Chondrosarcoma at the chest wall
Age at Diagnosis: 32
Date of Diagnosis: 2007
Hospital: University of California Irvine
Team: Dr. Huang and Dr. Abolhoda
Diagnosis: I innocently went to wipe something off my shirt one day when I felt a large lump on my chest. The doctors first suspected it to be in my breast. I went through a battery of imaging tests for about 10 months. My attempted lumpectomy turned exploratory and the tumor was found to be in between the 2nd and 3rd rib behind my right breast. It was diagnosed as a grade 2 chondrosarcoma of the chest wall.
Treatment: In August of 2007 I recieved treatment at the University of California Irvine. I had a wide en-bloc resection of the anterior chest wall with a partial mastectomy. The 2nd, 3rd, and part of the 4th rib were removed along with part of my sternum. Mesh, mortor, muscle flap and skin graft were used to correct the defect. I spent 3 days in ICU and 6 days total hospitalization. The doctors at this hospital were really great and did their very best to minimize the trauma.
Recovery: I have lost some strength on the right side, my balance is off, and I tend to lose grip of things occasionally that I grasp with my right hand. I have a-lot of back pain and find myself short of breath but i am alive, that is what matters. I will soon have the rest of the reconstruction done for my breast and that I think will help.
Life now: Life does not stand still. I have four beautiful children that I am able to share my life with. I can remember the fear of not being able to be here for them and I thank God everyday that I am still able to be their mommy.
Thoughts and Hints for Patients: Do your own research and keep track of all your records and films. Do not depend on the medical staff or your physician to do this because sometimes they don’t. Be of positive mind and spirit, this is not the worst thing that could happen or the end of the world.