Jessica and sarcoma

By Jessica, United States, February 28, 2014

Hi, my name is Jessica. My story began when I was 22 years old. On February 24, 2011 I went to my doctor to have a lump removed from my thigh. It didn't look suspicious and nobody, including my doctor was concerned. A few days later, on February 29, 2011 (Ironically, it was Rare Disease Day), I got "the call" that changed my life. I was diagnosed with Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans. I had never heard of this. I was stunned. I found out that I was 1 in 1,000,000. It was hard to find a doctor to help me because this was so rare, but I did. I had surgery to remove the tumor a few weeks later. I am coming up on 2 years "cancer-free," but the scars, physically and emotionally, will be with my forever. I like to think that my journey really began after having surgery. A big part of having such a rare disease is feeling alone and coming to terms with an awful diagnosis. I felt like no one understood what I was going through. I struggled everyday, but somehow, I found a strength within myself, that I didn't even know existed, to continue to push forward. Eventually, I learned to appreciate life and all of the gifts that surround me. While my situation was the hardest and most difficult of my life, I managed to become the strongest version of myself that I could ever have imagined.
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