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Melissa’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Synovial Sarcoma)

Melissa's Story (Synovial Sarcoma)My story starts in 2011. I was working and noticed pain constantly in my left groin and hip. I would lose feeling at times and almost fall. I kept going to the doctors. I was told I pulled something or I had bursitis in my hip. As time went on I had X-rays, ultrasounds, and a MRI, but no one could tell me anything.

Finally when I went to bed one night, I stretched out and had pain in my upper thigh. It felt like something filled up inside my leg. I went to the doctor, they did a MRI. I was told it was a hematoma nine cm wide. I said, “How did that happen?” I was told I must have hit my leg. I knew that I didn’t the size of the hematoma it was as if a football player slammed into me.

We went to a specialist and still no one could tell me how this happen. It took six months to heal. At almost six months I went to get out of my truck and felt like something spilled out again. On June 25th I got an ultrasound which led to another MRI. It also led me to find out that day that I had a tumor in my leg 9.6 cm wide. Wow! My first words to doctor was, “What do we do now?” That began journey to Iowa city hospital. They did all the tests and of course a biopsy. What they found was a poorly differentiated synovial sarcoma stage 4 cancer. What do you say? You cry and then get on with it.

I was scared but I am a fighter. I had five and a half  weeks of radiation and two sets of four days of intense chemo solution. I loved the nurses coming in in their full body suits covering them (robes gloves goggles), giving me something to kill everything in you and all your hair. I made it through and I got the certificate to prove it!

The tumor went from 14 cm to 11 cm. Surgery was scheduled for September 25, 2012. It was a nine and a half  hours surgery on most of my thigh muscles, some tendons, nerves, oh and the tumor. I also had to put a rod on my femur bone. I dad lots of physical therapy to learn how to walk again.

I went to all my checkups which leads us to now April 2014. Now at my last check up, I found out I have it back in my lung where it shows up in a lot of synovial sarcoma survivors of a limb. So I have to go back May 15th to see if it has grown more. It’s a nodule about 7 mm it grew that big in three months so we will see. Thanks for listening and I pray for all of you!

Submitted 04/01/2014

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 article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.


  1. Margaret McMahon

    HI Melissa just read your story I will be praying for you especially today. Take care and know that people care, I wish you well on your cancer journey.

    • melissa danner

      Thank you . For your prayers cancer is back now in lungs. Just had a nodule removed last Wednesday and tested. Came back sarcoma that was in my leg moved to lungs. I have 3. More nodules in different places in my lung. 1 cm in upper left lung and 2 smaller ones one in each lung. Don’t know what I’m going to do about the other 3 yet. Surgery or chemo. We will see. Life goes on and I will also. We have to fight till we can no longer. I’m not a quiter that’s for sure. Amen

      • melissa danner

        Well cancer continues…. on sept. 29 th 2014 had another tumor removed this time from upper left lung. Surgery went well spent through wednesday afternoon in the hospital. Now im home recovering. I have 3 more nodules in my lungs and will be scanned in 2 months to see if they have grown or more have developed. At that point i will decide to have any surgically removed or begin chemo. Have not decided which will be better choice. Tired of surgeries i know that but chemo is a whole monster battle. The pain from surgery is hard because usually down for weeks. Chemo is long lasting and so hard on body. And dont know if it will stop the growth of the nodules or if anything will stop them at this point. God only knows. Well i pray something will. God bless u all in your fights i pray for you.

  2. Bailey Thompson

    Thinking of you Melissa! God gives us what we can handle – although we may not understand why – you’re a tough cookie and know that I am praying for you and thinking good thoughts for you. Let me know if you ever need anything and I’ll be there! Miss you!

    • melissa danner

      Thanks bailey I miss u too. I’m doing good surgery was a breeze cuz I was out but afterwards not so fun. Ivs, drainage tube, oxygen, breathing treatments, needles, xrays, and pills. I am sick of all that. You know I’m healing fast which is funny because they tell me I am very healthy.thank god for all the swimming probably will keep my lungs strong enough for next surgery. Well if I have to that’s what I will do. U take care of urself love u! Mel D

  3. melissa danner

    Well sorry havent been on in awhile been through alot in 8 months. The damage radiation does is crazy. My knee cap popped right in half.I fell on my bottom. Then few months later my femur Bone at the hip fractured through an down inside inner thigh down inch or two. Had to have total hip replacement. But good news the other nodules have not grown and this is 2nd scan feb. 5th 2015 so Praise God! 6 mos. I have another scan. Hopefully will be able to walk again on my on in a month and a half. Thanks for listening. God bless and keep fighting ladies!

  4. melissa danner

    So i have had a great 6 mos. Aug. 8 had my family up for cookout and volleyball! Was the best time i have had in years. Then following week back to iowa city hospital for cancer check on lungs….. guess what? Another tumor has grown and doctors say its the same cancer. I have already had 2 removed. I am starting to feel like the guy in operation game. But outcome is better so far. I am praying for all of you going through this disease and i pray u can enjoy your lives and be possitive and laugh. It is what we need. So take it and make the most of your lives! I am and will continue to. Everyone gets down and i do after every visit when i hear the dreaded C word. But i gaurantee u it last a day and i remeber i only have one life and i will keep on doing what i can till i cant! May god bless and keep u all! Mel

  5. melissa danner

    So another wedge resection surgery on right lung sept. 29Th 2015. This one still plagues me. Still recoverying. Saw the xrays of my lungs at last appt. Only half a lung on right side and 3/4 on left is what i have to work with. So praying more than ever this is the end of the tumors developing in my lungs. I hope to be back to myself soon swimming and exercising and living life. To all of the people fighting this disease i pray that u can beat it and live, love, and laugh still. God bless u all!

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