Deciding whether or not to get the COVID-19 vaccine is something that many people struggle with – but the decision is even more difficult for kidney cancer patients.
I was originally diagnosed in 2010 with Stage III Clear Cell RCC and had my right kidney removed. My cancer returned in 2017 and metastasized to my lungs and pancreas.
I started in a clinical trial right away and left the trial in 2019 after achieving a complete response. A new spot appeared on my lung at the beginning of the COVID shutdown in 2020 and we successfully treated it with SBRT. As of today there is no evidence of disease.
When the vaccine came out, I was a little apprehensive since I still have a lot of stuff going on with my immune system from the trial. I didn’t want to introduce new drugs into my system that were brought to market so quickly.
After consulting with my oncologist at MDAnderson as well as several other doctors, I decided to get the vaccine. I received my first dose at the beginning of February and my 2nd dose 21 days later. I did not have any issues or side effects and am happy I am fully vaccinated.
Understanding what is important to patients is a crucial part of our mission at KCCure. To learn more about patient views related to getting the vaccine, read the results from our latest survey.
John Ferrell is a stage 4 kidney cancer survivor and his wife Jennifer is a stage 3 breast cancer survivor. Together, they launched the Ferrell Foundation, a charity focused on raising both money and awareness for the fight against cancer.