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 …

Essay Featured in the Washington Post – Please support NBTS so that more stories can be heard!

Honored to have my essay featured online and in today's print edition of the Washington Post, originally published in Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine. I wrote this essay before my recurrence, but it still captures the complexities of identity when faced with life-threatening illness. I would like to thank Diane Guernsey and Paul Gross from …

Ho’omaika’i ana

Yesterday, my partner and I returned from a much-needed, relaxing trip to Oahu. We had an amazing time. Even though my hair started to fall out from my radiation treatments, my ever-present medical condition momentarily faded away. We slept...a lot; We rested at the pool, the beach, and back at the pool; We coasted around …

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.