Many teenagers live as if they consider themselves nearly immortal, more concerned with navigating social circles than staying alive. Frightening as that actually can be, it’s a far step from osteosarcoma. That’s what faced 17-year-old Kirra Wyatt. Now she’s sharing her comeback story to help others. Keep reading to learn more, or follow the original story here.
Kirra’s journey begins with a regular doctor’s visit. She reported a swollen knee, and what most described as growing pains. Kirra received a diagnosis of osteosarcoma after this visit at age 14. In 2014 she became one of only about 200 Australians diagnosed with a primary bone cancer.
Doctors gave Kirra a five percent chance to survive osteosarcoma.
Now Kirra says she wants to take advantage of the second chance she’s been given. She wants to tell everyone who’s struggling how important it is to stay positive. She insists that things do, in fact, get better.
It’s been a long road getting there, however, and that’s part of what Kirra wants to share.
When she first found out about her diagnosis, Kirra entered a state of denial. She says she bought a wig, put on make up, pretended it wasn’t happening.
Her treatment required chemotherapy. The side effects of treatment created some of the most difficult moments for Kirra. Doctors told her there was a 70% chance of losing her hair. She hoped she’d be in the lucky 30%. When she wasn’t, Kirra shaved her head and describes it as one of the only times she cried “really hard.”
Further along the treatment plan, doctors needed to replace Kirra’s femur. They replaced the affected bone with a titanium rod. One year of treatment saw Kirra free of cancer. Three relapses, however, came back to haunt her.
Throughout the replacement of the rod in her leg, and the removal of cancer form her lung, Kirra didn’t feel like she had the strength to go on. Support from her mother, father, and siblings made it all possible. Larissa, Kirra’s mother, speaks of her daughter’s perpetual strength.
“Seeing Kirra go through all of that was heartbreaking,” Larissa says. “She was so strong, she didn’t whinge and she didn’t cry – we were so proud of her.”
Kirra’s got less energy now than the normal teenager perhaps. But she’s got something different, and perhaps better. Kirra stands by a determination to never let a day pass by wasted.
“I exercise, I eat clean and I never take anything for granted because I know how quickly it can be taken away,” Kirra said.