Early 2007 I noticed a very small hard feeling under my skin on my left leg. It was about 1cm in size. I forgot about it for a few weeks and eventually went to the doctors. He took one look at it and said 'no need to worry, it is just a gathering of tissue'. I felt so much better after having seen him. But he wanted to be certain so I was given an appointment to see a specialist surgeon.
By the time the appointment came to meet the surgeon the lump had grown to about 3cm. He said something similar to the doctor, but added that he would like to remove it.
By the time of the operation to remove the lump it had grown to 7.5cm
Two weeks later I was back in hospital to have my stitches removed. My surgeon asked to see me as well. I went in to his office where he told me that he had the results back. The lump is called a Sarcoma. It is cancer.
My Mum died from cancer 15 years before, I watched her waste away for 12 months and I sat with her as she passed. I could not stand the idea of my two girls having to be a part of my death.
I was booked into hospital the following week for a second operation to remove all tissue, muscle, vein from the upper part of my left leg.
After that I was given 5 weeks to recover and then I was admitted to hospital for a week of chemotherapy and then home for two weeks, this was done for 12 weeks.
I am halfway through a 7 week radiotherapy session. My leg is being badly burned by the radiation, but being Irish, I am used to sunburn.
I am walking quite well now. Constantly exhausted. Low energy levels. But I am happy and I am positive.
One of my current goals in life is to get people to see their doctors as soon as a lump is noticed. My Mum died from leaving it too long. I have massively reduced my chances of survival by leaving it too long.