Stage IV Cancer Patient Continues to Swim Thanks to Bay Area Orthopaedic Oncologist
CLEARWATER, Fla. – March 10, 2016 –For 16 years, Tampa resident, Thomas Casey has been jumping in the water and swimming a marathon to raise money for victims of cancer. His efforts have helped pay for countless bills, making life a little easier for patients going through the rigors of treatment. Casey never expected to find himself in their shoes. Until one day in 2012, when he doubled-over in pain.
“I was out in the yard throwing the ball with my dog, when I felt pain in my left side. It was so bad, that I couldn’t even reach down and pick up the ball. I went to see a gastroendocrenolgoist and he found my left kidney loaded with tumors,” said Casey.
Casey was diagnosed with Stage IV renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer. It quickly began spreading to his bones.
“I walked out to open the trunk to my car one day, and my arm snapped in two.”
That’s when Casey met orthopaediconcologist, David Cheong, M.D. He removed a tumor on Casey’s left arm, and inserted a 10-and-a-half inch plate to replace his humerus, the upper-arm bone. A year later, Casey had the same procedure done on his right arm.
“Humeral shaft tumors can be particularly devastating because they run the length of the bone. Rods are used to provide both mechanical and rotational stability, but patients generally need extensive therapy to regain normal function,” said Dr. Cheong, a surgeon with Orthopaedic Associates of West Florida in Clearwater.
The surgery is so delicate, that most people lose complete use of their arms for at least a short period. Casey’s recovery went so well that, two years later, he’s swimming a mile every other day.
“If you look at me now, you can’t even tell that I have rebuilt arms. When I tell people that I have rods in both arms they are totally amazed,” said Casey.
Casey credits Dr. Cheong with not only saving his arms, but also, his spirit.
“Cancer takes everything out of you. Swimming is my therapy, and if that had been taken away from me, I wouldn’t have the attitude that I have right now dealing with cancer. That scares me. What Dr. Cheong has done for me is beyond words.”
About Orthopaedic Associates of West Florida:
At Orthopaedic Associates of West Florida, our family of board-certified physicians have been taking care of bay area patients for more than 50 years. We merge state-of-the-art technology with unsurpassed physician skills. OAWF provides patients with complete care offering two
in-house MRI locations, X-ray at each of our four offices, Bone Densitometry, EMG/NCV, Physical and Hand Therapy and an Orthotics/Prosthetics department. We have four convenient locations to serve patients across the entire bay area.