The first time I remember my knee hurting was the summer of 1997.
I was 13 and would turn on Spice Girls or No Doubt and dance around my backyard. I figured my knee hurt because I was NOT a dancer. I was a clumsy kid having fun during summer break. It got to the point though where the pain changed. I went from thinking maybe I hurt myself, to maybe growing pains, to something is wrong. One day when the pain hit harder than usual I asked my mom to take me to the DR. We went to the ER where I begged for an X-Ray and was told instead to buy some new shoes. I was blown off and treated like an over dramatic teen.
The weeks passed. I started grade 8, my mom gave birth to my baby sister, I turned 14 and my leg was hurting more and more. It got to the point where rumours started at school that I was a hypochondriac and I was just looking for attention. The bullying was horrible.
Then it happened, one day while playing basketball I was pushed. My knee slammed onto the gym floor and started swelling. The swelling wouldn’t go down. Finally a DR took me seriously and I was told I would need 6 weeks of physio. 6 weeks of almost daily physio and al that happened was the pain got worse and my knee got bigger. I took a break for a Christmas and to visit family. One night I woke crying in pain, I begged for my mom to do something, anything. I cried “please just cut it (my leg) off” we came home and went back to the Doctor. An x-ray and Ultrasound were ordered. When the day came and I had to leave school early for the appointment I was excited! I was so happy, finally I was being taken seriously. Finally we were going to find out what was wrong. Finally I would be able to prove I wasn’t an attention seeking hypochondriac.
The next day January 22, 1998. I was blissfully unaware what was happening at home and that soon my world would come crashing down. Instead I enjoyed the unusual sunshine, hung out with friends, got excited for the upcoming school dance and walked home.
I knew something was wrong when I noticed my mom was waiting for me, she saw me walking up to the house and opened the door with my baby sister on her hip. She told me to put my backpack away and to sit down. I started racking my brain for what was going on. Was I in trouble? What had I done? My mom started crying as I sat down ” Analyn, you have bone cancer.”