It's that time again. This Swim Across America evnet benefits the Rush University Medical Center Cancer Center, which is where I've been treated since being diagnosed with sarcoma in 2002. I would love to have you donate to my fundraising page or even join me out at the lake on August 10th. You can swim various distances: 1/2 mile, 1 mile, 1.5 mile or 3 miles. It's not a competitive event, so anyone can get out there and do it.
I was diagnosed with a malignant firbous histiocytoma sarcoma (MFH sarcoma) back in 2002 when I was 19 years old. I'm so thankful that my orthopedic oncologist at Rush, Dr. Steven Gitelis, was able to diagnose my tumor early when I began having pain in my leg the summer before my junior year of college. I stopped going to school and did chemo for almost a year and a half and had a limb salvage surgery to remove the tumor, which was inside my femur. Most of my femur bone was removed and replaced with a metal prosthesis. Technology these days!! In December of 2004, I was declared cancer free. I thought that was the end of it. My life was forever changed because of cancer, but for the better. I had a great new persepctive on life and was determined to cherish every moment.
Fast forward to June of 2012 (8 years later) and on a random chest xray, there was a small lung nodule that had popped up on my lung. The nodule was removed and did in fact test positive for sarcoma. My cancer was back, and it's been pesky ever since. I've relapsed 7 times. Once to my left thigh and 6 times to my lungs. I've had the tumor removed from my thigh and did over 30 rounds of radiation in 2014 and have had 5 thoroscopies. I'm scheduled to have my first ever cryoablation in May of 2019 to the new nodule in my lung.
I've been on chemotherapy since April of 2014. Last week I started my 60th round of chemotherapy at rush. 60 rounds!! I mean. Cancer is just a part of my everyday life. It is what it is. I'm so hoping for new and effective treatments that will help me beat this once and for all.
I absolutely love Rush. Which sounds odd to love a hospital and the people that work there, but I truly believe that I'm in the best of hands at Rush. I've had the 2 best oncologists that anyone could ask for (Dr. Batus and Dr. Korenblit) and an orthopedic oncologist (Dr. Gitelis) who has operated on me at least 10 times and kept me up and moving. Any Dr. Chmielewski has cleaned out my lungs 5 times now of nodules. My nurses. I mean. Where do I even begin. They are just THE BEST. There are too many to name, but they truly make Rush a great place to be.
The money that is raised from this event goes to fund research at the Rush Cancer Center, which is so very important to me. Please consider donating to my team!