Sarcoma Story: Sarah Friedman

Type of Sarcoma: Ewing Sarcoma
Date of Diagnosis: July, 2011

Friedman-Sarah-with-MomAt the end of June 2011 I began to experience horrible lower back pain. I had recently started working out, so I figured I pulled something. I went to my local doctor twice, where they gave me strong medications to control the pain, but nothing seemed to help. I woke up on June 24 to find a lump on my left scapula. Concerned, and still hoping it was an exercise injury, I made another appointment with my local doctor. I eventually got an MRI, and the orthopedic called me in a few days later, telling me to bring my mom or dad with me. At this point I knew something was wrong and was expecting the worse.

Both my mom and dad came with me, where the doctor told us the lump on my shoulder seemed to resemble a sarcoma. I had no idea what a sarcoma was but eventually found out soon enough. At that point I knew it was cancer. A few days later I got a biopsy at the University of Minnesota. I was diagnosed with EwinFriedman-Sarah-with-Jangs Sarcoma, a rare and aggressive type of sarcoma. After another MRI, PET scan, and CT scan, it showed that the cancer had spread to the top bones of my arms, the top parts of my legs, the bone marrow in my lower back, and a small area in my liver. I began chemotherapy in August at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s hospital. Ewings Sarcoma usually affects younger children or teens, although I’m now 23, so I was being treated at the children’s hospital.

I was very nervous for chemo, as I hated nausea and getting sick, but I ended up taking the chemo very well. I never vomitted, although I did feel nausea from time-to-time. I underwent six cycles of chemo and finished at the end of October. I’m now going through radiation for my scapula (as the rest of the tumors have disappeared)! I have a few more weeks of radiation, and will then undergo a stem cell transplant in January, using my own stem cells. I’m extremely nervous for this challenge, but I know it will cure me. The doctors said that Ewings usually returns if a stem cell transplant is not performed. I’m on my way to being done and healthy!