How Matt Ryan Gave Me Cancer

Let me preface this by saying that they tell me there is no link between trauma and sarcoma. I think they just can’t prove it yet. It is too much of a coincidence to have the worst bruise of my life in a certain location, and then have the cancer be in the exact same place… but on to the story!

On November 4, 2006, my dad, brother, sister and I went to the Wake Forest – Boston College football game, at Wake Forest. This was the season that Wake had such a great year and went to the Orange Bowl. It was a GREAT game! Here is a recap of that game, if you care to read about it:

The bruise the day after it happened

Basically, it came down to the final play, on a career topping night for Matt Ryan. And looking back, it is my belief that had he been a little bit better, or a little bit worse, I would not have cancer today! When he threw that interception in the end zone to end the game, I tried to jump up in the air in celebration, but the way I was backed up against the bleacher seat kept me pinned to the ground like I hadn’t made a move. Talk about pain! It hurt like crazy and had me limping for days afterwards. I’m pretty sure it ripped my calf muscle in retrospect, because of how badly it hobbled me. This picture doesn’t show it at its worst, since bruises get worse after a few days, but it was already bad enough the day after it happened that I remember both my dad and LeeAnne taking pictures of it! I thought it was pretty cool that we could go back and find that shot LeeAnne took after all of these years.

So anyway, that is my story about how Matt Ryan gave me cancer. Had he not been quite so good and made it such a great game, I wouldn’t have jumped, causing that trauma to my leg where the cancer formed. Thankfully he is that good though, because he’s doing great things for the Falcons this year! I’m actually a big Matt Ryan fan and was really excited when the Falcons picked him up, even though he is clearly the cause of all of this ridiculousness we are dealing with now! Haha.

Over the weekend, after doing some research on athletes with prosthetics I came across the name of Chris Casteel, a man who has lived with a knee disarticulation since a motorcycle accident in 1988. I found his email address online and sent him a message explaining my situation. I talked about the fact that I might soon have the same type of amputation he has and asked him a few questions. He was incredibly nice and actually called me yesterday afternoon to discuss it! We had a good chat about the advantages of that type of amputation and he said the only real disadvantage to it seems to be that aesthetically one knee is longer and lower than the other when you are sitting, but that’s about it. He also said that unless he is wearing shorts or you are walking behind him on the stairs you would have no idea he had a prosthesis, which pretty much confirms everything I’ve thought and seen. It was incredibly nice of him to take the time to reach out and call like that, and he said he’d like to stay in touch as things progress. He’s also trying out a running leg after Christmas, so he’s going to let me know how that goes as well!

Speaking of incredibly nice people, my girlfriend Ashley had some people from work take her out to dinner tonight. While they were at dinner they gave her a card that people around the office had chipped in on, containing money for airfare for her to come to NYC to visit while all of this is going on! What an incredibly nice gesture!!! We are both so fortunate to have such amazing support from the people we work with. Ashley is going to be up here from the 28th to the 9th, and will hopefully be able to utilize this gift from her coworkers to come back up again shortly after that, before we go in for surgery and everything. I’m really excited to see her and finally have her up here with us for a while!

Today, LeeAnne and I went out for a little bit and did some shopping around 5th Avenue. As we were walking through Rockefeller Plaza looking for a specific store a lady asked us if we would like her to take a picture of us together. We were both surprised by the random question, but said sure! After that we finished up our shopping, grabbed some lunch and headed home. Radiation was also the fastest it’s ever been today, so all in all it’s been a pretty good day! Hopefully tomorrow will go just as smoothly, and my brother Jack is coming into town tomorrow night!

I hope everyone has gotten all of their shopping done and is getting ready to enjoy Christmas with a lot of family and friends!

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4 Responses to How Matt Ryan Gave Me Cancer

  1. marques says:

    1: I’m on the hunt for that SOB Matt Ryan. “We gon find you”.
    2: We should make Chris Casteel tshirts.
    3: The orange beanie is sweet.
    4: Merry Christmas, brother.

  2. peggy redfern says:

    That’s so touching to hear that Ashley’s co-workers gave her airfare money.
    Talk about thoughtful. Advertising people are the best!

    And how wonderful that Chris Casteel reached out like that. I agree with the
    Chris Casteel t-shirt idea!

  3. Zona Trahan says:

    OK, if you can blame Matt Ryan, then I can blame you for my pain! I had eye surgery that was suppose to be “no big deal” but has become a bit more involved than expected. Well, you making me laugh made them hurt!!!!! But to be fair, reading about Ashley’s co-workers made me get a bit teary eyed and moisture is very good so we will call it even!

    I loved getting the note from your Dad about the Pet Scan results, what great news!

  4. Neal Seigfried says:

    Chris is a very nice person. I’ve met him at a couple of the Amputee Coalition conferences.

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