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This is a guest post by Mike Domingo.

My name is Mike Domingo and this is my journey. 

It started one night in February 2021. I woke up to go to the bathroom and fortunately turned on the light. The bowl was full of blood though I had no pain or any other symptoms. I took a picture of the blood. My doctor did a urine test and told me I was fine. I showed her the picture and she scheduled a scan, STAT. The scan showed a large mass in my right kidney and spots on my lungs. I saw an oncologist a week later who set up appointments for biopsies. I was diagnosed with stage IV Clear Cell Renal Carcinoma. It was decided I would have the kidney and tumor removed and then have immunotherapy. But it was 9.5 weeks till surgery from the first scan. 

“I let everyone know what I was going through because I wanted those good thoughts and positive vibes to come my way from as many people as possible.”

I was 64 at the time and still working a physical, full time job. Fortunately I didn’t have any pain. I came up with a plan to have a positive attitude through it all. I’ve seen how self-destructive negativity can be, even more destructive than the disease itself. I let my family and friends know what was going on. I gave them the opportunity to be upset/sad and then I wanted nothing but positive vibes from them. That’s what I needed from everyone to get me through this. Friends and colleagues at work would tell me how encouraged they were to see me everyday. 

Next I took up the mantra of a Spartan Warrior on Facebook. I would find images and positive quotes and post while I was getting treatment. I let everyone know what I was going through because I wanted those good thoughts and positive vibes to come my way from as many people as possible. 

After recuperating from surgery I went back to work for about 6 months till I retired at age 65.

One thing that was very important to me was having fun and trying to maintain my regular life and traditions with my wife and our friends and family. We bought e-bikes and went on many bike trips. We continue to hike and take pictures. We have spent some time travelling in between appointments. 

To that end, running or walking the San Francisco Bay to Breakers has been something I have done since I was a teenager. Bay to Breakers began in 1912 as a way to raise the spirits of San Franciscans as they continued to rebuild following the 1906 earthquake. As such, it’s one of the world’s oldest footraces. It starts near the San Francisco Bay, a flat area and goes through downtown and then up a big hill, then through Golden Gate Park and finally reaches Ocean Beach, hence, Bay to Breakers. It’s about 7.5 miles. I have run it, jogged it, gone in costume, gone with a group, gone by myself. I once walked it 2 months after having a small heart attack. Another year I walked it 5 weeks after rotator cuff surgery.  I wasn’t going to let kidney cancer stop me from walking it. This was my 48th race. I’m planning on doing at least 50 of them. At least! 

This year much to my surprise my wife organized a group of people to go and surprise me at the starting line. She got everyone kidney cancer support T-shirts and we all had a great time, including my 84 year old mother who salsa danced part of the way.  This was a huge boost to my emotional journey these past 2 years.  I want to express how lucky I am to have her in my corner.  She’s there every step of the way along my journey, from appointments, infusions, scans, to making sure all my meds are taken on schedule.  

As I write this I am stepping up the battle and adding cabozantinib to my monthly Opdivo infusions. I am going to beat this! I celebrate every day I wake up as win, enjoying every minute of every day!

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3 thoughts on “Mike Domingo plans on (at least!) 50 “Bay to Breakers” races”

  1. Remarkable story, journey and dear person with tremendous strength and will…which will positively see him through this!!! Great to read your story!

  2. I continue to recognize how amazing you are Mike ,you are a unstoppable force !
    I think you and your Bride have taught us all a lot about life and determination !
    Thank you for being our friends !

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