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.
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.
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
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
‘Twas a few days before Thanksgiving, and a boogeyman was lurking in my chest. What, that’s not how this story goes? It WAS the Saturday before Thanksgiving though as I lay in bed watching TV with my husband when I suddenly had sharp pains in my left rib. “That was weird,” I thought. I actually… Continue reading The Rougarou
Every 3 months, it’s the same routine. Get the IV started. Flush the saline in, giving that nauseating, mildly reminiscent smell through my bones of a salty day on the Gulf. Surrender myself on the table again, offering my body up to the God of Science Experiments. Stare at the ceiling, contemplating the results that… Continue reading Carry On Breathing
In August 2005, as I was about to start college at Loyola University in New Orleans, a little thunderstorm made its way through the city and wreaked havoc on my life. You may have heard of it – Hurricane Katrina. For years after Katrina, I looked at many things in my life as pre-K and… Continue reading Life Post-Hurricane
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.