Debbi Dolnick

I am Debbi, a 61 year old female. I was rear-ended in an auto accident on January 29th, 2009. After going for an extended course of physical therapy with no definitive improvement, my family practice doc sent me to see a chiropractor with an excellent reputation on April 15th. He ordered x-rays since I was in pain for so long. That evening he called to tell me that a tumor was seen and that I needed a chest x-ray to confirm this. Things snowballed and led to my surgery on May 19th at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. The needle biopsy and pathology report identified it as invasive thymoma, stage IIA. All through this process, the docs commented about the large size (13.4 x 12.9 x 8.5 cm and weighing 829.5 grams) and the unusual presentation of this tumor (lower half of my left thorax, not central). Everyone has said how lucky I was to have this accident and how fortunate that the chiropractor ordered x-rays – how serendipitous,


In July, I started 30 sessions of radiation with the intention to target areas that would be more difficult to deal with if there is a re-occurrence.  It is now almost October and I am still left with pain management issues from the thorecotomy (under breast area) as well as from radiation (left arm and left muscles of back and rib areas). I have been looking into research and support groups but have not been able to get anyone to explain the remaining pain areas. Previous to this happening, I was the healthy one in the family, so this is certainly surreal.

I look forward to any feedback and am so grateful to have found that this wonderful organization is in place and so pro-active. Each story is heart rendering. I think that identification of this rare form of cancer may be because people do not have regular chest x-rays.