The doctor got me in to his office two days after I contacted him and examined my abdomen. He told me that it was not normal and he wanted to have a CT scan done on the area. Two days after his office visit, I went to the hospital to have the CT scan done.
After I left the hospital, I was contacted by my doctor within an hour after I left the hospital. My doctor told me that the scan had basically concluded that I had a sarcoma. The doctor referred me to a sarcoma specialist in Portland, Oregon, to have her review my case.
Approximately one week after the CT scan, I was able to meet face-to-face with Dr. Katherine Morris, a surgeon who specializes in sarcoma treatment. Upon meeting with Dr. Morris, she told me that she wanted to do a biopsy on the tumor and then perform surgery shortly after if the tumor had not spread to other areas.
A week after meeting with Dr. Morris, a biopsy and chest scan were conducted and had concluded that the tumor was a low grade tumor and it had not spread to other areas. The tumor was then diagnosed as an extra skeletal chondrosarcoma. Dr. Morris set a surgery date one week after the biopsy results had been reviewed.
After the surgery was performed, I had to go through 27 radiation treatments that were all conducted on the area where the tumor was located. Dr. Marc Shray was the radiation oncologist who did the radiation treatment. He was also a sarcoma specialist who was located at the same hospital as Dr. Morris.
Once the radiation treatments were completed, I had to be checked every three months for the first year and every year after that until the five year mark to make sure the tumor did not come back.
It has since been seven years since I had surgery and radiation treatment and I have not had any problems with the sarcoma since. Since then, I have completed my master’s degree, got hired as a police officer, and married my wonderful wife.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by sarcoma cancer, we encourage you to share your story. Sharing your story can be such an inspiration to others who are dealing with sarcoma in their own life and remind us all of the urgency to find better treatments in order to make an impact on the devastation that sarcoma cancer brings. Let your experiences help others become involved with raising awareness!