Why This Blog?

Vulnerability is scary. To share my story, and the complex emotions intertwined with my journey, is daunting. When I started this blog during my recurrence in 2014, it served as a platform to update my community spread across the globe. It was also a form of therapeutic reflection. Over time, I didn't expect the impact …

Vote because lives depend on you: A Brain Cancer Patient’s Call to Get Out and Vote!

A version of this post also appeared on Medium I sit here, exhausted, almost unable to write after my first round of immunotherapy and radiation treatments for my second recurrence of a high-grade anaplastic oligodendroglioma (read: brain cancer). I see my friends actively participating in our democratic process: campaigning, phone banking, getting out the vote. …

Changing Course

September 25th, 11am: I sat in my doctor's office at UCSF waiting for the results of my MRI. I've been in this same office numerous times with a picture of mountains hanging on its sterile white walls. Even as a medical student, I wonder why we design doctors' offices this way. If you're going to make it all white, keep it all white without putting up a picture of a place patients would rather be. Otherwise, and preferably, make the room more warm, welcoming...human.

In Thinking About my Death, I Discovered How I Truly Wish to Live

For months, I had two task reminders saved to my computer’s desktop. The note on the left side of the screen listed the assignments I still had to complete for school. The note on the right side of the screen read: “Fill out advance directive.” These notes were a daily reminder of my conflicting identities. The left-side version of me: a 26-year-old medical student with many opportunities ahead; the right-side version of me: a young adult living with terminal brain cancer.

Rough Seas: Confronting the “experimental” aspects of experimental treatment

Note: Anything I share in posts related to my treatment are my own personal experience. It does not reflect what may happen to someone else, or what others should do. More so, I share these posts as a glimpse into my experience living with brain cancer. Hopefully there are parts of my story that resonate, areas …

Plan A (IDH2 Inhibitor) is a go: Precision Medicine and Privilege

In my last treatment post, Uncharted Waters: waiting for a treatment plan, I outlined three treatment options: Plan A: IDH2 Inhibitor Plan A-: Immunotherapy Plan B: Reirradiation and CCNU chemotherapy Over the past few weeks we have been waiting for two factors to determine which treatment plan I could do: insurance coverage and my genetic test …

Uncharted Waters: waiting for a treatment plan

In my last post, Sailing New Seas: My Biopsy Results and The Need For a Cure, I recounted my experience receiving news that my tumor has evolved to a grade III anaplastic oligodendroglioma. Given this news, the path of treatment is uncertain. UCSF's tumor board had one recommendation while my doctors in Boston had an alternative view. Each opinion is equally reasonable. The difference lies in the fact that I am now in uncharted waters. There's no map navigating me to my destination. In fact, no one truly knows where we're heading. All I know after receiving my results was I needed to find a captain for my ship, so I headed back to Boston to see Yoda.