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Elizabeth’s Story (Bone Cancer)

White RibbonThe pain started back in April 2013. It was just a mild pain on my right side, I thought it could be a kidney infection so I went to the doctor. She told me it was just a pulled muscle and gave me some muscle relaxers. A few months later I notice the pain in my side is getting worse along with my right hip was hurting as well. I couldn’t lay on either of my sides without being in pain. So I went to see a different doctor. He told me that my sciatic nerve was being pinched. So I was diagnosed with sciatica and was put on Vicodin.

A couple of months later I was in serious pain in my hip area, I decide to go see yet another doctor. I thought this doctor was better than the others because she did a series of tests. She watched me walk and had me doing some exercises. At this time I had been running a fever for five days with no other symptoms which I had told the doctor. She didn’t seem to be worried about it. So after all the tests she put me through she said it was a pulled muscle and sent me to physical therapy. She also stated that the fever with no other symptoms is a sign of cancer, but I was young and healthy, and it was very unlikely. So off to therapy I went…

So there I was at physical therapy in horrible pain trying to do these simple leg and hip exercises that were just killing me. I also took it upon myself to see a chiropractor, who took an X-ray of my hip and said my right leg was shorter than my left, and that’s what was causing my pain. So a few more months passed and I was in more pain then ever. I was taking 3000 mg of ibuprofen a day and was still limping around, barely able to walk. I was putting icy hot on my hip every hour and using a heating pad at night. I would wake up at night in pain all the time. So one morning while getting ready for work my husband took a look at my side which was bulging out and was blue in color and felt like a huge rock, he said, “you’re going to the doctor today or else it will never get better.” Those words really sunk in, so I make an appointment right away and was seen that day.

So I arrived at my appointment and I showed my doctor my side and I tell her about my fever and pain. She immediately ordered a CAT scan. I heard her say, “Elizabeth Collins, 23 year old female, possible mass” those words had me scared. So I go through the scan and since the clinic was closed before my scan was over she said she would call me with the results.

I left the hospital and went home thinking the doctor would call me in the morning as soon as I walked in the door I got a phone call from my doctor. As soon as she said, “how are you?” I could tell it was bad news. It turns out the pulled muscle in my side was actually a tumor, a very large tumor six inches long and four inches thick. It was in my pelvis. So I cried to my doctor, and she cried with me on the phone. She said she was sending me to an oncologist who specializes in bone cancer. So off I went two days later to meet my wonderful oncologist at the University of Iowa. There he tells me I have a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer called Osteosarcoma in my pelvis. I started chemo right away. I spent my daughters first birthday in the hospital two hours away from home. In the end I had gone through eight horrible rounds of chemo, and had major surgery to remove the tumor. I have an incision starting at my belly button, and ending at my butt cheek. The surgery took eight hours. I spent ten days in the hospital, then was transferred to a rehab center for three weeks while I learned how to walk again. Now its been five months since surgery and I’m doing great. The chemo left me with heart failure and chronic kidney disease that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life… but at least I’m alive.

Submitted 06/25/2014

The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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One comment

  1. christy

    my 16 year old daughter has been battling Ewings Sarcoma since last June, finally in remission 30 days today, her tumor consumed her whole right hip and pelvic, we did not do surgery in fear that it would spread instead she did 31 proton beam radiation treatments and soon to be getting a total hip replacement! chemo has effected her vision and hearing and some slight heart damage..BUT she is alive and getting stronger by the day:) all is possible thru prayer!! may you prosper and fufill all your dreams!!!

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