His cancer story…
In July 2015 Robbie started having minor leg pain. A few weeks passed, pain was still present, so he went to a doctor at an Urgent Care center to have an x-ray. After a series of tests (and a few doctors later) it was confirmed that he has rare bone cancer located in his right tibia called osteosarcoma.
His treatment started in the fall of 2015 in Oklahoma City and directed by MD Anderson. He had chemo locally (Oklahoma City) September 2015-December 2015. His surgery was performed at MD Anderson in Houston on December 2015. (limb sparing surgery) They replaced his knee and part of his tibia with titanium. They removed the tumor from his leg and it showed good response to chemo treatments with 98% necrosis or tumor death. This cancer is very aggressive, so even with good response, he had to continue with chemo treatments.
Each round of chemo involved a week in the hospital with chemo around the clock and then two weeks at home. His chemo got delayed multiple times due to low blood counts. He made multiple trips to the ER for low blood counts.
We moved his treatment to Houston due to complications he was having, so they could monitor him more closely. He had complications with low blood counts and they were concerned about his bone marrow function. We rented an apartment a couple miles from the med center in Houston, while keeping our house in a Oklahoma.
Robbie finished treatment at MD Anderson and had no sign of disease, so we moved back to Oklahoma on 6/29/16. He still had complications with his leg and continued PT. He also needed another leg surgery to help with bending his leg. He went back to MD Anderson every three months for a total body scan and lung scan.
Robbie got hearing aids due to a significant hearing loss from being on chemo. He started working part time remotely in computer programming from our home. He was still very weak and thin from a year of chemo. He also interviewed with Google in California. Sadly by the time they offered him a job his cancer was back.
In June 2017, his scans at MD Anderson showed tumors starting to grow in his lungs. At that time, they felt he only had 5 years left due to the poor prognosis once osteosarcoma spreads to the lungs. We rented an apartment in the museum district in Houston. They started aggressive chemo treatments, which he spent in the hospital due to the side effects. He also went to the ER often due to low blood counts. There were times, when his treatment would keep the tumors from growing and then it would stop working and they would start him on a different chemo. All the treatments had multiple side effects. In December 2017, he had lung surgery and the tumors removed from one of his lungs.
In January 2018, we took him to Costa Rica thanks to many donations and took him to the Sloth Sanctuary, which he loved. In February, we moved permanently to the Houston area and sold our home in Oklahoma.
His treatment continued. He had many ups and downs, but he kept fighting. In August 2018, fluid started to form in his lungs. At first they thought he had pneumonia, but later they realized the fluid was due to his tumors. They continued aggressive treatments and for awhile it looked like it was working, but then he started to decline and the cancer starting spreading to his other organs and fluid kept filling up in his lungs. He had to go to the ER multiple times due to difficulty breathing from the fluid in his lungs.
In February 2019, we took him to the ER due to shortness of breath and he was very weak. When they realized his lungs were filled with fluid just days after taking the fluid off, they decided to put a tube in both lungs. This was painful and difficult for Robbie. Although he said a few more things to us, he was miserable and for the first time very unhappy. It was terrible to see and heartbreaking. Less than 24 hours later, we sadly lost him on 2/12/2019. We buried him by his grandparents in Platteville, WI.
Here is a link to his obituary.