It really was cancer

Notes on week 941

With these weeknotes I track and archive my work in public.

Because of my recent kidney removal, I skipped another round of weeknotes. Surgery is terrible like that! I’m doing pretty OK actually. No pain, just tired quickly. Both physically and mentally. The stitches have been removed from my surgery wound, and I’m phasing out the painkillers.

Turns out it really was cancer, a ‘clear-cell adenocarcinoma’ to be precise. The doctors were hoping to remove my 75 mm tumor, but ended up taking out the kidney in its entirety. It was too large and in too deeply, all the way in the renal pelvis. My remaining kidney has taken over the work, which is apparently normal but completely biological-miraculous to me.

The prognosis is still good, there’s no sign of the cancer spreading. I’ll be under regular check-ups for the coming 10 years, though, starting with an abdominal ultrasound, chest X-ray and blood test in May, in case the cancer festers anyway. (I have to say I’m more worried about Donald Trump and the upcoming European elections. Speaking of malignant growths.)

I’ve been taking it easy over the last two weeks, mostly reading and listening to podcasts. I did some work here and there, and met up with folks, but haven’t left Utrecht so far.

One thing I finished is a rather autobiographical Radio Laika, my monthly mini-mockumentary for literary audio magazine Ondercast. I started it before my surgery and finished it right after. The voices were recorded by Ondercast hosts Lisa Weeda and Dennis Gaens, and my friend Sjors Houkes. Check it out at around the 1:22 mark in episode 33. And get a free subscription for your monthly dose of Dutch literature!

Finally, Control posted the video of my RIVE talk way back in September. Watch it below!