Sarcoma Patient Stories
Alyssia O’Malley was working out and training for her physical training certificate when she noticed a tiny bump in the middle of her abdomen. “I thought it was a hernia from pushing myself too hard,” said Alyssia.
After numerous tests, Alyssia’s primary care doctor performed a biopsy on the mass in her abdomen. The biopsy results led to a PET scan that revealed cancerous nodules on her diaphragm in June 2014. At age 44, Alyssia was diagnosed with stage 4 retroperitoneal sarcoma.
In the fall of 2015, Larry Reddick, 74, was becoming increasingly frustrated with his hoarse voice. It was difficult to speak and his voice quality continued to get worse. He also began to lose weight without trying. “I had a hunch something wasn’t right so I called my primary doctor to get a referral to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist. Unfortunately, I didn’t find my local ENT helpful,” recalls Larry.
In early 2013, Victoria Mirarchi, who was very active and healthy at the age of 81, underwent a surgical procedure at her local hospital to remove a very large mass from her abdominal area. The pathology confirmed a diagnosis of liposarcoma. The tumor was aggressive and returned the following year. In mid-2014 Victoria was admitted to the hospital for another procedure, which was followed by 7 weeks of radiation therapy.
In November 2014, at the age of 58, Judith Ingraham noticed a small lump on the lower part of her left leg near her ankle. “I went to my primary care physician who sent me for an ultrasound and then an MRI. The results were inconclusive so I went for a second opinion and an X-ray. I was told by that doctor to leave it alone unless it grew larger and he insisted it would never be cancer,” recalls Judith.
Catherine Rosenberg’s cancer journey began in 1990, at the age of 8, when she was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a soft-tissue tumor that occurs near joints, most often the knee. Her parents enlisted the best doctors and her treatment with radiation therapy was successful. However, as with most cancer treatment, there are side effects. Catherine developed severe swelling in her leg, a condition known as lymphedema.