“Hang on, hang on when all is shattered, when all your hope is gone. Who knows how long? There is a twilight, a nighttime and a dawn.” – Guster, “Hang On” It was June 2016. I had just been released from a ten-day stay at UCLA after the most grueling surgery of my life. I… Continue reading Lemonade
I received a letter today that I knew was coming, but I’m not going to lie – it still hurts reading it. My beloved oncologist – Dr. V – has retired after over 40 years of practice for medical reasons. Dr. V has been more than a doctor to me. I showed up in his… Continue reading The Oncologist Who Saved Me
“I’ve seen Jesus play with flames / In a lake of fire that I was standing in” – Sturgill Simpson, “Turtles All the Way Down“ Sturgill was singing about drugs when he saw Jesus, but to be fair, I was on copious amounts of Dilaudid when I saw him, so we’re probably even. Aside from… Continue reading six
HLRCC and its connection to kidney cancer was discovered in 2002. I was a freshman in high school. Roughly 10% of patients with HLRCC will develop kidney cancer. I had just turned 29 when I joined these ranks in 2016. If you are stage one upon diagnosis for any type of kidney cancer, you have… Continue reading cinq
“I live my life like there’s no tomorrow.” – Van Halen, “Running with the Devil” Some cancer patients call it bargaining with God, and I certainly did my share of it at first. But then I thought, no, that doesn’t seem quite right. Cancer feels like it’s more of a gift from the devil. “Oh,… Continue reading Gambling with the Devil
I know for a fact some people are positively sick of me talking about my grief journey, but I have to admit – I’m really sure I don’t care. Losing a parent in your 30s is just a special kind of screwed up. You’re old enough to be an adult, so it feels like you… Continue reading Untethered
I come from resilient people. My maternal ancestors were forced out of Nova Scotia as part of Le Grand Derangement, when the British “shipped our Acadian ancestors down here to die,” as my mother used to say. She wasn’t wrong. Le Grand Derangement was an act of ethnic cleansing, a genocide. It’s estimated that half… Continue reading Ça c’est bon, sha.
My apologies to St. Dymphna. She is actually the patron saint of depression and anxiety. But, I might be giving her a run for her money these days. COVID isn’t helping, but it’s not just about a viral infection that could kill me, what with the damage to my lungs from the tumors that grew… Continue reading Laura, The Patron Saint of Scanxiety.
The last few weeks have been a roller coaster to say the least. I’ve always been brutally honest here, and I don’t intend to stop now. When I stopped Cabo in April, I knew it would be a shock for my body. I had lasted three and a half years on the drug, which isn’t… Continue reading The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Four years ago today, my entire world collapsed around me as I sobbed and screamed from a hospital bed in the middle of an ER as a doctor with a forlorn look on his face delivered the news that I had a massive tumor that had taken over my right kidney. I didn’t understand then… Continue reading Quatre