Donna’s Story: My story starts in 2014. My husband and I were in the process of renewing our life insurance. My broker was on me about getting an MRI on my leg. If Mike Spena had not pushed me to get my MRI done, I would definitely not be writing my story right now. The MRI revealed a lump which was then biopsied. On August 6, 2014, I received a call that would change my life forever. Out of the conversation, I heard only three words: cancer, sarcoma, and amputation. I had two full weeks of chemotherapy (40 hours a week). I was due for a third week of chemo. However, I could and would not do a third week. I had lost 30 pounds by that point. Unfortunately, chemo did not work. I underwent surgery to get the lump removed not knowing if they would be able to save my leg. Seven and a half hours later, a nine-inch rod and a new knee were put into my leg. My leg was saved on November 7, 2014. As a precaution, I did 30 days of radiation in hopes the cancer would not come back and/or travel to somewhere else in my body.
I had hoped that was the end of my story. Unfortunately, within six months the sarcoma had returned in my left lung. The top left lobe was removed on October 7, 2015, just 11 months after the tumor in my leg was removed. Hoping that was the end of it and wishing it would just leave me alone, the sarcoma took over the rest of the left lobe within a month. In January 2016, I went in for extra chemo. I lasted only three days. I was sent home and my family was told to make me comfortable. There was nothing the doctors could do. While I was at home, I felt sorry for myself. One day out of the blue, I decided to shake myself off and I told my tumor, “No way, you’re not going to win!” By April, I was back to work full time and I have been back ever since. I am off all pain medications by my doing and only taking one chemo pill in the hopes of a miracle. I’m loving life with my family and friends.
Words of Wisdom: Doctors are not always right and I’m an example of that in every way. Even though you may think something is nothing, don’t chance it and get it checked out. Prove the doctors wrong like I’m doing now and hope to be for a long time.
Role of the Sarcoma Foundation of America: The SFA is an amazing organization that funds research studies to find a cure for sarcoma. I hope the organization continues to organize more 5Ks (Race to Cure Sarcoma race series) to help those who are fighting this cancer.