Becky was on a family vacation, enjoying her time off, spending valuable time with her loved ones and walking a lot when she noticed her thigh started hurting. She took Tylenol without relief. After the vacation, she saw multiple doctors and surgeons, and eventually learned the root of her pain was a soft tissue sarcoma of her thigh. She was devastated at the news and her first thoughts were about her son. Becky has twin boys, one of whom has serious health issues, requiring her attention at home. Thankfully, she has a good support system– her family and friends, who provided reassurance and support, putting her mind at ease. Unfortunately, her sarcoma returned 2 years later. Treatment led to remission, and Becky went on with her life. Then, three years later, her sarcoma returned for the second time. She was treated again, and thankfully, 2 years out, it has not reappeared. She gets scans every 6 months to look for recurrence of disease. As her appointment date gets closer, she increasingly gets worried that her cancer may come back, yet again. Thoughts race through her head, such as “what do I have to get done if I need surgery? Do I need to get groceries? Does anything need to be done at the house?” Every negative scan is a huge relief, at least for the next 6 months when she is due for another scan. However, she does not let these worries control her and she keeps moving forward. “The cancer is always at the back of my mind, never at the front.” She likes to spend time outdoors, installed a pool, and built a deck with her son. She wore a leg brace for a while to stop her legs from buckling, but now, feeling stronger, she no longer needs it. She has an immensely positive attitude and before her surgeries, her sons would harmlessly tease her, saying, “if you lose a leg, we’ll rename you Ilene or Peg.” Seven years after her diagnosis, Becky is feeling great. She started working again in the intensive care unit at a local hospital. She has a 6-month old granddaughter (pictured above), who is her reason to keep going. She says, “I’m stronger than I thought I was.” Her advice to others going through similar diagnoses: “It’s a life-changing disease, it’s not a cold, it’s always there. Just do the best you can, be bright every morning when you wake up and have faith in your doctor. Things will get better, we have to be patient.”   Interview by Zohal Ghulum-Jelani

Join us at the 6th Annual Sarcoma Strong 5k to support Becky and her fellow sarcoma warriors. Registration is open at:

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