There are many memories in life that are unforgetable, and most of them tend to be good memories. Like engagements, weddings, and birthdays. Some memories are not so great, like illness and death. Today marks the 1 Year Anniversary of officially being diagnosed with a Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor, in plain terms Sarcoma.
I will never forget the phone call I received from the surgeon who removed the mass from my arm. It was about 4:45, one child was napping and the other was awake, I was putting dinner together, and Matt would be home in the next 30 minutes. It was like every other cold winter day here in Western PA. Well, my world got turned upside down, with the news of being diagnosed with cancer. I was in shock, and forgot many details of the phone call and actually asked the doctor to repeat himself. I remember I was shaking as tears started to roll down my face. I am assuming I was the last call of the day by that doctor, and with good reason, who wants to tell a 29 year old with 2 sons, not even 1 and 3 they have cancer. Yet alone, a rare and aggressive cancer?
So today marks a day that I will never live down, and I don't think anyone can understand, unless you have gone through something similar. So I had to be strong! I had no choice. I have a husband and two little boys who deserve to have a wife and mom to grow old with. I had to be strong in every sense of the word. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My faith has grown stronger since 2/10/14 and I realized when my faith is strong, the other 3 fall into place. I share my story in hopes to inspire or help someone to be strong in times of weakness and doubt. I hope my story helps others to recognize this disease and learn that early detection in key. I hope to inspire people to take control of their health and well being, so that changes that occur with your body can be easily detected. My tumor wasn't very large, but was considered Stage 2. I know if I had not taken control of my health, I may not have discovered the tumor as early as I did. The tumor was not even an inch, but I know the 1/2 inch I lost off my arms through my health journey, led to early detection.
What is Sarcoma?
Cancerous (malignant) tumors of the connective tissues are called “sarcomas”. The term sarcoma comes from a Greek word meaning fleshy growth. Sarcoma arises in the connective tissue of the body. Normal connective tissue include, fat, blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles, deep skin tissues, and cartilage. Sarcomas are divided into two main groups, bone sarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas. They are further sub-classified based on the type of presumed cell of origin found in the tumor. They all share certain microscopic characteristics and have similar symptoms. Sarcomas can develop in children and adults. For children under 20 approximately 15 percent of cancer diagnosis are sarcomas. Although rare, there are approximately 14,000 new cases of sarcoma diagnosed each year in the United States. In general sarcomas are divided into the large groups of soft tissue sarcoma and bone sarcomas.
(taken from: http://sarcomaalliance.org/what-you-need-to-know/what-is-sarcoma/)
How does one detect Soft Tissue Sarcoma?
Signs of soft tissue sarcoma include the following:
While I am blessed to say I am in remission. So many others are not so lucky. Let's stop this vicious cycle, because I know that early detection is the only reason why I am in remission. When they tested my tissues, the tumor was active, and in the process of spreading. So it is by God's grace that we got it out when we did!
Welcome to my Blog
I am Christina Thomas. I have decided to take time off from teaching and be a stay at home wife and mother to my two boys. Seasonally, I run a local basketball program.
Coach ID: 278464
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