"It happened just before my 10th birthday, I had just started playing soccer and I was so excited. I had a very sore knee – I saw the doctor and then the physio and I had an X-ray. I went to a specialist at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and had more scans and a biopsy near my knee. I didn’t understand why they told me to rest and stay off my leg.
My parents knew that I had been diagnosed with Osteosarcoma but didn’t tell me until a few days after my birthday when we went back to the hospital to meet my oncology team. They explained that I was sick and needed medicine but I didn’t understand what they were saying. My mum told me outside that I had cancer and I would lose my hair … I began to cry.
One week later I was back at hospital to have my port put in, they also tried to put a stomach peg in but they couldn’t. They gave me my first round of chemo. It was horrible as I felt so sick and had to stay in hospital for several days.
After my third round of chemo I started to lose my hair, which made me cry. I had another operation to put my stomach peg in, which was used to feed me overnight as I was hardly eating, and to give me medicine. Every time I had medicine through my mouth I vomited.
I had six rounds of chemo before my surgery, I knew something bad was going to happen but I would block everything out and not talk about it. I knew I was going to lose my leg!
After my surgery they amputated my right leg straight through the knee, I woke up from surgery and had nerve damage in my left leg. It was really painful; I could feel my left foot and half of my leg. I would get sharp stabbing pains which made me scream all night and I didn’t get much sleep.
After my surgery I had 12 more rounds of chemo and another 6 months in and out of hospital. I became really sick again from the chemo, spending more time in hospital. Sometimes I needed blood transfusions. I was also having overnight feeds through my stomach peg.
This was so Yuk! I would wake up in the morning and always vomit. I was having physio but hated it so much because it was so painful! I finished my chemo before Christmas in December 2013.
Every day when I wake up and look at my stump it will always remind me that I had cancer! But I’m a lucky one as I am still here!!!
Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation supports the clinical research salary of Dr Michael Sullivan, Head of Solid Tumours/Neuro-oncology at The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne who is building a portfolio of clinical trials in solid tumours such as osteosarcoma