Osteosarcoma Diagnosis Brings New Perspective on Life
When a cancer diagnosis upended his life, Talgat shifted his perspective to make the most out of life.

“Suspected malignancy.” Those were the two words on Talgat Omurov’s medical chart that changed his life at age 28.

What he imagined was a benign tumor on his right knee that could be easily removed was instead life-threatening. Talgat had never heard of osteosarcoma before. Now, he was a cancer patient. Everything felt overwhelming and scary.

That was May 2021. He completed one round of chemotherapy over the next five months, but MRI scans revealed that the tumor was continuing to grow, and his right leg had to be amputated.

Leaning on Outside Help

“Those days, I was so desperate for more information,” says Talgat. “No one in my family had this kind of cancer. I felt so lost.”

After many hours spent searching online for answers and new treatment options, he eventually came across the Osteosarcoma Institute (OSI) on Instagram. He contacted the organization via OSI Connect and spoke with Chelsey Blanks, OSI Connect’s administrator, who introduced him to OSI’s director, Lee Helman, MD.

Dr. Helman told Talgat about a study in Italy that was researching ifosfamide and etoposide. “He also told me, in case I move forward with that trial, to be mindful of my kidney function because that drug can impact your kidneys.”

In the end, Talgat did not end up participating in the study. But the assistance he received from OSI Connect and Dr. Helman were invaluable. It gave Talgat the confidence to advocate for himself and make healthcare decisions that resonated with him. This included changing doctors when he was not getting consistent communication from his initial doctor.

While so much about his life has changed in just over a year, the constant has been his support system: his family and friends. “They have stuck by me throughout all of this,” he says. “I do not think I could have gotten through this without them.”

Celebrating the Milestones

Talgat just celebrated his 30th birthday. He is finishing his sixth — and hopefully final — round of chemotherapy on August 15 and hopes to get news of clear scans from his oncologist soon. He still goes to physical therapy once a week and has been practicing using his new prosthetic leg. “I am relieved. It fits me much better than the last one and is easier to use.”

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

— Talgat Omurov

Life After Cancer

Physically speaking, Talgat has been through so much. But the mental and emotional aspects of dealing with his cancer diagnosis are by far the hardest, he says. “I am no longer the same person I was before my diagnosis. Everything in my life has changed.”

He adds that his spirituality and a newfound faith in God have given him a new perspective on his life. And he is finally ready to share his cancer journey with the world. Talgat just opened a new Instagram account to share his story with others. He is also trying to take time for things he enjoys, especially travel.

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

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