In 1993 I felt a small lump, about the size of a marble in my right shoulder. I made an appointment with my general practitioner and he told me it was nothing to worry about. He called it a fatty tumor and said that it was very common. Several months later I saw my gynecologist and the subject came up again while I was talking with his nurse. He sent me to see a specialist and that Dr. wanted me to have an MRI. The MRI and a follow-up biopsy confirmed that I had a soft tissue sarcoma histiocytoma in my deltoid muscle. That was shocking news!
In the months and years to come I would have radiation and multiple surgeries to remove the tumor. During that time I was referred to Dr. Conrad. Through the UW Hospital I received 8 cycles of intensive chemotherapy. That was the most difficult experience of my entire life. The tumor recurred about a year after I finished chemotherapy and a forequarter amputation of my right arm/shoulder took place in January 1999.
Living with one arm hasn't been as difficult as I once thought it would be, but it does not come without some frustrating moments. My husband and I couldn't find very much information as to how to function in a two-handed world. So we "guessed and by goshed" our way to a few helpful ideas. The information we accumulated developed into my one arm web site. http://www.toysrbob.com/onearm/
It was also very inspiring for me to read two of Dave Dravecky's books dealing with his forequarter amputation, Comeback & When You Can't Come Back. Dave was a major league pitcher for the San Francisco Giants before he lost his dominate arm to cancer. He and his wife offer hope and encouragement to amputee's through their ministry. http://www.outreachofhope.org/
Through it all I have had the most awesome support from my husband, family, friends and my church. I have felt cared for in every way. I am extremely thankful and humbled to be able to say, I have been cancer free for 10 years! I consider that truly a miracle! Each day is a gift from the Lord.
I am extremely grateful to Dr. "Chappie" Conrad for his kind heart, his patience with me and his most knowledgeable expertise in my care. He was always willing to spend whatever time I needed to get through all my questions, concerns and fears.