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Mum diagnosed with rare cancer in her foot after first baby saved by her HIGH HEELS

Georgie's grateful for her second chance!
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Here, Georgie Kats, 32, from Melbourne, Vic, tells the story in her own words.

As I lay on the hospital bed, racked with contractions, my mum, Angela, rushed in.

Suddenly, she stopped in her tracks.

‘You’ve got a lump on your foot,’ she said.

I hadn’t noticed it before. Tiny and flesh-coloured, it wasn’t painful.

And eight months pregnant, and going into early labour with mine and my husband Chris’ first child, it was literally the last thing on my mind.

‘Mum, I think I’m about to have a baby!’ I choked out.

Heavily pregnant, I could hardly see anything below my belly!

Besides, carrying a baby made your body go through all sorts of crazy changes.

I’m so big, something has probably just popped down there, I thought.

Labour was a false alarm but I was kept in the ward overnight, and discharged the next day.

Mum kept pestering me about the lump.

‘Have you gone to the GP yet?’ she nagged me.

So I showed it to my obstetrician.

‘It looks like a cyst,’ he said.

‘They’re really common with women your age. Once you’ve had your baby, and your body is healed, get your GP to check it out.’

A month later, last September, I gave birth to a perfect little girl, Antonia.

Those first few months as a mum were utter bliss.

By now, the lump had swollen to the size of a large cat’s eye marble. But the GP wasn’t worried.

‘It’s just a cyst,’ he said, referring me to an orthopaedic surgeon.

Nearing my appointment a month on, the cyst was nearly golf-ball sized.

Ready to go out one night, I went to slip my left foot into my favourite strappy high heels.

But the straps wouldn’t go past the now engorged lump.

Seeing the specialist, he echoed the doc’s words.

‘It’s just a cyst,’ he said.

‘But it’s so embarrassing,’ I said.

So, I was scheduled for an appointment the following week with another specialist to get the cyst drained.

Dropping Antonia off at Mum’s, the plan was to go shopping for some baby things after the quick procedure.

But, taking one look at the lump, the doctor’s face said it all.

It’s something much more sinister, I realised.

Straight away, he did an ultrasound.

‘Georgie, I’m really sorry to tell you this, but it’s a mean, aggressive-looking tumour,’ he told me.

I’d need a biopsy to find out if it was cancerous.

Distraught, I raced back to Mum’s and called Chris.

Then I typed into Google, aggressive fast-growing tumour in the foot.

Article after article about sarcoma – a malignant tumour – popped up.

The next day, I had the biopsy and more tests and scans.

‘You have soft tissue sarcoma,’ the oncologist said a couple of days later.

The lump in my size-7 foot was a 6cm cancerous tumour.

I felt sick to my stomach.

I don’t want to die and miss out on watching my baby girl grow up, I worried.

‘Amputation might be on the cards, but I’m going to do everything I can to save your foot,’ the doctor said.

For the next 28 days, I had radiation daily.

I knew Chris was fearful for our future, but, my rock, he stayed strong for me.

Suddenly, any ache, pain or twinge seemed sinister.

Fearing the worst, I’d phone up my sisters, Mary and Krissy and say, ‘My lymph nodes hurt, I think the cancer has spread.’

‘The tumour has shrunk,’ the doctor told me after the course of radiation. ‘But not enough to save your foot,’ he added.

‘Are you sure there’s nothing you can do?’ I asked, breaking down.

‘If you want to survive, you need an amputation,’ he replied.

I want to live for Antonia, I thought.

‘You are going to be the most beautiful amputee,’ Chris said.

Waiting for my op, sweet Antonia was a shining star.

Watching her reach each milestone made me even more determined to survive.

Still, wheeled into surgery three weeks on, tears streamed down my face.

Waking up afterwards, my leg amputated below the knee, life was an adjustment.

In those first few days, I’d get up forgetting I only had one foot, and fall straight on my behind!

But, a week on, I felt a smile on my lips.

You just got your leg chopped off, why are you smiling?! I thought.

But it was a privilege to still be alive.

If my vanity hadn’t spurred me to try and get the lump removed, I could have died.

My high heels had saved my life!

‘You have a 70 per cent chance of survival,’ my specialist has since told me.

It means there is a 30 per cent chance the cancer will come back.

That’s why I’ll be staying on top of my check-ups every four months.

I’m urging people to please take control of your health, and get anything that doesn’t feel right looked at – it could save your life.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I don’t feel disabled.

I feel strong and capable.

And, once I get my new prosthetic, you won’t be able to stop me.

I’ll just be a mum with a bionic leg.

I may have lost half my limb, but I’ll never lose my spark!

Follow Georgie’s journey on Instagram, @Georgie_Kats

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