After feeling a small lump on his knee, Joanna Giorziu visited the doctor.
She was reassured by her GP that it was just a cyst and she was given some ibuprofen for pain.
However, the pain at the age of 31 continued to worsen, and she returned to several doctors for over five years to prescribe more powerful painkillers.
An area manager in London received an electronic consultation during a coronavirus pandemic and underwent private surgery in August 2021 after the pain became so severe that he could not tolerate it.
She couldn’t afford to make an appointment, but she said, “I knew something was wrong with my internal organs.”
She was diagnosed with stage 4 synovial sarcoma, a cancer that forms in soft tissues.
It is very rare that only 3 out of 1 million people are diagnosed, but in most cases it can grow near the joints and spread very rapidly.
Joanna currently has eight tumors, one of which is the size of a mandarin orange next to her heart.
There are 6 small tumors in her lungs and a large tumor in her knees.
Now Joanna says she feels disappointed with the NHS and could have done more to diagnose her sooner.
She states: “I knew in my gut that something was wrong, so for years I went to various doctors and specialists.
“I will never forget the doctor I went to first. I told him that this soft lump is not so painful to touch but feels sick.
“And he barely looked at my feet, he wasn’t interested in what I was saying at all.
“I actually got two types of diagnoses, one was a ganglion cyst.
“And then I suffered a calcium bite with bleeding. Throughout all that, cancer wasn’t really discussed.”
Joanna said at some point that she had a benign tumor and was put on a waiting list to get rid of it.
She claims she was told she was behind the list because there was a “more important cancer patient” in front of her.
Doctors believe they can get rid of the tumor from my breasts, and I would have to amputate my leg because there is no other way to get rid of that tumor
Joanna added, “I wonder if I’ve been waiting so long that I’m not one of these important cases.
“We believe in what we are told and trust medical professionals.
“We trust the NHS, and despite the feeling that the NHS had some problems, I was proceeding as I was told.
“I feel upset and disappointed with the NHS. I feel like I’m working really hard. And I’ve always paid taxes, and I’m a good British citizen.
“The only thing we get is the NHS and I feel disappointed.”
She said her treatment was further delayed by Covid’s pandemic, and the doctor claimed that she “forgot about everyone else.”
During the pandemic, the surgery was postponed and canceled because a Covid patient was hospitalized and needed treatment.
Joanna said: “The coronavirus was horrifying and infected many people,” she says.
What is Synovial Sarcoma? Also, what are the signs that need attention?
Synovial sarcomas occur in cells around joints and tendons and can occur anywhere in the body.
It often occurs near the knee and is mainly associated with young adults. Sarcoma UK To tell.
Symptoms Symptoms depend on the location and size of the tumor.
Before you are diagnosed, you may experience the following:
- Increase in size
- Larger than 5 cm
- Usually painful, but not always
Doctors diagnose the condition through a variety of tests, including a physical examination to look for lumps and bumps.
You may also have a scan, this could be an x-ray or CT scan.
You may also need to do a biopsy when you take a tissue sample and inspect it.
“While it was happening, they also felt they had forgotten about all the other illnesses.
“And that makes me angry too. I feel that a lot has been ignored in the last few years because of the pandemic.
“While the pandemic is in progress, it feels like everyone with cancer or other end-of-life problems has been put on hold, and now there are a lot of health problems.”
Joanna receives four doses of chemotherapy, loses her hair, and may need to amputate her leg to save her life.
Despite chemotherapy, the tumor in her lungs remained the same, and the tumor in her knee changed shape, but did not decrease in size.
Road to recovery
She added: “The tumor near my heart has undergone the greatest changes. It started at 9 centimeters and is now 3.5 centimeters.
“This sounds like good news, but overall it doesn’t have much of an impact on my prognosis.
“In the future, I have some big decisions. I can continue radiation therapy and extend my life as much as possible.
“I keep listening to this phrase” extend my life “and I don’t want to extend my life. I’m thinking about surgery because I want to live my life.
“Doctors believe that the tumor can be removed from the chest. There is no other way to remove the tumor, so I need to amputate my leg.
“It’s a long way to recovery, but I’m a stubborn person and I won’t give it up easily.”
Joanna is also receiving support from McMillan Cancer Support..
Her family is now Financing To fund treatment after her NHS course is over.
They said money goes to artificial limbs and other related things. Unused money will be donated to Sarcoma UK Charity to overcome this dreadful situation and ease the lives of other families.
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