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My journey with chordoma started on October 29, 2004. The doctors in my state give me a 50/50 chance of survival. The doctor at Memorial Sloan Kettering gave me an 80/20. No brainer there, so on December 29, 2004, I had an 11.5 hour surgery and they removed a vertebrae that the tumor was grown around and put in an artificial one. I have 2 titanium rods with a cross over that holds me together. I then had 35 treatments of radiation. It took me a year to recuperate.

It returned again in 2011 when I had another small surgery and a small patch of radiation. This was a walk in the park compared to the first surgery.

In 2013 I had a chordoma tumor that started growing on my side. They removed it and put in a wire mesh.

Now in 2014, I have 3 more small spots in my back, so they are getting ready to do radiation on me in that area. It is so close to my spinal column and nerves they have to be extra careful not to damage them with the radiation.

I was a wood worker by trade and had to give up that part due to a weight limit of 30 lbs for the rest of my life. However, I can still do small and light stuff with wood and being able to do this has given me great joy. I believe having a great outlook on life and keeping yourself busy is 3/4 of the battle. Having awesome doctors and believing in a much higher power through God and lots of prayers to get us through this trial in our life. Now I have a granddaughter and that makes me want to fight harder so I can be here for her as she grows up.

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