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Patient Stories

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Rahson Taylor

Rahson

Rahson is battling a rare form of kidney cancer called Hereditary Leiomyomatosis and Renal Cell Cancer or HLRCC.   HLRCC is a rare genetic condition that increases the risk of developing kidney cancer.  HLRCC is caused by mutations in a gene called fumarate hydratase (FH) gene.

Rahson’s journey began after experiencing symptoms of nausea, significant lower back pain, and blood in his urine.  Initially, his doctors were confident that they could remove the tumor that was on his kidney but after further tests, they determined that the cancer was much more serious and that they couldn’t even perform the surgery at their location.

He was then referred to another hospital where things really started to progress.  After a few indefinite diagnoses to include Renal Medullary Carcinoma and Collecting Duct, genetic testing finally confirmed his diagnosis in January 2018.  Since then, he has overcome some tremendous obstacles.  He had a radical nephrectomy on Jan 23, 2018 where they removed his kidney that had a melon-sized tumor in it.  Afterwards he struggled mightily with symptoms as cancer started to take over his entire liver.  His oncologist said that time was running out and that they had to try something before it was too late.  By this point he was vomiting multiple times a day that continued for months.  He also went to the emergency room for bowel blockages and was even jaundice for a period of time; furthermore, he also struggled to shower and put his own clothes on, losing some of his independence.

After losing 40 pounds in a short amount of time, his oncologist switched him to a different treatment of Avastin and Tarceva which is a combination of two targeted therapies.  The side effects of this treatment were much more tolerable than his initial chemotherapy combination and were effective as he began to see positive results.  Currently, he’s had 3 consecutive scans where the tumors on his liver are shrinking.  Additionally, his vomiting has subsided, he’s gained back 20 pounds and can now be found occasionally jogging around the neighborhood.

He is determined to be cancer free regardless of what the statistics say or what anyone else says.  He attributes his determination and motivation to his faith in God, the support of his wife, family and friends, in addition to his church and United States Air Force family.  Rahson has also come across some fantastic people within the cancer community who have helped and inspired him on his journey.  Rahson is getting his treatments at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and has a fantastic oncologist and team behind him.

His message is “Don’t quit! You have to stand up to bullies and cancer is no different…this fight starts with the renewal of your mind”

Though He Slay Me, Yet Shall I Trust Him (Job 13:15)

Name:  Rahson Taylor   Occupation:  United States Air Force   Age: 33

KCCure thanks Rahson for sharing his story.  Rahson is a member of KCCure’s Papillary Cancer Support Community.  You can find additional information on HLRCC through the HLRCC Family Alliance and DrivenToCure.org

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