4 Inspirational Sarcoma Stories
Part of the work by charities such as The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiativeinvolves helping those with Sarcoma connect with others also diagnosed with the cancer. On the charity's website, SarcomaHelp.org, a number of experiences have been posted, here are a few of them.
I was first diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma (fondly known as LMS) on my 54th birthday, the 4th of July, 1997, when a tumor the size of a baseball ruptured from my small intestine, more than seven years ago as I write this. The only studies we could find back then predicted that 9 out of 10 did not survive 5 years. Immediately I decided that if one out of the 10 lived, I would be that one. Whatever it took, I would hang on until they discovered something that could help me.
I wish I had known not be scared about the "what ifs" and to focus on what I can do today to make my life and my family's life a positive experience. I had to learn to walk unassisted through rehab, and I had to commit to training my brain and body to work differently. I now can golf and swim, and I'm back to work. I didn't think I would be able to do any of this at the time of my diagnosis, and I don't think my doctors did either. Although at times I wish I had not had to go through this, it's a journey that has made me and my family stronger."
I am the only big sister of one - Kathy. I have always wished that I was the teacher that I thought all my big sisters have been to me. Beautiful - A drawing by Rachel LozanoThen I got cancer. Kathy came to visit me in the hospital during one of my first treatments.My hair was really falling out and I guess I did not say anything to her - it is truly one of the most unspoken humiliating side effects of the whole process. She was trying so hard to be my big sister, she offered to massage my head, to comfort me and I let her. And then I heard the gasp. A large clump of my hair came out in her hand and she was so shocked and I was so ashamed because I AM THE BIG SISTER and I could not offer her any protection from me. Kathy hid behind me and cried a little and then recovered herself valiantly. I guess these big sister things are really lines drawn in the sand.
What I remember about my reaction to the discovery of LMS was my sense of peace regarding where I was in life. As my children were both adults with families and well-established in their careers, and my wife was strong and active, I felt that I could move forward in good spirits no matter how many days, months, or years lay ahead for me.