I was a young and active 11-year-old—always out playing, but a chubby kid.
I started noticing I was getting more tired than usual after running around all day. I also had soreness in my hip, but I didn’t think much about it because it was basketball season, and I thought the pain was related to that.
Maybe a month later we really noticed some swelling in my knee, hip and upper thigh area. My parents noticed I had been walking differently and decided I should get checked out.
I was in and out of different clinics, and all the doctors said I must have a sports injury and it will go away on its own. Two months went by, and the pain was still there. I was experiencing a lot of nerve pain in my leg, so we went back to the hospital.
The doctors did an MRI focused on my knee, which caught the edge of a grapefruit-sized tumor on my pelvis and tailbone. They did another MRI focused on the area of the tumor, and confirmed that it was osteosarcoma – bone cancer. I went to a specialist to begin treatment that night.
Five years later, when I was 16, I noticed something was off with my health again. I got this random lingering numbness when I sat down. This time I didn’t wait – as soon as I noticed this health change, I told my parents and contacted my oncologist.
We decided to run some tests and I had a biopsy done. A couple weeks later I got the results of the biopsy and was told it was recurrent osteosarcoma. Because I knew my body, acted quickly, and had a team of doctors who understood my history and knew what to look for, I was able to start treatment quickly and effectively.
I caught it really early and because of that was able to keep function of the lower half of my body, despite the tumor being located on the sacrum near my spine.
My advice is for parents: never think you are being too cautious with your children’s health. If they are saying they have pain or are experiencing an issue for an extended period of time, help them find an answer.
Ask the doctor questions, explore different options, and share everything you know about your child’s health. You are your child’s best advocate and you are their voice. If doctors aren’t taking your concerns seriously, get a second opinion.
Getting an accurate diagnosis quickly makes a huge difference in survival and treatment options.
- sore in the hip area
- swelling from knee to hip
- numbness when sitting down