I was a keen footballer and played on a ladies Sunday league team. I thought I was injured and had Groin Strain as this is where the pain started. I had the pain for at least a year before I sought help.
I attended a physiotherapy appointment for this problem but in the meantime, I had a routine MRI scan on my bowel as I have suffered from Crohn’s disease since the age of 14. This was at Calderdale Royal Hospital. During the scan, the radiographer found a lump (the tumour) on my pelvic area. This is when I got referred to a very nice surgeon who was based at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham.
I first found out I had been diagnosed with chondrosarcoma a few weeks after my curettage operation. I received a letter and googled the diagnosis.
The first word I spotted was cancer. I felt very scared and distressed. There are no words to describe the way I felt, I just panicked.
My surgeon was brilliant - very reassuring, and professional. This made me feel at ease and I felt like I was being very well looked after.
Firstly, I had a biopsy in 2013 at the age of 24. The tumour carried on growing within the year after having more scans with contrast dye. In August 2014 I underwent an operation where they did a ‘curettage’ procedure (surgical scraping) of the tumour.
Within a month the tumour grew back, so in January 2015 the surgeons decided to completely remove my right inferior pubic ramus with clear margins.
Since then, I had scans every 3 or 6 months for the first 5 years after the removal of the tumour and have now been clear for 6 years.
I am supposed to be seen and scanned 12 monthly now but haven’t been seen since December 2019 due to the current pandemic.
Since my diagnosis, I have had to alter my life a little bit. I do suffer with pain on my right side often, but it is not unbearable. This is usually on a night when I am resting.
I have still been able to do activities that I used to enjoy before surgery including trampolining, snow skiing and walking.
The all-clear on previous scans and reassurance from the surgeon every time we meet are what give me strength. As well as a husband and family that has supported me throughout this difficult time, and since then I have given birth to two wonderful children.
My message to others would be to always stay positive, do not be afraid to ask for help and advice. There is always hope.
I think it is important to raise awareness about an early diagnosis because it could save someone’s life and improve the outcome of people affected by bone cancer. Fortunately, I class myself as lucky as my bone cancer was found early enough to help me lead a normal life.