[nfb-talk] Update on cancer

T. Joseph Carter carter.tjoseph at gmail.com
Thu Jul 15 22:36:31 CDT 2010

Hi everyone,

Some of the major details seem to be suffering from a game of 
telephone, so before giving an update I probably need to recap the 
major details:  On June 21st, I was diagnosed with a soft tissue 
sarcoma, a pretty rare form of cancer most doctors have never seen, 
and therefore don't recognize when they encounter it.

I'm finding that many soft tissue sarcoma survivors have stories 
about the medical adventure around trying to treat whatever the 
doctors thought they were dealing with before they discovered the 
cancer.  I was no exception, with doctors cutting a hole in my right 
lower back to remove the "cyst" or "abscess" this was thought to be.

So by the time it was diagnosed on the 21st, the tumor had grown to 
fill the hole, and had begun growing out of it!  So, 32 days after my 
32nd birthday, there I am calling the sarcoma specialist's office in 
a panic.  We did what we could do dress the tumor until we could 
arrange the tests needed to determine the best treatment approach, 
which turned out to begin with surgery.

I had that on the 8th, where the doctors cut out a blob roughly the 
size of a six inch cube.  I was only released from the hospital 
today after issue related to this thing I've got called a wound vac.  
Basically they left part of the operating site open and put a vacuum 
sealed dressing over it that connects to a machine that constantly 
drains it.  This reduces the mess and chances for infection a bit, 
but requires care and feeding of the machine.  Plus dressing changes 
hurt a LOT, but that'd be true regardless of the vac!

We have the pathology results back, and thankfully the tissue around 
the edges of the blob has no sign of cancer cells!  I'm still on 
heavy pain medication, so you can expect me not to be great 
conversation if you tried to call me right now!

I'll be staying here a home quite a bit then to recover.  I don't 
plan to go anywhere for while, and then just the doctor's office.

That's all for now!  Take care everyone!


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