I had started Hormone therapy in January 2010. In February I noticed that I was gaining weight and bloating in the abdominal area. I took it as a side effect of the hormones. Finally in May I called my gynecologist. He said to stop taking the hormones for a month to see if I get better. By June it had not gotten any better so I called my family doctor. He sent me for an ultrasound of the abdomen. The results were that I had abdominal gas and they couldn’t see anything. Told me to take Gas-X and they were referring me to a digestive disease doctor. But I couldn’t get in to see him for another 5 weeks. After 2 weeks, I called my family doctor on a Monday and told a little white lie – I had pain. Monday evening I had a CAT Scan, Tuesday got the results of a tumor, Wednesday was at a surgeon, Thursday the surgeon referred me to an Oncologist, and Friday morning I was down in Philadelphia seeing Dr Arthur Staddon at the Pennsylvania Hospital being told I had Liposarcoma. The following week I had a chest CAT and a biopsy.
In August 2010 I was in the hospital having a 42cm/14 pound tumor removed from my abdomen along with my right kidney. Recovery was much harder than I ever thought it would be. My oncologist followed up with chest/abdomen/pelvic CAT scans every 3 months. In May 2011 I was feeling different after I ate. I saw my Digestive disease doctor and he performed an EGD at the end of May. I had my next set of CAT scans the first week in June. On the very same day, I had the call that my EGD was clear and the other call was that my CAT showed another tumor measuring 10 cm. So June 2011 I had surgery. This surgery was much easier and recovery was quicker. Back to CAT scans every 4 months.
February 2012 I got the dreaded call. My CAT scan shows another reocurrance of a tumor measuring 10cm. So March 2012 I had my third surgery in 20 months. This time I lost my gallbladder along with the tumor. With my tumors growing back so quickly, Dr Staddon decided to try radiation, which there are no statistics that this will help.
I decided to have my radiation treatment at the Reading Hospital, close to where I live. So for 8 weeks I went through radiation. I got so nauseous from the radiation. It took 3 different medicines until they could control my nausea the best they could. I also gained 20 pounds because the only food that would take away the taste were salty carbs- crackers, pretzels, etc.
July 2012 I had the worst scare of my life. The result of my July CAT scan showed that a tumor was back. This was Friday afternoon. So I went all weekend thinking I will be having a 4th surgery. They compared the scan to a clean one from October instead of the preoperative scan in February. Dr Haas called the lump on the scan as “post-operative collateral damage.”
I just had my last scan January 31. It was clean. It also showed that the “collateral damage” has shrunk 50% to only 1.5cm. I don’t have to have another scan until the end of June. I am confident that I will not need surgery in 2013.
I have to thank my daughters, Jessica and Nicole, and my husband, John. I don’t know how I would have made it through all of this without their support.