Momma doesn’t like being scared

CT scan of osteochondroma

CT scan of osteochondroma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have spent the last few days worried and scared about my baby boy Ty! He has had a knot on his left arm that hurts if he hits it or puts pressure on it wrong so doc sent him for an x-ray. They called me on Monday and told me the results of the x-ray – a benign tumor of the cartilage. Well, of course, I started freaking out a bit. They had just told me that my son has a tumor, even if it’s not cancerous; in my mind if it’s not cancerous now it could be in the future. I was very happy that they got him in with an orthopedic surgeon very quickly.

Yesterday was his appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, very nice doctor who took the time to make sure I understood everything and was comfortable. I could probably push for a second opinion from a pediatric specialist or a cancer doctor, but I feel comfortable at the moment with all the information that the doctor we saw gave me. He told me the name for what it is, Osteochondroma, and explained exactly what it is. The basics are that, normally during a growth spurt, a piece of the growth plate starts growing away from instead of in line with the bone, thus creating the tumor on the bone. They are rarely cancerous unless they continue to grow after the child has reached skeletal maturity, and the recommendation from the doctor we saw (and many sources I have found online) say that unless it is showing characteristics of turning cancerous or it is causing problems from pressing on tendons, muscles, veins or anything else it is best to leave it alone. Ty’s doc said that in a few years, if he hasn’t had problems before age 16-18 then we should go back and look at it again.

After his skeleton has stopped growing the risks associated with removing it are greatly reduced; the chance of hurting the growth plate and the tumor returning are the two most common risks. So for now we will just wait and see how things go and keep an eye on it and watch for any others to make an appearance. No matter what this is now something we have to live with, and Ty has to live with for the rest of his life. We are blessed that currently it is not serious, but I know from experience (having watched a friend deal with benign tumor upon benign tumor until finally one developed into cancer) that things can change. I knew cancer could strike my family, I just always hoped it never would, and I am grateful that it hasn’t yet, but I’m pissed and saddened that it’s my baby that may have to be the one to deal with it in the future.

I will continue to enjoy everyday until there are no more days to enjoy. I will continue to have faith in that his tumor will not turn cancerous and that if it does then it will not be until they have a cure. I wish there was a cure today so the people I know with cancer wouldn’t have to hurt anymore and could be the vibrant people they were before they were ravaged by such an awful killer!


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