Attitude is Everything

My name is Jason. I am 15 years old and I just took it for granted my summer of 2018 was going to be filled with working to buy a car and playing summer basketball while hanging out with my friends. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

I started feeling pain in my left shoulder I’d say around spring break in March of this year. I was in the middle of my varsity baseball season at Yorktown ISD. I told my mom it was bothering me but that I thought I overextended it during baseball practice or while lifting in the weight room. She told me to take care of it and not to overdo it. I went to get treatment from my coaches in the mornings and afternoons in hopes it was just a strained muscle. I sucked it up and finished the next almost seven weeks of baseball nursing a hurt shoulder the entire time.

The very next week after baseball was over with, we started off season and preparing for football and summer basketball league. While I was in the gym practicing basketball with my friends, I went up for a left layup. I heard something pop in my left shoulder and my arm dropped and went limp. I was in excruciating pain. I immediately let my mom know what was going on. She called the doctor to make me an appointment for the following Wednesday, May 9th. We nursed it best we could until they could fit me in to the doctor. I wore a sling to keep it immobilized.

May 9th came around and I went to the orthopedic doctor in Victoria. Dr. Binz took comparison x-rays of my shoulders. He noticed what appeared to be a small quarter size cyst on my left upper humerus. He told me that I would be referred to get an MRI done to check it out further. I went nine days later from my MRI on May 18th. On May 30th I had my follow up appointment with Dr. Binz. My mom and I were sitting in the exam room waiting to see him. He came in with a weird look on his face. He said he just looked at the MRI disc and read the report. He stated he had his secretary scheduling an appointment with us with an Orthopaedic Oncologist in San Antonio. All I heard was ‘ONCOLOGIST’ and my mom and I just looked at each other speechless. That was the day my whole world changed.

Things moved very quickly from that day. I was at the oncologist office within 48 hours and in Methodist Hospital in San Antonio on June 5th. I had more scans done, lots of bloodwork, and my biopsy. My diagnosis was confirmed June 6, 2018, Metastatic Osteosarcoma. My cancer was growing in size very rapidly it had progressed in a month from a quarter size to half way down my humerus. It had also metastasized to my lymph nodes in my armpit and pectoral area on my left side. I was devastated that what I thought was going to be a fun summer before I started my sophomore year in high school turned into my worst nightmare.

I started my aggressive chemotherapy on June 12, 2018, and have been in the hospital more than I’ve been at home since then. I have so many friends and family that are supporting and praying for me. I know if I can do this anyone can. I will survive. I will recover. I will go on to finish high school and begin my life. Cancer will not beat me. I will win.

Jason, osteosarcoma survivor

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Attitude is Everything was originally published in Livestrong Voices on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.