I am from Maui, Hawaii. I was an active 15-year-old in high school when my knee started causing me extreme pain. I had a series of x-rays and blood tests done on Maui and had to be sent to Oahu for a biopsy on my left knee. I found out afterwards on July 4, 1987, that I had osteosarcoma. I started chemotherapy treatments at a hospital here on Oahu. I had a choice of amputation or a surgery that would give me a metal rod with no use of my knee, if I stayed in Hawaii for my health care.
Stories of progress, inspiration, and information in overcoming osteosarcoma.
Airin Loran’s Osteosarcoma Journey
My Treatment Journey
My stepdad made a phone call to his college friend from New Jersey who had connections in New York. I was miraculously seen at Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York City for a limb salvage surgery to save my leg from a total amputation. I also had chemotherapy treatments before and after this life-saving surgery. I had to learn how to walk all over again, having about half of my muscles and an internal plastic, metal, and titanium leg. It was months and months of chemotherapy, blood transfusions, port surgery and lots of hospital stays.
The osteosarcoma metastasized to my left lung in 1990 at age 18. Thank God, I caught it early during a routine chest x-ray. No more chemotherapy was needed. Instead, I had a major lung surgery to remove the small tumor. I have had two knee joint revision surgeries in 1996 and 2006 repairing my worn-out knee parts. I’ve been in remission from osteosarcoma since 1990. However, the chronic pain, anxiety, and aftermath of cancer is with me always. I pray for more funding towards newer treatments for osteosarcoma.
My Life Today
Today, I am a mother of two grown kids aged 31 and 28, who are my miracles. And through them, I have five adorable grandchildren. I am extremely blessed and know how fragile life can be.
I would advise other cancer patients to think positively and take each day as a gift. Be confident in your oncologist and treatment options. Remember that you are not alone. Seek out support groups, spend time around those who are positive and supportive, and let people help you and your family. Write a journal. Don’t let the fear and anxiety get the best of you. We are warriors, so always carry that courageous attitude with you.
I honor my past experience with cancer and have had more positive experiences than negative ones. I am truly grateful for my experience and journey through life. I have been through more than most will ever know and came out of it with strength and grace. I share my story freely when I feel that someone needs hope or wants to hear how I have survived against all odds. Aloha from Hawaii.
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