“If there ever was a person who thrived on knowledge, research, and discovery, it was my husband,” said Stephanie Shaw, wife of the late Dr. Lewis “Kip” Shaw.
An Emergency Room physician, Kip Shaw was very attuned to his physical body.
“He kept himself in impeccable shape; he ate clean, he exercised daily, he was very much in control of his health,” said Stephanie.
So, when Kip woke up one morning and noticed a change in his body, he immediately sought care. As he writes in his book Hey Cancer, F**K You!: A Memoir With a Message: My body had changed overnight. My life was about to change forever. My lifelong skinny flat abdomen was significantly distended…”
Because Kip was physician and knew what to ask for, he immediately had a series of scans that showed his liver riddled with tumors.
“It was such a shock. Kip had zero symptoms except for distended abdomen which literally happened overnight,” added Stephanie.
It was September of 2004, and Kip dove headfirst into his diagnosis. He was constantly reading, researching, and seeking clinical trials to join. He was a big proponent of second opinions, and sought such at MD Anderson, UPMC Pittsburgh and even the NIH.
“Once we had a solid diagnosis, Kip essentially shifted into treating his Pancreatic NET as a chronic disease, like diabetes or arthritis,” said Stephanie.
Kip lived with pNets for eighteen years and continued working as an emergency room physician until 2012, when his family and his care team decided it would be best to retire and focus on staying healthy.
But Kip wasn’t quite done – he wrote a book dedicated to sharing his NET journey and helping other patients:
Hey Cancer, F**K You! is a memoir with a message. The book is a chronicle of the first ten years of my confrontation with incurable, metastatic neuroendocrine cancer. From the stunning surprise of being diagnosed through a near fatal episode of disease progression which forced my retirement from Emergency Medicine, the narrative documents living with an incurable, ultimately fatal disease without permitting the disease to define my life. It is intended to inform, inspire and entertain.
Although written from the perspective of a patient who is also a physician, the book is not clinical. The information is presented for the lay-person and when medical terms are used, brief explanations accompany. The narrative illustrates an approach to living with incurable cancer, which can be extrapolated to other chronic diseases. I incorporate “life-goes-on” moments and some humor, typically self-deprecating to entertain. By emphasizing there is nothing special about me, I hope to convince the reader that she/he can meet a similar challenge.
Dr. Shaw passed away in April of 2022.
“He was an extraordinary man who wanted nothing more than to help people; we know his legacy, captured in his book, will undoubtedly help many patients and families, and that gives us all great comfort,” said Stephanie.
Donate online to The Dr. Lewis “Kip” Shaw Everlasting Impact Tribute Fund for NET Research
All gifts to Lewis’ Tribute Fund are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Checks payable to NETRF and mail to:
NET Research Foundation
31 St. James Avenue, Suite 365
Boston, MA 02116