Henrianna 33,

Angiosarcoma anyone? Humour my tumours!

"Hello folks, I was diagnosed with Primary Angiosarcoma of the breast in June 2014 after being sent from pillar to post as not many could identify it. It took 8 months to diagnose. Underwent mastectomy, 6 cycles of Dox/Ifos chemo, and intense radiotherapy to chest wall. Then in June 2015 Gamma Knife surgery for solitary metastasis in brain and then Jan 2016, radiotherapy for metastasis to pelvis and femur bones. I now have new symptoms on my right cheek. Yes, it wants to party in my face! Unsurprisingly this road has taken a little turn or that this road has been turning for a while but it’s only just occurring to me. I look back at the last few years and am grateful to my body for continuing to carry me through the years albeit a little more cautious and ever more curious than before; but still stands me in good stead to stick a leg out! Trust me, it still could still be a lot worse. I am one of the lucky ones. There is some part of me that cannot quite fully grasp the realism of it all. They say your body is your temple, I’m re-learning mine. Surfing the treatments you are carried by a huge support network. Your doctors, nurses, advisors, friends, family are your advocates and they fight your corner, wrap you up in cotton wool- protect you at best, from the incoming storm. I was carried by a positive force, driven in myself, spurred on by the gears of my loved ones – and then it stopped. And everything crumbled. I was left standing, caught in the cross-wind which stood me up, tentatively like a new born trying to find its feet. And then it hit me in ways I could never have pre-empted, I felt scared and sad and grieved for everything I had lost. No person should feel like an island – treading unchartered waters. But I felt alone, alone in my thoughts, and no way of escaping them. The only way I can describe it is heartbroken. When you’ve known and understood what you had, the sense of loss is greater. I miss my old body, the 'healthy' me. This Sarcoma is a real sneaky little cancer and is putting up a real fight and has some real super powers to disappear and reappear suddenly packing a punch. But this is just the start of the rest of my life and weirdly the further in, the more determined YOU become to fight. Listen to your body and trust what your gut tells you. Don’t underestimate the human body and spirit when it is put in survival mode and what your own body can do so look after it-- FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT & STAY POSITIVE!! So what’s the story of this pen, if it’s written without an end? For me, the bell dongs end of round 3, I’ll live to fight another battle. Until and if we meet again, good riddance dear microbes! "

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