Personal Stories About Kidney Cancer

Stories that Inform, Comfort, and Empower

There are many challenging decisions, emotions, and aftereffects that follow a diagnosis of kidney cancer. A few of those brave survivors, caregivers and committed professionals on the forefront of kidney cancer care, generously share their stories in their own words in the hope that others will benefit from their experience and knowledge.

“My oncologist now says he doesn’t know if I could have tolerated enough medicine to save me, if I hadn’t been so well informed and able to push through.”

Dave deBronkart, a kidney cancer survivor and outspoken “e-patient” about his approach to gathering information about his disease.

Read Dave’s story in his own words

“My longtime patients often provide the most useful support to those newly diagnosed with kidney cancer, and they graciously make themselves available to talk by phone.”

David McDermott MD, medical oncologist about the value in patient volunteers, whose personal experience comforts patients in the early stages of accepting their diagnosis.

Read Dr. McDermott’s story in his own words

“Fred was hospitalized at five facilities in 11 weeks.”

Regina Holliday, caregiver to her husband with kidney cancer about many different care transitions her husband endured.

Read Regina’s story in her own words

My hope is that we can lower barriers to patient engagement, that all patients will view health care as a participatory sport rather than as a spectator sport, and that all physicians will welcome them to do so.

Danny Sands, MD, about lowering barriers to patient engagement and the importance of the principles of participatory medicine in treating people with kidney cancer.

Read Dr. Sand’s story in his own words

“I have cared for rock stars, housekeepers, toddlers, and people who have a lived a century…whether they live or die, they have all left a part of themselves in me.”

Smitha Gollamudi MD, radiation oncologist about the bond she develops with all her patients receiving care for their cancer.

Read Dr. Gollamundi’s story in her own words

“Use your support network to work on your behalf. Find the best, then trust in their care and focus on surviving.”

Elaine McDonald, a nuclear medicine specialist about encouraging patients to find a trustworthy care environment.

Read Elaine’s story in her own words

“Although it was 40 years ago…the feelings, and some of the aftereffects, do not change.“

Robin Rogers a Wilm’s tumor survivor about the ever-present health issues that she faces from treatment she received as a child.

Read Robin’s story in her own words

“A sense of peace comes to many patients when they allow themselves to feel and acknowledge the whole spectrum of emotions accompanying a cancer diagnosis.”

Elaine Lam MD, oncologist about the feeling patients experience on learning they have cancer.

Read Dr. Lam’s story in her own words

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