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

Tiffani's Story (Synovial Sarcoma) LRThis whole grand adventure started a little of 5 years ago. I went hiking in some mountains in Alabama with friends late one fall evening, nothing out of the norm, just peace and quiet. Suddenly on the way back up to the car I felt something give way in my leg.  it jolted me into a panic – it was dark, I was in the middle of the woods. With the help of friends I rose to my feet trying to shake off this enormous pain. Once back at the car I remember saying to my girlfriend “wow, I think I pulled a muscle”.

A few days after this, I noticed a huge lump on the top of my right thigh. I consulted numerous doctors who all randomly gave me the same answer “Don’t worry, it’s NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT”.  Mind you, I am now 19 by this point, with my first child and scared to death of this thing that just crept into my life.

Finally, after my second child I went to see a surgeon my mother had referred me to. With one look he immediately turned to me and said “Tiff, I am going to get to the root of this”.  Not knowing what this en told I trusted him completely. Within a few days after this visit I had surgery, a panic attack, and the whole world come crashing down on my shoulders. Complete HORROR! I wasn’t even stitched and stapled up before the doc was rushing to my Mom to let her know what the future was holding. The doc knew immediately upon entering my body that I had CANCER – just was not sure of the complete diagnosis.

The next few weeks after this was a whirlwind of emotions – how was I going to fight this big bad wolf and still be a fun loving Mother myself, and be 21 all at the same time? From phone call number one to MD Anderson, I was lost and confused, and felt like the world had just left me behind. I made it to the first appointment with my Mom in tow, not even knowing what to expect, but wanting to really just wake up from this nightmare. The doctor came into the room with 6 other people dressed all in white coats.  She introduced herself as my medical angel. I scuffed, not knowing rather to thank her or run for the hills.  She began by telling me that I have a very rare CANCER called Synovial Sarcoma and that only a small handful of people develop this disease. I can remember my whole body going numb, the room falling deaf, the only thing I could hear was my own heartbeat racing. I could see her lips moving, and my Mom crying. I was then instructed on the general guidelines of what to expect, the symptoms of chemotherapy, and what it could potentially do to my body.   But it just never sank in until I was setting up an appointment to get my central line.  Looking at the day’s appointments, I remember thinking to myself “I am a FIGHTER and this CANCER WILL NOT WIN!”

The next year seemed to crawl by.  My Mom was my rock, supporter, caregiver, reassuring ANGEL. I thank God for her everyday. I really do not know what I would have done without her. I guess the moral that I have learned from this story is that no matter how strong you think you MAY be, something like cancer will come into your life and turn it upside down in a split second.  It’s up to you to reach deep down and find your inner strength and FIGHT BACK!  Going through this has taught me so much about myself that I probably would have never discovered.

Keep Fighting Back,

Submitted 10-14-11

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. mo

    Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. I have never heard of Synovial Sarcoma before this, and it sounds pretty scary. I hope you are doing well and enjoying your children. Keep strong!

    • tiffani

      Thanks mo!!! All is well in my peace of heaven

  2. Armando Abrero

    this is gonna end up on my wall on facebook.

  3. Michelle Wright

    You are a very brave and wonderful woman! I just want to give you a big hug 🙂

  4. Lisa

    I am a colon cancer survivor..had chemo, tomotherapy and surgery in 2009, and have turned things around so I am happy to be alive, and do wear a colostomy bag.Yes, I am a bag lady! .Family and friends were very supportive, and I too was determined to be more than cancer, to remain being me. I believe that when the big bad scary stuff happens, we are, each one of us, much stronger than we know.
    Love and Light!

  5. Kathi Hogg

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma a year ago. Hope you continue to do well!

    • tiffani

      Wow hope n praying for you!!

  6. Erin

    Your story is similar to mine! I was diagnosed in July with a rare sarcoma that one n every like ten million ppl get. DERMATO FIBRO SARCOMA PROTUBERNS… Say that one fat 5 times lol. I had just turned 23.. Scared outta my mind. I had 3 surgeries and a big “S” shaped scar!!! In after my last scans 9 months later I am still cancer free! Stay strong feel free to email if you ever need to vent about the rare sarcomas!!! My parents were also my rocks through my whole time! I ha a softball size hole in my back to almost 2 months that my mom poor thing had to change n re pack every day.. Eeeek

  7. Meredith Ravenscroft

    Thanks for sharing your story Tiffani! I was just diagnosed two days ago with a synovial sarcoma.. I know that this is just a little bump in the road, and that God wouldn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle.. I have my first visit with an oncologist in about 2 hours!

  8. sherry

    Hi there i was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma in july 2008.. i was 38 yrs old , it was the worse news of my life and of course you say why me.. i am and always will be a fighter.. the only thing that went through my mind when the docs told me was how in the world and i suppose to tell my kids ? my kids are older i was a young mom and my grandaughter at the time was only 2 yrs old.. my whols life flashed before me.. and i was so over welmed with information on the first day.. my cancer was in behind my right knee.. i did 38 weeks of chemo and 25 sessions of radiation .. nothing was working.. so surgery was my next option to try to remove the tumour.. march 9th of 2009 was my first surgery and i was scared out of my wits… it was a long day and they still werent sure if the surgery was going to work.. but the docs did their best.. they removed my tumour but i had no feeling on my right foot.. so of course back in for surgery to remove my leg below the knee.. it was my only option i was ill for days after the first surgery very feveresh ..but as soon as they removed the leg below the knee i felt fantastic… mind you i did not mourn the loss of my leg i was just happpy to be alive.. so after they removed that part of my leg everything was good but there was a huge black spot on the bottom of my stump as they call it.. it was from radiation.. but they had no idea what was behind that spot. so they had to wait for the healing to take place.. well it was about a few months later and the black spot was getting worse basically the black spot was a rotten hole on the inside from the radiation.. so they had to do an emerg surgery in may of 2009 to remove more of the leg above the knee this time.. so now i was getting so frustrated with everything but never not once did i think of giving up i had way to much to live for.. so i kept fighting with all i had.. well everything went well and all the cancer was gone.. until a year later when it finally found its way to my lungs.. they did tell me that it might travel to my lungs so it was not a shock to me.. i basically said now what.. i knew chemo would not work but i tried a few sessions anyway.. and radiation was not even an option for me.. so back in for surgery it was.. i had a few spots on my right and a golf sixe one on my left.. so they removed the lower portion on my lung on my left and the uppper portion on my right… and now to this day i have been cancer free for over 2 years and still going strong.. so yes people there is hope.. i know i still have a long road ahead of me to finally be cleared..but i live each day with everything i have.. i enjoy my family and frineds and it made me look at life so much differently and not to take anything for granted.. mind you there was so much more to this story in between but i have my prosthetic leg and i still do pretty much everything i use to do. so pretty much no matter what i am a survivor not a victim!!!! i am living life and loving it!!!

    • sherry

      and pretty much i found the cancer the same way in my leg.. i was doing gardening and felt a pop and thought i just pulled amuscle.. life works in the strangest ways ,

  9. ann

    Tiffani – I am a 9 year synovial cell sarcoma survivor. I lost my right foot. I am doing fantastic! I have done numerous 5k’s and a couple of 10k’s the last few years! So I am winning the fight! I wish you all the best and hope your life is going great! I have had so many blessings bestowed on me since my diagnosis.

  10. Diana

    Thank you for sharing your stories! My 13 year old niece was just diagnosed on 2/26/2014 with Synovial Sarcoma. We don’t find out for another week or so what stage but the tumor itself is very large, over 5cm. We are keeping our heads up! I’ll continue to follow you guys and share with her your stories of survival and how to fight.

  11. Sharon Anderson

    Wow i was looking on here for the ribbon color my son was diagnose with synovial cell sacoma three years ago he got his wings on 3/18/14 my heart goes out to everyone of u

  12. Tanya

    I was diagnosed in 2006. And at that point I couldn’t even find anyone with the same type of cancer. It’s been 8yrs now and I have more rumors in my liver and spine. Those ones are not cancerous yet, but I’m not going to just sit around and wait for something to happen!! Stay strong ladies….we can all kick this 🙂

  13. Hadi

    Dear TIffani

    Thanks for sharing your story. You are a very wonderful woman.
    I am a pathologist from Iran. I know this cancer is too bad and poor prognosis, but you are a hero.

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