Lynne visited her local hospital over 12 times before decided to seek private medical care. Lynne has kindly shared her story with us.

I was having on and off pain in my leg and then one day I fall from a step ladder and an X-ray showed a small hole in my femur, which the local hospital said was a bone cyst.

The pain in my leg got worse and my leg kept giving away. I visited my local hospital 12 more times, but I was told there was nothing wrong. I decided to go private and I had an MRI scan, which showed that the tiny hole was now 12 inches up my femur and my bone was a millimetre thick and about to break.

I was diagnosed with Spindle Cell Sarcoma of the Bone and it was caught just in time.

My treatment involved 6 cycles of chemotherapy before undergoing limb salvage surgery, followed by 6 more rounds of chemotherapy after surgery. I’ve have needed another 10 plus operations since then due to problems with the metal replacement. I had an allergic reaction to cisplatin and methotrexate so had to come off that and have doxorubicin.

I never managed to stay home for more than a few days before my blood count would crash or I would get an infection.

I had a fantastic treatment at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, but at the time there was just no information or anyone to talk to about the type of cancer I had.

Life has totally changed as I used to enjoy running and martial arts which I can no longer do. I just have to accept what I can do and live the best I can. The pain is a daily part of my life, but I think that’s a good thing it means I'm alive.

My family and close friends have been my rock but going through my diagnosis and treatment has made me realise that nothing is impossible I was given a 20% chance of survival yet still here, cancer free, 16 years later.

Awareness is so important with doctors, so they can spot the symptoms and early diagnosis saves lives. I was lucky enough to have private medical insurance as NHS had missed it totally.

My advice to others is to stay positive, I was told survival is 90% attitude. It's going to be a hard fight, I won't lie, but it's a fight you can win. Don't be afraid to ask for help, don't be ashamed to cry, scream or whatever you need to do to get through this. There are people like me through Bone Cancer Research Trust who you can talk to, just ask.

I have thick skin and broad shoulders so feel free to scream at me if you need to or cry on my shoulders. Most of all you are not alone… We will fight with you!

An update for 2023: It is now almost 21 years since I was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma of the bone, but my cancer journey did not come to an end when my treatment ended. I live with ongoing pain and have a lifelong disability, but thankfully have had no recurrence. Thanks to Bone Cancer Research Trust there is now information and support available to bone cancer patients.

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