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Pathology

Robert R. Cawley, D.O.

Dover, NH 03802

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07/08/2019

Seacoast Cancer 5K: David's Longest Mile

David Terlemezian didn’t set any speed records at the 2018 Seacoast Cancer 5K: just participating was enough of a rush. “I did the one-mile walk in a post-surgical boot,” explains Terlemezian, who was recovering from a series of procedures to remove a cancerous tumor from his right foot. Terlemezian, a captain in the Dover Police Department, walked as part of “Captain T and the Dover PD,” a team formed by his wife, Carol Ann Jensen.

This was the second time Terlemezian participated in the Seacoast Cancer 5K. He first ran in 2017 in solidarity with his father, who was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a type of brain tumor. “My dad lived in Massachusetts, but I wanted to do something to support cancer treatment locally. Everyone knows someone affected by cancer,” he notes.

Terlemezian found the experience uplifting. “I’ve done a few road races around town. The Seacoast Cancer 5K is the most inspiring of them all. The power of positivity is on full display,” he says. Sadly, Terlemezian’s father lost his battle with glioblastoma. Terlemezian committed to running the race again in 2018 in memory of his father—not knowing that when the time came, he himself would be a cancer patient.

“I noticed a lump on the top of my right foot sometime in the fall of 2017. It was down near my toes and about the size of an almond,” he remembers. “It didn’t hurt. I kept an eye on it to see if it got bigger, but I didn’t worry too much.” At his annual physical in April 2018, Terlemezian showed the lump to his primary care physician who referred him to Dr. Mark Geppert, an orthopedic surgeon at Wentworth Health Partners Seacoast Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. On June 25, Terlemezian learned the biopsy results: the lump was a spindle cell sarcoma, a very rare type of soft-tissue cancer. He was referred to Massachusetts General Hospital’s sarcoma unit, where he underwent two surgeries over the summer.

“Meanwhile, while all of that was happening, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to run in the Seacoast Cancer 5K,” Terlemezian recalls. That’s when his wife stepped in and started a team with her co-workers at the Strafford County District Attorney’s Office—one he was ultimately able to join. “We raised about $10,000,” he says, proudly.

The news on Terlemezian’s health is good: his foot has now fully healed, and his every-three-month scans to date show no evidence of cancer. Still, he’s happy to share his story. “I hope it helps someone else with prevention,” says Terlemezian, who spoke at the breakfast prior to the 2018 race. “And I hope because of the Seacoast Cancer 5K, more people are able to get superb cancer care right here, in our community.”

To learn more about the Seacoast Cancer 5K, or to register for this year’s race on Sunday, September 22, visit SeacoastCancer5K.org.

 

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