Tom Grimes Tom Grimes

First post: Nov 25, 2014 Latest post: Sep 16, 2021
Tom's story: 

In terms of cancer survival, I guess you would consider me an old war horse. 27 years ago, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I can tell you that having cancer at 28 years old with a young wife, two preschool age children, and a brand new job, well it's like getting a solid punch to the stomach. It took all of the fight out of me. But after 4 months of intense radiation treatments, I started getting better. Davis, my now 28 year-old son, learned to walk in my radiation oncologist's waiting room, much to the delight of all of those "old folks" with cancer who were there for appointments and treatment, too.

I was told way back then that first I could develop Hodgkin's again but 5 years passed, and I was declared "cured!" Then a couple more years passed, and the doctors stopped worrying about a risk of leukemia. I was told that I was only at a very low risk for hard tumors in the lungs or liver-- oh, and something called radiation-induced sarcoma, but it was really rare.

In 2013, I noticed a lump developing under my right collar bone, and my right arm sometimes felt like I had pitched a double-header against the Yankees the night before. Ugh! So off we went to the doctor to see if I had a torn rotator cuff. Oh no-- I had cancer again. This time the biopsy revealed that it was a high-grade radiation-associated pleomorphic cytoma-- aggressively-growing soft tissue cancer called a sarcoma. After excision and resection, we decided to sweat out the waiting until the next round of pet scans and blood tests. Praise the Lord! It hadn't returned!

In the meantime, Amy was introduced to the MD Anderson Sarcoma Center by a friend. After confirming with our local oncologist that "these guys see hundreds of sarcoma patients a week," Amy set up an appointment for us.

Early in November 2014, we returned to Houston for our fourth checkup. Regrettably, our news was not good-- our very aggressive little sarcoma had returned. So here we go back to Houston for the rest of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 (that's right-- Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's too) for six rounds of chemo, followup surgery, and yes, more tests. But this time, I took that punch in the stomach without a flinch! Well, not a big flinch anyway. And thank the Lord that God, my church back home, friends, and walk beside us down this long road called cancer survival.

And now my cancer story takes a strange twist and continues...

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