Two words can change everything: Epitheliod Sarcoma.
Twenty years ago, Tom discovered a lump in the palm of his left hand. The diagnosis and treatment to follow were life-altering. Radiation has little effect on this type of tumor and, at the time of his diagnosis, available chemotherapy treatments would have wreaked havoc on his heart. The only logical option was amputation of the left hand and part of the forearm.
From then on, life would be a constant adjustment. Gone were the days of quickly lacing up his hiking boots. Hours of rehabilitation were needed to re-master even the simplest activities. And tossing his four grandchildren into the air with the same ease as the two sons he raised would forever be a fantasy.
Today, Tom is 68 years old and enjoys hiking, shag dancing, traveling, and reading with his wife of 44 years. Although he has had several scares over the past two decades, Levine Cancer Institute continues to give him and his family support and information to fuel his fight against cancer.
Tom remarks, “I am still very grateful for the medical treatment I got that has allowed me to live another 21 years after my cancer. I have participated in Walk for the Cure and have met some real great survivors. My cancer taught me to appreciate every day and to look at all the little things that make life special.”
Pictured: Tom with his wife and grandkids.