A woman had to get her leg amputated when doctors diagnosed a growth she had ignored for a decade as cancerous.
Cheryl Murray first noticed the growth at 15, but didn’t think it was serious, the Daily Mail reported.
But it grew over the years, reaching the size of a golf ball.
In 2014, she finally told her boyfriend David, who persuaded her to see a doctor.
“David asked me what was wrong with my foot. I replied that it was torn ligaments, but he could tell it wasn't, that it was more serious,” Murray told the Mail.
Doctors conducted several tests and concluded Murray had a sarcoma, a rare form of cancer.
“I never thought it would be anything serious. I was hysterical. I was so stunned I couldn't speak,” she said.
She was then told that the growth was so far advanced she would have to get her leg amputated.
“I felt like I had been punched in the face twice on one day,” Murray continued.
“I was sobbing for what felt like forever, but David reassured me that we would get through it,” she added.
David supported the 27-year-old throughout, and proposed marriage shortly before her operation.
“I tell him daily that I can't imagine what I would have done without him. Knowing I wanted to build a life with him kept me going,” Murray said.
Murray left the hospital in a wheelchair after her operation. But she immediately began physiotherapy and was fitted with a prosthetic limb.
“I've thought a lot about whether if I'd have gone back to the doctors sooner it could have saved my leg,” Murray told the Mail.
However, she added that she has a positive outlook.
“I never let myself wish I’d have gone to the doctors sooner as I have come to terms with what has happened, I'm now proud to be an amputee,” said Murray.
“I can't change the past I can only move on with my future,” she added.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 12,310 people in the United States will be diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma this year, and 4,990 will die of the disease, Healio reported.
Sarcomas affect tissues in the body that connect, surround and support other structures. Fat, muscles, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and deep skin tissue can be affected by sarcomas.