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Patient Stories

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Brianna Stephens

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Brianna Stephens

I am feeling thankful that today my husband went out with his dad (we are neighbors) and caught a bunch of bass and some crappies. He was really happy when he got back. After dinner he said that since his cancer diagnosis, he felt stress-free for the first time while out fishing.

My heart was filled with joy and sadness all at once. I just want to buy this man a boat or take his place in this journey. I want him to feel like himself again.

Last spring, he was healing from a radical nephrectomy only to dive right into full blown stage 4 translocation renal cell carcinoma a couple months later. 

In May we were treating brain mets, learning to re control the right side of his body in July. And beginning immunotherapy in June. In August he had a rod and pins placed in his right arm. He didn’t get to go fishing once last year. 

It is with so many blessings that he is able to enjoy this season.

I am overwhelmed because he is seen at Baylor Dallas and his appointment is Tuesday. We hope to speak with the doctor and see if we should delay the appointment by a few weeks to avoid exposure to COVID-19. 

But I’m also worried about what will happen if it gets worse. Will it end up being more unsafe in a few weeks? Will we end up with a really long stretch between infusions? 

Because of the no-visitor rule, he’s worried about me not being able to have a place to be for hours while he is at his appointment. I told him I can find a spot with a book or just stay in the truck.

We believe he definitely would be considered high risk and needs to be serious about limiting exposure to the virus but at the same time an interruption in his treatment could put us backwards again. 

His treatment has been bumpy. But right now, we are headed in the right direction. I really do not want to mess that up. 

To everyone out there going through the same thing, I know you understand the desperation in these decisions. 

I am feeling so blessed, so overwhelmed, and so scared, all at the same time. 

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