I Have a Tumor

A couple of months ago, I went to see a doctor about a lump on my lower left thigh, just above the knee. An MRI indicated that the lump was likely a rhabdomyosarcoma – a cancerous tumor – although I would need a biopsy to be sure.

Based on the age and size of my tumor, and the fact that the MRI hinted at additional sarcomas on the bones of both legs, my prognosis looked fairly grim. In the worst case, I might have had less than two years left even with aggressive treatment.

It took me several weeks and referrals to three different doctors before I found one who was willing to do the biopsy. Three weeks ago, I had an open biopsy on my thigh that left me with a two-inch incision and nine surgical staples. Last week, we finally got the results from the biopsy: the mass in my thigh is a myxoid liposarcoma. A bone scan done just before the biopsy showed no bone involvement.

Now a liposarcoma is still a malignant tumor – cancer – but my prognosis is much better than it would be with a rhabdomyosarcoma. Liposarcoma is a less aggressive cancer that tends to spread locally rather than metastasize globally. On the other hand, it has a strong genetic component and tends to recur in other locations, and if it does spread to the lungs, etc. it can get nasty fast. For the moment, however, I am (probably) not dying – at least not any faster than expected.

At this point, it doesn’t look like I am going to need chemotherapy. I may even be able to skip radiation therapy if surgery successfully removes all traces of the cancer. The surgery itself – scheduled for late next month – may be a little tricky, however. The surgeon will be removing most of the sartorius muscle from my thigh. Depending on how much of the inner structure of the leg is exposed, they may have to move a muscle from my calf up into my thigh. With luck, I will retain most or all of my leg function.

Obviously, a malignant tumor is bad news. I’m  pretty annoyed about the entire thing, especially since it’s happening during the Mists of Pandaria beta. But hey … at least I am (probably) not dying in the next two years.

I hope.

See also:
Surgery Followup
Followup to the Followup

150 thoughts on “I Have a Tumor

  1. Petal

    I’m genuinely sorry to hear of your problem, but happy (sorta?) that it’s the less aggressive of the two options you had. My thoughts and prayers are with you (as is Jonquil’s!) — and I wish you a speedy recovery and the very best of luck in fighting this off.

  2. Jheric

    I saw rhabdo and went ohshit — really glad it’s something less-bad than that. I imagine these past few months have been horrible for you, but I hope surgery goes well and your medical team gets all of it.

    Stupid cancer, trying to keep you from beta and other fun things.

    I’m rooting for you. Let us know if there’s anything random internet folks can do to help somehow?

  3. Toka

    I am glad that the news is better than what you had initially thought. It sucks that you had to have the crap scared out of you like that. I hope the surgery goes smoothly.

  4. Suzi

    I’m very sorry to hear about your news – even though it’s good that it’s not worse, it’s still awful that you have to go through all that. I hope that the surgery is successful and you are back on your feet (literally and figuratively) very soon. Best of luck and well wishes to you. There are a lot of people that don’t personally know you that are rooting for you.

  5. Sephrenya

    Oh gosh. Oh good. Oh, I hope it all works out good for you. That was my thought process. I wish you well. My uncle was given 2 years to live almost 5 years ago. He’s still going. All the best with your surgery and recovery.

  6. Ian

    I’m sorry to hear that Mania but happy that you seem to be ok. I had second stage cancer 7 years ago and was just in remission when wow started and I remember it really helped keep me occupied when I was recovering. Keep up the website, it’s loved by all us hunters. Take care :)

  7. wodun

    Sorry to hear that Mania but it is great news that you are on top of it. I hope everything goes well with your treatment.

  8. Frostheim

    That really blows. Just know that all of us in the hunter community are pulling for you, and if there’s anything I can do to make life less shitty, just ask. I’m sure all hunters feel the same.

    We love you!

  9. Taeliana

    Fuck cancer.
    I’ll say a prayer to the health fairies for you. Other than that, stay strong, keep your head up, and know that even strangers on the internet are pulling for you!

  10. Pathemeous

    Your work has not only reached the Hunters, but anyone in WoW that sees a rare beast mob.
    We will all be praying, hoping and supporting where we can.
    I wish you all the best of luck, faith, hope and treatment.

  11. Wolfshot

    I really hope everything works out okay for you, Mania. I love the site and all the contributions you have made towards the hunter communities, and I can only offer my hopes and prayers to you as you go through this.

  12. Wyrdia

    Praying for you, I hope all goes well. You’re an amazing member of the hunter community and we’re all behind you 100%!

  13. Catniss

    I wish you all the luck and excellent loot drops and rare pet finds and everything else.
    You can pet tank this thing and kick its arse.

  14. Weust

    Good luck. I hope the tumor can be completely removed, and you will be able to use your leg as normal after the operation.

  15. Sesamee

    You’re in my thoughts as you fight this nasty disease. Stay strong and remember you have the support of the entire hunter community. We’re all pulling for you!

    My grandmother beat an aggressive form of breast cancer that she got in her 70′s. Good medical care, luck, and eliminating grains, sugars, dairy from her diet and eating tons of low carb low sugar veggies, meats, and natural fats played a huge part in her victory. I’m sure you don’t need advice but just thought I’d throw that in there. /hugs :)

  16. Dianth

    aye, those of us in the WHU dwarven clan, be sending our best haggis and stout. Know that you have a legion of stocky little men, and women who are men too, for support!

  17. Berry

    Loads and loads of sympathy. And finger crossing. Maybe a laptop in the hospital to keep your brain off the needles and the pain?

  18. donvodki

    my heart is wrinkled… i can’t even imagine all the things you must be thinking of. i have so many feelings and words to say… i mean when someone takes an issue like this with such good humor sense and trust is just overwhelming. damn… this is going to be a real hard quest to acomplish my dear… only patience will give you the strength to fight till the last minute. anyway… is not over, the quest have just began. be strong my dear. lots of kisses and hugs from Colombia – South America

  19. Azzrazzah

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.. News like this can be devistating.. You sound willing to fight this; I hope you are!!! Best of wish’s to you in this.. If you need an ear I’ll listen… I hope and pray this all turns out for the best.. Huggz Azz

  20. Kuraociti

    May Elune light and guide your path to recovery Mania. I have had family struggle with Cancer and while it’s not easy thankfully it sounds like they caught your’s early.

  21. Quelys

    Hey Mania,
    I just wanted to say best of luck with all of your treatment – keeping positive is the only way to go. My thoughts are with you during this time :)
    I also have a family that has been ravaged by cancer, it is never an easy problem to deal with. Stay strong and you will get through it!
    Much love from the Australian hunter community <3

  22. starzein

    Best wishes Mania,
    Hunters around the world will be cuddling thier pets a little closer and sending you all the love they can at this time, stay positive

  23. Barrah

    Ran into you in the MoP beta and that was by far one of the highlights of my WoW career. I’ve been a huge fan of your work for as long as I can recall…

    Pull through, be tough and know that you’ve touched the lives of millions of us, and we’re all wishing for the best for you.

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