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Cancerbro - My beautiful & outgoing 9-year-old daughter Justine is fighting osteosarcoma
alanamariexox Bone Cancer
Posted on Oct. 21, 2018, 1:42 a.m.
My beautiful & outgoing 9-year-old daughter Justine is fighting osteosarcoma
Hello, my name is Alana. I am the mother to my beautiful, outgoing 9-year-old daughter, Justine. In July 2018, I took Justine to the doctor for what we thought were growing pains in her left knee. The pain had been there for about a month, however we thought nothing of it, as she is so active, a dancer, a gymnast and a soccer player. She was sent for an X-ray, which showed possible osteosarcoma. This was followed by a CT scan, MRI and biopsy of her left distal femur to confirm diagnosis. In the middle of August, Justine had fallen on her left leg, which resulted in an ambulance trip to the emergency. Justine was in agonizing pain. We spent hours in the emergency room, waiting for X-ray results to show if she had broken her femur. At around 2AM, the emergency doctor pulled me aside, and informed me that she did not break her femur, thankfully. However, he had the results for her biopsy. With no warning and no family there with us, I was told Justine had confirmed Osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer. We were discharged from the emergency shortly after, in shambles and with Percocets for the pain. Once home, Justine’s pain was not managed. I spent 48 hours pacing back and forth trying to figure out how I could help my poor baby girl, wishing and praying that I could take it all away. Finally, I received a phone call from Pediatric Oncology at the Children’s Hospital. They advised us to come in immediately. I packed our bags as quick as I could and we headed off! Once at the oncology unit, Justine was given a dose of morphine every hour for pain, only easing it for 20 minutes, and Ativan to calm her anxiety. Justine was on a constant high dose of morphine drip, with a bolus of morphine every hour, along with other pain meds, however nothing was working. She required a catheter because the pain was so bad, she couldn’t get out of bed. My daughter was in excruciating pain for a week before it was decided that they wean her off of the morphine and start her on methadone, along with gabapentin. THANKFULLY, this worked almost immediately, but Justine was still terrified to get out of bed in case the pain came back. On August 18, 2018 she was taken to the OR to have an IVAD placed and immediately was started on her first cycle of chemotherapy. About a week after starting her chemotherapy, we convinced her to get out of bed, where we had to teach her how to walk with a walker and a brace on her leg to bear weight. Since being home, she has started school and continues to live a normal life, outside of the many hospital and doctors visits. She is on the 6 cycle MAP, each cycle being 5 weeks long. She is scheduled to have an amputation surgery (rotationplasty), sometime in early November. ***AS FOR THE PAIN: Since completing her first cycle of chemotherapy, her pain is completely gone. She is weaned off of the methadone, but remains on gabapentin. A recent X-ray showed positive results in her femur. Justine is due to have a repeat CT Scan of her chest on Monday (to check on the multiple tiny 2mm nodules that were found in her chest), as well as a repeat MRI and bone scan and round 5 of chemo on Tuesday. Positive thoughts and loads of prayers have kept us sane throughout this whole process. I will continue to update for anyone who is interested in following Justine’s story. I also encourage you to send your thoughts and prayers, to not only my baby girl, but the many children faced with this disgusting disease. -Alana, one positive cancer mom.