Melinda Kolodynski went to the doctor because of back pain she thought was caused by her period. However, a year later the 34-year-old received a rare cancer diagnosis, and nine months later she passed away. She left behind her husband and their two sons, who were 6 and 3 years old. After receiving her diagnosis, she expressed sorrow over not being able to watch her children grow up.
“I was in the greatest amount of pain I had ever been in. ”.
After her cancer spread to her liver, Kolodynski wrote on social media, “Once again we spend a couple of days with our heads in the pillow, tears streaming down our faces, but it’s time to get up, dust off, and soldier on because there is a fight to be had and I’m not done here. She received a prognosis from the doctors that she “wasn’t ready to accept. ”.
Kolodynski’s mother, Tracey McClure, set up a GoFundMe to cover medical bills and give Kolodynski the best level of comfort possible in her final hours. However, even after Kolodynski passed away, people continued to support the grieving family by giving and helping with upcoming financial difficulties.
It all began with a backache for Kolodynski, which he was able to quickly treat with Panadol. She was able to continue working as an account manager and provide for her family. But over a period of two months, the discomfort got worse.
When Kolodynski took Panadol again in July 2022, the discomfort persisted nonetheless. “By 11 p. m. I was in the most pain I had ever been in. It appeared as though I was giving birth. The pain was so excruciating that I begged my husband to kill me while we awaited the paramedics. ”.
Before the paramedics arrived, the discomfort had subsided. As they were traveling to the hospital, Kolodynski joked with her husband David that she probably only had constipation. Kolodynski said, “I was feeling a lot better, but the doctors did CT scans of my pelvis to check.”. Upon finding the three tumors, they declared that they thought I had advanced ovarian cancer. ”.
However, her actual diagnosis was much more serious. Before being diagnosed with angiosarcoma, a rare soft tissue blood cancer, she underwent additional testing. It is a rare type of cancer that typically appears as a secondary malignancy on the surface of the skin. I was a one-in-ten-million case, the doctor said, because the primary cancer was in my pelvis.
Finding a cure was difficult, though, due to how uncommon it was. She didn’t qualify for any clinical trials. When chemotherapy failed, medical professionals advised a significant pelvic exenteration procedure. It wouldn’t cure the cancer, but it might give her more time. But at the last minute, the doctors determined that my tumor was too large to guarantee any success, despite this. She stated in December 2022 that there is currently no plan. “I am aware that cancer will take my life. However, all I need is more time. ”.
Giving her children the best start in life allowed her to make the most of the time she had left. “I want to keep doing the regular stuff with my boys,” she said. Previously, I would have continued to prepare dinner if they had asked me to read a book. But now I pause and read the book. Although I’m not sure it would be possible, I wish I could take them on vacation while Corey is in class. ”.
Her eldest child, Max, had his own health issues. He had a congenitally small femur at birth, so he is currently undergoing a marathon of surgeries to lengthen his leg. It’s my duty as his mother to be there for him, Kolodynski remarked. He is a six-year-old boy. He is therefore fairly intelligent. I told him that although mothers can’t always be there for their kids, his father and grandmother will take care of him, and that his mother will always be in his heart. She placed a high value on spending time with her family and being “present in every moment. ”.
The lining of the lymph and blood arteries becomes affected by angiosarcoma, a rare type of cancer. The skin, liver, spleen, and breast are the most common places for it to appear in the body, though it can occur anywhere. Due to the rarity of this diagnosis, one in a million Americans receives one each year. When it affects the skin, it might look like a bruised area that bleeds easily and swells.
Even though localized pain might be present, if the cancer is more advanced in the body, there might not be any symptoms. It can be diagnosed using imaging tests like an MRI, CT, or PET scan to find the tumor and gauge its size. In order to identify the type of cancer, the doctor would perform a biopsy.
Angiosarcoma requires intensive treatment, which frequently includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy due to its rapid growth. Depending on where the tumor is located, surgery may not always be an option to completely or partially remove it. Radiation therapy may be used alongside surgery to specifically target the malignant area and stop it from regrowing. It is also used when surgery is not an option. If the tumor has spread to other parts of the body, radiation therapy may also be combined with chemotherapy.
The location of the tumor, how much of it is removed during surgery, and whether or not it has spread to other areas of the body all impact a patient’s prognosis for angiosarcoma. By the time the cancer is discovered when severe symptoms first appear, it has typically spread to other body parts, making the prognosis difficult. Fortunately, scientists and medical professionals are working to find and develop novel angiosarcoma treatments.