Elizabeth Munroz is a 40-year survivor of chondrosarcoma.
No cancer support groups existed in 1967. It was taboo to mention the “C” word to anyone. I wrapped up all my fear and suffering in hopelessness. But, I hoped to meet another living person with chondrosarcoma, just to know I might survive. Medical ethics prevented my surgeon from introducing me to a 55 year old man with CS. Next appointment, I gave my doctor an envelope with a message to the other patient. But, it was too late. He died. Then I felt really alone. He told me not to hope I would ever meet another person with the same diagnosis as my cancer was so rare. Among all the other emotions I was dealing with, this topped them all. I didn’t just feel alone. I was abandoned.
Seven times over 11 years I had recurrences and all the emotional trauma and drama returned, too. Finally, I learned I did myself harm focusing on the negative, and began to accept living the best I could. Now, I can look back, and see it was all a blessing. I am still here. I am healed because I can now help others. I have met at least 1,000 others with chondrosarcoma in the last six years through the online support group I created. No one will ever be alone again.