Osteosarcoma Cancer Grad- Kirra
Name: Kirra Wyatt
Age at Enrollment: 14
Major: Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) Stage 3
What were the primary symptoms you experienced prior to diagnosis? Ache in knee/leg which got worse with movement and was worse at night. Similar to growing pains. I also had a very swollen knee.
What symptom(s) lead you to go to the doctor? The ache would not go away and the swelling was not going down. The doctors told me they were growing pains but I begged to differ as they weren’t going away.
Courses completed: A massive surgery to remove the tumour and replace it with a titanium bone and 12 months of chemotherapy.
What was your hardest moment (or moments) and how did you you get through it/them? The hardest moments for me were long chemo stays and not being able to hear, see or feel mature. I also had a very hard time coming with the way I looked. I was very self conscious of the way I looked before cancer so when I lost my hair I had a hard time believing I was a cancer patient so I would constantly wear makeup and wigs.
What advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed? What advice would you tell them to ignore? I think everyone’s situation is different but I think there’s something we all can agree on, and it’s we have no idea what’s going to happen to us. I assure you, IT ALWAYS ENDS. It will make you stronger and more grateful for life. Rather than feeling ugly and sick try to think how incredibly strong you are for putting your mental health on the line to save your body. I know now it may feel as if you’re doing the worst thing for your body but you’re doing the best thing you can possibly do! You’re saving it. Be proud of yourself. You’re doing everything you can. Ignore all the ‘what ifs’. I’m guilty of this. It’s a very hard temptation to ignore but every person is individually different and no statistics will be able to say what’s going to happen to you personally!
How did your family and friends respond? My family and friends were devastated but did everything in their power to make my experience better and make m
When you feel overwhelmed or anxious, what do you do? When I feel overwhelmed or anxious I simply breathe in deeply in and out whilst thinking; I am alive when I was supposed to die, I am lucky, I am strong. I know it doesn’t seem like much but it really does help to have that mindset!
What do you wish more people knew/understood about the type(s) of cancer you were diagnosed with? I wish people knew how easily it is to detect late. Detecting late is fatal as it causes the cancer to spread and by the time alarming symptoms go off it’s too late. My symptoms were exactly the same as growing pains or a common injury.
Have you created any meaning out of this experience? If so, what was it/how did you do it? I found a meaning of what I’m suppose to be on this earth. To look after my body, to give others advice on taking care of their body and to support others going through cancer or a difficult experience and give them advice.
How did/do you find joy during this experience? I found joy out of this experience by finding a passion in health and fitness and giving my body something back after all it has done for me. I have fallen in love with my body. This experience has also given me a positive mindset towards life. I am always grateful. It has also made me extremely close to my family.
Since your diagnosis, what new belief, habit or behavior has most improved your quality of life? Healthy eating and daily exercise. I’m the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been.
Did you learn anything about yourself or your life? If so, what was it? I learned I am stronger than I think and I’m so incredibly to have a life on this earth.
If you could write anything you wanted on a billboard in NYC’s Times Square that would reach millions of people, what would it read? "NOTHING HAPPENS TO YOU, IT HAPPENS FOR YOU."