We buried my brother in law yesterday.
Five years ago, he drove me to get one of my first infusions in an RCC clinical trial. For me, the drug that was being tested resulted in a complete response for my stage IV disease.
Eighteen months ago, he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. The irony is that he also had the same immunotherapy treatment that I had. (now FDA approved for Lung Cancer but not yet for Kidney Cancer).
When I started on it my immune system went absolutely nuts. The doctor felt that was a great sign and he was correct. The results of my first three month scans were dramatic.
When my brother in law started treatment I kept asking him about side effects and he had none. His disease didn’t respond at all. So frustrating how we all respond differently.
One family with vastly different outcomes. Joy and heartbreak. Such is life.
And such is cancer.
We’ve come so far. But stories like this illustrate how much more needs to be done.
Ted Engel is a stage 4 kidney cancer survivor. You can read more about his journey with kidney cancer here.