Melinda Kolodynski went to the doctor because she was experiencing back discomfort that she thought was caused by her period. But a year later, the 34-year-old received a rare cancer diagnosis, and nine months later, she went tragically. Her two sons, who were six and three years old, and her husband stayed behind. She lamented the fact that she wouldn’t be able to watch her kids grow up after receiving her diagnosis.
“I was in the most agonizing pain I had ever known.”
“Once again we spend a couple of days with our heads in the pillow, tears streaming down our faces,” Kolodynski wrote on social media after her cancer progressed to her liver. “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.” The physicians gave her a prognosis that she “wasn’t willing to accept.”
Kolodynski’s mother, Tracey McClure, started a GoFundMe to raise money for medical bills and to give Kolodynski the best level of comfort possible in her dying hours. However, contributions to the bereaved family and assistance with upcoming financial troubles continued even after Kolodynski passed away.
It all began with Kolodynski’s backache, which he was able to promptly alleviate with Panadol. She was able to continue working as an account manager and provide for her family. But over the course of two months, the discomfort grew.
Even after Kolodynski took Panadol once more in July 2022, the soreness lingered. By 11 p.m., I was in the most agonizing anguish of my life. I felt like I was giving birth. While we waited for the paramedics, I begged my husband to kill me because it was so awful.
By the time the paramedics arrived, the soreness had diminished. As they traveled to the hospital, Kolodynski joked with her husband David that she probably only had constipation since she was feeling better. “I was feeling a lot better, but the doctors did CT scans of my pelvis to check,” said Kolodynski. “When they found the three tumors, they said they thought I had advanced ovarian cancer.”
However, her true 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 often appears as a secondary malignancy on the surface of the skin. The doctor stated that I was a one in ten million case because my primary cancer was in my pelvic.
However, it was difficult to develop a remedy because it was so unusual. She was not a suitable participant in any clinical trials. When chemotherapy failed, doctors advised a significant pelvic exenteration procedure. It wouldn’t cure the cancer, but it might make her live longer. “However, the doctors concluded at the last minute that my tumor was too large to guarantee any success, despite this. There is no current strategy; she made her declaration in December 2022. I’m conscious that cancer will take my life. However, all I need is more time.
She gave her children the greatest possible start in life in order to make the most of the years she had left. I want to continue doing the routine things with my guys, she said. In the past, I would continue to prepare dinner if they asked me to read a book. But now I take a break and read the book. I’d like to take them on vacation so I can watch Corey go to school, but I’m not sure that would be feasible.
Her eldest child, Max, had his own health problems. Due to his congenitally short femur, he is currently enduring a marathon of surgeries to lengthen his leg. It’s my duty as his mother to be there for him, Kolodynski said. Age six applies to him. He is therefore fairly intelligent. I told him that although moms can’t always be there for their kids, they are always in their hearts, and that his father and grandma would take care of him. Her family came first, and she placed a high value on being “present in every moment.”
The lining of the lymph and blood arteries can develop a rare form of cancer called angiosarcoma. It can appear everywhere in the body, but the skin, liver, spleen, and breast are where it usually does. Due to how unusual it is, one in a million Americans receive this diagnosis each year. When it affects the skin, it could resemble a bruised area that swells and bleeds easily.
If the cancer is more advanced in the body, there may not be any symptoms despite the possibility of localized pain. It is diagnosed using imaging tests like an MRI, CT, or PET scan to find the tumor and gauge its size. To ascertain the type of cancer, the doctor would then perform a biopsy.
Angiosarcoma requires rigorous treatment that typically includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy due to its quick growth. Surgery may not always be an option to entirely or partially remove the tumor depending on where it is located. Radiation therapy could be used in conjunction with surgery to target the cancerous area and stop it from regrowing. It is also employed when surgery is not an option. If the tumor has spread to other parts of the body, radiation therapy may also be performed in conjunction with chemotherapy.
The prognosis for angiosarcoma patients depends on the location of the tumor, how much of it is still there after surgery, and whether or not it has spread to other areas of the body. By the time the cancer is diagnosed when serious symptoms first appear, it has generally spread to other bodily parts, making the prognosis difficult. Fortunately, scientists and doctors are working to find and develop novel angiosarcoma treatments.