It all started in October/November 2020 when we noticed a bump on my leg. We thought it was a sports injury so the doctor referred me to a physical therapist. They immediately knew that it was something that they could not help us with and to seek a second opinion and to get x-rays. After getting x-rays and they told us it didn't look good, I was referred to Arkansas Children’s Hospital where they diagnosed me with Osteosarcoma at the age of 14.
My first of many chemos started on December 23 and we were able to go home Christmas day. I was very tired that day and slept most of the day, but my family still made it a very good Christmas. I had chemo about three times a month, and sometimes had to go back to the hospital because of the side effects. I remember learning the ukulele in the hospital with the help of a music therapist, it was pretty fun because before cancer I was in orchestra and I had to give that up. It was nice to have the ukulele because I could continue my music journey. Half way through treatment I had surgery to remove the piece of bone with the tumor on it, this is also when we were able to move to a hospital a little closer to home for the remainder of my chemo treatments. I remember having to stay an additional week one time because I was just feeling so bad, the nurses came in and decorated my room, along with getting me a present. In September 2021 I did my last chemo and rang the bell.
Some people say you’re never truly done with cancer. This really resonated with me because I just had so many side effects, some led to other hospital visits, and the biggest one put me into heart failure. I did PT a lot to get my range of motion back, and it went well until an infection grew where I had my surgery, this would lead to three more surgeries. A few days after the last surgery I was feeling a lot of pain, so we went to the ER in Northwest Arkansas. They knew something wasn’t right and they flew us out to Little Rock, where they diagnosed me with end stage heart failure. A month later, I would have a procedure to implant an LVAD or left ventricular assist device to help pump my blood for me. I have had my LVAD over a year now and am hoping to get a new heart.