Tumor in the Femur

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


Irene Veldstra

The last few weeks, Atticus had a sore leg, and as kids do, I thought it was a banged up knee or growing pains or something minor that will heal soon. Holiday break came and the kids did a lot of chilling, but with my days off, holidays, and their visitation to Washington, I was not able to make a doctor appointment. 

Tuesday, January 2, school started and it was my day off of work. I told Atticus I would take him to Go-Health after school, and we would grab a quick x-ray, of course still thinking maybe there was a crack in a bone, lets just figure this out and then go run errands. 

We got the x-ray and she told us there were some concerns so we needed to wait a bit for the radiologist to get back to us. Atticus and I watched videos on my phone until they came back and with some concern, told us that we needed to go to the ER; she would call ahead and let them know we were on our way. Atticus and I needed snacks by this point so we went over to Fred Meyer (across the parking lot) and grabbed a few snacks and off we went to the ER. 

At the ER they set us up in a room, and got Atticus all comfortable. Doctors and nurses came through, letting us know the process, taking a look at the x-rays, and letting us know they were talking to specialists (um, yikes?) who were also looking at the films. They ordered more x-rays and blood tests so we got that done too. Then they came back and said they were ordering an MRI. I was getting quite anxious at this point, but a friend came by to bring stuff from home and more snacks, the girls were supported at home, so we settled in for a long night ahead. 

The MRI was very painful for Atticus. They warned us of the noises and being still, but there was a large plate of some kind they had to strap to his legs to keep his leg straight for almost two hours, which caused him considerable pain. They started him on some morphine a little before he went in to the MRI, and he was able to ask for some more during the MRI. 

We got back to the room and waited again for some results. The doctor came in and talked to us about the tumor and cancer and a doctor at OHSU and a biopsy... I was exhausted, physically and emotionally, this was all so shocking I was unable to really understand or digest what she was saying, only I knew I was very scared. We left with paperwork on "your child and cancer" and that we would be getting a call in the morning from the Oncology department for an appointment. 

We got home about 3 am and we were able to get a little sleep. The oncologist office did call and set up and appointment for that day at 2:30. 

My friend Wendy, who works transport at the hospital was able to join us for the appointment with the oncologist. The doctor was great, she explained things really clearly, logically,  and kept repeating "one step at a time". She showed us the scans and explained the size of the tumor, where it was and why it was causing so much pain. It reduced a lot of anxiety for us, as we left the ER thinking for sure he had cancer; she answered questions, and we felt like at least we knew what we were doing next.  She ordered more x-rays on his other ankle and we picked up some pain meds from the hospital pharmacy, and was able to go home again. 


Next Steps: We are currently waiting for the office at OHSU to call us for an appointment to get the biopsy done. The oncologist also ordered more screens and testing to be done so we will have all of that to do next week as well. Then we wait for the biopsy results and the other screening results that will be done. We don't know about surgery, or treatment plans or anything until we get an official diagnosis.