Speakers: Larry Conrad, Sarcoma Patient
The science, technology and expertise of my health care team was there for me at every step of the journey.
Larry Conrad: The most surprising part of my whole cancer journey is that I was ever diagnosed with cancer in the first place. I never thought of myself as really having a risk for cancer or developing cancer.
Larry Conrad: Three years ago last week, I went to my primary care physician about a lump that I had been feeling in my thigh. And I had an MRI and then she called me, and I was absolutely stunned with what she had to say. I had never heard of cancer in your leg, your thigh, your hamstring, however you wanna put it, and to make a long story, very, very short. My sarcoma diagnosis connected me with Dr. Deming, a radiation oncologist and ultimately with Dr. Miller, my orthopedic surgeon at the University of Iowa. I had 25 radiation treatments and then doctor Miller removed the tumor in September of that year. I've had two lung surgeries since that time and I recently started immunotherapy. Physically, the most difficult times for me were the months leading up to that first surgery on my leg. Walking was difficult, sitting was difficult. I stopped driving, it was so painful. But once the surgery took place, I began to feel a lot better and my physical therapy was outstanding and really helped me to get back to where I was before I was diagnosed with cancer and before I had surgery. I have a little bit of range of motion issue, but really, I can do everything that I did before my diagnosis and most of the time I just feel fantastic. The difference is I appreciate feeling that way more than I ever did before. There's a tendency to take some of that for granted, and I don't feel like I do that anymore. And I can live much more in the moment, and to enjoy the life that I do have that's been given to me. I would not be here today if it wasn't for the science and the technology and the expertise of my health care team at every step of the way. And they have treated me as a person, not just cancer cells, but all of me, realizing that these things can be tiring, they can be difficult, they can be emotional, spiritual, mental, and they've been attentive to all of that with me as I've gone on this journey. And I've been helped all along the way too by friends and coworkers, neighbors. They've been helpful not only to me, but also to my family and the same with my health care team, they've been very attentive to that. It's not just me, but also my family shares the journey with me. So, I could never say enough about the care that I've received and all of the people who have accompanied me on this journey and helped me to enjoy the life that I'm able to enjoy today.