There are few things and certain moments in life that make an indelible mark on us. One such unforgettable event would include your doctor diagnosing cancer, a disease that many individuals and families are bravely fighting day in and day out.
Hope and faith, along with a strong community of support in the form of family, friends, and other survivors, helps cancer patients walk the dark alleys of the disease. One very important source of motivation is learning about the survival stories of some brave hearts who have beat the odds. Reading about how somebody in the same boat dealt with diagnosis and survived it certainly boosts the morale and also provides helpful tips as individuals and their families try to make sense of the situation.
Below is a list of brave cancer survival stories to help patients know that they are not alone in this struggle. There is hope and life beyond cancer. Please be aware that the patients mentioned in this article were not patients of the Sarcoma Oncology Center. Despite this, their successful battles against cancer can serve as inspiration for cancer patients everywhere.
Name: Rachel Baumgartner Lozano
Cancer: Askin’s Tumor
Rachel was playing field hockey in the fall of 1998 when she had a nagging back pain which continued to intensify. One day her legs and chest felt numb. The orthopedic doctor said it sounded neurological. So she consulted a neurologist who did some tests. The MRI revealed an egg-sized tumor pressed on Rachel’s spinal cord at T3 and T4. Rachel was diagnosed with Askin’s Tumor, which is in the Ewing’s Sarcoma family.
The tumor was rapidly suppressing her breathing and hence an emergency surgery was scheduled on December 5, 1998 to remove the first tumor. Then followed a year of chemotherapy with a mix of VP16, Ifosfamide, Adriamycin, Cytoxan, and Vincristine. In March and April, she had six weeks of radiation coupled with chemotherapy. In June 2001, she was admitted for an autologous stem cell transplant. This led to peeling of layers of skin and internal intestinal linings.
She also went into septic shock due to various infections in her bloodstream. Then there was a year and a half of remission until a new tumor was found between her heart, lung, pulmonary artery, and spine in November 2002, by which time she had maxed out on traditional treatments. The tumor was safely removed in May 2004. Fast forward to 2015, and a persistent cough turned out to be mycobacterium infection and doctors suggested removing part or all of her lung.
Three life-threatening scares with cancer, an open cavity in her chest, and numerous intense treatments and surgeries, along with the dizzying side effects, Rachel survived all that and more from the age of 15. .
Even though the doctors gave her a 0% chance of survival, Rachel never stopped living and loving life. She raced against time and accomplished a lot of her passions. From getting degrees in interior design, psychology, studio art, and a dual Masters in art therapy and counseling, meeting the love of her life and getting married, traveling the length and breadth of the country and other countries as an international inspirational speaker, to being named Glamour magazine’s Woman of Your Year in 2008, Rachel has surely defied all odds.
She also spends her time doing art commissions, helping out at cancer kids’ camps and at out local and national charities with various aspects of cancer and other causes. She is a published writer and maintains a blog.
Her blog, obsessedwithlife.com, gives the readers a glimpse into her fight with cancer, her struggles, her passions, and more.
Name: Nancy Stordahl
Cancer: Stage 2B Breast Cancer
In Nancy’s words, her first domino toppled on Easter 2010. That is when her chest pain started. Thinking it was a heart attack, she visited the ER which led to a clear EKG, followed by a CT scan that resulted in a mass sighting. Then came the mammogram and ultrasound. The mass sighting set off alarm bells, and so an ultrasound needle core biopsy was scheduled. And finally came the dreaded call from the doctor confirming she had cancer. A genetic testing thereafter showed her positive for BRCA2 deleterious mutation.
Nancy was scheduled for a bilateral mastectomy on June 2, 2010 with immediate reconstruction. In July she began her chemo and with it came the nasty side effects; a metallic taste in the mouth, mouth sores, fatigue, insomnia. Being diagnosed with cancer was just the beginning. Post that came a flurry of appointments, biopsies, pathology tests, genetic testing, surgeries, and various treatment options.
Apart from the usual physical side effects that cancer and its treatment brings, Nancy also went through emotional turmoil, wondering how long she would live and how many more happy moments she would be able to spend with her husband David, her kids, and other family members. But she found various avenues of comfort and motivation. She joined a cancer support group, and listening to others going through the same fears and anxiety was comforting and hopeful. According to Nancy, it’s her online community of friends who inspire and amaze her on a daily basis, and she considers them her best support group apart from family and friends and her dogs, Elsie and Sophie.
She was five years NED (no evidence of disease) as of April 2015, which she is quite grateful for. Nancy believes she will never be done with cancer. Even with NED and clean scans, there are the constant reminders in the form of fatigue, aches and pains, reconstructed body parts, chemo-brain, pills to be taken, and all the follow-up doctor visits. And more than these physical changes, cancer can completely change an individual’s psyche. But through it all Nancy continues to march forward bravely, having authored two books chronicling her journey and offering hope to many women trying to climb over this mountain.
Visit nancyspoint.com to get detailed insight about her inspiring cancer journey.
Name: Stephanie Madsen
Cancer: Large Cell Neuroendrocrine Cancer of the Cervix
Stephanie, a hair stylist by profession, received life-changing news on January 25, 2012, just 19 days after she turned 25. She was diagnosed with large cell neuroendocrine cancer of the cervix, and was given less than 20% chance of survival in the first year.
For a year, Stephanie had a gut feeling that something was not right with her body. She had been experiencing several symptoms like extreme fatigue, weight gain, and losing hair in chunks. She visited numerous doctors and underwent multiple tests. All the results came back normal. Then on January 23rd she went to her gynecologist for an annual check-up, who noticed that her cervix looked a little abnormal and did two biopsies. On January 24th she received a call from her gynecologist’s nurse asking her to come in the next day, and to bring her husband along to discuss about her treatment.
The following day Stephanie, along with her husband Matt, received the news that she had cervical cancer staged at 1B2 (which was later re-staged at 1B1). Her tumor was 4 centimeters. The doctor recommended hysterectomy in which the entire uterus, including the cervix and the surrounding walls would be removed. Since she and her husband always dreamed of having kids, they were asked to see a fertility doctor. Every three months for the first two years after treatment, she had to do Paps and scans. After the two year cancer-free mark, there are check-ups every six months till she reaches the five-year mark, after which she will officially be in remission.
Along this journey, Stephanie has undergone her share of emotional, mental, and the obvious physical upheavals. With every birthday that rolls around, she is left wondering how many more birthdays she will be around for, and considers every added day as a sign of growth, gratitude, hope, and opportunities to enjoy her family and friends, and to follow her passion. She has partnered with Cancer Knowledge Network (CKN) and is a spokesperson for #YA (Young Adult) rally campaign. Through these and various other ventures, along with her blog, she aims to share a message of unwavering faith and hope, and letting young adults diagnosed with cancer know that they are not alone in this walk. It’s her passion and commitment to walk beside others in their struggles, even as she continues her journey fearless, certain, and victorious.
She has detailed every moment and emotion related to this fight, in her blog derailingmydiagnosis.com.
Name: Jennifer Campisano
Cancer: Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer
Jennifer Campisano, a lawyer by profession, went to consult her OB/GYN in the fall of 2011 about a nagging painful lump in her breast that just didn’t seem to go away. Her OB/GYN assured her that it was just a harmless cyst and asked if she wanted to get a second opinion. One afternoon at Dr. Liu’s office, after a quick exam, she was sent over for a mammogram and an ultrasound. The radiologist then told her that she noticed calcifications and a silvery sheen that could indicate cancer. A few days later the biopsies confirmed that the 4.7 centimeters tumor was malignant, and also evidence of cancerous activities in the axillary lymph node.
Jennifer was scheduled for more tests – an MRI, a MUGA scan to test the heart, a PET/CT scan, and a PEM scan. After that she was scheduled for chemotherapy, and a month after that was the surgery. Following the chemo, she’d go in for a shot of Neulasta which causes the bone marrow to go into an overdrive, thus boosting the white blood cells to keep the immune system intact. Six rounds of chemo over 18 weeks later, her scans came clean. She had her surgery on January 20, followed by six weeks of radiation, Herceptin every three weeks, and follow-up PET scans every three months. Seven months later the cancer reappeared and she started a second round of chemotherapy. She had two clean scans thereafter, but by May the cancer reappeared again.
She found an abundance of support from friends and family. Support also came in the form of amazing strangers who poured into her life by virtue of bringing her meals, offering to babysit, and offering helpful resources and shoulders to cry on.
Jennifer was 32, married to Chris and with a 5-month-old son Quinn, when she was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She went through dark, gloomy periods wondering if she’d ever make it to even see her son go to kindergarten, and many such foreboding thoughts. Four-and-a-half-years later she along with the invincible support from Chris, Quinn, and amazing family and friends, she continues to march on, taking it one moment at a time. She also contributes her time to help raise funds for cancer research and creating more awareness about metastatic breast cancer.
The details of Jennifer’s brave journey and her efforts to raise awareness can be found on her blog boobyandthebeast.com.
Cancer: Metastasized abdominal sarcoma
Denise lives in Hawaii and when her cancer was diagnosed, she was told they couldn’t do anything for her and had given her only a month or two to live. She’d lost all hope. She was told she might get help from another doctor on the mainland. Denise got sick while on vacation in Los Angeles, and ended up in the hospital in Huntington Beach. She was in the hospital for five days, and then Dr. Chawla entered into Denise’s life.
For Denise, it was meant to be. Dr. Chawla said to Denise, “I think I can help you.” For Denise, these were the key words for survival. After that, she just eased her mind and put herself into Dr. Chawla’s hands, and she is still here. It’s all meant to be. Denise was in remission for six years, and now she is currently on clinical trial with a new drug.
Name: Emily Bennett Taylor
Cancer: Stage 4 Lung Cancer
Emily, a 28-year-old college athlete who never smoked, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer on June 28, 2012. She was asked to get a chest X-ray for a persistent cough which she thought were allergies. Seeing the results, her pulmonologist ordered a CT scan, and thereafter a biopsy. And the results came back as advanced lung cancer. For Emily and her husband Miles, who both led healthy lifestyles, this piece of news certainly rocked their boat. After eight rounds of chemotherapy, on February 8, 2013, her right lung, pleura, seven nodes, half of her diaphragm, and the pericardial sac surrounding her heart were removed in an extrapleural pneumonectomy procedure.
Emily soon began 28 rounds of high dose radiation to the right lung cavity. Along with it came the nasty side effects of radiation like nausea and severe fatigue to the point where she could barely walk. She started physical therapy to regain the energy sapped out of her system during those grueling months of treatment.
Emily has been three years cancer-free, and she owes it all to her husband, who has been by her side through every painful moment and there to witness every little and big triumph along the way. Her husband, their pup Ginny, and their respective parents have gone to great lengths to ease her burden and have filled her with hope every day. Another highlight of this journey has been finding a surrogate in her high school junior coach Angela who is pregnant with their twin girls due in April 2016.
Being diagnosed with lung cancer, Emily made a very important career shift. She and her husband now play very active roles in lung cancer advocacy. With the help of donations she has produced and distributed the most comprehensive patient handbook for newly diagnosed lung cancer patients. She has made various appearances to promote Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, raise awareness about lung cancer, and reduce the stigma.
Emily’s blog (embenkickscancer.wordpress.com) details her victorious journey instilling faith and hope for many cancer patients out there.
Name: Jacki Donaldson
Cancer: Stage 1 Breast Cancer
On November 16, 2004, Jacki felt a lump the size of a green pea that moved around. November 18, she went to her OB/GYN who told her that the tumor showed all signs of being benign and sent her for the routine mammogram and an ultrasound as well. On November 23rd, she had a biopsy and the next day, which was a day before Thanksgiving, she was told that cancer cells were found. She was scheduled for a surgery that was lumpectomy but could turn into mastectomy if the surrounding tissue of the breast was found affected. Her lump of 1.1 centimeters was removed and lymph nodes tested negative. Thereafter, she was scheduled for chemotherapy for the next three months and a combination of drugs administered via IV. Three weeks after chemo ended, she had to undergo radiation for six weeks, post which she had to be on Tamoxifen for five years to prevent recurrences.
In December 2008, Jacki went to a dermatologist over a suspicious small, red patch of skin on her arm. The biopsy confirmed it as basal cell skin cancer and she was scheduled for a surgery the following week. Having endured a lumpectomy, a port surgery, four infusions of Adriamycin/Cytoxan dose-dense chemotherapy, growth hormone injections, two hospitalizations, one blood transfusion, six weeks of radiation, one year of Herceptin infusions, physical therapy, psychotherapy, antidepressant therapy, port removal, over 11 years later since she thought her life was ending and she would never live to see her boys grow up, Jacki is using her cancer experience to spread hope and good cheer.
Since she had a stage 1, grade 2, no lymph node involvement cancer which hasn’t recurred in five years, Jacki has been told that she will never have a recurrence of the same type of cancer.
Jacki’s husband, two boys, mom, sister, moms in the MOMS club, and the Chemo Angels, who kept sending her cards and letters, gave her the rock solid support and strength through her dark and lonely moments. She also took to blogging as an outlet and a form of therapy.
Jacki has chronicled her hopes, fears, and milestones in her blog cancerspot.org in the hopes of soothing the anxiety of somebody traveling the same road.
Name: Rebecca Matos
Cancer: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Rebecca was diagnosed with grade 3 cancer when she was 32-years-old. After the diagnosis, she went in for the BRCA1/2/BART genetic mutation tests. The results came back negative. Then she did a genome sequencing test that showed that she had ataxia-telengiectasia mutated (ATM) which is associated with moderate risk for breast cancer. Rebecca was advised to get yearly breast MRIs apart from getting the mammograms.
Her doctors laid out the treatment options before her; she could undergo a lumpectomy which involved radiation, or she could have a mastectomy which excluded radiation. Rebecca chose to go with a lumpectomy with chemo and radiation. Since she contemplated the idea of starting a family, she harvested her eggs prior to starting her treatments. She was put on Tamoxifen pills, which suppresses estrogen and her oncologist put her on the pill for 10 years. Rebecca received her first chemo infusion on April 1, 2015. Doxorubicin, the chemo drug, caused terrible constipation with painful bowel contractions. Her second infusion of Adriamycin caused her to lose her long locks that she had all her life.
Rebecca joined an online forum during her treatments and learned a lot more about cancer, and is also seeing a survivorship therapist. She braved through the talk of death with her fiancé, and finds great strength and support in her fiancé and family in the Dominican Republic. With every ache and pain, she worries about a recurrence even though the tests and MRIs come back clean. Despite her cancer diagnosis, Rebecca continues to live her life as normally as possible. She wakes up just like any other person, goes through the various emotions of life, and is looking forward to creating more memories with her fiancé and other loved ones. She doesn’t look at cancer as a battle that could be won or lost, but she’d rather be remembered as someone who did her best under the uncontrolled and unexpected situation she was handed. Rebecca hopes to inspire many along the way through her blog, giving them hope and motivation to face yet another day.
Rebecca shares her brave journey on her blog thesmallc.com.
Name: Vickie Young Wen
Cancer: Stage 4 Breast Cancer
It was a Saturday on March 2012 when Vickie and her husband were sitting with a friend and his wife at a McDonald’s outlet in Hong Kong. She’d had a biopsy the day before and was supposed to call the doctor for the preliminary results. The result of the pathology report changed her life forever that instant. Vickie was initially diagnosed with stage 3B breast cancer. Then cancer was detected in every single vertebrae, both sides of the pelvis, and one rib on January 2, 2013. Her diagnosis was changed to stage 4. Then come July 2013, a new lesion formed in the left hip socket, in a couple of ribs, and in the sternum.
Since the diagnosis, Vickie has had eight chemotherapy sessions. She was revised to metastatic and has been to the infusion center almost every month for her Xgeva shot. With new lesions showing up in her spine and left hip socket, her treatment plans had to be changed and she was in a clinical trial in November 2013. The clinical trial combined an established drug with a trial drug, which could lead cancer treatment into a promising new direction. After the progression of the cancer to the liver in 2014, she was put on a new treatment. The lesions in the hip were more active with the tumor markers slowly creeping up since December, which meant time to yet again change treatment plans. In December 2015, the last oral option available to her failed and she was switched over to IV chemotherapy.
Vickie still undergoes a slew of tests and treatments, but that doesn’t deter her from living her life. She enjoys taking walks outdoors to enjoy the sunny Californian temperatures, she is part of a Bible writing project, knits, and also volunteers to teach English to visiting scholars from China. Her husband, two kids, and pets, along with her unshakable faith in God have been her rock as she continues to rise up and live another day. She has no illusions of the fact that she has no control over how the disease progresses, so she’d rather spend her days pursuing her calling rather than mourning the unforeseeable.
Vickie has her courageous and inspiring journey laid out in her blog iwantmorethanapinkribbon.weebly.com where she shares unapologetically about her faith, family, and advocacy for change in the metastatic breast cancer world.
Name: Lisa Goldman
Cancer: Stage 4 Non-Small Cell Adenocarcinoma
Towards the end of October 2013, Lisa came down with a bad cold. A chest X-ray showed clear lungs. The doctor said she had viral infection and sent her home with a prescription for codeine cough syrup. Since the dry cough lingered, she went back again in December and was told she had irritated airways and was prescribed albuterol inhaler and a Z-pack of antibiotics. Despite that, the cough persisted and she also started coughing up blood. On her mother’s insistence, she got a chest X-ray done and was told she had pneumonia, and was asked to get a chest CT.
In January 2014, Lisa saw a pulmonologist who sent her for a chest CT and scheduled a lung biopsy on seeing the results. On January 10th, the lung biopsy revealed she had stage 4 non-small cell adenocarcinoma. She also tested positive for the rare ROS1 gene mutation, though scans of her bone, liver, and brain showed no evidence of the spread of cancer.
Lisa was admitted to the hospital and started on aggressive chemotherapy two days later. Her first round of chemo infusions helped with the constant coughing and the O2 hook-up eased the breathing process. In April 2014, after four chemotherapy cycles her PET scan showed only one small nodule in her lungs with minimal activity and no evidence of metastases. She could now switch over to maintenance chemo and then the gene therapy drug, both of which will help keep cancer at a safe distance for years. She takes Xalkori pills twice a day along with many other supplements. In March 2016, Lisa had a PET scan that showed her lungs in good condition except for some spots in her pelvis. She went through a battery of tests that ruled out probable metastases.
Lisa is a 41-year-old wife, mother of two kids, and a fitness instructor. No matter what she does or where she goes, she continues to march on, trying to lead a life as normal as possible with immense support from her husband and kids, and an online community of cancer survivors, returning to her parenting duties, and teaching fitness classes. She has channeled her love for writing in creating a blog after her diagnosis, to help raise awareness about lung cancer and to help people detect their symptoms much earlier She also helps in increasing research funding.
The account of Lisa’s inspiring journey and brave fight against cancer can be found on lisa.ericgoldman.org.
Cancer: Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer
It was in early December 2010 when Mandi noticed a lump whilst taking a shower. Her doctor scheduled her for an ultrasound on December 30. The radiologist then sent her for a mammogram. She sensed the diagnosis even before the doctor could confirm that she had cancer. She was scheduled for a double mastectomy on January 28, 2011.
Mandi also signed up for studies where they would use her blood and keep track of her over the years, and also use the cancer cells removed from her body to test ways to kill them. The biopsy results showed that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes which was grade 3. She would need to be on Tamoxifen for five years to block the estrogen receptors in the cancer cells. After the surgery she started chemotherapy, and a few weeks post chemo she began radiation.
With the surgery, the tumor of 2 centimeters was removed with no tumor showing in other parts of Mandi’s body. But even with the cancer out of her body, she was looking at a long road ahead to the recovery process. There were chemotherapy cycles, radiation, reconstruction, and drugs like Tamoxifen, Adriamycin, and Cytoxan that would come with all sorts of painful side effects.
The diagnosis on October 2014 showed metastatic breast cancer with mets to the spine and lymph nodes in her chest and lungs. Mandi had three brain metastasis by October 2015, and in December she started on Xeloda and Tykerb. The tumor had made it to her liver according to the January PET-CT scans. In February 2016, she started Coreg to help her heart and had her MUGA on 26th.
Cancer and all the complexities surrounding it has taken its toll on Mandi, physically, mentally, and emotionally. But she continues to fight on, trying to raise awareness about cancer and funding for research through various events. Her husband, three dogs, and other family members are her source of hope and joy as she fights on each day.
Mandi’s blog darngoodlemonade.com chronicles her journey of hope, pain, joy, and her advocacy for metastatic breast cancer research.
Name: Jill Cohen
Cancer: Metastatic Breast Cancer
One night in November 1998, Jill decided to do a self-examination and discovered a small pea-sized lump under her skin. She had a mammogram done in January 1999. Since it was hard to see the lump on the X-ray, a biopsy was done. The following week, Jill got the call confirming her worst fears. Thereafter came the meeting with the surgeon and the oncologist to discuss the treatment options.
Jill chose to have a lumpectomy with node dissection followed by six rounds of chemotherapy and seven weeks of radiation. February 1, 1999, she had the surgery, and then chemo till August, and after that the radiation. During surgery it was found that the tumor had not spread to the lymph nodes. But as a result of node dissection she developed lymphedema.
Four years later, a pain in the right thigh led Jill to an orthopedist. A bone scan revealed metastases to the bones in the back of the skull, sternum, spine, and both femurs. She was put on Letrozole and monthly infusions of Aredia and then Zometa to strengthen the bones, and several weeks of radiation. The various tests, treatments, and drugs continue for Jill.
Along with battling cancer, she also battles the ugly effects that her treatments bring in its wake. The drugs taken to control the metastases put her into early menopause, hence robbing her and her husband Rick of an opportunity to ever become parents. She also had to retire on medical disability from her career in the Jewish community.
The recurrence of cancer caused her overwhelming distress, but the support of her family, and friends visiting and cooking meals helped keep her spirits up. She also joined a lymphedema support group, and acquaintances with people traveling the same path certainly helped ease the painful journey.
Apart from volunteering to work in breast cancer patient advocacy and continuing to enjoy life with her husband, Jill also shares her story of hope and survival in her blog jillscancerjourney.blogspot.in.
Name: Joshua Brenneman
Cancer: Ewing’s Sarcoma
In October 2004, Joshua’s parents’ world took an unexpected spin when they found themselves staring at an X-ray showing a tumor in Joshua’s neck bone. A biopsy was done to confirm that Joshua, just four-years-old, had Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone and/or soft tissue cancer. The tumor had invaded his c-6 vertebra and destroyed much of the bone.
The tumor was inoperable. The treatment for it consisted of 14 rounds of intense chemotherapy and 31 proton radiation treatments. The radiation treatment damaged Joshua’s throat and airways, and hence he had to be fed through a gastronomy tube, and was given a tracheotomy so he could breathe. Joshua went through three years of esophageal dilation procedure that would help keep his throat open so he could eat through his mouth. Joshua’s trach tube was removed on October 6, 2008 after dilating his airway three times.
Having their son diagnosed with round blue cell sarcoma completely darkened Joshua’s parents’ world. And their painful ordeal continued as they saw their son undergoing the intense treatment procedures and suffer through the side effects of the sarcoma cancer treatments. Even though the journey has not been easy for Joshua or his family, being surrounded by loving and supportive parents, four doting big sisters, along with their husband and boyfriend, and a nephew has certainly helped him find the resilience and grit to bear through each painful moment.
Joshua being diagnosed with such a serious illness has taken a toll on the entire family’s psyches and souls. They go through a range of emotions as they adjust to a life post-cancer; the fear of recurrence, anxiety, guilt, and the joy of little victories. They have sought the help of an expert who has dealt with families battling childhood cancer to help positively navigate their thoughts and actions. With their invincible faith in God, they continue to rally behind Joshua through every low and every high. Today Joshua is a high school freshman, smart, athletic, and powerful.
Joshua’s brave story has been compiled in a series of blog posts which can be found at noendinginsightexceptheaven.org, that can revive hope in the life of someone going through the same struggle.
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 was 112 lbs by then from the chemo treatment and couldn’t walk more than the distance of three houses. He met with Dr. Chawla and a few members of his team and Dr. Chawla and within two weeks had gained eight pounds and ever since then from 112 to 200 pounds now. Ever since Dennis has been receiving treatment at the Sarcoma Oncology Center, it’s been nothing but good news.
“When I come in, I just meet with everyone, just tell them my story. Each person’s story is more incredible than the next.”
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Cancer certainly doesn’t promise to be a picnic. No matter the type, be it breast, lung, brain soft tissue sarcoma, it doesn’t fail to spread its deadly tentacles into every aspect of an individual’s life, and also their loved ones. Cancer has claimed its numerous victims who fought on till the last stitch. But there are also countless stories of fierce fighters and warriors who continue to pursue their passions and live life to the fullest in spite of the deck stacked against them in this fight.
Next, read our blog Various Sarcoma Cancer Treatment Therapies Used To Treat Patients.