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Patient Stories

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Ryan Scarlata

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Ryan Scarlata

I’m feeling a lot of things as I lie here wide awake thinking about this exact moment last year. It was the eve of my partial nephrectomy. My husband was asleep next to me, and my mom who flew 1,100 miles to be by my side was asleep in the next room while I remained awake (as I am now).

One year. I’ve made it a year! A truly bizarre, startling, heartbreaking, stressful, but unexpectedly accomplished year. Recently, I exchanged a message with another kidney cancer survivor, discussing how unique our perspective of 2020 is compared to friends and family. 

In many ways I feel strangely blessed to have started the year with a cancer diagnosis. It put me in a position of strength as I was able to look through a different lens: It helped me to focus on what I have and not what I don’t have. 

Under the cloud of Covid, I was easily able to pivot my thinking to find the advantages of distance, alternative ways of strengthening relationships through virtual gatherings that relied solely on our words and listening to one another. A result of this was that I feel I was better able to provide support to those who were there for me through the cancer. Not only am I stronger, but my relationships are stronger, and I’ve gained a greater understanding of and appreciation for what really matters. 

Connecting with others in the KCCure 1-2-3 group has been an incredible and vital tool on the road to recovery, rebuilding, and reinvention. The stories we share, the advice we give, and the cyber shoulders we provide to one another so that we may cry and be vulnerable are all essential. 

I’m grateful for each of you and for our collective willingness to share our experiences. I am inspired by every story, be triumph or tragedy. I am inspired that the warriors in this group honor our fallen cohorts, fight in their name, support and console their families, and pass along their stories. 

When we are together we are never alone. Here’s to another day, another week, another month, and another year.

The KCCure 1-2-3 community is a private group for patients who have been diagnosed with localized kidney cancer. KCCure communities are built to meet patient’s needs, provide peer support and advice. Learn more about our various communities and find the right place for you!

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