Never give up!
I was diagnosed April 2016 with bilateral stage 4 RCC at 63 years old. Zero symptoms so it was a bit of a surprise. Two surgeries – a full nephrectomy and a partial – by then one tumor was basketball sized, at Ochsner in New Orleans. Luckily I was able to retire and get full disability and went onto oral medication (Cabometyx).
At this point I had not really realized that this is a manageable chronic disease and figured that I’d be dead in a year or two, so I traveled. Bought a small travel trailer and spent most of 2017 exploring the Rocky Mountains alone, hiking, fishing, camping, photographing and driving the back roads.
I was born and raised in England so this opportunity to explore the American West was a dream come true– in fact , after spending the winter back in South Louisiana I spent most of 2018 doing the same thing, mostly in Colorado, almost all in wilderness areas, dirt roads, boon-docking, National Forest camps, lots of elk, moose and bears.
Fortunately I had minimal side effects from the meds and they kept the tumors stable for two years. I did the blood tests at various places while traveling and flew home for scans every 3 months. I’ve moved on to an immunotherapy now and still doing well.
If possible I’ll be back on the road this year.
Thanks John for sharing your story.