I began having leg pain in 1992 when I was 20 years old. It was a strange pain that I would notice when I was pressing my foot on the accelerator in the car. I had a bone scan that showed a hot spot on my tibia. I was diagnosed with a “stress fracture” and ran around in a cast, a boot, and a leg brace for almost a year with no improvement. A tiny lump started to appear in my x-rays and my doctor felt it was probably new bone growing in to repair the fracture. The lump grew VERY rapidly and I was referred to an orthopaedic oncologist.
Surgery was scheduled immediately to remove the lump and the frozen section came back negative! Unfortunately when I went back a week later to have my stitches removed I was told the biopsy was positive and I was diagnosed with Periosteal Osteosarcoma of the right tibia in October of 1993.
Treatment: I had limb salvage surgery a few days later. Most of my tibia was removed and replaced with a metal rod. I had a bone graft from my own hip. Ouch! I was in a wheelchair for a while, then crutches, and after physical therapy I was walking normally again. My major recovery took about a year. Although the situation interrupted my college career, it definitely made me realize that I was a much stronger person than I ever thought I was.
Life Now: My life is good and i guess you could say normal. The GREAT news is that I just got married to the love of my life in November 2008. I love gardening, reading, surfing the web, ans spending time with loved ones. Believe it or not, I even performed in a circus, juggling and WALKING a tight rope!
I am so glad I found this site. I wish it was around in ’93! I am thankful it is here now to support new patients. It is so hard to find information about sarcoma.
I definitely always have the cancer in the back of my mind, but in a way I am glad I had the experience. It’s hard to explain.