July is Sarcoma Awareness Month. Robbie had osteosarcoma. I had never heard of sarcoma cancer before Robbie got sick. When he complained of his leg hurting, I assumed he had growing pains, or had pulled a muscle. He hadn’t recently fallen or injured, so I was at a loss of what was causing his pain. This is why, I am doing this post today. Someday your knowledge might help someone you know. Leg pain with limping is often seen when osteosarcoma is in the leg. Where Robbie had his tumor by his knee is the most common spot for this rare cancer.
Unfortunately children/rare cancer get very little funding, so the treatments remain about the same year after year. There isn’t money for big companies unless they can treat many people over time. The first chemo Robbie took, destroyed his hearing and caused non-stop ear ringing the rest of his life. One treatment took out his thyroid function. All the treatments made him sick…some worse than others. Even children that survive, live the rest of the lives with health problems related to the treatments. Better treatments need to be found, that not only can kill the cancer, but not cause significant damage to the person being treated.
What can be done to help? Spreading knowledge and awareness is a big step towards people realizing how important this is to help everyone that has cancer, especially children. Many people have no idea, that despite the amazing improvements in medical over the years, that it hasn’t changed at the same rate for childhood cancer. This is especially true for rare cancers. Some of the same treatments have been used for Osteosarcoma for 30-40 years. Can you imagine if your health care was the same as it was 30-40 years ago?
I would rather sit back and never speak of cancer again, but we have to continue this battle for all children/families impacted by cancer.