I have cancer. It came fast and out of nowhere.
In November of 2017 I was photographed wearing an open shoulder dress at the Austin International Drag Festival and everything looked fine. Then a week later I noticed a small pink mark on my shoulder and I thought it was odd but I thought it would go away.
But it didn't. It grew. Two weeks ago I went to a dermatologist who specializes in skin cancer and she did a biopsy which came back positive for basal cell carcinoma.
Here's a picture of the tumor after the first biopsy:
My husband Marc gave be a great big hug when I told him the bad news. He was positively "shooketh” - he was literally shaking. It was scary to see his reaction but I guess my mind still hasn't fully appreciated the danger of the situation I'm in and how fragile our health can be.
This week I had a surgical procedure to remove the tumor on my shoulder. A diamond shaped piece of flesh was removed from my shoulder and I got stitches both inside the muscle and on the skin to close up the wound.
But wait, that’s not all. There's another something growing on my scalp that also requires surgery. The doctor said we should get that removed as well. Right now we’re waiting to hear on the results of the second biopsy and if any medical treatment will be necessary.
Even with health insurance, the costs of this procedure is expensive. I can't even afford to take time of work to heal and recover. I'm having a hard time sleeping because I'm worried I'll lose everything if I can't pay my bills.
I want to continue creating the podcasts and videos at Feast of Fun that so many of you enjoy but I can only do that to the best of my abilities if I’m not totally preoccupied with figuring out how I’m going to pay for this thing called cancer.
I'd greatly appreciate any amount you could offer to help me cover my medical bills so I’ll be firmly on the road to recovery and can continue doing the work you enjoy.
Thank you for all your love and support. I believe strongly in the power of laughter. Times are tough right now, but we will get through this.
To survive in the past, I made jokes when times were hard, when hope was lost. I will crack a joke with my last dying breath, because when we lose the ability to laugh at our problems, that's when we truly have lost the battle. That’s why I continue doing the podcast and our web series Cooking with Drag Queens, because it has the power to heal the world.
- Carma Nibarger
- Peter Maule
- Terry Andrews
- Damian Pelliccione
- Marc-Andre Poulin