One morning as I was taking a shower I felt a knot on my back. That afternoon, I was told that there was a tumor on my 9th rib.
I never had any pain or discomfort. One morning as I was taking a shower I felt a knot on my back. I immediately called my family doctor and he suggested I have a CAT scan. That afternoon, I was told that there was a tumor on my 9th rib. At first the doctors here thought it was benign after needle biopsies. Then, during an aborted surgery, the surgeon knew it was something much different, took a larger biopsy, sent it to Mayo, and closed me back up.
Mayo returned the verdict, osteosarcoma, and within two weeks I was on my way to M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, where Dr. Wayne L. Hofstetter, a wonderful thoracic surgeon, removed the tumor and two ribs (8th and 9th) on the left side of my body. Dr. Raymond, a pathologist at M. D. Anderson upon receiving Mayo’s diagnosis, questioned if the tumor might not be a periosteal osteosarcoma as a result of the grade. He was correct. Once removed it was determined that it was periosteal osteosarcoma and it had invaded the bone marrow for 7mm.
As a result of the bone marrow invasion I took a tough regiment of chemo at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center during 2005. While Houston did not have any bad weather from Hurrican Katrina, I was evacuated during Hurrican Rita.
Since my diagnosis, the osteosarcoma has returned twice, once as a lesion on the back of scalp (removed in April of 2006) and once in the middle lobe of my right lung (removed in May of 2008). I have returned to M. D. Anderson every three months since 2005. My sarcoma doctor is Dr. Shreyaskumar Patel. In February of 2009, he agreed to allow my local oncologist, Dr. Christopher Croot, to order scans here in Mississippi every other three months. This saves me both time and money as I will only be going to Houston every six months. I have been blessed, as my scans since May of 2008 have been clear.
Up until all of this has happened to me, I had never had any type of major surgery. I have been blessed with rather speedy recoveries from my surgeries. I have never had any major pain but I don’t think that I was mentally or physically prepared for the chemo regiment that I had in 2005…no pain but tired and sick at my stomach all the time.
Through all of this, my Christian faith and the support and care of family and friends have carried me thus far in my struggle with periosteal osteosarcoma.
Periosteal Osteosarcoma at the Rib
Date of Diagnosis: April 2005
Age at diagnosis: 47
Location: Mississippi, United States
Hospital: M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas