Josh's symptoms started off quite subtle - a limp when playing cricket and pain in his knee after strenuous activities, like running and swimming, that we put down to him being so active. In-fact, he competed in a biathlon in July and qualified for the British Schools' Modern Biathlon Championships. After this run, his leg was hurting, which I put down to a sports/muscle injury.
We took Josh to see his GP and we had one misdiagnosis of muscle issues, with Josh being so active, but it was only a week before I took him back and he was referred for an X-ray straight away and the journey progressed very quickly from there.
At the point of diagnosis Josh had a large swelling that seemed to appear almost overnight. I also noticed him sleeping in the car during the day, something he never usually did. Looking back, I now know these were all signs.
At 11 years old Josh was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his right femur, humerus, rib & hip in August/September of 2016. So, it was subtle but fast growing. This was just six weeks after he completed his biathlon.
Josh started his chemotherapy and in November 2016, after enduring a few months of gruelling chemotherapy, Josh was met with the side effects of loss of his hair and much sickness. We were then devastated to find out that Josh's treatment had failed, and that the cancer had now spread to his lungs. It was here that we were told there are no survivors with his type of disease progression.
A month passed by and in December Josh began a clinical trial, and miraculously against all the odds, it stabilised his tumours.
In June 2017, Josh underwent surgery of a high level above the knee amputation. He recovered from this extremely well, his strength was amazing. After all what's amputation in the face of death!
Around December time in 2017, Josh's scans started to show questionable changes, but it was agreed he was still stable.
It was then in June of 2018 that we discovered that Josh's cancer was now progressing, so he was kicked off the clinical trial.
After another month, Josh started a new immunotherapy treatment based on some of his genetic results. But in August 2018, we were informed that Josh's latest treatments were failing and that the cancer had spread to various places, including his skull. Josh then started courses of radiotherapy, to save his spinal cord and try to prevent damage to his brain. He was also prescribed oral chemotherapy.
Time was not on our side, and in September we realised that our main goal now was to not cure him but to help manage Josh's pain in any way possible.
6 months passed, and on 2nd February 2019, Joshua died at just the young age of 14, after battling his osteosarcoma diagnosis for two and a half years.