Diagnosis: Sarcoma, October 2013
From a patient interview on Sept. 5, 2014
Dennis was driving one day and hit a parked vehicle. He had blacked out. He was disoriented and didn’t remember anything about what had caused the accident. He decided to walk to the tow yard to get his car, but en route, he felt so bad he went into the hospital that was close by. He was unable to complete the form, he couldn’t write. He couldn’t even recall his last name.
He can’t recall what happened next other than when he regained consciousness, he was in another hospital. Emergency brain surgery had been performed on him that morning, but Dennis had no recollection of it. He wasn’t expected to make it through the surgery, with less than a 5% chance. Dennis had a mass, which had caused a seizure making him black out. At the same time, doctors found a tumor under his tongue. He remained in the hospital for 21 days recovering from surgery, and the tumor had yet to be treated.
After his discharge from the hospital following brain surgery, Dennis met with an oncologist and started chemo treatment from another cancer center. Treatment proved unsuccessful and Dennis’ weight dropped down to very unhealthy 112 pounds. The doctor treating Dennis recommended Dr. Chawla.
Before meeting with Dr. Chawla, Dennis had consulted with another facility that advised that he should go into hospice. They said there was nothing they could do for him; he was diagnosed with stage-4 inoperable cancer.
Nothing was working for Dennis until he came to the Sarcoma Center.
Dennis shares his personal story of his experiences with the Sarcoma Oncology Center:
I had hope, but I was 112lbs by then from the chemo treatment, and I couldn’t walk more than the distance of three houses. I met with Dr. Chawla and a few members of his team and Dr. Chawla looked at me and said, ‘I’ll give you a week off.’ We’ll get you on the regimen, I’ll tell you what it is.’
I started and within two weeks, I’d gained eight pounds and ever since then from 112 to 200 pounds now. I workout an hour a day, five days a week. I’m still getting chemo.
On Monday, I went skydiving* from 12,500 feet.
Ever since I’ve been here, it’s been nothing but good news. I had nausea when I first started, but not now.
When I come in, I just meet with everyone, just tell them my story. Each person’s story is more incredible than the next.
*Up next for Dennis is a Spartan race and a marathon!
Mother, Jacqueline comments:
When Dennis was at his sickest, I didn’t know what to do. I just prayed. Dennis is just so kind-hearted towards other people. So now he’s living and telling his story to other patients so that they’ll have the courage to fight this thing.