Chondroblastic Osteosarcoma

Rory has Chondroblastic osteosarcoma. I’m not sure what else there is to say. It is a bone cancer which also affects the cartilage. The tumor is malignant, high grade and centred on his lower jaw bone. For the second time in his life we are cornered. We either take him home and lose him or we proceed with the treatment prescribed.

The first twelve weeks are critical. Chemotherapy is used to halt the growth and spread of the tumor, and to try and shrink it. This is not guaranteed. An assessment is made at 12 weeks. If the chemotherapy is working a decision is made to either surgically remove the remaining tumor, or utilise radiotherapy to destroy it (or both). This is followed by 17 more weeks of chemotherapy. The treatment regime will last nine months. If the chemotherapy does not work the Doctors will look at what other options are available. We will be at that point by mid-December.

The functioning of Rory’s organs (heart, lungs, kidneys) will be monitored closely during treatment. They have already suffered ‘abuse’ during treatment in 2009 and we have to be careful they are not damaged to the point where it compromises their functioning and his quality of life.

The treatment will begin on Tuesday with the surgical insertion of a catheter into his chest. This will be used to deliver the chemotherapy which will begin on Wednesday. The chemo is delivered in cycles and we hope to be home in between.

The one unknown at the moment is whether there is cancer elsewhere in Rory’s body. To check Rory had a PET-CT this afternoon. He was thrilled to be nil by mouth for a third day this week. Rory was injected with radioactive tracers tagged to glucose. This travels to cells that use glucose for energy. The more energy a group of cells needs the more the radiotracer will build up in that location. These areas show up as hot spots. Compared with normal cells cancer cells are very active in using glucose so these areas light up. We will have the results of the PET-CT on Monday.

In between medical appointments we are still walking, exploring and making the most of the time we have. I refuse to let Rory be treated as sick. It would be easy for this to happen with the diagnosis, the medical appointments, the sitting around in hospital and the concern of people around us. While it is still within my ability Rory will keep on keep on living. Although I’m sure he’d rather walk less miles.