Over the last few months, I have been going through the process of being diagnosed with cancer. The English mod team, SE community moderators, and mods from other sites have been very supportive and understanding during this period, and now that I'm taking a leave of absence for treatment, I felt it was time to share the news with the EL&U community.

First, I want to reassure you that the moderation team has the workload covered. The diagnosis process started before the moderator election this year, and while it wasn't the driving factor for the election, we took into consideration that I might be absent for an extended period or step down when we were deciding how many moderators would likely be needed.

Second, I want to reassure you that I will be OK. It is serious (adenocarcinoma of the lung) and requires surgery to remove part of my right lung, but the prognosis is very positive. Once the tumor is removed, no further intervention is necessary. I will be "cured". Surgery is not fun, but this cancer is not going to kill me.

I'll be on leave until probably mid-January 2017, which means that sadly, I will miss the Hat Dash this year. If you want to get in touch with me in the meantime, you can comment or post an answer here. It will pop into the inbox on my phone, so I will see it, although it will be difficult for me to respond to it. Or you can ask any moderator to pass information to me.

Kind regards to you all and I will see you next year.

  • 45
    I hope I speak for the entire community in saying that we all wish you the best and that we value your commitment to this site but you and your health outweighs anything else. All the best. Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 16:55
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    A very close friend had what sounds like the same diagnosis and treatment and things went, and continue to go, very well. Best wishes from someone who admires you.
    – ab2
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 2:52
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    Best of luck. Looking forward to your return.
    – Centaurus
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 0:52
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    Oh, I have been wondering for a while (since I came back) why I don't see your activities. I am truly sorry to hear this news and I sincerely hope you recover well and come back soon. Best wishes and I am sure you will beat it.
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 20:01
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    Warm wishes for the new year, a speedy recovery, and don't forget a generous drop of cognac in the eggnog this year. Get well soon. x
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 23:18
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    Good day, Ms Fox. Haven't seen you around for a bit. Hope you're well.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 8:35
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    @Lawrence I am well, thank you. I recently had my 18-month follow up and I continue to be cancer-free.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 10:27
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    @KitZ.Fox Yay! :)
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 11:29
  • Apologies in advance for cluttering your comments (I'll tidy up later), but I noticed that you've been less active on chat for awhile. If you don't mind me asking - did something happen to cause this, or is it just busy-ness, general loss of interest in EL&U, etc? You were one of the friendliest and most helpful mods when I joined EL&U. Your presence is missed.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 14:48
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    Thank you, Lawrence, that is kind. It's been a long recovery for me, physically and mentally, and a lot has changed in my life. I stop in to check in with the mod team, but I am not as social online as I used to be. I have been trying to stay anchored in face-to-face people interactions for mental health reasons.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 15:14
  • 1
    Moderating is a tough business - if it was easy, there would be no need for the job. I don't know the details of what transpired, if anything, but I'm sure that if it did, you had good reasons for whatever you did :) . It's been good interacting with you over the last couple of years and hopefully more to come in due course, but your well-being comes before this site. Two of my friends overcame cancer in the last few years, and I think a positive attitude helped. May I say, Ms Fox, you've got that in spades. Take care.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 2:48

4 Answers 4


Kit, we wish you all the very best of luck.
In this site you are a most essential part.
Take your time, and hang in there until you're well.
Zeal in modding must now wait - your health comes first -
Fellow mods of English bear your burden well.
On returning you'll find hats we saved for you.
X-rays, surg'ry - you'll pull through, and see you soon!


It's not right that Kit should miss the Hat Dash. I think this "hat" expresses how we all feel about you:

Kit with hat


I'm back. The cancer was fully resected with no follow-on care necessary.

  • 7
    Welcome back, my fav mod! And, belated new year wishes!
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 17:05
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    Wonderful news, bravo to the doctors and the nurses who took care of you.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 21:34

You don't need to be absent to be present, because:

L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux

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