In 2016, Andy had his tumour removed, but sadly in 2018 the tumour returned and more surgery followed. Seven months later his tumour returned for a third time, which resulted in Andy having an above the knee amputation. In his own words, Andy has kindly shared his story and some wonderful advice.
My symptoms started with bad pain to the side of my right knee which kept me awake at night, this went on for nearly a year. I initially went to see my GP who after a couple of cortisone injections, which seemed to ease the pain for a couple of months referred me to the hospital in Grimsby for an MRI after which I was asked to go to the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham to see Professor Jeys who organised for me to have biopsy, which confirmed that I had chondrosarcoma.
January 2016, I had the tumour removed and I had a complex knee replacement at the same time at BMI The Edgbaston Hospital. In 2018, my tumour returned, and I had a Proximal Tibial Replacement at BMI The Priory Hospital.
Then in June 2019, I had local recurrence which resulted in above knee amputation. This surgery was done at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham. All my procedures were carried out by Professor Jeys and he was fantastic. After my surgery I had a blood clot in my lung, and I was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham by ambulance. I recovered but I am now on long-term medication.
I’m currently not having treatment, but I have 12 weekly check-ups including MRI scans and X-rays in case of recurrence. I decided to shield during the Covid-19 pandemic and my scans have been delayed due to Covid.
After three separate diagnoses of chondrosarcoma resulting in amputation one positive for me was receiving a prosthetic leg on the NHS which has allowed me to get back to a bit of normality in my daily life.
My complete lifestyle has changed as I haven’t been able to drive myself anywhere in a long time and I have had to rely on my family to get me about.
I have ordered an adapted car, which hasn’t arrived yet due to Covid. It’s been over a year since I drove due to either pain in my leg or after effects of the operations. I also have to plan ahead to go anywhere as it takes time to get up and ready with a prosthetic, using crutches or my wheelchair around the house when not wearing my leg is annoying and makes everything hard work but it’s something I have to get used to and accept
My strength has come from my family especially my wife, my girls and my grandchildren, if it wasn’t for them, I don’t know how I would have got through the past five years
My advice to other is there is always hope. I have received excellent care over the past five years. Stay strong, take one day at a time, try keeping as fit as possible, keep fighting and let your family and friends help you and support you when you are feeling down and scared of not knowing what the future may hold.
Awareness is important because if you are aware of the symptoms and get an early diagnosis it allows you to get the best treatment available and gives you a better chance of recovery and leading a full life.