What Is Osteosarcoma? (Update #9: Emily Whiting)


Emily began chemo on Friday night. Saturday went pretty well. Saturday night was a bit rough. And today (Sunday) was difficult too. They continue to experiment with meds to fight nausea, and the one that works best puts her to sleep. So she is sleeping a lot, but that is better than being awake and suffering. She was given meds at 7:11 and her eyes are closed at 7:26. So we are hoping this puts her out for many hours.

This round of chemo was done this morning. Now they are filling her with fluids to get the chemo out of her body and keep her hydrated. If she is doing well, they plan to send her home on Tuesday.


Just over a week ago, Emily was officially given the diagnosis of Osteosarcoma. It is hard to believe that less than 3 weeks ago, she went to see a doctor because of knee pain. None of us ever imagined cancer. When we were told to get an MRI because the doctor didn’t like what he saw on the X-Ray, I began to do some Google research. What I read gave me this thought: “I wonder if my little girl has Osteosarcoma.” But that was a word I didn’t even know how to pronounce two weeks ago. Now, I’m learning more and more about it.

Here are some brief facts about the disease in my daughter’s body:

  • Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer.
  • There are approximately 1000 new cases of Osteosarcoma diagnosed per year. About half of them are in children and teens.
  • In children and adolescents, it often forms in the long bones – and most commonly near the knee.
  • Emily’s Osteosarcoma is in her distal femur (lower part of the thigh bone).
  • Emily’s is considered a high-grade Osteosarcoma.
  • Emily’s advantages are that she is young, female, the cancer is in her leg, and as far as we know, it is localized (although we don’t know that for sure yet).
  • The survival rate for localized Osteosarcoma is between 70% to 75%.

What We Are Thinking About: 

Our family is reading Paul Tripp’s Christmas devotional called, “Come, Let Us Adore Him” and today’s reading was perfect (we are a couple of days behind). The verses at the end are the verses God has been reminding me of for over a week.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendorwas dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The two thoughts that I love from these verses are these:

  • God cares for my daughter more than I do. He will do what is best for her.
  • I don’t need to worry about the future. I need to focus on today. God has tomorrow under control.

Thanks for your prayers. There is so much you can pray for – for us. I’ve mentioned long-term requests in the past, but here are some things you could pray for today.

  • That Emily will feel well enough to go home on Tuesday. She just wants to get home.
  • That this round of chemo will be active in killling the cancer.
  • That we will continue to see God at work through all of this.
  • That we will not worry, but trust.
  • The long-term issue is scary, but also thinking about doing this for nine months is overwhelming. Pray for peace as we begin a very long journey.

To catch up on Emily’s story, you can read here:

One More Thing:

While Emily was recovering from her biopsy on Friday, December 8, Sue and I were thinking through the implications of what the next week would look like. We weren’t sure of what the week held, and if chemo did start – we didn’t know what that would look like and what we might need. We tried to think of someone who would be very flexible and fill gaps we didn’t know would exist yet. And since I was going to be out of town for two nights, I really wanted someone here with Sue.

A few names came to mind and two of the names were daughters of Sue’s BFF in high school. So I texted them while waiting for Emily to recover. Within 48 hours, one of them (Sammy) was getting on a plane to help us. And as a bonus, her mom came too! They stayed for a week and left today. And what an amazing help it was. It likely sounds silly to those who have never owned a new puppy, but Sue was very worried about her Daisy, and we still had no idea what a chemo week would be like. They came last Sunday and cooked, cleaned, cared for Daisy, wrapped all of our Christmas presents, and drove to the hospital twice to visit us and bring meals. They even sat with Emily in the room while she slept so Sue and I could go for a long walk around the hospital. They allowed us to focus on our daughter rather than many other things. We are so thankful.

  1. Dave & Sue, I really can’t begin to imagine what you must be going through but I can pray! Thanks for these requests…I’ll be sure to pray more specifically.

  2. I am wondering if Osteosarcoma is what my cousin had as a teen (when I was a teen). I am certainly praying and thanking God for the good news in this article

  3. Thank you for sharing. Through Emilies situasion God is molding you and your family and bringing you closer to Him. Be blessed in Jesus almighty Name.
    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
    Romans 8:28

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