Woman has fingers amputated after rare form of cancer diagnosis

I ignored the painless lump on my hand for 12 years thinking it was nothing. Eventually doctors told me it was a rare form of cancer with just one devastating way to treat it

  • Mother has two fingers amputated due to cancer
  • She had a small lump on her hand for 12 years 

A single mother was forced to undergo the amputation of two fingers after a tiny lump on her hand turned out to be a rare form of cancer.

Gold Coast woman Rosie-May Fisher, 32, had to give up her career as a hairdresser after the shock diagnosis last year.

Ms Fisher, who has a three-year-old son, Bobby, said her job was ‘all I’ve ever really worked and dreamed for’ and being a single mother was now a challenging task.

‘Being his age, dressing him is difficult — even with two hands,’ Fisher told 7NEWS.

Gold Coast woman Rosie-May Fisher, 32, lost two fingers after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2022

Ms Fisher had her middle and ring fingers amputated after the shock cancer diagnosis

‘I can’t carry him or tie up his shoelaces, or my own shoelaces, do the shopping, push a trolley, push a pram’.

Ms Fisher said she first noticed the lump on her left palm in 2010, and it initially appeared as ‘soft and painless’. 

After not taking much notice of it, Ms Fisher asked a GP about it during an unrelated appointment about two years later.

A subsequent MRI scan determined it to be a non-suspicious and harmless sebaceous cyst.

Ms Fisher said things began to change after the birth of Bobby in 2020.  

‘The lump started to get bigger and a little bit painful, to a point where if I was holding my brush a particular way it would be quite painful’, she said.

Ms Fisher then went back to the GP and ask to have the ‘annoying and painful’ bump removed.   

She had to wait a year to undergo surgery as it was deemed non-urgent and finally it was removed in October 2022.

But then during an appointment to have her bandage redressed a week later, Ms Fisher said the surgeon ‘came in with a really serious look on her face’.

‘She told me they did a biopsy on the lump after they removed it and the results came back saying it was a rare type of cancer,’ Fisher said.

Ms Fisher said the shock announcement left her in ‘disbelief’. 

The cancer, epithelioid sarcoma, is a rare, slowly growing malignant tumor that usually begins in the superficial tissues of the hand or forearm and for which surgery is the most common form of treatment. 

Ms Fisher is still recovering from the life-changing ordeal 

Ms Fisher was sent for more scans and after seeing a cancer specialist in Brisbane, she was given the devastating news that the best way to stop the cancer was to amputate the middle and ring fingers on her left hand.

Ms Fisher said she had struggled to accept the prognosis and had been ‘beside herself’. 

She sought a second opinion from a Sydney-based specialist, who told her: ‘you have to do it for your son’. 

Ms Fisher was told radiation would not be an effective treatment for the condition so she finally agreed to having her two fingers amputated in December.  

She said she is ‘still just trying to find my feet again’ after the ordeal. 

‘It’s changed my life, physically, mentally and emotionally,’ she said.

‘I don’t have my career. I don’t have anywhere near as much strength as I do in my other hand and I hate the way it looks.’

Fisher wants to warn others to seek a second medical opinion and believes having a biopsy done earlier could have prevented the amputation.

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Ms Fisher. 

‘Rosie is the kindest hearted human who would do anything for the people she loves,’ the GoFundMe organisers wrote on the page. 

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