I had knee issues from the time I was old enough to remember. I suffered from horrible pain in my right knee all through my junior high and high school years. I had a sensitive spot, that even the slightest touch to, caused me excruciating pain.
I had begun going to doctors in early high school because, as an active teen participating in cheerleading and softball, it was becoming more difficult to handle the pain. Several years and several surgeries (unnecessary I assume) later, I still had no relief.
I then married and had my first two children. I again decided to seek out medical help for the pain in my knee. Now the pain was causing a dilapidation of the muscle in my leg. It was becoming increasingly difficult for me to lift my leg in order to drive a car. A doctor decided that the solution was to have my knee cap completely removed. Due to the chronic pain that I was in, my husband was all for that idea. I almost consented until I asked one more question. I asked the doctor what the diagnosis was. I wanted to know what was wrong with the knee cap. His reply was that he didn't know but thought this radical surgery MIGHT help. I then declined to have the surgery and went back home.
A year or so later, my daughter who was not quite two at the time fell off of my bed and broke her collarbone. The pediatrician recommended that I take her to an orthopedic doctor. I began to tell the doctor about my issue and he ordered me an MRI. He located a mass on the MRI and scheduled surgery to remove it. After the surgery he assured me that the tumor was benign because it was something he had never seen before.
Two days later the call came in. I was instructed to see my doctor at 9:00 a.m. the next morning and was told not to come alone. My orthopedic doctor gave me my diagnosis with instructions to report to the University of Chicago Hospital the next day for an appointment with an oncologist.
The next several weeks were a blur. After many tests, I had a second surgery on March 6, 1996 to remove bone, soft tissue, and skin. My knee was reconstructed with my calf muscle and a skin graft was performed to cover my knee. After a five day hospital stay, much physical therapy, and a six week course of radiation, I have been cancer free ever since.
I then went on (against the wishes of many family members) to have two more beautiful children. The very much planned daughter that I gave birth to in 1998 was truly the breath of fresh air that I needed to fully recover. To this day she is an individual that beats to her own spectacular drum. I truly believe she was meant to heal me. A few years after her birth, I was again blessed with an unplanned pregnancy that presented me with another beautiful daughter.
I am now the mother of a 21 year old son, a 19 year old daughter (both of whom suffered through my disease with me), a true gift from God…a 15 year old daughter, and an accidental blessing…a 12 year old daughter.
I was a 29 year old mother of two when I was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma. I am now a thriving 47 year old mother of four. Life is good.