After several surgeries to try to save her leg, she chose to have a high-level amputation when she was 16 years old. She went on to get married, have children and grandchildren and live life to the full.

I first started with symptoms in my leg in 1959. At first it was a pain in my thigh, but over time my thigh swelled up. My mum took me to the GP, who said it could possibly be rheumatism. I was referred to Altrincham hospital, but they were unable to find a cause for the swelling.

Nothing showed up on the x-rays taken of my leg.

Over time, the swelling got worse, and my thigh swelled up to the size of a rugby ball and was very painful to touch. My mum kept taking me back to the GP, but no-one could find out what was wrong with me.

I even had my tonsils taken out as it was thought an infection in my throat was causing the swelling and pain in my leg.

Eventually, my mum said enough is enough, and demanded a referral to Manchester Royal Infirmary to see the top orthopaedic surgeon at the time, Mr. David Lloyd Griffiths. I had lots more tests, some very painful especially for a child, and was eventually diagnosed with osteosarcoma. I was 11 years old.

The first surgery I had was to remove the thigh bone in my leg. When I came round from surgery I was in a hip spica — an orthopaedic cast which went from under my armpits all the way down my bad leg. I was lying under a wooden tunnel, with light bulbs in it to dry the plaster on the spica.

It was a frightening experience as no-one told me what to expect after surgery.

I was sent home in the hip spica and had to wear it for the next six months. My parents had to move my bed downstairs, and to turn me twice a day to stop me from developing bed sores.

Wearing the hip spica was an unpleasant experience. I had to lay flat the whole time and wasn't even allowed a pillow.

I had further surgery to put a metal rod in my leg and after this I had to wear a calliper splint. I went on to have several more surgeries over the next five years. I continued to wear the calliper and had to use a wheelchair to get around outside of home.

I missed about four years of schooling in total due to being in and out of hospital and all the surgeries. In 1965, I went back into hospital for yet another surgery.

This time the surgeon planned to take out the metal implant and replace it with cow bone, which had been shipped over from the USA.

I had the operation in May 1965 when I was 16 years old. I was told I would be in a hip spica for another six months following the surgery.

Three weeks after the surgery there was a terrible smell from my leg, so I went back into hospital so they could investigate. Unsurprisingly, my body was rejecting the cow bone. I was three weeks from turning 17 and was old enough to make decisions about my treatment. I'd had enough and did not want anymore surgeries, so I decided to have an amputation.

My leg was removed from below the pelvis, and the surgeon was able to bring some muscle down from my stomach to make a stump.

I had my last follow-up appointment when I was 23 years old. Following my amputation I did wear a prosthetic leg for about 18 months. I wore it on my wedding day, as I wanted to walk down the aisle, but have not worn it since.

We have two children, just 14 months apart, and I just got on with it and brought them up. My children accepted me having only one leg. They were really good when they were little, never running off as they knew it would be difficult for me to catch them.

It may sound strange to say it, but I do think my cancer diagnosis has enhanced my life. I have tried to prove that I am like everyone less and have fought to be accepted. Having the amputation has never got me down, apart from the mums' race at my children's sports day. I'd have liked to run in that race for my children.

I was never angry with my situation, or with my parents. The decisions they made when I was a child always had my best interests at heart.

Back when I was diagnosed, no-one talked about cancer. It wasn't until I was 19 years old that I found out my leg had been amputated because of a bone tumour. Up until then I did not realise that I had cancer, and thought my amputation was because of a cyst.

Deciding to have my leg amputated was the right thing for me. I have had a wonderful life since, with a fantastic husband and family. I have travelled far and wide over the years and still like my holidays.

I love driving, going to the theatre and cinema and chatting with friends and family. I try to enjoy life to the full and am grateful for the love and support from my husband and kids over the last 50 years.

It amazes me after all these years that children and young adults are still slipping through the net, losing limbs, and some losing their very young lives. Doctors are still not getting it right and faster diagnosis is needed.

I hope this brief insight into my journey can give hope to patients who are going through treatment.

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