Dr. Stephen Comfort’s Story
In 1996 I discovered a lump growing on my left pubic bone and had it removed, only to discover that I had a rare form of cancer called liposarcoma. Exactly 3 years later the tumor returned to the same spot and I had it removed again. A few years passed and I was declared to be cancer free.
However, in 2011 a CAT scan revealed that several tumors were present at the same spot and deep within the left pelvic cavity. None of the surgeons at Kaiser felt confident in doing additional surgery, so I was referred to UCSF. On January 27, 2012, at UCSF Medical center, three tumors were removed after 10 hours of surgery which, due to the location of one of the tumors, damaged the femoral nerve so the left quadriceps muscles no longer function. I was in the hospital for 5 days. Then 2 days after returning home a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) developed in the left pelvis and thigh. This made my medical condition much worse, which has resulted in major circulation problems in my left leg. I continue to take Coumadin to prevent additional clots.
In the spring of 2012 I received 35 radiation treatments to prevent additional metastasis. As a result of the radiation many of the lymph vessels within the left groin and pelvis were destroyed, so now I have severe lymphedema in my left leg. In April 2013 new tumors were discovered and one was increasing in size in the left thigh. Additional surgery to that region was not an option, so I was referred to the Sarcoma Oncology Center in Santa Monica and began a clinical trial in July 2013. It was in Santa Monica that I met another patient who told me about Lazarex Cancer Foundation in Danville. So, when we returned to our home in Walnut Creek, I immediately contacted Tami Keeler and became one of their patients.
The trial ended in October 2013. The tumor in my thigh had shrunk only very slightly, however, as a result of the chemo I now had severe peripheral neuropathy. During this time I had several gallbladder attacks and another tumor was discovered in my right abdominal region. In November 2013, my gallbladder was removed along with the tumor, which was again, liposarcoma.