My disease, at first had the symptoms similar to that of a sinus infection. I mistook the pain and pressure of the tumor to be sinus congestion for several months. This was part of the reason that
it took so long to diagnose properly. Whenever I share my story I watch people silently reel through their minds, retracing every sinus infection they or their loved ones have ever had. Well, take comfort in this, so far there are less than 100 people, in
the world, who have ever been diagnosed with Sinonasal Teratocarcinosarcoma (STCS). In the research that I have done I have come across estimates between 50 and 80 people who have actually been diagnosed with this form of cancer. If you take the current world
population which is approximately 6.974 billion, give or take a few thousand, and divide that by the latter of 80 people ever diagnosed you would see that to be afflicted by this bugger of a tumor makes you about 1 in 87 million. Now that is a big number,
but to illustrate my point further the average person has about a 1 in 15 million chance of winning a sizable amount of money in the lottery, a person has a 1 in 775,000 chance of being struck by lightning, and a 1 in 11.5 million chance of being bitten by
a shark. Therefore, it is absolutely incorrect to say that the odds of getting STCS is like winning the lottery because a person has a much higher chance of winning the lottery, being struck by lightning, and being bitten by a shark rather than being diagnosed
The next time your head hurts and your nose is stuffed up, please take comfort in the fact that it is most likely a sinus infection, or a nasty
little cold virus. Take some vitamin C, get some sleep, and don't panic, because you probably do not have cancer.
That being said, the other point to make
is, listen to yourself. Something was telling me to keep going back to the doctors, and to persist in the notion that something was seriously wrong. After the simplest explanation has been ruled out, open your eyes to the possibility that things may get rough
ahead. Keep your head up, remember to breathe, and realize if you believe you are going to die or you believe you will survive, you are probably right.