October of 2010 Terrance underwent a thoracotomy at Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Medical Center in Houston to remove a tennis ball sized tumor in his chest. The diagnosis of this procedure starts our journey into the complicated but hopeful world of cancer. The official diagnosis was and currently still stands as Pleomorphic Liposarcoma.
Terrance and Steve, lifelong friend, during fight #1.
The high level definition of PLS is that it is the rarest subtype of liposarcoma (soft tissue form of sarcoma) is an aggressive, fast growing tumor located usually in the deep soft tissues of the lower and upper extremities. This accounts for 1/2,000,000,000 diagnosis of cancer. The only way to treat sarcoma in any form is to remove the tumor.
Dec 2010 Terrance underwent a very advanced form of Radiation called Proton Therapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston with its completion in Feb 2011. Life went on as usual until Sept 2012 when a tumor was discovered and again a very complicated surgery was scheduled and completed that removed a tumor wrapped around his spinal cord during Oct 2012 at Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center. After this surgery there were many bouts of hospital stays. During Terrance's good days, he was busy making everyone else laugh doing fundraising comedy shows for the Boys and Girls Club of Pensacola, with profits going to cancer fighters.
Terrance showing off his battle wound after surgery.
In Feb 2013 Terrance made the move to Kansas City from the south in order to start a new journey with his wife Megan. Megan and Terrance dated over the years and shared all of this cancer journey together and on June 9th 2013 they were married in Kansas City where they now live. Terrance received a CT scan every 3 months to monitor the growth of any tumors.
Terrance and Megan on their wedding day. June 9th, 2013.
We had been keeping our eye on a spot that was believed to be a pocket of fluid or reccurent disease. In our Sept scan the spot had grown and a biopsy was scheduled at MD Anderson in Houston, TX. The results of the biopsy were not what we wanted to hear but were prepared to deal with the, the cancer had returned and came back with its fiery horns sounding. This marks the 3rd reoccurance of PLS and it was time to try a different approach. The decision between our oncologist at KU Cancer Center in KC and our oncologist at MD Anderson in Houston was to do 6 rounds of cheomotherapy to see if we could shrink the tumor as well as see if it would spread to his lungs in this process.
Terrance during Chemo round #1.
To let you know the size of what we are dealing with is the tumor measuring 6cm and is wrapped ¾ of the way around his aorta, so you can see why this is not just a normal tumor removal.
We need to see if we can shrink the tumor away from the aorta to not only make the surgery easier but also more successful of complete tumor recession. On Dec 9th we started cycle 1 of chemo and on the 16th of December we landed in the hospital where Terrance has lost 20 pounds, 16 days in the hospital, having a feeding tube placed as the tumor is pressing on some vital organs that are affecting how he digests food and we cannot risk anymore weight loss. Once 3 21 day cycles of chemo are completed a ct scan will be done to see if the tumor has shrunk, grown, or stayed the same.
Terrance and Megan in the hospital on Christmas 2013.
If it has shrunk, or stayed the same 3 more 21 day cycles of chemo will be completed. After 6 cycles are completed surgery will be scheduled and we will remove this tumor at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. This happens all while Terrance works on resting, relaxing, and getting better as Megan manages her career right by his side from their hospital room, manages things at home, makes sure their children are taken care, and supporting her husband every step of the way.
As you can see, this wonderful family needs all the help they can get, with positive thoughts, love, the hospital bills pilling up, and the day to day necessitates continuing as they do for all of us. Any contribution would be much appreciated.
Thank you for your support and may 2014 bring some health and happiness to us all.
Xo-Refina and Justin Willis, close family friends of the Hill Family
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