Kirsty was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in August 2019, and has shared how our weekly support group, Virtual Cuppa, has supported her through treatment and recovery.
6th August 2019, at 30 years old I was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma in my distal fibula following a very lengthy diagnosis process. This shock diagnosis tore my fast-paced world apart. Treatment meant that I felt like I lost who I was and all my independence. I counted myself lucky to be surrounded by family and friends who were incredible and showed me a huge amount of Love and Support throughout treatment... 4 of them even shaved their heads with me.
My treatment plan included chemotherapy, an amazing and innovative limb salvage surgery, and 48 doses of a drug called Mifamurtide. All the treatment was tough, but personally I HATED chemo. It came with horrible side effects and lengthy hospital stays. Then in March 2020 the UK joined the Covid-19 pandemic. I had nearly completed 4/6 chemo cycles but the risks of me continuing outweighed the benefits I was potentially going to get, we had to terminate chemotherapy after this last round, 8 weeks early.
For some of you reading this you might think that I was relieved to hear that chemotherapy had to stop early. It was after all the most gruelling part of my treatment plan. However, all I wanted at that moment in time was my chemotherapy. Nobody wants to hear that they cannot have the recommended dose when it is meant to be saving your life. This was the moment I joined the Bone Cancer Research Trust's virtual cuppa. Using the hospital Wi-Fi I joined from a very empty hospital ward, I was attached to my last round of chemotherapy, bald, weak, and absolutely devastated. Joining this call meant that I suddenly had people in the room with me that got it. The virtual cuppa has been a huge part of my recovery ever since. It was something to look forward to when I was shielding, it is somewhere to ask questions, share the good, the bad and relate to others that have been, or are going through similar.
My most recent follow up scans are clear; I am now back to work full time which certainly has its challenges post cancer. Even though treatment is over, and my life is building to something that resembles a ‘new normal’ I still join the Virtual Cuppa when I can. It gives me understanding, friendship, and advise from those that know. Thank you Bone Cancer Research Trust – you are game changers!
You can also read Kirsty's full story by clicking below.