Sarcoma Story – Toni Kittredge

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Type of Sarcoma: Myxoid Liposarcoma
Date of Diagnosis: 2020
Location: abdomen

I was diagnosed April 23rd, 2020 with Myxoid Liposarcoma, but my journey did not start there. I spent months in pain and general discomfort, visiting different kinds of medical professionals, all of whom said, “you’re young, it’s probably just a pulled muscle.”

I had already been through one surgery on April 7th where I was assured, they would be able to remove this large 17 cm mass in my abdomen. As it turns out that mass was only half of the problem. I had an entire second 15 cm tumor that extended through my pelvic notch into my glute, and my hospital had never heard of any sarcoma, let alone Myxoid Liposarcoma.

Shocked was an understatement. I knew I was in pain, but to know that this mass was taking up nearly my entire lower abdominal cavity really blew my mind. How could I not KNOW something was very wrong until now? How could it go overlooked? Even during a previous ultrasound and minor surgery the previous September.

Since then, it has been a world-wind of appointments, chemotherapy, radiation, flying across the country to have a limb-sparing surgery in Los Angeles, and more chemotherapy.

This journey, though terrifying, has not been all bad. I can tell you with a full heart that it has brought me closer to family and friends. It has brought a new profound level of spirituality into my life and has greatly enhanced my desire to give back. Only now, I have a direction in which I want to give back in.

I started volunteering with Rein in Sarcoma early in my cancer diagnosis. My brain would not allow me to sit idly by. I had to do something to help others so that maybe, just maybe, I could spare even one person the trauma I went through and the late diagnosis. If I can help fellow sarcoma patients in any way; physically, mentally, emotionally, that is my goal and my drive to keep going each day.

Just remember, you are not alone. Reach out, ask for help if and when you need it. Write down your thoughts and fears, and never let the bad moments stay too long. It’s ok and important to grieve, but it’s equally important to live and enjoy life. Keep fighting because together we are sarcoma strong!

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