What Patients Say About Diagnosis

From M. D. Anderson Sarcoma: What Can You Expect, part 6
Date: February 11, 2008
Duration: 03:54

I had a little tenderness in the rib and a little bump. So I went in and found out it was a tumor. So they removed the rib along with the tumor.

I just had a pain in my side and we didn’t know what it was. I didn’t go to the doctor, and it went away like in 2 days. So all summer long I took tests, and all they could tell me was it was a mass… it was a mass. So that was very annoying...couldn’t figure out what the mass was. They removed the kidney, and then the pathologist, I guess, studied it for about 5 days, and they told me after the 5th day that it was Rhabdomyosarcoma.

It felt like bad heart burn. I felt like I was having a heart attack. My left arm went numb... the night of Christmas. And I went to the emergency room, they did a chest x-ray, they saw the sarcoma. It took a little time to do a biopsy. Then once we did a biopsy the oncologist there told me that this is where I need to be, so.

I was pregnant, and I went to get a sonogram, and the baby was fine. I found out I had a girl and then after that, she was about done with the sonogram, and she just accidentally went over my ovaries, and she thought there was cyst there…they called me that following Monday and told me to come in. The ob-gyn had never seen nothing like that before, they basically took a biopsy and cut me back up—sewed me back up. From there I was in the hospital and they sent in the biopsy and they came back and said it was malignant.

Initially my diagnosis was pancreatic carcinoma. Then in a few hours, after I had a CT scan, it became a renal-cell carcinoma. And we were waiting for further evaluation by pathology, which came back about three to four days later, and said that I had a gastrointestinal stoma tumor.

Pain in my hip, and my leg, mostly, getting…progressively worse and harder to walk, and my doctor decided, well, it had to be something more than just a compressed disc, so he did another test, and a biopsy, and they diagnosed it as a sarcoma.

I was originally diagnosed in Florida with pancreatic cancer. I came to M. D. Anderson and met with Dr. Evans who is one of the pancreatic group, who said he had some good news and bad news. The good news was it wasn’t pancreatic. It was a sarcoma sitting on the pancreas between the pancreas and the stomach. Or in the middle of the plumbing in the layman’s way of putting it.

Primary pulmonary sarcoma…that’s what they say. They said it was that. But then on the pathology report, it says that it looks like a primary pulmonary sarcoma, but has characteristics of being a rhabdomyosarcoma.

I just had sharp pains that would run down my leg and up my side, and I kept asking my doctor… I said, ‘This not normal.' He treated me for swollen lymph nodes. They give me antibiotics forever...and they went in to do hernia surgery and found the tumor. He said it was wrapped around my main blood artery and my main nerve, so he wouldn’t attempt it. He sent me straight down here.