I didn't think much of it until a weekend trip to London left me with a little discomfort and pain from my knee. After a trip to the drop-in doctor on the Sunday evening I was diagnosed with water on the knee and prescribed a course of anti-inflammatories. But two weeks later the lump was still there and although the knee pain had disappeared, my doctor suggested I have an X-ray.
Fast forward a week or so and when the X-ray results had returned I was being referred to Birmingham Royal Orthopedic Hospital for a biopsy. This confirmed our fears that it was indeed a malignant tumour measuring 12 inches by 5 inches. Thankfully we had a GP who identified that it may have been a tumour otherwise it could have been worse as the tumor was millimeters away from eating through the whole of the bone.
In October 2011 I had the tumour / bone removed and a titanium bar put in place at Birmingham Royal Orthopedic Hospital. By the end of November I was admitted to St James Hospital Leeds (Bexley Wing ) to begin an aggressive seven-month course of chemotherapy, having six days in hospital and one day home. Got to say this was one of the most testing times of my journey to date so far but anyway - then it was straight back to work two weeks later to try and get some normality back in our lives.
My advice to anyone who goes through anything like this is to try and get your family and work life back to normal as soon as you can. I believe with the strength and support of your family and work colleagues you have the best chance of beating this illness.
Fast forward again to December 2013 and at one of my numerous checkups an X-ray showed that there was a mass in my leg tissue where the original tumour had been removed. This obviously raised concerns as we thought that the intense chemotherapy I had would have killed any cells that may have been left.
After some research it seems when a needle biopsy is conducted cancer cells can be trapped in the tissue surrounding the tumour. If this is the case the cells can grow and the tumor starts again. (This is only in my case a theory and not been confirmed either way).
The fact still remained that the tumor was growing again. After a lot of consultation with the specialists and the options were quite limited I decided to have my leg amputated above the knee March 2014. The reason I chose this option was that I had no visible issues on my lungs and the specialist could not guarantee that if they removed the tumour that would be the end of it.
So as of today February 2015 I seem to be cancer free having four-monthly checks and learning to love my prosthetic leg.