It all started about a year and a half ago. Of all things I can credit for helping me discover my health issue, I have to say it’s flag football. I was playing on our on-base team when made a hard cut and felt a deep sharp pain in my left hip joint. I didn’t think too much of it until I was still having issues a couple of weeks later. I had an X-ray done and it was then that the doctors realized my bone color was off and they immediately ordered an MRI. Eventually they discovered, at the time, what they thought was a cyst in the head of my femur. They believed that it was causing the bone to collapse. In November of 2014, I had surgery to drill into the joint and scrape/pack the cyst with bone graph. The biopsy came back negative for cancer cells and I was told that I would make a full recovery. I was obviously excited with the fact that I would be fine, so I went about life trying to heal.
Unfortunately, I never felt 100% and the pain slowly returned. By the time the summer came around, I was back to a limp and knew something wasn’t right. Once I returned to work in Aug, I went and saw my orthopedic surgeon and explained the pain that I had been experiencing. He ordered another MRI and the results were not good. The bone looked like it was dying. The doctors thought that it was something called avascular necrosis which is essentially bone death due to lack of blood flow. This meant that I needed to have my hip replaced before it broke. On September 5th, 2015, I had a full left hip replacement which, went extremely well…except one thing. The doctors found that the head of my femur was as soft as a ‘stress ball’ and they became very concerned that it could be diseased bone.
3 weeks later, while home trying to recover from the surgery, I received a call from the orthopedic surgeon. I knew something wasn’t right as it was a saturday and I was getting a call from the doctor directly. He stated, “You have been diagnosed with a rare bone cancer called Chondrosarcoma.” I was speechless, lost, angry, confused….I was caught completely off guard.
After a couple of days of wondering and doing my own research, we started the process of scans. I had CT scans, MRIs, and bone scans. The results also presented some bad news. The cancer had spread to my lungs. I had two (2) small masses in my right lung along with one (1) in my left lung, all of which needed to be removed. So, the second week of October, I had my first Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery on my right lung. While it went well, it was not a fun recovery as the surgeon had to go in through my ribs. Both masses came back positive as Chondrosarcoma so 2 weeks later I had surgery on my left lung. Again, not a fun recovery but I am done with surgeries…at least for now.
I was considered mass free since the news of cancer a couple of months prior and I was finally starting to feel hopeful and healthy again. I had dropped nearly 30 lbs but was given the approval to workout and return to work which, I must say felt amazing. My oncologist ordered another round of scans which were intended to be base-line scans. This means that the new scans would show me without masses in my body and would be compared to any scans in the future. Again, more bad news came from the scans.
The scans showed 8 masses in my lungs and another in my left hip which had already grown to the size of a golfball. I couldn’t believe it….I honestly thought there was no way things could get any worse but, somehow they were. We were hoping that I would be eligible for a trial that has had some success in Chondrosarcoma but unfortunately, my cancer does not have the eligible mutation. Therefore, I am left to explore other options. I am planning on starting a promising trial at the beginning of January in Denver.
So, thats where I am right now….I have to thank a couple people real quick. First, I have to thank both the Prep-School and Academy football staffs for their incredible support throughout all of this. My family has been so amazing. Whether it was flying out to help me after surgery or the countless calls and texts to check in on me. It means more than you know! My academy friends have been awesome as well. The flights out to see me, planning guys trips, and even the quick face-time…it changes my day every time. Finally, my amazing girlfriend. She will never truly know how much I appreciate her taking care of me through four (4) major surgeries, going to dozens of appointments, and keeping me motivated to get out of bed and fight everyday. I’ll never be able to explain to you how much it means to me, but I am forever thankful. I love you
I will be going to Newnan and Atlanta for Christmas and then headed to Nashville for New Year. Britt and I would love to see some of my old friends if anyone is around.
Thank you so much for the continued thoughts and prayers. Its because of you that I am able to stop complaining and asking ‘why me’ and start standing strong and saying ‘TRY ME’.
All The Best – Cars