Wednesday Warrior – Curtis

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Curtis-WarriorA little over two years ago my husband found a small lump behind his right knee. Our family doctor said it was a Baker’s cyst and if it got to be bothersome, it could be removed. So we did not pursue any further. Over time the lump became larger and larger.  Still, the doctor said it was a Baker’s cyst.

One year ago this month, my husband began having severe back pain. We changed family doctors and this doctor sent him for an MRI of his back. We received a call the next day that we needed to see a spine doctor and an oncologist and we were referred.

Completely in shock from that phone call, we made the appointments and went. The doctors explained there was a mass on his L5 that had fractured his vertebrae.

The pain became worse and worse and on Christmas Eve 2013 we were at the ER and admitted. First for pain control and then after biopsy it was determined the mass behind his knee was Fibrosarcoma. It had metastasized and traveled to his spine.

He had surgery to repair the disc, but this hospital was not familiar with Sarcoma cancer.  After spending a month in the hospital we came home.

I researched the hospitals/doctors that treat Sarcoma and on March, 3, 2014, we went to MD Anderson in Houston. They also did biopsies because now his right hip was in severe pain. Curtis was diagnosed with both Fibrosarcoma and Osteosarcoma.

He underwent radiation and chemotherapy and while in the hospital during an X-ray, his right femur broke. He then underwent surgery to remove the cancer in his right hip, femur and knee, and received an interior prosthetic. We were at MD for five months in-patient before coming home July 27.

Shortly after that surgery, while at home, his left hip began to hurt him greatly. We ended up back at MD and learned the cancer had fractured his left hip and was also through his fibula. So, he underwent surgery to replace his left hip and partial femur replacement as well. The doctor also removed his fibula. The pain was relieved at that point and we came home again to Fort Worth to receive PT at home.

A little over a week of being home he said he had a crick in his neck.  The crick did not go away over the next couple of days and on about the fourth day he woke up and could not move his neck. We had him ambulanced to the hospital and after a CT and MRI, it showed the cancer was on all his C vertebrae, had fractured his C2, and was wrapped around his vertebral artery.

That was the point the doctors said nothing else could be done.  They managed his pain and we came home via ambulance into hospice care.

My amazing husband of 29 years passed away October 11, 2014. He was only 51 years old.

My prayer is that there is more research money dedicated to Sarcoma.  In the month prior to my husband passing, we lost two other friends we had made in the hospital to Sarcoma as well. This is such a deadly disease and the signs are missed by many GPs because there is just not enough information out there.

Curtis never complained about what he was going through, but loved and cared for everyone. No words can do justice to the amazing man he was, but his legacy of love, giving and fighting with amazing grace will carry on in the lives of his family and friends forever!!

I love you Curtis! Forever my Superman!!

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If you or a loved one has been impacted by sarcoma cancer, we encourage you to share your story. Sharing your story can be such an inspiration to others who are dealing with sarcoma in their own life and remind us all of the urgency to find better treatments in order to make an impact on the devastation that sarcoma cancer brings. Let your experiences help others become involved with raising awareness!