Molly Gilmore, from Twickenham, is 17 years old. She enjoys public speaking, seeing friends and family, and most importantly, she says, spending time with her gorgeous labrador.
Molly has big aspirations in life, and one day hopes to become CEO of a company. In this blog piece, Molly shares her story with sarcoma as a young person.
‘I was diagnosed in 2018, after being told for two years the lump on my finger was nothing to be concerned about’ says Molly.
‘We had to really push for an ultrasound, which eventually showed that the lump contained some liquid. I was scheduled in for an operation to remove the liquid, however when the operation was actually performed, it was found there was very little liquid, and there was actually a large mass on my finger. A biopsy was taken at the time and sent off for testing.’
‘About six months later, we had a follow up where we were told they were not quite sure what the mass was, so it was being sent to a specialist in London. A month after this, we received a call asking us to come to London the next day to meet a doctor.’
‘This was when I found out I had clear cell sarcoma. The doctor told me that chemotherapy and radiotherapy would not be beneficial to my cancer, and that the best bet was to do a ray resection to cut off the whole of my right middle finger and some of the bone down my hand.’
‘The tumour was obvious on my hand but was not painful, however it did stop me being able to write well etc. The scans before my operation revealed that the mass was actually much further along the bone then the eye could see.’
‘After my operation, I was given the all clear and am now in five years remission. The care I received from my oncology team was phenomenal, however my GP that sent me away for two years telling me it was nothing ultimately cost me my finger and part of my hand. This led to me not being able to continue my passion for sports, which was my future at that time.’
‘Since then, I have not had that much further treatment to do with the cancer, but do now receive treatment for my chronic illness. My experience at the hospital was amazing due to the fact my friends and family were there at all times. I was awake and able to get out of bed. I think without them, I would have been in a horrible situation. As well as the amazing nurses and doctors that just put my mind at ease and helped me every step of the way.’
‘I am now in a peaceful place with my sarcoma diagnosis. I have accepted what has happened as at first, I was extremely angry. I asked the question many people with cancer ask… why me? I realised that it was not a flaw, but a strength, and I would now like to help other cancer patients and survivors see that.’
‘I would like to show people that it is not a flaw or something to be ashamed of, it is a true strength that not many people have. I want to do anything I can to raise awareness, due to the fact so many children are missed out on as they are viewed as heathy.’
‘My mantras to any other young person with sarcoma are:
- Just keep swimming
- You are always stronger than you know, you’ve got this
- Love yourself no matter what.’
Sarcoma diagnoses make up 10% of all cancers diagnosed in people under the age of 25, and sarcoma is the third most common cancer diagnosed in children, teenagers and young adults.
You can read more about subtypes and treatment of sarcoma in young people via our Sarcoma in Young People Hub.
You can also visit our Childhood Cancer Awareness Month page for the facts, treatment, and how you can get involved.
If you have questions or need someone to talk to, our friendly team of expert nurses are here to help on our Support Line.