By BJ Reyes
Flashback: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 1985 (what's this?)
Well, that was kind of terrible. Chemotherapy started today with the first of what is supposed to be five treatments of medicine directed right at the tumor to try and shrink it. If this works, they will then go in and do the thigh bone transplant.
Unlike the biopsy, I was definitely awake for this procedure. They took me into an operating room and cut into the big artery in my thigh, the femoral artery, which basically provides blood to the thigh and leg. They had to be very careful, because if they cut too much it runs the risk of bleeding too much. But shooting the medicine right at the tumor using this artery is the best way to get at it, because the growth is sort of wrapped around the end of the femur near the knee.
All they did was give me a little numbing medicine in the upper thigh, before the surgeon made a really small incision near the top of the leg. I could see it on the imaging machine above the operating table. Then they slowly snaked the catheter down the artery to point it at the tumor. I had to stay really still for what seemed like the whole day, but was only about an hour total. Afterward they gave me something really strong for pain.
Best thing was waking up after that to be in my room with all these Valentine's Day decorations. All my classmates signed cards and some of them sent me flowers. I haven't been to school in a couple of weeks, but I think my sister or my brother probably told my teachers already that I'd be missing a lot of school.
They say this medicine will probably make me sick, and could make my hair fall out. Right now I feel lousy, like I was run over by a truck. My stomach is heavy and I have only been taking liquids, like ginger ale and Jell-O. It should be a day or so before I try to eat regular food, but I'm not really looking forward to it. At least my hair is still there, but it's only been a day.
There's going to bi five of these treatments before they do more x-rays and scans to see if it worked. I'm not sure what they will do if it doesn't work. My parents, though, were relieved that they didn't have to amputate my leg. This thing they're doing for me is called "limb-salvage surgery," where they remove the tumor without cutting off the limb. Other kids my age have had to had their legs amputated, like Ted Kennedy Jr. and the Canadian runner, Terry Foxx.
** Chemo. That's an interesting sounding word: chemo. Almost sounds like a Hawaiian name. I wonder what living in Hawaii is like? Now that would be something. I doubt that would ever happen, though. It's too far from home for me, especially with how long it takes for mail to get back and forth and with the cost of long distance phone calls. The only way I'd be able to do it would be if I could call with an unlimited amount of minutes. Even better would be if someone invented a way to talk to people over a video link., like in The Jetsons. **
** - Creative embellishment.