"You have to prepare yourself: we might take out your stomach and find no cancer."
Do they even realize how that sounds? The thinking is that this has been found so early that the microscopic bits found by the biopsy were all there was, but when a stomach makes cells like this, you don't leave it in, because it will make more. But there's no way to "prepare" for the thought in the back of your mind for the rest of your life that maybe you didn't need to have your stomach removed.
I always thought that a cancer diagnosis was straightforward: there's a tumor, or your blood count is way off, or something else obvious and scary. Instead, I have pathologists saying, essentially, "those look more or less like cancer cells." One surgeon said, "They might even be naturally occurring, we don't really know; no one's had the guts to leave them in."
The kidney is the same way, even though there is a tumor. The doctors talk about renal cell carcinoma, but every now and again they'll remind me that there's a 15% chance that when they take it out, they'll find that it's benign. But that tumor has to come out, whether it's benign or not, so I don't worry so much about it, except that I'll be a bit embarrassed if it turns out that I didn't have cancer.
The stomach is a different story, and a bit of a bind: the cells they found were "suspicious" and doctors have told me that I have gastric cancer, and there's no way to "unfind" those cells. But the kind of cancer those cells make is notoriously hard to detect, so if test to confirm the diagnosis come back negative, it won't necessarily mean that I don't have cancer. I might actually have to decide, without being anywhere near certain, whether to have my stomach removed.