Walking with Strength, Courage and Hope for the Cure to Rare Sarcoma Cancers

Liposarcoma Stories: Kim Cave

kim cave wendy wak-1I had started Hormone therapy in January 2010. In February I noticed that I was gaining weight and bloating in the abdominal area. I took it as a side effect of the hormones. Finally in May I called my gynecologist. He said to stop taking the hormones for a month to see if I get better. By June it had not gotten any better so I called my family doctor. He sent me for an ultrasound of the abdomen. The results were that I had abdominal gas and they couldn’t see anything. Told me to take Gas-X and they were referring me to a digestive disease doctor. But I couldn’t get in to see him for another 5 weeks. After 2 weeks, I called my family doctor on a Monday and told a little white lie – I had pain. Monday evening I had a CAT Scan, Tuesday got the results of a tumor, Wednesday was at a surgeon, Thursday the surgeon referred me to an Oncologist, and Friday morning I was down in Philadelphia seeing Dr Arthur Staddon at the Pennsylvania Hospital being told I had Liposarcoma. The following week I had a chest CAT and a biopsy.

In August 2010 I was in the hospital having a 42cm/14 pound tumor removed from my abdomen along with my right kidney. Recovery was much harder than I ever thought it would be. My oncologist followed up with chest/abdomen/pelvic CAT scans every 3 months. In May 2011 I was feeling different after I ate. I saw my Digestive disease doctor and he performed an EGD at the end of May. I had my next set of CAT scans the first week in June. On the very same day, I had the call that my EGD was clear and the other call was that my CAT showed another tumor measuring 10 cm. So June 2011 I had surgery. This surgery was much easier and recovery was quicker. Back to CAT scans every 4 months.

February 2012 I got the dreaded call. My CAT scan shows another reocurrance of a tumor measuring 10cm. So March 2012 I had my third surgery in 20 months. This time I lost my gallbladder along with the tumor. With my tumors growing back so quickly, Dr Staddon decided to try radiation, which there are no statistics that this will help.

I decided to have my radiation treatment at the Reading Hospital, close to where I live. So for 8 weeks I went through radiation. I got so nauseous from the radiation. It took 3 different medicines until they could control my nausea the best they could. I also gained 20 pounds because the only food that would take away the taste were salty carbs- crackers, pretzels, etc.

July 2012 I had the worst scare of my life. The result of my July CAT scan showed that a tumor was back. This was Friday afternoon. So I went all weekend thinking I will be having a 4th surgery. They compared the scan to a clean one from October instead of the preoperative scan in February. Dr Haas called the lump on the scan as “post-operative collateral damage.”

I just had my last scan January 31. It was clean. It also showed that the “collateral damage” has shrunk 50% to only 1.5cm. I don’t have to have another scan until the end of June. I am confident that I will not need surgery in 2013.

I have to thank my daughters, Jessica and Nicole, and my husband, John. I don’t know how I would have made it thru all of this without their support.




2 thoughts on “Liposarcoma Stories: Kim Cave

Donna says:

Kim, your story has really hit a nerve with me. My sister has gone through almost identical circumstances – 8 weeks ago she had a 10lb tumour removed from her abdomen, they have now found a 4cm tumour on her left kidney and are planning to remove it next week, I feel that she has a long road ahead of her and as she lives in the US (Fort Lauderdale) but we (her sisters, mum and dad) live in the UK, it is so difficult to contemplate her having to go through all this without us. I stumbled across this site when looking for information about Liposarcoma and it’s comforting to know that others are helping to support one another with their stories. So many thanks for sharing Kim. X

Casey says:

Kim, thank you for sharing your story. I know the difficulties that sarcoma causes. In October, 2012, my 26 year old brother was diagnosed. He had a tumor on his right shoulder that had popped up a few years prior. He visited several doctors that wrote it off as a cyst. By the time he was correctly diagnosed, the sarcoma had spread into his lungs as well as his abdomen. He wasn’t given much hope from the very beginning. He had no operations, just immediately started chemo. His chemo treatments were 24 hours a day for 5 days with a 2 week break. After every chemo round, he would be readmitted into the hospital with infections. My brother completed 4 rounds of chemo before he was admitted into the hospital for the last time. My beautiful brother lost his short battle on April 18, 2013. He was only 26 years old.

I was Rickey’s full-time caregiver. Seeing him in pain; emotional, physical, mental, broke my heart! It still breaks my heart that he had to go through what he did. If I could of taken his place, I would have.

I seeked out many blogs, websites, etc. to find literature to help me, as well as him, during his battle. Unfortunately, the disease is so rare, resources are limited.

I really like reading success stories, if that’s even possible with liposarcoma.

I know it is not an easy road to travel, and it’s always a constant fight, but I pray everything continues on a positive path for you.

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