When I first got my diagnosis in 2008, I went into battle mode. Raised in NYC, battle has been in me since I was a kid. I had to fight my way through life; kids, school, subways, etc. I approached my metastatic renal cell carcinoma the same way: I wanted to battle it, to kill this invisible enemy by knocking it out and kicking it out of my system.
Well friends, my attitude has changed over the past year, especially in the past couple of months. This is no longer a battle, but a journey. I am learning to make peace with my cancer and as a result, along with great medical help and MDX-1106, it is going away. Don’t get me wrong, it likes to rear its head once in a while but the hold it had over me has dissipated. I talk to it. I meditate and think about my ‘white light’ calming down the rogue cells and finding out what they need to settle down and be a part of my team.
I can’t kick my cancer’s ass. I have to outsmart it, to accept it, to embrace it. Only through finding peace within myself can I be cancer-free. And I am on my way.
RCC patients like to call themselves warriors. I am no warrior. I am a traveler on this long journey who is finally discovering what he is made of. And I like my new self.