Staying Strong Through the Unknown
- 33-year old Stephanie Thomson noticed strange aches and shooting pain in her groin last June, and then discovered a small lump on her upper thigh. Much later, after an initial misdiagnosis, she would find out that it was an extremely rare cancer.
- Stephanie was eventually diagnosed with extra skeletal renal rhabdoid cancer, which is extremely rare, even for children, where it is typically found.
- Though Stephanie has a tough fight ahead of her, she has to look on the bright side. She went in and got checked immediately. And the positive part is that they did determine what type it was, when maybe another team wouldn’t have, which is why multiple opinions are always crucial.
The mom, who lives in Renfrewshire, Scotland, was told she needed to wait nine weeks for her biopsy results.Read More
Stephanie was eventually diagnosed with extra skeletal renal rhabdoid cancer, an extremely rare cancer, even for children, where it is typically found.
First told she had sarcoma, a broad group of cancer that starts in the bone or soft tissue, I she then found out her correct diagnosis after a PET scan.
“I was told that the external pathology showed that the issue in my groin is the lymph nodes and told me it was a secondary site,” she recalled. “Doctors told me that they have never treated this cancer in an adult in the UK and so they are having to adapt a treatment plan.”
Right now, the plan is the same treatment that would be given for Ewing sarcoma, which typically occurs in children and young adults.
“It is very invasive, consultants might never see it in their professional career,” she continued, again relaying what the doctors had told her. Her odds are more like one in 30 million, they said.
According to Stephanie’s GoFundMe page, “after an 18-week course of chemotherapy, she will be then given another pet scan to check if the cancer is stable enough for her to undergo surgery and after that she will more than likely be given more chemotherapy.”
In the meantime, she is just trying to remain strong and take things day by day, which is all we can do sometimes. The support of her community has helped Stephanie immensely through this process.
“I’m so blown away by all of the donations, my door hasn’t stopped going with the postman, I’ve been getting cards and gift sets and flowers. I’m fighting for life but also fighting to pay bills and this money helps.”
Keeping a Positive Mindset Through Cancer
Cancer is scary. Getting diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer is much much scarier. It takes a lot more positive energy to get past the fear of the unknown.
Trusting your care team can sometimes be daunting, especially in this case, when very few people even have experience treating a cancer so rare. Though Stephanie has a tough fight ahead of her, she has to look on the bright side. She went in and got checked immediately. Since her cancer is so rare, it is not fair to place blame on her doctors. And the positive part is that they did determine what type it was, when maybe another team wouldn’t have, which is why multiple opinions are crucial.
Hopefully, Stephanie’s treatment plan works and she will be on the other side of this terrible disease very soon.
Most importantly, Stephanie’s story is a reminder to always go to the doctor right away if you are experiencing any unusual symptoms. She is lucky that she addressed her health situation, and should in no way beat herself up about it.
Remember, you are always your own best advocate.