One Year

A little more than one month ago, May 22nd, was my one-year anniversary since my brain surgery in 2018. It was the day I laid on the operating table, awake, as surgeons mapped out my brain's motor function and removed a section of my tumor. Since I was twelve years old, I’ve had several of these “anniversaries:”

Sick of Being Sick

I’m sick of being sick. I’m sick of laying on the couch. I’m sick of having to cancel plans I made months, weeks, or days in advance from grabbing a cup of coffee to going on spring break vacation. I’m sick of feeling good for a day or two, thinking I’m on the mend, only to realize I was being tricked. I’m sick of my doctors and I knowing what my symptoms are, but not knowing why. I’m sick of not knowing when I’ll feel better for a sustained amount of time.

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 …

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.

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.