Trumpet player striking ‘blows’ against blood cancer

Ryan Anthony has always spoken through his trumpet. Then, suddenly, his trumpet was telling him that something was wrong. Anthony, a member of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra whose musical skills have taken him around the world, was getting chest and back pains when he performed.

“That brought me in to the doctor,” Anthony said. “It was getting in the way of doing my job.”

Initial X-rays came back negative, as did more follow-up tests, but the symptoms continued. A type of blood cancer called multiple myeloma was a possibility, but it occurs so rarely in someone of Anthony’s young age that he was initially only tested “just to help us rule it out and sleep well at night.”

Then, on Thanksgiving week in 2012, doctors at Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center confirmed that Anthony did have multiple myeloma. He and his wife visited six cancer centers around the country to ensure the best treatment.

“We ultimately came back to Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas because of the staff, the doctors, and because this is where we felt the most comfortable,” Anthony said.

In April 2013, Anthony received a stem cell transplant at Baylor Sammons Cancer Center, followed by a maintenance program of treatment. After three months, he was back at work, “and I’ve been able to perform full time since then,” he said.

“We ultimately came back to Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas because of the staff, the doctors, and because this is where we felt the most comfortable,” Anthony said.

While he was recovering, Anthony’s friends in the trumpet world were calling to wish him well. A joke about launching a concert called “Cancer Blows” became serious, and soon Anthony was planning the event in earnest.

In March 2015, Arturo Sandoval, Doc Severinsen and many other renowned trumpet players joined Anthony in Dallas for “an incredible evening,” with all proceeds going to support cancer research. The Ryan Anthony Foundation is now planning a series of “Cancer Blows” concerts in Dallas, Los Angeles and more.

“In the past few years, multiple myeloma has gone from a terminal to a treatable disease, and there are some even better therapies on the horizon,” Anthony said.

“These concerts are about celebrating how far we’ve come, and reminding everyone of what still needs to be done. Music to me is the perfect way to convey those emotions.”

Learn more and find tickets for an upcoming Cancer Blows concert near you.

1 thought on “Trumpet player striking ‘blows’ against blood cancer”

  1. Pingback: Taking the stage to share my cancer story, because Cancer Blows! | Scrubbing In

Leave a Reply

Trumpet player striking ‘blows’ against blood cancer