Fiona, aged 41, lives in London and works in marketing. During the lockdown of 2020, Fiona found a painless lump just behind the back of her knee which turned out to be osteosarcoma.
I had originally thought the lump was a Baker’s Cyst as I had been doing a lot of walking during lockdown, but it was a little too high up on my leg, so I went online to check my symptoms. Instead, I found a BBC news story about a nurse who had lost a leg due to sarcoma. That was the first time I’d heard of sarcoma.
I realised I had some of the same symptoms, including a hard lump that couldn’t be explained by an injury. Another warning sign in the story was how quickly the lump grew. Because it was on the back of my leg and I couldn’t track it easily, I started taking photos and measurements to help my GP understand this was unusual.
I didn’t manage to have a face-to-face appointment with my GP due to the pandemic and was told it was probably nothing. But if they couldn’t tell me what it was then I wasn’t going to let it rest. I kept phoning and pushing first for an ultrasound and then, when that didn’t give me a clear answer, an MRI. I was prepared to do the chasing and spent a good few months badgering them.
I finally got an MRI in late September and immediately after the MRI was told I could go straight to have a CT scan. I knew from the reaction in the department that it was a sarcoma.
I was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma (soft tissue) in my right thigh and went on to have surgery to remove my sarcoma in December 2020. I was told how lucky I was to have caught it so early as it made the surgery much more straightforward and meant that I could avoid the need for radiotherapy.
I am now doing well, and still have full use of my leg with no lingering effects. I’ve taken up running and am set to complete my first half marathon at the end of summer 2023.