Tumor in the Femur

Because it's fun to say and we need to say fun things.


Irene Veldstra
  • MRI, Chest X-Ray, Bone Scan, PET scan, audio test and EKG done
  • We got official diagnosis - Osteosarcoma; treatment is chemo and a limb salvage surgery
  • Friday: surgery for portacath placement
  • Chemo starts Friday night, Atticus and I at Randall until Monday
  • Anneka's Sweet 16th
  • This is really it's own full time job 

So grateful for the tire fairies who came over and changed my tire for me

So grateful for the tire fairies who came over and changed my tire for me

Tuesday the adventure started with a flat tire as we were leaving to go get the MRI and bone scans done. Thank goodness for Lyft, there was one nearby and got us to our appointment, right on time. 

Atticus had an MRI on his right leg, as he had mentioned some pain in his ankle, they saw something on the X-ray, so she ordered an MRI to check that out. He had a chest x-ray and then a bone scan as well. We showed up at 8:30 in the morning and he had to get an injection of a tracer for the bone scan, and we sat in the cafe and waited for our MRI appointment. Fortunately, the MRI was early and they called us to come down, so the scans all went a lot faster than we thought, as they were all scheduled throughout the day. They just brought us from one place to the next after the MRI, then done! 




Wednesday was the PET scan at Legacy Meridian. We are so grateful to have such amazing people in our lives - Sandra, who is a mom to a couple of Atticus' best friends, pulled some strings to have her do Atticus' PET scan, since that is what she does for a living. It was so comforting for him to have someone familiar and who cares about him to go to, and she explains things so beautifully and just made one more Hard Thing a little bit easier on us. 


Thursday was the day I was looking forward to, yet dreaded all at the same time. I thought of so many terrible things the doctor could say to us and fortunately, none came to pass. After all of the tests and scans, we found the cancer was only in his distal femur, it had not spread anywhere - not his lungs, not his other ankle, not in his lymph nodes. Such an incredible relief! 

The treatment for Osteosarcoma is chemotherapy, and later, surgery called "Limb Salvage Surgery", which will take place at OHSU. More to come on the surgery later (because I don't actually know).  What I do know, however, is that there is not an actual Limb Salvage Yard with some 2004's out back (I checked). 




Friday was Port placement surgery day, and we arrived at Randall not knowing what to expect or how this day would go. Surgery was running behind and I'm okay with that - one, we are here, I have no where to go, this IS what is on the schedule today; two- I don't want a surgeon to rush through surgery with my child, I don't want her rushing on someone else either, especially if there are complications. It's cool, we will wait. 


Dual Lumen Port. Very exciting stuff in the land of medicine. 

Dual Lumen Port. Very exciting stuff in the land of medicine. 



Port placement went well, I  met Atticus in recovery and then they brought us to Floor Green Squirrel (4) where we found our room and nurses waiting for us with great anticipation. There was a rush of human bodies poking and prodding and starting IV's and talking with many words. So much excitement about a dual lumen port too! I do enjoy watching people geek out about what they love. 



I walked into the room behind them, looking around and it suddenly all hit me that, here we are, in the hospital. We will be spending a great portion of our lives here now. I sat on the couch with my bag and let the tears flow, watching my son who looked in so much pain and nothing I could do about it.  Doctors and nurses continued to talk to me and I realized, this is a great place to cry. No one cares, or even notices - I sit here with tears streaming down my face and they just keep talking to me like I'm a normal human. I love that. All emotions are acceptable (and expected!) here. 

And not to forget... Anneka's 16th birthday was Friday as well.  In an effort to not completely ruin her special day, our dear friends April and Esme offered their home to host teenagers who wanted to celebrate with Anneka. It will always be a day to remember for sure. Happy Birthday Anneka... I admire your badassery so much, your passion for the things you love and your ability to see the truth and light in difficult situations. I want to be like you when I grow up. 

Anneka birthday.jpg