Stories of progress, inspiration, and information in overcoming osteosarcoma.

Jarred Meyer and Chloe Anderson standing together on a roof at nigh, with a city skyline behind them

“You Just Gotta Keep Going”: Facing an Osteosarcoma Recurrence

Despite being devastated to learn his osteosarcoma had returned, 21-year-old Jarred Meyer continues to fight.

Jarred Meyer, 21, completed his osteosarcoma treatment in summer 2022 and was declared in remission. He felt he had been given a second chance at living. In July, Jarred’s family and his girlfriend, Chloe Anderson, went on a vacation to celebrate the end of Jarred’s treatment.

But at the first scan after his vacation — just three months after his treatment ended — Jarred learned devastating news: His osteosarcoma had returned.

“The news rocked me,” Jarred says. “But I can’t say it really reached my core, because I didn’t have a lot of time to process what was going on.”

A Necessary Decision

The following days were a whirlwind of appointments and talks with his parents, Mark and Liselott. Jarred made the difficult decision to have his right leg amputated above the knee. It would give him the best chance of beating osteosarcoma a second time.

Rather than feeling sorry for himself, Jarred says he felt grateful.

“I had been on social media, and I haven’t seen a lot of people with osteosarcoma that actually get to keep their leg,” he says. “So, it was kind of a blessing that for that first year and a half, I still had it. It seemed like a fair trade, I guess: Give up my leg to get rid of the cancer.”

Jarred had the amputation in November 2022, just 10 days after he learned of the recurrence. “The consensus was that the osteosarcoma was going to keep coming back,” Mark says. “We needed to remove the source.”

More Bad News

Following his surgery, the Meyers reached out to OSI Connect — the Osteosarcoma Institute’s free service that allows patients to consult with an osteosarcoma expert — to help them figure out what to do next. The OSI’s Director, Lee Helman, MD, connected them with UT Southwestern pediatric oncologist Patrick Leavey, MD. The Meyer family immediately felt Jarred was in good hands. Still, the news they received next sent them reeling: Even with the amputation, Jarred’s chances of survival are low.

“On the one hand, we are very thankful for the recommendation from OSI Connect,” Mark says. “Dr. Leavey won our trust, and we will work with him now going forward. On the other hand, we learned the awful truth, which is that patients with a recurrence of osteosarcoma have only a 15% chance of long-term survival.”

Although the news was extremely difficult to hear, Jarred appreciated Dr. Leavey’s candor.

“I wanted him to tell it to me straight, and he did. He said he would be surprised to see me back in a year with no issues.”

In December, Jarred started oral chemotherapy. Each month, he receives scans to check for metastasis.

“It’s tough, because it feels like a waiting game,” he says. “I get a scan this month and it might be good, but next month it might not be. It just pulls on you. You don’t know how to plan your future, so you just gotta keep going.”

Carrying On

Rather than give up, Jarred has decided to live his life as normally as possible. He works for an audio/visual company, and whenever chemotherapy doesn’t get in the way he gladly returns to work. Chloe continues to carry on as well, supporting Jarred at every appointment and during every bout of nausea.

“It’s tough, because it feels like a waiting game. I get a scan this month and it might be good, but next month it might not be. You don’t know how to plan your future, so you just gotta keep going.” — Jarred Meyer

“Since his first diagnosis, the thought never occurred to me to leave,” says Chloe. “And so, it was the same thing this time around. I told him, ‘You know, this doesn’t change anything. We’re still Jarred and Chloe. We’re still very much a team.’ I’m not going anywhere.”

Jarred says he doesn’t know how he would have made it this far without Chloe’s support.

“She’s been here through the worst of it,” he says. “I just don’t see a world where I would be able to do it without her.”

Walking Again

In December 2022, as soon as he was cleared to do so, Jarred was fitted for a prosthetic leg. Thankfully, his insurance covered a very good prosthesis, and he has been working diligently in physical therapy to learn how to walk with it. But he already has his sights set on a specialized prosthesis that will allow him to run, climb stairs and even surf and snowboard.

“It’s really just a different level of functionality in allowing you to live as normally as you can with something like this,” Jarred says. “And it’s waterproof, so once I get it, I will probably spend half my summer in the lake surfing. It lets you almost forget about your disability.”

Mark says he hopes they’ll get approval for the sports prosthesis sooner than later. “With a likely shortened life, we want him to be able to do as much as he can for as long as he can.”

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