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. Royi

    Thank you for giving me the passion behind pet collecting, rare pet hunting, and just playing a hunter in general.

    May the Gods show you favor, and if they don’t, challenge them and win.

  2. Cindy

    “Royi on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 14:27 said:

    Thank you for giving me the passion behind pet collecting, rare pet hunting, and just playing a hunter in general.

    May the Gods show you favor, and if they don’t, challenge them and win.”
    I just read about this in Frostheim’s weekly WoWInsider column. “Get well soon” seems inadequate, but do; please.

  3. Aybarra

    Just remember, no matter how dark it gets, there is close to one million people pulling for you. There are one million hunters out there who’s lives you have touched in no small way as over the years we have followed not just your pet news but your blog posts, as you talked about life and your job and your health. I will keep you in my thoughts and hope for the best outcome of a very shitty situation. We don’t dare lose you, Mania. We love you and will be here no matter what happens. Now go get on Beta and tame something new even if you have to break the damn game to do it.

  4. Unklebbubby

    Thank you so much for igniting the passion inside for pet collecting and giving new life to this ol hunter.
    You’re AWESOME

  5. Undra

    This silly eight-year-old game would have been far less enjoyable if it had not been for your site and the community built up around it. Thank you, Mania, and get well soon.

  6. Fitzroy

    Great news that it is not as bad as previously suspected. Hope the op goes as well as it can, and you’re back on your feet as soon as poss. A big hug is winging its way to you.


    PS. I know you have no idea who I am, and I’m sure you have many many people to hug you. But hey a hug is a hug and one more can’t do any harm :P

  7. Kirsdarke

    Mania, you’ve been an inspiration to us for several years for your efforts in-game. Now you’ve extended that even further. My best wishes are with you for your surgery and your recovery.

  8. bret

    You have helped tens of thousands of people get more out of thier hobby (perhaps more). To touch that many, even in a little way, is remarkable. Get well soon.

  9. quori

    Mania, good luck with the treatments, I am hoping your Specialists pop Beatial Wrath on the cancer cells and eradicate it like you would a lone Rogue fishing in Alterac Valley.

    Good Luck!!!


  10. Raederle

    Just heard this news via Frostheim’s site. You are amazing, you have dome amazing work with Petopia, and I wish you all the best luck in kicking cancer’s ass forthwith!

  11. Ziarre

    Oh…oh my god. I wish you the best of luck, as someone who’s had cancer take too many away too soon. ;w;

  12. Whitney Gigandet

    Thank you for all you have done to brighten the WoW community. You will be in my thoughts and prayers tonight and for all the nights to come. I wish you a quick treatment and a speedy recovery!

  13. Emma

    You have done some fab work with Petopia. Sorry to hear the bad news. I wish you the best of luck with your recovery and I hope all goes well.

  14. Terry

    Hello Mania, I’m so sorry about your illness. Just remember so many have beaten cancer, and so can you. Just think of it as oooooh one more super rare tame you just gota conquer and then wham its over and done with, and your the winner !!
    Your sight has made me love my hunter’s even more and when on line if someone is asking for info I always point them your way because Mania knows all. I hope you get well soon and I’ll keep you in my prayers :o)
    Obobedobo, lvl 85 Nightelf Hunter.

  15. Aaron

    I just wanted to say get well and stay positive. As someone who has recovered from cancer I know some of what you will and are going through and you will get better. On a side note thank you for everything pertaining to WoW. My hunter is much better of because of it.

  16. Jamilynn

    Hiyas Mania,

    Just wanted you to know you are in my daily thoughts and prayers. Just look at this cancer as prey and your the hunter… Many prey have faced a hunter in battle and the hunter won!! Just saying!!! The prey your facing now doesn’t stand a chance!!

    Keep up the great attitude.. Kick this new prey in the ass and don’t look back..

    Thank you for all the amazing Info you have brough to us over the years!! Thank you for all the amazing info you will bring to us in the years to come…

    Hugs going out to you!!

  17. Bulhar of Bloodhoof EU

    All the Best Lass, I have loved your site for the past 6 years I have known about it.
    Be strong, Live long and Keep collecting those Pets…

    Big Hug from a Scottish Hunter

  18. Tabathine of Ticondruis

    As a fellow Hunter and Cancer Survivor (9 years), I wish you all the best. We’re here for you to lean on, and if you can beat a giant fire breathing, world domination destroying dragon, you can beat this. Stay strong,

  19. Ariens

    I hope all goes well with your surgery and i wish you a fast and full recovery. My mother had the same thing on her leg, in a different spot, but they were able to get it right away. But as a result, her and all of our family is much more cautious. Good luck and get well soon!

  20. Eochaid

    Good god that’s not good, only recently had a similar case in the family, won’t go into it though. Best wishes and all the luck in the world in dealing with this. Look on the bright side, maybe this is enough to get blizz to make a Mania npc in wow ^^

  21. Fimilys

    Wow.. Well, I am sure everything with the surgery will go well. Extremely glad the “worst case” was not the case. If there is anything I can help you with, let me know. :)

  22. Steven Cote

    I hope that everything goes well and stays well for you. I don’t play WoW all that much anymore but I come back to check on the site from time to time and I’ve used your site over the years. It’s been very helpful and your contribution to my years of experience with this game have been great. Here’s to you and your health. I wish all the best for you. Please take care!

  23. Karathyriel

    Hey Mania,

    dunno if you remember me from the petopia forums.
    I’m sorry to hear that fate struck again where it shouldn’t. The German, you know?

    Wish you all the best and all the luck the world can spare to make this be a horrible memory in the future instead of something that will be prospect of your every day life.

    Hail from overseas,

  24. Mike

    I’ve been wow’ing since vanilla. A few years ago, my young wife got breast cancer, then a recurrence the following year. Although I didn’t have it nearly as bad as her, sometimes I considered WoW a major part of my own way to deal with the dilemma, if only just to get away from real life for a few hours at a time. Although she doesn’t play at all, she understood it was my therapeutic way to deal with things. Good luck to you.

  25. rdes

    I just wanted to take a moment to offer my sympathy and support, for what little that’s worth, every little bit helps in times like these. I’m not much into religion, but I’ll say a prayer for ya anyway, it can’t hurt right? Everyone tries to put a positive spin on things, well most people do anyway, and some times it can seem like a load of crap, but you have to hold on to the positives or you will drown in negativity. So that said: one way to look at it is, you’ve already beaten rhabdomyosarcoma, and there being no bone involvement is a very good thing also. You’ll have this beat in no time, good luck and keep fighting. Best wishes to you and yours.

  26. Oddyssey

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through this. I hope all goes well with the surgery. I will certainly say some prayers for you. You’ve been wonderful! I love your Petopia site, as a passionate Hunter, you’ve been the best support for my WoW addiction. :o) Keep us posted with your condition if you can and I hope to see you back online ASAP! Lots of Love & Hugs to you!

  27. Levlin

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I will have you in my thoughts and prayers! My first toon was a hunter and now 3 85 hunters later, I wouldn’t be the rare pet hunter I am today if it weren’t for you. Many warm fuzzies and massive Epic Mojo headed your way!

  28. Khavii

    Oh dear! How scary :( but you seem to be taking it in strides, and that’s a good thing. Stay strong and recover! A fellow hunter will keeping you in her prayers! :)

  29. Kevin

    Very sorry to hear of your health concern, and I hope you recover quickly. I’ve enjoyed and benefited from your work on these sites so I just felt like I should wish you well and thank you publicly for all the work and dedication.. from us lurkers.

  30. Janet

    You are strong, u are unique. Reach way down inside and hang on for the ride. May all good spirits bless and watch over you.

  31. Acherontia

    “Annoying,” indeed! I (and everyone else) appreciate everything you’ve done for the community, and wish you a comfortable, fast and safe recovery!

  32. Mel

    When I started playing WoW and collecting mounts, I was excited about the Warcraftmounts site, and used it to make progress checklists and such, and I never really had a way to thank the person behind it for inspiring me to keep my collection straightened out. It helped me a lot when it was first getting started (back in those god-awful runecloth grinding days).

    This seems a bit late to be doing it, and of course not under the best circumstances, but… thank you. I really wish you the best, and even though a tumor is not exactly the best thing a doctor can diagnose you with, it’s important to remember to remain strong. It’s not easy, I know. Just don’t give up.

  33. Keleri

    Ohhhh Mania! Cancer is the worst. The very worst. I wish you a swift and speedy recovery and I hope you will be feeling good again soon.

  34. Gavendo

    It’s hard to write something sincere in a blog comment, often when I honestly feel something deeply about a subject or a post I choose to not write anything since I don’t want to come off as insincere. But in this case I will try it anyway…

    Mania, I wish you the absolute best of luck in your recovery and I hope that you can get the care that you need. I don’t know if you live in the US or not, but if you do, it makes me worried (My girlfriend comes from the US, we both live in Sweden now). You should know that you can get free health care in neighboring countries if you can’t get it where you live.

    I’ve had family and friends who lived in the US who could not afford proper care and could not recover because of it and I have a friend here in Sweden and my own dad who has recovered from very difficult cancer. This is why I feel so strongly about this… If you can’t afford the care and if the doctor’s are turning you down, try other countries.


  35. Pingback: Surgery Followup | Mania's Arcania

  36. Nick

    I’m very sorry to hear, I hope all goes well.

    If it’s of any help, I recommend you watch “Food Matters” on netflix.

    it’s a really interesting documentary on alternative cures, and supplementary cures.

  37. Reigoto

    Your website Petopia and the Mania Forums have been the most important source of information I’ve used in the past 7 years while playing this game.
    Many times your posts about your many hunters and pets delighted me and gave me ideas.
    Your love for pets and the hunter class in general humanised this game a great deal to me.
    Cancer for such an achiever as yourself should be something you deal with swiftly and effectively.
    All the best from a Hunter fan.

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