I was diagnosed with a high grade Monophasic Synovial Sarcoma in my right calf on Wednesday, October 27th, 2010.
Since that day I have been continually humbled by the support I have received from not only my family and friends, but complete strangers as well. The prayers and notes of support sent to both me and my parents have touched me more than I can express.
Upon being diagnosed with this rare form of cancer, we immediately put out a search to find the best doctor to cure this disease. The response we received said that the “Derek Jeter” of sarcomas was Doctor Gerald Rosen in New York City. He wasn’t seeing any new patients, but by the grace of God he agreed to take on my case and said he would see me immediately. We flew to NYC to see Dr. Rosen on the Monday following my diagnosis. Within minutes of meeting him I knew I had found my doctor. His confidence and straight forward manner immediately put us at ease and there is no doubt in my mind that I am in the best hands I could possibly be in.
My tumor is quite large. It has been compared to the size of an apple (8.3cm at it’s longest point). There are some things that complicate my situation, but there are even more things to be thankful for. Despite the size of my tumor, it has not spread anywhere else in my body, which is one of the greatest blessings we could have asked for. This type of tumor tends to spread to the lungs, among other areas, and having my tests come back clear took a great weight off of all of our minds. However, I was told today by Dr. Rosen that we are not yet out of the woods on saving my leg because the arteries and the nerve bundle are running through the center of the tumor.
Dr Rosen likes to treat these tumors with very aggressive doses of chemo, coupled with radiation, and shrink them as much as possible before surgically removing them. As he put it, the surgery is the coup de grace for this type of cancer. We want it to get as small as possible in order to make sure that the surgery removes it all. If any cells remain after surgery then the cancer will return. It is our hope that the chemo will help shrink the tumor away from the blood vessels and nerve bundle, but only time will tell how it will play out.