I Had Rhabdomyosarcoma

When I was 13, back in 1980, I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma. It seemed to take forever to get a diagnosis..5 months before I was diagnosed I was riding my stationary bicycle and I had my hands on thee top of my thighs instead of thee handle bars. As my hands were sliding up and down over my thigh with each turn on thee peddles I felt something different on thee right side..I stopped. Although I was 13 and naive I KNEW something was really wrong. I started to really feel around this spot. It was on top of my right thigh, just above my knee. It felt like a mango seed, kind of flat but long and oval, like a mango seed. My heart just sank and I somehow, deep down inside myself that my life was going to dramatically change..it is weird to think back about that..that feeling was so real..and turned out to be what happened..my life changed for sure!! I ran upstairs to find my mother..she was on thee phone..I tried to get her attention..she is such a sweet person and we were raised with good manners,so interrupting her was something I would not normally do. She asked thee person to hang on, I told her that I found a lump, she asked where, I showed her, she calmly said "Oh I have one on my arm". I was not impressed. I KNEW something was wrong. Despite her not thinking thee same way I was feeling she made an appt for me to see a doctor. Back then cancer was not thee first thing anyone thought. It never entered her mind.
That week we went to thee doctor. He was an old General Practice guy in Kansas,,,we had moved there about a year before. The doctor was not impressed and told me HE had one on his back!.. He took some measurements with one of those fat pincher thingys and sent us home. A few weeks later we went back, I was very obsessed with this lump and I had noticed this weird sensation if my leg (on top of thee lump) touched anything. Thee doctor stuck to his story, although I thought it had grown in that short time. He said I must have lost weight, measured it again with that torture device and sent us home. At this point my mother and daddy started to worry. My PE teacher even noticed thee lump...Then a week or so later my ballet teacher could see it bulging out.. it started to look like I had 2 knee caps..I will never forget how mean my female PE teacher was. She claimed that my parents were being negligent..I told her we went to thee doctor and he said it was nothing.. We went back to thee doctor cause it was growing..he asked Do you want a lump or a scar?
It was August at this point..my mother took me to a plastic surgeon, as advised by this GP..It was amazing, thee plastic surgeon took one look at my leg and quickly put me in front of a chest X-ray machine he had in his office..at thee time I thought what an idiot, thee lump is in my leg!! Now I know what he was thinking...
He sent me to an orthopedic surgeon,,,this guy was 6 foot + and skinny and old old old, but strong as hell...he scheduled surgery for thee next week...not one word was mentioned to what this thing was, but as me and my mother walked out to thee car we both felt this overwhelming connection to each other, this emotion that we had never shared or expressed before with each other.. it was strange, but so real and we were scared..
Me,my brother and my mother and daddy were close and loved each other very much, but we didnt hold hands and all that... we were pretty reserved..we said I love you everyday and stuff like that, but they both came from this proper,southern environment..we were transplants to anywhere outside from thee south and there we were in Wichita Kansas, away from our family..that day walking to thee car my mother held my hand and we softly cried, I think we both were trying not to scare each other..If I had boohoood it would have told her I was afraid and visa versa...it was obvious we had something serious going on but we stayed strong for each other.
This was something that we would continue to this day
Part 2 Surgery,sadness and first taste of sedation...
to be continued...................
pantoponrose pantoponrose
36-40, F
Jan 10, 2011