Yeah well, a couple of years ago, there was a bump on my arm. Grew to about the size of a tennis ball in a couple of months.
Doctor sent me to a specialist. A couple of scans later, what we had was a sarcoma growing out of my biceps. I was sent to the top specialist in the NW, where I was told that it’s extremely rare and highly aggressive. It grows fast, and likes to move.
There have been half a dozen cases, none of which have ended well. I was the latest member of a special club.
The specialist was puzzled: people with less dramatic prognoses generally reacted. “Would it do any good to scream and cry,” I asked. No? Then what’s the point?
So, 20 years ago, the “treatment” was amputation of the arm at the shoulder, which seemed a little extreme to me. And still, most died. Because it loves to travel.
We agreed to go with a different mode: six weeks of intense beam radiation to try to kill off the parts of the tumor that were wrapping around vascular and nerve bundles in the arm. It managed to burn the skin out of my armpit, and it was rather disappointing to see that I didn’t actually light up, so I saved no money on night-lights.
The radiation killed off 60% of the tumor, leaving enough room for the three surgeons to do their thing: one removed the entire biceps muscle, another laid in a dozen and a half small catheters, and the third transplanted tissue in so that the arm looks and acts more or less the same. The catheters were implanted in case any cancer cells got loose, and twice a day following the surgery, radioisotopes were shunted down them by a little robot, to kill off anything that might have been missed.
I had thought that they were hooking me up for fiber-optic internet, but I was wrong; they were catheters for further treatment. That explains why I couldn’t bring up Youtube.
Well, it’s been a year and a half. No sign of recurrence. The specialist says I’m their success story. Say what?
No other person has survived and retained complete function. That means that of those who made it, everyone else ended up with partial or total loss of the affected limb.
He said my attitude made all the difference. Apparently, having a perverse sense of humor is a plus.