Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
Tumor Site: Thigh
Age at time of Diagnosis: 16 years
Date of Diagnosis: 1983
Location: Kentucky, USA
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston TX and U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Dr. Arnold Leonard and Dr. Lowell Stanley
Eric was diagnosed at age 15. He was a beautiful, smart, healthy, talented young man with no fear. Even throughout 10 years with over 35 surgeries, extensive radiation and all chemos know at that time, he lived life to it's hilt. He graduated from high school, from college with honors, sang, played the piano, hiked his beloved TN mountains, secured a job, got married to the love of his life, and bought a house. He traveled extensively and never, ever gave up. He lived more in 25 years than many people do in 50 years. He made cancer easier on his loved ones by being up-beat and optimistic. He was one of a kind, and lives in my heart forever.
Eric had initial surgery on his thigh to remove the tumor. At this early diagnosis, cancer had already metastasized to both lungs. After a year of various chemotherapy treatments, he had surgery on both lungs yearly to remove tiny pea sized tumors for five years. As the growth was beginning to slow down, a large tumor was discovered near his heart and this was successfully removed. Within a year, small tumors were discovered on his brain, and he had three craniotomies. Eventually, the tumors were growing at a rate that proved to be fatal, and Eric passed away in May, 1993. He was blind for the last 4 months of his life, but still was a burning beacon for all of us who surrounded him with love.
We still count Eric's beautiful wife as our daughter and keep in close contact with her. She was at his side through the last five years and her courage and love kept him safe and strong. She is one of a kind.
Even though it's been twenty years, as a mother the loss never gets easier. He and his brother were (and are) the loves of my life. His older brother looked up to his 'little' brother during those years, and they became closer than most brothers. As I see his close friends and see how they've grown into manhood, with jobs, wives, children, etc. I wonder what he would have been doing now...what would he look like, which path would he have followed professionally, would his personality have changed, or would he still be the amazing, courageous, funny and slightly 'edgy' young man that he was at 25.
I miss your voice, your presence, your ideas, your always late gifts for Mother's Day. I miss you, dearest Eric...my youngest, my blue-eyed boy.
Click Here to Return to Faces of Sarcoma Home Page