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March is Kidney Cancer Awareness Month – Please Remember Something

March is Kidney Cancer Awareness Month – Please Remember Something

By on March 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 50,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with kidney cancer last year.  Drug treatments are improving each year, but it is still a difficult cancer to treat, particularly if it has metastasized, or spread, to other organs in the body.  For resources on this disease, go to the Kidney Cancer Association website at:  http://www.kidneycancer.org/.

Tata n MeI lost my father to this disease 17 years ago this week at the young age of 58.  His cancer was advanced by the time it was diagnosed.  Even with the advancements in kidney cancer research and treatments over the last 17 years, I’m not sure he could have survived it even today.  And he definitely tried.  With complete bravery and an “all in” spiritual and emotional resolve.  But cancer can be one of those things that can overpower even the strongest people.

If there is one thing I want to share with the world about what my family endured during my father’s diagnosis, treatment and eventual demise to kidney cancer, it is the education about something new that is available in healthcare that was NOT available for my family 17 years ago.  If you read this, please keep the following in the back of your mind for an unfortunate rainy day that I hope does not come for you or anyone in your family.  But if it does- may you dust off these words from the back of your memory bank; and, may it help you and your loved ones and offer you peace of mind and spirit.


There is an arm of healthcare now called Palliative care.  http://www.Getpalliativecare.org/  This is not hospice care, rather, it is an amazing resource available to families of seriously ill individuals. According to the Kidney Cancer Association website:

“Palliative care is an approach to cancer that stresses pain control, relief of symptoms, and psychological, spiritual, and social support for patients and families facing terminal illness. If you are concerned about pain, discuss it with your doctor so he or she can address you needs. Great strides have been made in recent years in developing palliative care options. Communicate what is important to you and have no guilt about it.”

The reality is that a cancer diagnosis for an individual is a diagnosis for an entire family.  Without family support, a person fighting for their life with an aggressive form of cancer cannot have a fighting chance and can suffer more than necessary.  The roller coaster of emotions and stress that go along with caring for a person that is fighting for their life- is indescribable and should not be underestimated or ignored.  It is nothing to feel guilty about.  We are not super human; we all have limits to what we can give without ourselves, collapsing.

Palliative care professionals are available these days as a resource for you and your family to help you deal with the devastation that is happening in the days, weeks and months that follow a cancer diagnosis.  They can help you navigate conversations with doctors and nurses, pharmacists, blood banks- and any and everyone you are suddenly needing to deal with because cancer has now entered your life.  They can make sure that the right people are talking to each other and reduce the risk of painful errors taking place.


If you are ever in a health crisis situation and a healthcare professional offers you this service, take it.  If they don’t offer it, ask for it.  Get all the help that you need so that you can be there for your loved one while they fight the fight of their life.  The more help you have, the more whole you can be for your loved ones.

 And when I am ill, it is [God] who cures me.” (Ash-Shu’ara (The Poets: 26:80)


orange father


About the Author

About the Author: I'm a Writer and Muslim Activist. I'm also a Board Member of the #MyJihad Public Education Campaign. Follow my blog at yasminareality.com or follow me on Twitter: @yasmina_reality. I'm also now on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YasminaReality Peace! .

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