Today is August 26, 2023 and I’m sitting at home instead of with my Inverse Paradox team at WordCamp US in National Harbor this week. I had every intention of being there, but there’s more to this story, I have cancer (non clear renal cell carcinoma). About 11 weeks ago I started feeling somewhat unwell. I thought not much of it at first because I just thought I caught a little something. Though as 1 week turned to 2 and 2 turned to 3, I chose to see my primary care provider. The doctors said I was just really run down with something viral and they gave me some medicine. The medicine kind of worked but I never really felt better overall. I still felt run down and generally not up to the activity level that I normally would have.
At this point I insisted on having a blood panel test done at this point and found out I was anemic. Was this all anemia I thought? I hoped it was because anemia is fairly treatable over the counter if it’s not to severe. I started on an iron regiment to help combat my anemia. There was still something not right after about 2 weeks of trying to get more iron into my body. I kept trying and went on my honeymoon to Alaska with my wife and some of her family. While on the cruise I found out I contracted COVID. With this result I was quarantined and medicated 90% of the trip and didn’t really see any of Alaska. This made me pretty sad because this was supposed to be a happy trip.
Once we were back I went back to my primary care provider and they said I had long term COVID, but that still wasn’t it as I was medicated for 3-4 weeks afterwards and wasn’t turning any sort of corner and was actually getting worse. I went back to see my main doctor at the office and he sent me to the Emergency Department.
They gave me a blood transfusion and fluids, but while I was there they also ran a CAT scan. This is where the story changes, they found two masses next to my kidneys and lesions on my rib, spin and hip and determined I had developed some sort of cancer. I received the scariest news ever from any doctor, and I’ve never had any reason to be in the hospital.. Never a broken bone or any sort of extended sickness, I had always been relatively healthy recovering from almost anything within a few days.
This news was devastating to me as I lost my father to his battle with cancer back in November of 2022. Wow did this hit really close to home for me. Sending me into a bit of a tail spin thinking that I was essentially pronounced dead. This is not the case, though during the initial finding and today I have been in an out of the hospital in some way 3 times. During my first stay was to try and figure things out but I felt like less was done. My second trip was for another blood transfusion. Finally my third stay was for figuring out what type of cancer (non clear renal cell carcinoma) I have and the treatment plan.
This has been a long couple of months at this point. I am happy to have a plan moving forward. Ready to attack my cancer and get back to a fairly normal life moving forward. My diagnose is that I may always have this cancer. I will be fighting it so I can be with my family, love my wife and son and help provide for them as well. I will march forward like the bison INTO THE STORM attacking this head on. The hardest part is going to be the mental battle moving forward.