Melinda Kolodynski sought medical attention for back pain she believed to be related to her period. But the 34-year-old was diagnosed with a rare cancer a year later, and nine months later, she passed away. Her husband and two sons, ages six and three, were left behind. She expressed grief about not being able to see her children grow up after learning of her diagnosis.

“I was experiencing the worst pain of my life.”

Kolodynski posted on social media after cancer spread to her liver, “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 was given a prognosis by the doctors that she “wasn’t willing to accept.”

In order to pay for medical expenses and provide Kolodynski with the greatest level of comfort possible in her final hours, her mother, Tracey McClure, created a GoFundMe. But even after Kolodynski passed away, people kept giving to the grieving family and aiding with future financial difficulties.

Kolodynski’s back ache started it all, which he was able to treat quickly with Panadol. She was able to support her family while continuing to work as an account manager. But the discomfort increased over two months.

The discomfort persisted even after Kolodynski took Panadol once again in July 2022. “By 11 p.m., I was experiencing my worst pain ever. It was as though I was giving birth. It was so horrible that I begged my husband to kill me while we waited for the paramedics.”

The discomfort was reduced by the time the paramedics came. Kolodynski, feeling better as they drove to the hospital, joked with her husband David that she probably only had constipation. “I was feeling a lot better, but the doctors did CT scans of my pelvis to check,” remarked Kolodynski. “They declared that they believed I had advanced ovarian cancer when they discovered the three tumors.”

Her actual diagnosis, though, was considerably more serious. She underwent additional testing before being given the angiosarcoma diagnosis, a rare soft tissue blood malignancy. It’s a one-in-a-million sort of cancer, and it typically manifests as a secondary malignancy on the skin’s surface. “Since my primary cancer was in my pelvis, I was a one-in-ten-million case,” according to the doctor.

But because it was so uncommon, finding a cure was challenging. She wasn’t a good candidate for any clinical trials. Doctors recommended a major pelvic exenteration procedure when chemotherapy failed. Although it wouldn’t treat the cancer, it might prolong her life. “However, the doctors decided my tumor was too big at the last minute to ensure any success, even with this. There is currently no plan; she declared in December 2022. “I am aware that cancer will claim my life. But all I want is more time.”

She made the most of the remaining years of her life by giving her kids the best possible start in life. She stated, “I want to keep doing the regular stuff with my boys. In the past, if they requested me to read a book while preparing supper, I would continue. Now, however, I pause and read the book. I wish I could take them on vacation and watch Corey attend school, but I don’t know whether it would be possible.”

Max, her oldest son, experienced health issues of his own. He is currently undergoing a marathon of surgery to lengthen his leg because he was born with a congenitally small femur. Kolodynski remarked, “It’s my responsibility as his mother to be there for him. He is six years old. Therefore he is rather intelligent. I explained to him that mothers cannot always be present for their children and that his father and grandmother will look after him while his mother will always be in his heart.” She prioritized spending quality time with her family and being “present in every moment.”

An uncommon kind of cancer called angiosarcoma develops in the lymph and blood arteries lining. It may manifest anywhere in the body, but it frequently manifests in the skin, liver, spleen, and breast. In the United States, one in a million people are given this diagnosis each year due to how uncommon it is. It may resemble a bruised region that swells and bleeds readily when it affects the skin.

While there may be localized pain, there may be no signs if the cancer is further along in the body. Imaging tests like an MRI, CT, or PET scan are used to diagnose it to locate the tumor and measure its size. The doctor would then do a biopsy to determine the cancer’s type.

The rapid growth of angiosarcoma necessitates intensive treatment, which frequently entails surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Depending on where the tumor is placed, surgery may not always be an option to completely or partially remove it. Along with surgery, radiation therapy could be utilized to specifically target the malignant region and prevent it from regrowing. When surgery is not a possibility, it is also used. Radiation therapy may also be used with chemotherapy if the tumor has migrated to other bodily regions.

The tumor’s location, how much of it is left after surgery, and whether or not it has migrated to other parts of the body all affect a patient’s prognosis for angiosarcoma. The cancer has typically already progressed to other body regions by the time it is discovered when severe symptoms start to manifest, making the prognosis challenging. Fortunately, researchers and medical professionals are attempting to identify and create fresh angiosarcoma remedies.