I’ve never been a big fan of shooting weapons, blowing things up, and jumping out of planes but I surely felt the pull of my nation on 11 Sept 2001. I enlisted six months after that awful day. It was May of 2002 when I officially entered service. I was a single, twenty six year old college grad without a real and proper clue of how or why the world worked. By the end of my five year term in the military, I had become a confident man who had married my high school sweetheart and we’d been blessed enough to have a healthy and beautiful two year old boy, Alexander.


When I think about it,...

It was July of 2012.  Our family was in a very good, solid place.  It had been five years since I was honorably discharged from the military.  I was focusing on my family and growing a small business. Paula was as smart and beautiful as ever, happily employed as a teacher.  We even had time to add our precious Sofia to the clan.

 

I first noticed “it” as two tiny bumps on my upper arm (what I would later learn was my humerus) while taking a shower. I paid “it” very little attention. By this point, I was wrestling Alex on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, wrestling, tickl...

My sonogram showed that “it” had vascular development. An MRI was ordered but they had no available appointments for two weeks. I couldn’t get in right away and we had a feeling this was serious. At my father’s suggestion we headed to the Cleveland Clinic the following day. Something was amiss.

 

It was Friday and 5 days had gone by since my visit to my PCP. My father and I saw a couple doctors at the clinic who were confident that this was probably a “non-issue”. As a precaution, an MRI was completed that day. We left the Cleveland Clinic that evening, feeling positive and flew back hom...

Ewing’s Sarcoma is the second most common type of bone cancer and it’s a beast. It’s high grade and highly aggressive.

 

Upon diagnosis, even if only one tumor shows up (localized), Ewing’s is considered to be micro-metastatic.  This means there are metastasis or tiny tumors that are too small to be detected by any kind of modern machines in other areas of the body.

 

Ewing’s is a monster in every sense of the word. Even with the best treatments and/or surgeries by the best doctors, death is always lurking. Sometimes, this cancer invades the body quickly and the treatments are unable to sl...

Localized/Metastatic/Recurrent 

 

Localized upon diagnosis- 60% to 75% depending on a multitude of factors and what literature is read (5 year event-free survival)

 

Metastatic upon diagnosis- 20-30% (5 year event free survival)

 

Recurrent Ewing’s Sarcoma- 10-15% (5 year event free survival)

 

Dr. G. Thomas Budd of the Cleveland Clinic who specializes in Ewing’s Sarcoma has been my main oncologist throughout this ordeal. I was, and continue to be, extremely fortunate to be under his care.

 

Dr. Christopher Chay of Cancer Care of Western Carolinas has been my local oncologist & was in charge of keeping me alive during the tail end of my chemo when my body started to shut down.

 

Dr. John Healey of Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan is my surgeon.  Dr. Healey is considered by some to be the top bone cancer surgeon in the world.

 

Dr. Erin Murphy of the Cleveland Clinic was my rad...

My treatment plan consisted of 14 rounds of chemotherapy that would alternate every 14 days, a limb sparing surgery and 25 radiation treatments.

 

My first chemotherapy treatment (7 in total) consisted of the  following drugs:  (The year in parentheses refers to the year of FDA approval)

Vincristine (1963)

Doxorubicin (1984)

Cyclophosphamide (1959)

 

Two weeks later I would stay in the hospital for five days and chemo was administered daily. Those chemo drugs were:

Ifosfamide (1988)

Etoposide (1983)

 

Midway through chemo treatment, I had limb salvage surgery. As soon as possible I restarted...

Blood transfusions: +/- 5 transfusions

Neutropenia: a condition with an abnormally low level of white blood cells which results in a zero immune system.  This occurred in 10 out of 14 of my chemo treatments and lead to the majority of hospital stays.

Influenza while neutropenic  (no immune system)

-        Pneumonia while neutropenic

C-diff  twice while neutropenic

Deep Vein Thrombosis x 2

I had 24 cavities due to treatment.

Bone Pain

Trouble Sleeping

Mouth Sores

Shortness of breath

Hair Loss

Increase in sweating

Nausea

Constipation

Blurred vision

Difficulty walking

Joint pain

Bone pain

Pain in testicles

Agitation

Hallucinations

Mental depression

Trouble sleeping

Unconsciousness

Mouth sores

Lip sores

Fast or irregular heart beat

Heart failure

Shortness of breath

Swelling of the feet and/or lower extremities

Hair loss

Sterilization

Headache

Increase in sweating

Nausea

Vomiting

Bleeding gums

Blood in urine

Constipation

Chest pain

Ulcers

Confusion

Difficulty swallowing

Pounding in ears

Hives

Weight loss.

Bone Necrosis

Lymphedema (Radiation induced)

Secondary Cancers due to treatment

Neuropathy (numbness)

Liver damage

Kidney damage/failure

Heart damage/failure

Sterility

Osteoporosis

Mobility Issues due to surgery and/or amputation

Lung Difficulties

Emotional Trauma

PTSD

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Chris Carson's Story
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P.O. Box 2212

Asheville, NC 28802

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