Teen osteosarcoma survivor: ‘I can still do anything’

I never realized how many children got cancer until I came to MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital. But the story of how I got there is kind of crazy. I played volleyball all through middle school. By the eighth grade, I was the setter for our team. During the second-to-last game of the season, another girl stepped on the back of my right leg and injured my knee. We treated the pain with ibuprofen and rest. But my leg kept hurting and seemed to be getting worse, so my mom took me to an orthopedic surgeon. After looking at the MRI, the doctor said, “Yeah, you have something right there, but what is this?” That’s when we saw a little bump on the end of my femur that we hadn’t even noticed before. It turned out to be osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. My orthopedic surgeon had never diagnosed cancer before — or even seen this type of tumor in real life. So he sent us to MD Anderson. He said we’d find better care there and that the doctors would know exactly what this was and how to treat it. He was right. Choosing a prosthesis after my osteosarcoma diagnosis In October 2015, I came to MD Anderson, where my family and I met with Valerae Lewis, M.D., in the Orthopedic Oncology department. She performed a biopsy to confirm my osteosarcoma diagnosis. Then, we decided on a treatment plan. I’d have 14 weeks of chemotherapy before my surgery and 23 weeks afterward. Dr. Lewis surgically removed my right knee and part of my right femur on Feb. 8, 2016, and...