Friday, July 24, 2009

Walk for Sarcoma Awareness Tonight!

Well, the family heads out tonight at around 5:30 to Piedmont Park for the annual Walk for Sarcoma Awareness event at 7:00 ( It should be fun. Being the local "poster boy" for Sarcoma, I certainly don't want to miss it. This will be a nice way of wrapping up International Sarcoma Awareness Week (

In case you wanted to understand more about why such events are held, please see this helpful video.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

One Year . . . and Counting!

It was just a year ago today that I got the call from Dr. Monson's office to tell me that the biopsy results had come back and that I had been officially diagnosed with Liposarcoma. It took a few more days, however, before I actually met with the doctor and learned exactly what my treatment plan would entail. (See for all of the details.) I would have never imagined that such a thing could happen to me. Little did I know that the (benign) brain tumor I had 8 years prior was not my “big event” but rather just a warm up for the main act that was to follow. Unbelievable!

Certainly a lot has happened during this past year and I'm just happy to be alive, doing well and back to a “normal” lifestyle. Not all Sarcoma patients are as fortunate, so I have nothing to complain about!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Moments in Sarcoma

How's this for a shameless, self-promoting plug:

Yup -- this is my week to be published (and 4 others). It is interesting to to hear from people all around the world sharing their "Moment in Sarcoma". It brings home the clear message that Sarcoma Knows No Boarders.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My port is out!

As expected, the operation was a success, though I required more sedation this time than when the port was installed about a year ago. Both procedures used "conscious sedation", where Doctors apply a local anesthetic (Lidocaine cream) to the surgical site to numb it and then give you some other drugs to make you relax and feel good, yet you're awake and moderately alert during the procedure. I still remember very clearly "Dr. Best" (the doc who installed my port) asking me tons of computer questions during the operation, so yes it's definitely "conscious sedation".

This time, however, the Lidocaine cream didn't seem to do its job (not on long enough?) as I could feel the incision as it was being made. No problem -- nurse, more IV drugs! Problem solved. By the time I got home this afternoon I felt like I had about 6 margaritas too many and crashed in my bed for 4 hours straight. Now that I'm up, the "hangover" has started. Yup, they definitely gave me more stuff this time!

But I give the team at Emory credit for getting everything prepped and ready so quickly. I checked in around 9:00am and I left there just before 11:30. That's incredibly fast turn-around given that the bulk of this time was spent drawing blood work and waiting for labs results prior to the operation. I'm quite impressed.

My freshly re-opened scar (i.e., they reused the incision from my port placement operation) will need to stay covered for the next 10 days.

As some have already noted on Facebook, "the meaning of this is HUGE!" Indeed, as it means "no more chemo" for starters and cleary shows that my doctors feel that I'm on the road to a full recovery. Yeah!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Port removal surgery Thursday morning . . .

Just a quick update to let everyone know that I’m having my port removed tomorrow morning. I’ve had a port in my right chest now for about a year and I’m ready to have it taken out. Hopefully I won’t need another one anytime soon (if at all). This should be a simple outpatient procedure. I’ll let you know later tomorrow how it went.

Also, I wanted to let you know that the CT-Scan I had back in May came back clean. “No significant changes” were noted. My next scans are in mid-August (lucky me).

Finally, I had a brain MRI done just a few weeks back (on June 26). I recently got word that the Radiologist has given me a clean bill of health on that. It turns out that I had a 5cm pituitary tumor (benign), which was removed back in October, 2000. I’ve just never mentioned that here since it’s unrelated to my sarcoma.