Rykers story - told by his mom
(Ryker is 11 years old and was officially diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his right Femur on September 12th 2017.
Ryker had his first day of 6th grade on Tuesday and didn't have any issues with his leg that day. Wednesday the 6th I took him into an urgent care after school to have his leg checked out. (We went there since they have an x ray machine on site.) I had googled his symptoms earlier in the day and nothing very positive comes up!
The Doctor had some obvious concerns upon examining Ryker and ordered some xrays. After the xrays it was talking quite awhile for the results. When the Doctor came back she had the x ray tech with her... they said they wanted to take images of his other leg to compare. Once Ryker was out of the room she broke the news to me. I am not sure that there are very many things more devastating in life than to hear that your child has cancer. I was in a whirlwind. I immediately wanted to know what next... lets get started... lets kill this cancer... save my child!
I looked at the x rays and it was very obvious that something was very wrong with his Femur. We had a referral to an oncologist and a MRI ordered for Friday when we left that day. The drive home was surreal trying to make small talk and keep my emotions under control.
It was a very long draining day for Ryker, Regan and I. We had the MRI in the afternoon followed by our oncologist appt. All signs were pointing to sarcoma, most likely an osteosarcoma but possibly ewings. The next step was biopsy scheduled for Tuesday. On our way home we stopped for dinner at Red Lobster... Ryker LOVES crab. He was his silly self, cracking jokes and playing with his food. I was a great dinner with a lot of laughs and love!
Over the weekend a lot of research was done, many prayers said, and countless tears shed. No matter what the options are they are all devastating!
Monday we had our pre-op with the orthopedic surgeon. We did walk away from that appointment with a little ray of hope. The surgeon felt like it was highly likely that we could do a limb saving surgery retaining his knee and saving his growth plate on the femur allowing the bone to continue to grow. It was so nice to hear something hopeful!
Tuesday was the biopsy. The biopsy went well and the surgeon confirmed our suspicions that it was indeed Osteosarcoma. When we got to go into recovery to see Ryker he was in a lot of pain. It absolutely broke our hearts! It is so hard to not be able to fix things, to take that pain away, to save my child, from the present and what I know is coming.
Thursday we had the PET scan and CT scan followed by another appointment with the oncologist. When Ryker heard that we would be "talking" with the oncologist he said he had better get comfortable! Our first visit was 2+ hours. We got Ryker set up with pillows and the ipad to watch netflix. The Doctor took Regan and I into another room where our worst fears were confirmed. Ryker has metastatic osteosarcoma. The CT showed 10+ small tumors on each side of his lungs. We had been hoping and praying all week that there wouldn't be metastasis. It feels like such a defeat! There are no words.....
We discussed the treatment plan and when to begin. I wanted to start immediately... Friday, as soon as Ryker had his port in, I wanted/ need to stop this cancer! After contacting the orthopedic surgeon it was decided to wait until the following Tuesday so that his leg has more time to heal. It was a long hard day, Ryker was in a lot more pain because we had so many appointments and he had to be so active. Again, it is so hard to see your child in pain..
Friday Ryker had his portacath placed. A portacath is basically a central line into a large vein in his heart used for delivering chemo and drawing labs. It sits below the skin so he is still able to shower, swim, exercise, etc. The surgery was a breeze compared to the biopsy surgery! Ryker also had an echo and EKG to check his heart function before we begin chemo. We met again with the oncologist to go over portacath instructions, the care plan, and answer any questions we might have.
Cancer is so draining in every way! I feel like I am stretched so thin and so tired mentally, emotionally, and physically. We are taking things one day at a time. Trying to remain positive. Looking for the good in everything. Everyone has been so kind and helpful. I am amazed each day! We appreciate every prayer offered on our behalf, we feel them!
I think the hardest part of all of this for Ryker has been finding out that he will not be able to attend school this year. He is so social and misses his friends so much. He has also been amazed at how many people care about him and have prayed or fasted for him. He wants to thank you all!)
Ryker has a very long, painful, and uncertain road ahead of him. He will be doing chemotherapy for 10-12 weeks and then possibly surgery on his femur to remove the bone and affected tissue in his leg depending on how chemo goes. His parents, Regan and Crystal, have 5 other children at home and are trying so hard to keep some sort of normalcy with them while dealing with this life threatening medical condition with Ryker. Even with insurance, their out of pocket expenses are going to be massive. Ryker is such a sweet, fun loving kid. He loves to be silly and prank people. Our family would do anything in the world for him, but unfortunately we can't take away his pain or the long journey he has to travel. We are praying for a miracle! What we can do in the meantime, is try to raise some money on his behalf to fight this cancer.
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