By: Isha “Ice” Cole
Author Lendy Demetrius has had a passion for writing since he was a teenager. Inspired by writers such as Eric Jerome Dickey, Victoria Schmidt and Douglas Adams, the New York native became a published author at just 21-years-old with the 2002 novel There Could Be Joy and Pain in the Long Run.
Life seemed to be on the right track for Demetrius, until a few years ago when he received a potentially life-altering diagnosis of Renal Cell Cancer, also known as kidney cancer, where malignant cancerous cells are found in the lining of tubules in the kidney. Not wanting to worry his family when he was first diagnosed, Demetrius decided to hide his illness, and mustered up the courage to deal with the situation on his own.
Fortunately, Demetrius paid attention to the signs his body was giving to him, and the cancer was caught in the early stages. Today Lendy Demetrius is cancer free, and living life to the fullest. He is a storyteller, who enjoys working in the community and schools in his spare time, and his second novel I Live, You Move On was released in early 2011.
Urblife.com recently spoke with the inspiring writer about his battle with cancer, his outlook in life and more! Read on…
Tell us a little about being diagnosed with renal cell cancer – how early did they find it?
Lendy Demetrius: I had a form of renal cell cancer, but it wasn’t a major form and it was in the beginning stages. I had three surgeries where they had to cut out the cancer and remove everything.
How were you diagnosed?
LD: I went to several doctors. It was like one doctor said it could be this or that… they couldn’t figure out what was wrong, so I went to a few other doctors. The doctor that gave me the diagnosis knew [right away]what it was because he deals with it all the time.
He told me that I could either have chemotherapy or have the surgery. I didn’t want to go through chemo, because television has people looking a certain way and I didn’t want to go through that.
Did you have any symptoms that prompted you to go to the doctors?
LD: I was losing weight, I had fevers, night sweats, and I was like, anemic. I wasn’t sure what it was, but when your body is giving you signs, you don’t ignore it! When you ignore it that’s when things go crazy.
Is this disease hereditary? If so was anyone else in your family diagnosed?
LD: My mom had breast cancer, but she had it removed. My uncle died of lung cancer, so I guess in some form it’s kind of hereditary. It flows through somewhere and somehow, but in different forms.
What type of treatment did you have after the surgery?
LD: Right now I’m fine. Everything is normal. I just go in for check up every now and then, but I’m not on any medicine at the moment.
How did your family and loved ones deal with you being diagnosed with cancer?
LD: I didn’t tell them, because you know how some people get all sympathetic, and I didn’t want to go through all that emotion. I told them I was having surgery, but I didn’t tell them exactly what it was for because I didn’t want anyone crying.
I wanted to have as normal of a life as possible. Crying doesn’t really solve anything. I was scared, but not wondering “Why me?” I was just trying to fix the issue before it got any worse. I didn’t want anyone babying me. But they know now, and they’re okay with it now that everything’s is fine.
Did you have anyone or a support group to turn too since you didn’t want to tell your family?
LD: Only my doctor; I spoke to him.
As an author you intertwine your writing with some of your real life experiences, or “authoring life.” Do you plan on writing about your experience with this disease if you have not done so?
LD: I haven’t started working on anything that’s about me so far. It feels weird writing about myself. I rather write about characters.
What influences you to write about certain types of issues or people in your books?
LD: I base it on a lot of things that go on around me like past relationships and friends’ relationships. It’s basically little snippets of different parts of my life, my friends lives, and things that I see. I don’t use anything 100 percent.
What have you learned about the business since your start?
LD: It changed a lot. It’s actually harder now than it was back then. Now, you have to keep on pushing to get your book out there to get to this place and that place. There’s so much networking, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s like a 50/50 type of thing.
How has social media helped authors?
LD: It makes you more connected with the people that are buying your books, the people that like your books, and the people that want to know more about you. It gives more of a connection like if they have questions, you could answer them.
What are you working on currently?
LD: Right now I have two more books in the works, and I’m also going to revamp my first book and re-market it.
How did having cancer change the way you looked at life then, and today?
LD: When I was going through the process it affected the way I felt, and the way I thought. It made me look at life differently, so I started working on things that would make me happy such as finishing school, finishing both of my books, and working in the community.
I was basically working on goals that I wanted to accomplish. I think I’m more positive, and I try to live my life as stress free as possible. If I can fix it, I fix it. If I can’t fix it, I just make the best of it!