Evie was just 10 years old when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. To help raise awareness during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Evie now 12, in her own words has very kindly shared her story.
It started on the night of 22nd February 2016, I had been to a friend’s birthday party and when I came home I had terrible leg pain. My parents dismissed it because I had been dancing all night on a hard floor and that's what they thought it was.
I had paracetamol but it didn't work. Every night I would have unbearable leg pain and nothing worked, my parents thought it might be shin splint so I rested at home.
When it didn't go away me and my mum went to the GP who made me do some exercises (which I did fine) and dismissed me, he said come back in a week if it hasn't gone away.
It didn't, at this point I am in tears and can hardly walk with the pain, and I was crawling.
The doctor said it might be tendonitis and dismissed me on dihydrocodeine! He said come back in 10 days and if it hasn't gone I will refer you to a physiotherapist! The pain progressively got worse so my mum demanded an X-ray. The doctor finally agreed to an X- ray.
At lunch time I was taken out of school, I didn't even get to say goodbye to my friends, I knew nothing about the X-ray. When we went I remember telling my teacher I will be back soon... we never went back.
By the time we caught it was so advanced (the consultant said if it had been another day it could of broke out of the bone and game over) I had a biopsy a week later and it took 10 days to confirm it was osteosarcoma.
My bone was so weak, when the biopsy was done, I was wearing a pink plaster cast to protect my bone.
I started chemo within a week of the biopsy results. Chemo made me very sick, I lost 10 kilos and the doctors wanted to put a feeding tube in me, they were discussing dates for the operation. I fought back... and get this I WAS THE ONLY PERSON MY NURSE KNOWS WHO HAD GOT THROUGH TREATMENT WITHOUT A FEEDING TUBE! She has been working as a cancer nurse for 10 years and I am the ONLY person!
I had surgery after my third round of chemo. The surgery involved removing the affected part of the bone and replacing it with a donor bone. The donor bone was attached to my bone with titanium screws and plates.
For protocol for osteosarcoma there is 6 rounds of chemo, I had 3 before my surgery and had the other 3 rounds after my surgery. The last 3 rounds were just as a precaution to make sure everything was dead. Although 100% of the tumour was removed it was just to make sure there wasn’t anything else lingering around.
I’m getting on well now, I use my wheelchair at school as it is a massive school and I cannot walk long distances and I get tired easily.
I am a B at most subjects which is really good considering I missed half of year 6 and all of year 7! I still have bi weekly - monthly blood tests to check on my phosphate as the cisplatin (chemo drug) damaged my liver quite a bit.
I also have a consultation and chest X-ray (as the chest is the most common place to relapse) every 2 months in QMC Nottingham. And every 3 months I have a leg X-ray to see how it is healing and a consultation with my surgeon; Professor Jeys or one of his team. But aside from that I am doing well.
My cat has been my strength. My advice to others would be...
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!