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Bone cancer survivor Olivia Cork: 'It taught me that life is for living'

Sep 28,2014 0 Comments

health, Olivia Cork, bone cancer, story, interview, life, disease, Kim Jones Olivia Cork lost her leg to bone most cancers at 14[STUART WOOD]

Olivia, 17, lives in Stoke-on-Trent together with her mom Fiona, stepfather Dave and her triplet brother and sister Alex and Chloe. She says:

“the other day, my dad requested me if there was once the rest I’d change about the previous few years of my life. the fact that I’d had cancer? That I’d lost my right leg?

You’d think about I’d love to show back the clock but in fact I shook my head. sure, it’s been disturbing, but having most cancers has also made me a stronger individual, any person who’s encouraged to seize existence with each arms.

I used to be just a standard teen sooner than all this. I used to experience socialising and meeting my friends, but I did nothing out of the ordinary. Now, considering that ending my cancer remedy, I’ve executed more energetic, thrilling things than many people do in a whole lifetime. Rock hiking, crusing, sizzling-air ballooning – I gained’t let losing my leg sluggish me down. if truth be told, nothing will get in my method at the present time. while you’ve had a existence-threatening sickness and considered younger friends you’ve met all through your remedy lose their very own struggle, you recognize that lifestyles is for dwelling.

It was once a few days after Christmas 2010 that I woke to search out my decrease leg had swollen to double its commonplace size. I’d had a boring suffering there for a couple of weeks so I went to A&E, where I was once given antibiotics in case I had an an infection. The ache and swelling have been nonetheless there the following week, so I noticed my GP who instantly referred me to health facility. There I had a blood test and ultrasound, followed by means of an MRI scan.

As I sat in a health center mattress considering what might be flawed, it all at once hit me. basically, I had a lump on my leg. A lump often meant most cancers, didn’t it? Then I pushed the thought apart. I used to be best 14 years outdated. most cancers didn’t happen to teenagers like me.

but when I was once taken right into a aspect ward and that i saw my oldsters looking upset, I knew the information used to be unhealthy. The doctor informed me I had osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, and there was once a six-inch tumour in my decrease leg.

I took in the information remarkably calmly. i believe seeing my parents in floods of tears made me determined to place on a courageous face.

health, Olivia Cork, bone cancer, story, interview, life, disease, Kim Jones ‘The leg i exploit now is a metallic one that appears obviously like a synthetic leg’ [STUART WOOD]

i assumed, ‘i have to stay sturdy for them.’  I started a route of chemotherapy at Alder hi there kids’s medical institution in Liverpool on February 2, 2011. It left me exhausted, unwell and weak. 

My hair fell out, which perceived to upset my domestic greater than me, but I additionally misplaced a stone in weight. And i must admit that seeing myself in the mirror, having a look frail and weak, scared me a bit of.

After 12 weeks, more scans showed that despite the fact that the chemotherapy had killed probably the most tumour, it had unfold into the encompassing tissue. 

‘I’m sorry,’ the doctor advised me, ‘we can’t keep your knee. we now have to amputate.’

At 14 you’re at a stage in lifestyles when physique image is very essential, so I was once horrified, shattered. was this nightmare in reality going down to me? but in the end, what may I do? I needed to accept it. The doctor had spelled it out – it was once my leg or my existence. 

Two days later, I aroused from sleep in horrible ache following the amputation. I pulled again the covers to take a look at what was once left of my leg. in fact it was once harrowing, nevertheless it had came about. Even then, I knew I needed to make one of the best of issues, so tomorrow I was off the bed and studying how you can get round on crutches.

Over the following months, I more than likely had too much else to cope with to take in what had happened to me. I wanted an extra operation to remove more bone from my leg after I had a boom spurt and i also agreed to participate in a scientific trial using a brand new aggregate of chemotherapy medicine, which made me feel very unwell. 

by the time my chemotherapy completed in December, and i was at last discharged from medical institution, I had a brand new prosthetic leg – geared up on my fifteenth birthday. After many tumbles, I turned into rather adept at the usage of it. It was designed to appear to be a real leg and used to be covered with a pores and skin-colored stocking – though this was rather more tanned than my other leg would ever get. 

at first i wanted to cover up the leg, or as a minimum to make it look as lifelike as imaginable so I wouldn’t be stared at or treated in a different way. however as time passed, I determined there was once in point of fact no point in trying to cover what had happened to me and who I now was. So the leg i exploit now – and which I’m most pleased with – is a steel one that looks obviously like a synthetic leg.

again at college, all i needed used to be for folks to treat me normally and to not really feel sorry for me or be afraid to ask questions. I hated that look I’d get once I talked about having cancer – a head tilt and a glance of sympathy. I started questioning if I must say I lost my leg in a shark assault.   

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