Bad News and Wonderful News

Dear Readers and Friends, Family and Tribe,

I've got bad news and wonderful news.

The bad news is that I've been diagnosed with lung cancer.

The wonderful news is that the docs found it by accident, and the tumor (singular) is very very early in it's development. The cancer is deeply embedded in the upper lobe of my right lung. That means that all the doctors have to do is take out the upper lobe of my right lung (Your left lung has two lobes, your right lung has three. Did you know that? I didn't, not before this.) Assuming they're right, I won't be needing any chemo or radiation. They'll just take out the chunk of lung that has the tumor, along with the lymph nodes that are hooked up to my right lung, et voila! Healthy Auntie. And the funnest part of this news? The surgeon is gonna use ROBOTS to do the surgery!! How cool is that?

I've been through batteries of tests over the last couple of weeks. They show that my lungs are super strong, and my heart's in great shape. So, I've got a green light for surgery. The date is set for October 25th—with 3 to 5 days recovery in the hospital afterwards. Given that my immune system is already compromised by my CLL (chronic lymphatic leukemia), it'll most likely be the full five days, and I'll be out in time for Halloween! Then, it'll be another couple of weeks recovering at home, and I'll be up and around and back to pro wrestling. I've always wanted to give pro wrestling a try.

But wait, there's more good news! My girlfriend, Barbara Carrellas, has got me on an anti-cancer diet. I've cut out all meat, dairy, gluten, and sugar. Cancer LOVES sugar, and grows really fast on it. Did you know that? I didn't. But I'm eating good food now.

I still have other health issues going on—the stuff that the docs were trying to find out when they accidentally found my lung cancer. So this month is a great big see-the-doctors month for me. That's why I've had to cancel a couple of my speaking and performance gigs. Hopefully, I won't have to cancel any more.

I'm telling you all this because I've told you everything else about my life, and despite that, you've chosen to keep me company on this life path of mine. I'm so grateful for your company. I welcome your good wishes, prayers, candles, and any other good ju-ju you'd like to send. That'd be perfectly lovely, thank you. I'm sure I won't be able to answer everyone's tweets or comments, but know that I'll hold your wishes deep in my strong, healthy heart.

See you on the other side of this.

kiss kiss (don't worry — it's not catching)

Auntie Kate


  1. very best wishes to you Kate, with love and prayers x

  2. Dear Auntie Kate:
    Difficult news, but thank you so much for sharing it with us.
    My father had the same thing–a small tumor on the upper lobe of his right lung. His surgery–this was nearly 30 years ago–was completely successful, with no follow-up chemo necessary.
    Dear Auntie Kate, you are surrounded by so many souls who love you. I am just one of them.

  3. Best of luck to you, Kate. Sending you love and good wishes from Germany.

  4. I’d kiss you even if it were catching! Good luck, Auntie!

  5. will be lighting a candle for you on the 25th and sending warm healing thoughts your way throughout the month. thank you for all you’ve given to me (and for what you will continue to give). xoxo

  6. You’ve got one queer priest keeping you in his Mass intentions.

  7. Sending you queer love, healing energy, and lots of light. Thank you for your being!

  8. Love and healing to you Auntie Kate!

  9. Nobody ever wants a cancer diagnosis but you are right to feel optimistic given how early they caught it. Sending you lots of healing energy. Harness all the strength you have and let all the people who love you take care of you!

  10. Lots of good, healing, anti-cancer vibes being sent your way!

  11. I’m so glad that you caught this early, and just as glad that Barbara is looking out for you.
    So much love.

  12. Sending you and Barbara lots of love and healing vibes, Kate 🙂 xx

  13. Just love, and much of it xxx

  14. Gigantic hugs to you and Barbara from Ireland… sending healing and love xxx

  15. That’s the best bad news I’ve heard in a while, I guess. Here’s hoping that it goes perfectly and that you bounce back quickly into doing lots more of the wonderful work you do. – Hugs, Janet

  16. Kellie, Nicole & Zak

    Sending lots of Drapeau/Roche love from here in Rhode Island!!!

  17. Kellie, Nicole & Zak

    Sending lots of Drapeau/Roche love from here in Rhode Island!!!

  18. Sending love and light your way, Kate. You have saved so many lives by just being you! See ya on the other side of your healing, and hey, I’ll wrestle you anytime! 🙂

  19. I love you and am thinking about you. You’re the only person I would dare allow to call me Little Sister, and you carry a piece of me everywhere that you go. Remember that!

  20. Sending Love and lots of healing positive vibes. From Oz Xxxx Jacq

  21. Be well Kate. Barbara is a very smart woman. And I am sure you know she is an amazingly giving person as well. Cancer loves sugar…. I learned recently.
    The Sour Sop or the fruit from the graviola tree is supposed to be a strong cancer fighter,,,,, I googled it and found a lot of web sites that may be helpful…. Good luck!!!

  22. Oh Auntie Kate, I’m wishing you the best and glad it was caught early!
    (a femme fan)

  23. Kate,
    You are a positively incredible human! If we (the people who respect and admire you) can collectively send a fraction of the love, support and inspiration I know you’ve brought–and will continue to bring–into our lives, I’m confident that’ll be more than enough good ju-ju to get you through 🙂
    In admiration,

  24. Best wishes for a healthy recovery kate.
    I met you and Barbara at Allen Lowen’s death workshop at Omega. You both were so much fun.
    i will be thinking about you.
    Love to you and Barbara

  25. Love you, Kate. Sending you quick healing love vibes. So many people love you and are hoping to hear of your quick recovery soon. Big hug.

  26. Dear Auntie Kate,
    Sending you bucket loads of good ju-ju! I can visualize you up in the ring pro wrestling with the best of them! You are in my heart and thoughts, as always. Much love to you, Cath Carter xox

  27. Much love, Kate.
    According to the Mayo Clinic website, the sugar/cancer connection is a myth. Avoid taking medical advice from people who aren’t doctors. Just make sure you’re getting enough food and a varied diet and you’ll be fabulous.
    Know you are supported by the collective strength of your tribe.

  28. many healing thoughts to you….

  29. huge hugs & love to you.

  30. Kate, many blessings to you of whatever variety feels best to you. I’m glad they caught it early and hope you send it lovingly on its way, or kick it’s ass all the way to hell, whichever you prefer.
    You and Barbara always have a place to stay wherever I am (currently Albuquerque). I don’t have a hot tub and I don’t cook Indian like David, but have a comfy bed and a Reiki session is always available to you.

  31. Queers to your swift and full recovery Kate! Know that you are loved.

  32. Hang in there. We are all behind you and thinking of you. Konnor.

  33. Ouch! (just watched E.T. yesterday, so…)
    A+ for focusing on the positivies here.
    Sugar-free love and hugs coming your way.

  34. All the best Kate. Will be thinking of you.

  35. Knowing you Kate you will pull through like the trooper you are. Love you!!

  36. Hi darling girl, Wish I could be there to go thru it with you. Great on the diet change! You have our blessings and positives all the way, day by day. Love you!! Hana

  37. Kate, Thank you for the bad and wonderful news.
    Barbara is so right about the anti-cancer diet. I was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive, metastasized cancer and given “about a year” initially now coming up on 5 years ago. I left the main stream methods and found a progressive group who treat with fully integrative methods (leading edge western oncology, naturopathic oncology, nutrition, eastern medicine, acupuncture).
    Based on my experience changing the physical environment from cancer friendly to anti-cancer was the key to recovery. Coming up on my 5 year milestone and still cancer free.
    Best to you in this part of your journey. So many good things can come from an experience like this!

  38. Dear Kate,
    I remember you from when you came to Harvard many years ago–I was a young and slightly insecure grad student. You were a bodacious, brilliant, funny loving and wondrous beam of light. Sending that love and light back to you, mama. You are the best…Love love love–

  39. Kate! I love that you are sill so positive. Much love coming from Hartford,CT as you are such an inspiration for me. Sending so many positive and happy thoughts your way.

  40. Kate, I’m glad the cancer was found early and can be removed. And no chemo! Wow, the blessings of modern medicine. One of my aunts had one of her right lung lobes removed two years ago (due to persistent, intractable pneumonia) and she’s been fine since.

  41. Sending love and strength and gratitude .. you are a blessing and you will get blessings in return. much love and kisses. xo jackie

  42. Thinking of you with nostalgia, admiration and bestest wishes. Love, Spike

  43. Healing thoughts and best wishes sent your way, Kate. xx

  44. Dear Kate. I was shocked to hear you are sick, but so glad to read the prognosis is good, with a straightforward treatment. I will be beaming Reiki and lots of love to you on the day of your surgery. Imagine you will be carried by a thousand hands, all intent on bringing you to full health! That is the community that loves you and all of our thoughts and prayers and various magics, working for you. You have put so much love and understanding out into the world, now you get to reap what you have sown. May you come out the other side stronger and better and full of new wisdom!
    Love, from Chocolate Velvet

  45. You know, the absolute best sign that you’ll recover well and that this will end up ok? Your positive attitude. You are so strong and awesome.

  46. I came to know about you from your input on the vv blog and then loads of other stuff. You don’t know me but I would like to take the opportunity to send you get well wishes, you are an inspiration – so keep it up!

  47. I left a note in the wee hours, but included a link, so your site seems to have eaten it.
    I’ve been reading your book and hadn’t seen you over at the Village Voice or our new commenters google group (no link this time), so I thought I’d stop by to see how you were doing. Sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but very glad that the prognosis is a positive one. Wishing you lots of peace and a quick recovery.

  48. Kate, fabulous brave and brilliant one, lots of healing thoughts and strength headed your way. And lots of excitement about the robots, too. I think the robots are a good omen 🙂 Much love and gratitude for all you bring to this world, Elizabeth

  49. Kate,
    I wish you speedy healing and a long and healthy future.
    Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.

  50. Best of luck with your surgery and recovery!

  51. Sending you the highest Ju-Ju New England has to offer!!!!

  52. Don’t worry Kate it’s just some engram that will run itself out.
    You’ll be fine. I just know, you know ?

  53. sending huge love your way! i pry it all goes smoothly and that you come out of this strong as ever.

  54. Sending you sunshine and bright days with oodles of love always.

  55. Best Wishes for your Full and Speedy recovery from the cancer and everything else. Hugs!

  56. Kate,
    Learned about your illness from Tony O. Loved your memoir and all your work.
    So grateful your cancer prognosis is good. Will be sending you prayers and good thoughts. And one important recommendation – LAUGHTER!
    Run out right now and buy/rent a stack of comedy movies to watch during your recovery. Nothing better for your immune system! xo

  57. You have so much more to give to the gender community; may the surgery be successful and you heal fast so that you can get back to making waves.

  58. Healing thoughts and best wishes, Kate! (from an “Anonymous” admirer)

  59. Oh Kate, so glad you are focused on the good news and have good support. My aunt was diagnosed with lung cancer in the late ’80s and had a full recovery after chemo and surgery. She lived for over 20 years after with no recurrence of cancer. And this was before robots were helping out! Love and Best Wishes!

  60. <3 x <3 o <3 x

  61. Terrible news Auntie Kate, but I’m glad the prognosis is so good. I was just talking about you this past week and what a force for good in this world you are. We’re all with you.

  62. Love to you, Kate, and gratitude for all you continue to do. GO ROBOTS!

  63. The brightest, warmest light white is heading your way, Kate. We wish you the swiftest of swift recoveries!

  64. TheHoleDoesNotExist

    Dear Katie: You are the one who put the Boop in the Betty, the Voice in the Silenced and the Love in the unLoved Boat (the Apollo). A few dilettante cancer cells should be afraid of You now that you are on to them! Best wishes and a big hug…

  65. Sending healing thoughts, Kate! Gender Outlaw was truly influential in my own journey toward awareness of self.

  66. Good luck, Kate.
    Best wishes from France !

  67. I am a french transwoman… I have just read your book “gender outlaw”!!
    I regret not to have read it earlier… What a clear-sightedness !!
    Best wishes… but I am sure you will make it !!

  68. My best wishes go with you, cheers, Max.

  69. Kate, I am thinking of you and sending you the real good ju-ju, may your body be in good hands while your mind does not waver from knowing you are well, you’ve always been well, you will be healthy and clear of anything that shouldn’t be there. Focus on the love and no entertaining the icky. You have the best attitude and will, as always, kick ass where needed.
    Imagining your healthy lungs. Sending you a big hug.
    Amy Jo

  70. My dear Kate,
    You do know I am thinking a lot about the two of you. This is hard. Having been down a similar road myself, it’s a tough one to cope with.
    All I can say is that I’m sure looking forward to a) the film and b) your smile – soon!
    Lots of love.

  71. Much love to you Auntie from your biggest, straightest, vanilla fan in the Bay Area. Kick that little tumors ass!

  72. Kate, Sarah and I would like to extend our best wishes for a speedy recovery. It’s good that you’ll be home by Halloween, one of the greatest holidays in NYC.
    We admire your grace, strength and courage, and we are both sending you healing and positive thoughts and prayers.
    Best, –John P.

  73. Kate: Only you could make lung cancer seem positively cheery. It’s amazing, inspiring, and mind-boggling all at once. In other words, it’s just like any other interaction with you.
    Feel good. You are in my prayers and thoughts.

  74. Dear Auntie Kate, you are surrounded by so many souls who love you. I am just one of them.

  75. Dear Kate,
    I sincerely wish you a safe surgery, fast healing & many happy, healthy years ahead. I’ve known you since 1985 & won’t allow you to leave us yet. LOL Really now, be well hon. Wishing you all the very best always. Big hugs & a smooch.

  76. Love and white light to you Kate xoxo
    Natasha Lee Martin

  77. My ardent, fiercely wished hopes for your health. Purple healing vibes I send in your direction, dear Auntie Kate.
    Best Regards, Sir Real

  78. Kate, you are in my thoughts!! Lots of love from Fargo!

  79. Dear Kate, wishing you all the best to get well soon.
    {a fan from Austria, Vienna}

  80. my prayers for a speedy recovery

  81. Sad to hear about the news.
    Good luck to you Kate. Hope you’ll recover from this illness.

  82. I wish you all the best. If Laura Vogel, who is raising money on GoFundMe for your treatment, is connected to you, would you please endorse her here? The way GoFundMe works, the money goes directly to that person, and not knowing if she is genuinely connected with you and sending every penny along to you, I’m hesitant to send her my credit card info and money. Thanks and be well!

  83. Stay strong Kate! Sending you lots of hugs and kisses

  84. Dear Kate,
    In NYC you have a wonderful option for treating your cancer – Dr. Gonzoalez. Pleae check him out.

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