thinking of ya man! Good luck brother

  2. Kimberlyn Dang

    What a wonderful post! Wishing you a speedy recovery cousin. I look forward to future updates!

  3. J.D. Johnson

    GodSpeed Ted! Remember it’s not about getting knocked down but it’s all about getting back up.

  4. Sione Manoa

    My brother Ted,

    It’s been way too long. God speed with your surgery. Continue to have faith in all things. Even when it gets rough. You already know, I know first hand how it feels to have surgery and going through the recovery progress. But best believe it gets better and as you stay close to God, family & friends. All things will be made better. Love you brother. My prayers to you and I’ll for sure have JUiCE & all the boys come see you as I’m here living in Utah.

    God speed my brother💯

  5. crossbones

    coach ted,
    i wish you the speediest of recoveries. i have never responded to any blogs(?) before.
    however, today i felt it necesscary to contact you in this hard moment of your life because i have followed your work since discovering sbp. and have always appreciated it.
    you sir, are truly a gentleman and scholar. may this moment be the shortest of your long, heathy and prosperous life. much love & respect.

  6. Greg Dunn

    Good luck today. I hope you have a speedy recovery. As you know as a football coach, keep your head up as you tackle your recovery.

  7. James Brockman

    Ted,
    Your film and play breakdowns are inspirational to me and give me insight that I would probably never have had. Through our shared passion for the Raiders, you have touched my life in a very positive way. Most people would see and assume this impact is insignificant, but they are not Raider fans so they don’t understand. To me, your writings and analysis are my highlights when I have dark days. Next to my wife and 10 year old daughter, the Raiders are my life and I truly thank you for the countless times you have brightened my day. I can offer these words to you-fight the good fight. Don’t quit (easy for me to say) and know there is an entire NATION behind you. When you face your foe, do as my old defensive lien coach would say “look that man in the eyes, EXPLODE off the line, control him, and chick him to the side”. You will be in my thoughts. here’s to s speedy recovery, and lets hope you are back in the game and all you miss is preseason. we have a super-bowl to win!

    • This was the best comment I ever got. I’m doing well thank you so much

      • Sakeraiders

        You are most welcome. Glad you are recovering well. FOOTBALL is back baby, its a new year and NO is only a few days away. glad you are back and doing well. go Raiders!

  8. Best wishes, man! I love reading about 4-3 under defenses, cover 3, and all the rest. Your articles are great. Get well soon!

  9. Get well soon Ted, from a Silver and Black Nation Fan!!!

  10. Cliff Cahee

    This Raider fan prayers are with you Coach Ted. Get well soon we can meet up at a game or 2.

    Yours Truly, Cliff aka Papabegood of the Raidernation.

  11. Good luck, brother… get back to writing Raider analysis soon…

  12. Patty cruz

    We will pray for your success surgery…My kids love and will support you.❤️❤️❤️

  13. Alex Elizalde

    I pray for you and you’re family during this difficult time. Please keep you’re head up and spirits high. May god be at your side and heal you to full strength. Get well and God bless you.
    PS
    GO RAIDERS!!!

  14. Porter Brewer

    What’s up Aggie?! English-Critical Analysis? Screw that I aint great with the english so get ready for my version of Aggie speak. By-the-way, Food Science Majors rule!

    Not going to be sappy because that’s too easy. I wish you the best and hope its plays out just as you hope for it to.

    I love your articles over on SBP. There are too many knuckleheads and trolls on that entire SB blog site it can be draining. Your articles serve a great relief in their presentation of teaching. I played football for 9 years but know so little of the strategy in today’s game. Therefore, when a piece comes through that blog that helps me be a better fan I can appreciate it very much.

    Looking forward to the Pre-season book/preview…a great idea.

    Take care and don’t stay on the PUP list for too long.

    Pennamed, (secret)
    Porter Brewer

  15. Coach Ted, I know that you’re going through one of the hardest times in your life, but I know that you can get over it!!
    You have your own strength, and as you said, you also have the support from your girlfriend, family and friends (what a great supporting cast you have!!).
    On top of that, you know that a lot of silver&black hearts are keeping you in our mind and giving you all the posible strength.
    I know that I’m far away from you, but if you need help or whatever remember that you can count on me (as I’ve counted on you lots of times to understand better the game).

    Good luck and lots of strength from Spain!!

  16. Get well soon

  17. mkernsdawg

    Prayers for you!!

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