“Be your own healthcare advocate. You owe it to yourself and the people that love you.”
Dawnia was diagnosed with Stage 2 Renal Cell Carcinoma on October 21, 2013. She has successfully defeated her disease.
“I was diagnosed with Stage II Renal Cell Carcinoma on October 21, 2013. My mom had been diagnosed with Stage IV Renal Cell Carcinoma in January of that same year.”
“When my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV RCC in January of 2013, I had consulted with my long-time primary care physician about the change in my family history. Previously there was no history of cancer of any kind on either side of my family. I was rattled by my mom’s diagnosis because it seemed to come out of nowhere but was very advanced by the time she had symptoms.
My doctor advised me that I had nothing to worry about and “kidney cancer isn’t cancer we consider hereditary.” I’ll never forget those words because my doctor was dead wrong. Luckily, I was under the care of a Nurse Practitioner at my gynecologist’s office who advised me to get checked. Three days later I had a simple ultrasound that showed a 9 x 9-centimeter tumor on my right kidney. I had a radical right nephrectomy shortly after that.
My urologist told me if I hadn’t been treated when I did that I would’ve been in a fight for my life. Luckily I didn’t require any further treatment and I’m almost five years cancer free. My mom lost her fight on August 13, 2015. I had the honor and privilege of being her primary caregiver during the last two weeks of her life under hospice care. RCC is a relentless monster that needs to be stopped.”
Motivation to fight cancer
“My parents and my children”
“A flippant primary care physician who lacked knowledge and empathy. It was a Nurse Practitioner that saved my life.”
Message to other cancer patients
“Get second opinions. Don’t allow your concerns to be dismissed. Doing so could cost you your life.