Strikes Against Sarcoma
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My Story
 
For me and my family 2012 was filled with some new challenges.  After a trip to the Emergency Room due to back pain, I actually thought that I was having a heart attack.  As a part of the E.R. Doctor’s diagnostic work, a CT Scan revealed a growth in my upper chest, between my upper left lung and heart.  A possible diagnosis was discussed. It was thought to be my Thymus Gland.At this point, after discussing the situation with my family and primary Doctor, we thought it would be best to get another opinion from another Thoracic Surgeon.  After following the growth for some period of time, my Surgeon noticed a small change and decided the best approach would be to remove the growth.


During all of this time, keep in mind, I was undergoing a lot of diagnostic monitoring, CT Scans, PET Scans, X-Rays. The day came in late March for the surgery.  Surgery went well, but there were some issues trying to remove the tumor from my pericardium (sack that encloses your heart).  Approx. 75% was removed along with tissue samples.  Pathology revealed that the tumor was in fact malignant and of an interesting type. It was classified as a Synovial Sarcoma.

Typically, these are found in joints, such as knees or elbows. So there I sat in the Surgeon’s office, listening to this message that I have a malignant tumor and its occurrence is very rare.  All kinds of thoughts were going through my mind:
 
Am I going to die…
 
How long do I have to live…

Did Carolyn ask me to bring home some iced tea…

OMG, I have two children…

What did he just tell me…
 
After discussing the findings further, the surgeon informed me of his plan.  It was to go back in, remove the tumor from the pericardium, rebuild the pericardium and possibly remove my upper left lung lobe.  An invasive cancer preventative surgery was planned.  Surgery day came in May and after about 7 hours, it was completed and  successful.  Currently, I am cancer-free. My health is monitored closely.During my recovery, I was constantly thinking about how lucky I was and that I really need to help others who are also faced with this situation.  During that time I thought it would be best for me to form a charitable organization and assist as many people as I can. We have now formed “Strikes Against Sarcoma”.  We are working to educate, support and assist people and families touched by this illness.
 
If there is one thing I learned from all of this, “This happened to me, so I can help others

 

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Strikes Against Sarcoma | www.strikesagainstsarcoma.org | P.O. Box 280 Adelphia, NJ 07710 | 732-866-9088