“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’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 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.
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
I have a confession to make. Holy Week is one of the most – if not the absolute most – spiritual time of year for me. I’m not the most traditionally religious person you know. By a long shot. I tend to be rather private about my religious beliefs. I believe what I believe, but… Continue reading When The Night Falls
It’s been 3 years and six months since I started Cabometyx. The medication that not only saved my life, but gave me time I had no right to expect or deserve, if you asked papillary renal cell carcinoma. I joined the PAPMET clinical trial as one of its very first patients, and was randomly assigned… Continue reading Turn The Page
Well, we’re here. I didn’t expect to see three years since my diagnosis, much less to see three years with yet another (thank God, literally) clean scan behind me. Three years ago, I felt the walls closing in around me. I summoned up a strength I didn’t realize I possessed. I did not go gently… Continue reading trois
Year two. Still standing. Still here. Back to my new normal so much, I only stopped and thought to myself a few times, “Wow. Just think where I was two years ago today.” Another notch in the belt. Dr. V and my research nurse were both horrified and laughing when I told them today was… Continue reading Deux.