Sarcoma Story: Jess Porter

Type of Sarcoma: Osteosarcoma
Diagnosed: 2007

Jess Porter xrayIt was 2007, the snow had melted and school baseball season was half way through. I spent the entire off-season preparing for this year, thinned out, gained some muscle, built some speed and felt the healthiest I had ever felt. Except for the tumor that was growing in my right tibia.

I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in the beginning of summer baseball season. It started with a month of physical therapy and massages, painful massages. With different diagnoses of a possible strained ligament to torn meniscus, it wasn’t until an MRI was ordered that we learned what the real culprit was.

Jess Porter and baby

Treatment started in that July and after months of Methotrexate and Adriamycin, I endured the longest and largest procedure I have ever encountered, a total knee replacement. The biggest concerns I had with this life changing surgery, other than it keeping me alive, was if I would be able to run or get back to any of my previous active lifestyle choices.

Although treatment ended in April of 2008 the road to recovery had just began. I worked out and went to physical therapy for three months straight to get the strength back in my leg. I made it back to running. The excitement and hard work was short lived, in July that summer I tore my patellar tendon in the Pacific Ocean. After returning home, another surgery was done to repair it and another round of physical therapy. This time around my motivation and discipline was tested and getting back to running was something that I am still striving to reach today. The road to recovery is always a challenging one, being able to conquer it and really enjoy the positives of today is a feeling that is hard to express.

I have been blessed with a baby girl, Olivia, who by all means is a miracle baby and being able to see her grow everyday is a gift in itself.

Jess PorterIf there is one thing that I would suggest to parents is, when a child is complaining of pain that lingers in joints and just won’t seem to go away, make sure all possible diagnoses are eliminated including sarcoma. The individual is the best person to know what they are feeling and how bad it really is. Both parents and coaches should be vigilant and curious, because odds are you will be the first to notice signs of pain aside from the individual.