Woman told hives were due to work stress has leg amputated after cancer diagnosis
A woman who was told she had stress-induced hives had her leg amputated after she was finally given her shocking cancer diagnosis.
Mitera Balkaran worked as a mechanical engineer in Belgium when she was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in 2021, after she developed a lump in her leg which grew bigger and bigger.
She was first diagnosed in August 2021 and was able to beat it initially, until she was told the cancer had returned in May 2022.
As her cancer had returned, Mitera required extreme treatment in order to fight it off again, including aggressive chemotherapy, lung surgery and perhaps the most life changing, having her leg amputated.
Mitera, 32, said: “I was in shock. I went into the consultation with the worst case scenarios in my head but amputation was never a thought I had.
“I was able to keep a straight face but I broke down in tears as soon as I got home after the appointment.”
After a few days, Mitera decided to fight the cancer and enjoy the last days she had with both of her legs.
Her husband took her to Greece and the couple enjoyed some activities that will never be the same without both legs.
Mitera added: “It was a roller coaster of emotions for me. I kept looking at everyone’s legs and thinking how lucky they are. I took a swim in the ocean on the last day of the trip and walked everywhere as much as possible.”
The first sign of cancer she had was a small, painless lump on her leg.
She went to her local GP but was told it was just hives due to work stress, until six weeks later she noticed the lump had grown and had lost all sensation in that leg.
She decided to go to a different GP and after an ultrasound and MRI scan, was told she had a form of soft tissue sarcoma called Undifferentiated Pleomorphic High-Grade Sarcoma (UPS).
She added: “I often wonder whether if the first GP took me seriously, would I still have my leg today.
“I started documenting my journey on TikTok to leave behind my memories in case I passed on.
“I also realised that there isn’t enough content out there for Sarcoma so this was also my motivation.
“People think everything will be normal again for me and that’s not true at all. I will create a new normal for myself, but it will never be the same normal that I’ve had for the past 32 years.
Mitera now faces an 18 week regime of aggressive chemotherapy, followed by surgery to remove the tumours which have spread over her body including in her lungs.
After she recovers, she will then be able to start rehabilitation for her leg and practice using a prosthetic leg.