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

cancer survivor Tessa in a hospital setting wearing a beanie

Osteosarcoma Cancer Survivors on Life After Cancer

What happens when the treatments are over and doctor visits become less frequent? Survivors share their experiences with life after cancer.

For cancer survivors, a final chemotherapy infusion, a last physical therapy appointment, or a clean, cancer-free scan is a long-awaited moment.

While many find relief and happiness in this new stage of their lives, it can still be hard to adjust to “normal” life. It is common to feel anxious or worried that the cancer will come back.

Be prepared to feel a range of emotions as the time between doctor’s appointments gets farther and farther apart. Here are some osteosarcoma survivors’ reflections on life after cancer.

Determination Led to a Dream Job

At 28, Carly Crockett was flying as a commercial airline pilot until an osteosarcoma diagnosis threatened to take her career — and her life.

After six rounds of chemotherapy and an 11-hour surgery to remove the tumor, she was determined to fly again. Her determination caught the attention of Delta Airlines.

Today, Carly teaches Airbus A320 procedures to pilots at Delta, a dream job. While she has not started flying again herself, she is committed to gaining back her strength and making it a reality. And she has reason to be optimistic — her last two scans have come back clear of cancer!

“I could not have gotten through this experience without my family and friends, my amazing surgeons and medical team, and my new work family at Delta,” says Carly. “The people around me lifted me up.”

A New Perspective on Life

Talgat Omurov was also 28 when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. His diagnosis made him a more spiritual person and gave him a new perspective on life. Two years later, at age 30, he was able to ring the bell to celebrate the end of his final round of chemotherapy. He shares his survivor journey on Instagram and is taking time to do more of the things he loves, like traveling.

“I am focused on enjoying life because I may not live long,” says Talgat. “I am trying not to take things for granted and to just live every day to the fullest.”

Staying Hopeful After a Setback

What made 15-year-old Tessa’s osteosarcoma unique is that it was not located on a bone. It was in the space between her lung and chest wall.

Despite several rounds of chemo, radiation treatments, and multiple surgeries to remove new tumor nodules in her lung, Tessa’s osteosarcoma has returned. Even after this latest setback, she continues to keep her spirits high. A dedicated soccer player, Tessa has even made it back onto the field for a few practices.

“Right now, all we can do is take one day at a time,” says Michelle Sutton, Tessa’s mom. “Of course, Tessa is sad and worried and cries at times, but she does not stay there for long.”

Not Letting Cancer Define You

Two-time osteosarcoma survivor Carlos was first diagnosed at 17 and again at 20. Despite surgery, two rounds of chemotherapy, and a leg amputation, he refused to allow cancer to define his identity.

Today, Carlos is 37 and married, with a successful career in medical sales. His new passion is being a dad to his young daughter Mia.

“I don’t have my leg and, at times, that sucks, but the life that I have now — with my wife and my daughter — I would go through it all again to have this life with them,” he says.

Read more stories of progress, inspiration, and support from osteosarcoma survivors on the Osteosarcoma Institute’s blog, The Frontline.

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