Friday, August 4, 2023

15 years cancer-free today--August 4, 2023! Still alive and kickin'!

15 years ago today, on August 4, 2008, I had surgery to remove an ALMOST 5cm high grade, not-otherwise-specified, undifferentiated spindle-cell soft tissue sarcoma from the top of my left calf. It was truly a miracle that I found it as early as I did; it went from a "smooshy nothing" to a large marble size within just a few weeks. It never hurt. Soft-tissue sarcoma is a very rare and deadly one, (less than 1% of all cancers) and they originally thought mine was synovial sarcoma, an even worse one. Two weeks after my surgery they told me they had ruled out synovial sarcoma but didn't know WHAT I had because my aggressively growing spindle-cell tumor didn't match any of the then-49-known subtypes. YIPPEE!! The good news was that I didn't need chemo, "just" radiation, which was a horrendous ordeal in itself--2nd degree burns that didn't heal for almost 6 months. And I found out later they didn't do chemo on me because it DOESN'T WORK for what I had. Glad I didn't know that at the time... Well, God wasn't finished with me yet because I'm still here and cancer-free! 

Thanks to all who prayed me through that time. 💝 It still seems surreal. 

My wonderful surgeon, Dr. Shervin Oskouei, told me not to make too much of blogs like mine that just stopped at some point and were never updated--it didn't mean the person had died, but that many had just gone on to live their daily lives and they don't think about sarcoma anymore. 

15 years out, I can say that's absolutely true, because while I remember my surgery anniversary every year, I don't always think to come here and update my blog. Both Dr. Oskouei and a followup oncologist I saw told me that if my sarcoma would have come back or metastasized, it would most likely have done so within the first 3 years, so at 15 years now, it's not likely to return. 

Praying for all battling sarcoma this year, and I'll try to remember to check in this time next year. Till then, keep the faith! God has a plan for you!



Incidence and Mortality
Estimated new cases and deaths from soft tissue sarcoma in the United States in 2023:[1] New cases: 13,400. Deaths: 5,140.

The reported international incidence of soft tissue sarcoma ranges from 1.8 to 5 cases per 100,000 individuals per year.[2] The rate of new cases of soft tissue cancer in the United States was 3.4 per 100,000 people per year. The death rate was 1.3 per 100,000 people per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on cases from 2015 through 2019 and deaths from 2016 through 2020.[3]

4 Musketeers Reunion +1
L-R: Me, Denise, Susan, Angela & Stacie
Rosedale Restaurant, New Orleans
July 29, 2023

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