At the end of May, Emily began experiencing a dull pain deep in her hip that her and her doctor initially incorrectly diagnosed as a sports injury. Through June and into July, the pain worsened severely, shooting down her right leg and into her foot. This greatly limited her mobility as well as her quality of life. Emily has been unable to work since mid -July.
After her first stay in the hospital in July, an MRI confirmed Emily had a mass behind her spine, near her pelvis that is pressing on nerves and causing all of the pain she had been experiencing. The hospital biopsied the mass and identified it as osteosarcoma; a rare type of bone cancer. The cancer is impacting her hip, pelvis, spine, surrounding muscle tissue, and sending a piece through her bloodstream to one of her lungs.
Her and her fiancé John are currently in Stanford hospital and Emily is undergoing her first round of chemo. The expectation is she’ll come back to their home hospital, do approximately 12 weeks of chemo and then go back to Stanford to undergo a very invasive surgery that will most likely involve removing at least some of her hip, pelvis, and spine. After the surgery, she will have a month of recovery and then do an additional 40 weeks or so of chemo to try to ensure of all of the cancer is gone. As you can see, this is a long fight they’re facing.
Currently they’re experiencing hardships from their stay in Stanford including lodging, meals, and travel. Fortunately, California has short term disability so Emily has some income coming in but it is limited to a year. At this time, we do not know how long this battle will be. It is unclear what life will look like for Emily post cancer and with that, her ability to have the career she’s worked so hard to build.
Emily and John have created a beautiful blended family together; bringing in their two young children and recently buying a house in a new city. She is previously widowed and the last surviving parent for her son Nick, so it’s important to her to have a plan and resources moving forward to make sure their family is okay regardless of outcome.