Finding hope in helping others after my wife’s death from synovial sarcoma

My late wife, Melissa, was diagnosed with stage IV synovial sarcoma — a rare type of soft tissue cancer — in January 2016. She died from complications of it on Sept. 11, 2017. But neither of us ever saw the point of asking, “Why me?” It just didn’t seem productive. Even if we could’ve come up with an answer, it wasn’t going to help us in any way, so we decided it wasn’t going to be a part of the conversation. Instead, we focused on what we could do. With sarcoma, it’s all about managing quality of life, so we tried to be as progressive as possible in deciding on Melissa’s treatment. We also set up a travel assistance fund for other adults with sarcoma, so that they could obtain a second opinion without financial hardship. Now that my wife is gone, I’m also keeping her memory alive for our two young sons. My wife’s synovial sarcoma diagnosis Synovial sarcoma usually occurs in arms or legs, but in Melissa’s case, it was in the pleural lining of her right lung. This type of cancer is usually found in young adults ages 15-40. Melissa was 37 when she was diagnosed. Synovial sarcoma is a silent cancer, in that there often aren’t any obvious symptoms. But in Melissa’s case, she woke up one night in October 2015 with pain on her right side. Our younger son was only two and a half at the time, so she thought she’d pulled a muscle in her back from carrying him around. She got a heating pad, took some ibuprofen and went back to...