Kellie’s Story

Ewing’s Sarcoma at the lung / ribs
Age at Diagnosis: 18
Year of Diagnosis: 2004
Location: West Virginia

Physicians: Dr. Torres and Dr. Joshi

Diagnosis: In January 2004, I always felt sick. I kept a temperature, it hurt to breath, and I didn’t eat much. My doctor kept me on antibiotics for months. He did chest x-rays looking for broken ribs or maybe pneumonia but always told me nothing was wrong. After awhile he started telling me it was all in my head. In March he did a thyroid test and it came back normal. Three weeks later when they repeated the test it was extremely off. So he put me on Synthroid. But nothing changed…then my right rib cage started swelling and was painful to the touch. There was a large mass. My doctor still said it was in my head. Up until August of 2004 I started to believe it. Then I went to see a surgeon I had seen in the past. From my signs, symptoms and history she told me that day she believed it was malignant. She sent me for blood work and scheduled my biopsy. Less than a week later my results were back and I was back in the hospital getting a central line placed.

To let you know a little bit about my history: when I was 10 1/2 months old, I was just beginning to walk. All of a sudden I just quit and was bruising extremely bad around my legs for no known reason. My mom took me to the hospital and they admitted me with croup. After no improvement and crazy labs they discovered I had acute nonlymphocitic leukemia-also known as acute myeloid leukemia. After two years of chemo I was back to what I thought was normal. Then when I was 16 they accidentally found a benign tumor on my ovary. I was hospitalized with stomach pain, nausea and vomiting and after a abdomen/pelvis xray they discovered it. They removed it and my ovary.

Treatment: I took 12 months of chemotherapy for Ewing’s, around 42 rounds. They alternated two different sets which consisted of my 5 day chemo: ifosfamide and etoposide, and my 3 day: vincristine, adriamycin and cytoxan. I took 2 years of chemo with leukemia but I’m unsure right off about my exact medications. I had many port placements and removals, biopsies, bone marrows, one large surgery to remove the tumor after shrinking with chemo, blood transfusions, and I have my marrow banked in case I may ever need a bone marrow transplant.

Recovery: My last treatment was in August of 2005. After that I began doing scans (CT and PET) every 4 months, went to every 6 months a year later, and as of March of last year I moved on to every year. Since my scans are farther apart now I’m more of a worrier over “unexplained” pains but its getting better!

Life Now: I’m a Registered Nurse.

Thoughts and Hints for New Patients: Regardless of how strong you are, things will get you down and you won’t want to go on, but you have to. Just pick up and get over things that are thrown your way. You do need to talk about things, and rely on people even if you were self sufficient.

Editor’s Note: Kellie shares her life perspective in this story, and her journey from cancer patient to support group leader in this story.

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