Cancer: Unknown

Hi, I'm Jessi. I'm 35. I'm a wife, a mother of three, a communications professional, and I have cancer. I was originally diagnosed with Cancer of Unknown Primary, and then officially Small Round Cell Sarcoma. The official 5-year survival rate for this diagnosis is less than 5%, but that’s not me. I’m a survivor and I will beat this.

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  • Jessi Stetina

Bump in the road, or complete derailment?



So surgery preparations were underway. We were moving forward with all the pre-op appointments, I had signed all the paperwork. Crossed the Ts, dotted the Is. But I was starting to feel not so great, and was having a hard time keeping food down. I mentioned it to my surgeon, and he scheduled a CT scan to double check to make sure everything was good.


Things weren’t good. I had a buildup of fluid that ultimately made them decide to postpone the surgery. This was Monday. Yesterday I went in to have the fluid removed, and they took off 8 pounds. I talked to my oncologist, and we’re starting new chemo next week, with the goal of getting back to surgery being an option again.


I’m not going to lie – when my oncologist called me on Monday night to tell me the news, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I held it together while on the phone, and then hung up and lost it. Full sobbing. Just let the full disappointment hit me. I was devastated. Surgery is our shot. I know this in my heart. So to hear that we have to postpone surgery – it wrecked me.


Logically I get it. I get that we get ONE shot at this, so we need to make sure everything is just right for surgery. As my surgeon puts it, “We need your disease to be on the run.” I know that we need to make sure we’re in the best place.


But my heart was broken.


I say was, because I’m feeling better each day with the news. My surgeon and oncologist have reminded me each day that our goal is surgery, so it’s all about getting back to being in the best place. Next week I start a brand new type of chemotherapy, with the goal of holding the disease steady, and possibly pushing it back. Once we’ve got the disease on the run again, we’ll revisit surgery.


So bump in the road, or complete derailment? It certainly felt like a complete derailment, but I know it’s just a bump in the road on the way to my cure.

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