Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Hannah Russell
Features Writer
12:03 PM 8th August 2020

Diagnosed With Sarcoma Cancer

It’s August - last month for me now seems to be a little bit of a blur. It went so fast and I couldn’t really remember what was going on as I was on a course of radiotherapy and a high dose of medication after my operation.

Hannah and Little Alf
Hannah and Little Alf
Last month marked ‘Sarcoma Awareness’. Every day 15 people in the UK are diagnosed with Sarcoma. At the start of July I was one of those 15 people. Sarcoma is a cancer that can develop anywhere in the body, including muscles, bone, tendons, tissues and blood vessels.

Over the course of lockdown I started to develop a pain in my right hip. Initially I put it down to joint pain from old injuries as I have worn discs in my back due to an old accident.

During May and June 2020 I noticed the pain was getting increasingly worse. I had taken up running over lockdown and thought that was why, but I also started to feel more and more tired which is unusual for me as I’m always on the go, bouncing around ready for the next adventure.

Every four minutes someone in the UK dies from cancer.

I rang my doctor and was sent for a series of tests and scans and not long after I found out I had a high-grade sarcoma tumour just around my hip.

It was a bit of a shock and telling family and friends was difficult but I’m so lucky to have such a large supportive network around me at home and online.

In the middle of July, I had surgery to remove the tumour and I have had radiotherapy to destroy the last remaining cancer cells left behind (if any) along with some medication to relieve pain.

I am so lucky as the sarcoma I was diagnosed with is curable and I am now on the right track for recovery. I think I thought the recovery process was going to be quicker but I now know how important it is to rest and look after myself. I feel really grateful to have discovered it early.

The NHS have been outstanding from being diagnosed to having surgery and after-care.

I wanted to write a post to raise awareness for sarcoma but also to urge people if they do have lumps or if something is bothering you to go to the doctors and get checked out, talk to friends and family and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If more people knew what sarcoma was, they would get the lump checked out earlier. The earlier sarcoma is diagnosed, the greater the chance of successful treatment.

I feel so lucky to have been able to get diagnosed at such an early stage, as thousands of people don’t. Every four minutes someone in the UK dies from cancer.

One day there will be a cure, for now cancer might have chosen the fight but I will finish it.