In July 2012, Chase (then 12 years old) had a backache. He had been running a 10k that month and pole vaulting so we figured he had torn or pulled a muscle in his back. The ache was on and off and he didn’t really complain about it much. In August, we were almost ready to go back to school (7th grade) when he told me again his back hurt. This was a few days before school started so I called the doctor and amazingly they had an opening the day before school started. We took him in on the 14th and the doctor examined him. He also thought a pulled muscle but thought because of the placement that maybe a broken rib. He decided to do an x-ray. An hour later I got a call from him telling us that he saw a mass on his 9th rib, but couldn’t be sure what he was looking at. The same day he made an appointment at the hospital for a CT scan to look closer. The next morning, after taking chase for his first day of school, I got a call at 8:05 am. Now, doctors do not call at that hour unless something is wrong. I was driving and pulled over. The doctor explained that he had been on the phone with an oncologist that night and that they both had agreed that what they were seeing was cancer. The cancer was four inches around and situated on his 9th rib. I was told to pull him out of school to go see said oncologist, Dr. Rosen, that same afternoon. Our world would be forever changed! Telling our son he had cancer was the hardest thing I have ever done. We found out from Dr. Rosen that he had discussed it with a surgeon and that they pretty much knew it was Ewing’s sarcoma. They still had to do a biopsy and a bone marrow test, so we went straight into the hospital to get admitted. So our new life began. The next day he went into surgery to do the biopsy/bone marrow test and they inserted a port into his chest. It took about a week to get confirmation that it was in fact Ewing’s Sarcoma. The bone marrow was clean. So our journey started. He started his first round in August and was told there would be 15 rounds. In December, we got the best present ever, the tumor had already shrank 50 percent!! That was the best present!! They were going to go in and now remove the tumor. So in January, he went into surgery. They removed the tumor, the rib, and the surrounding tissue and muscle. They did a scan in February and did not find any evidence of disease!! Chemo kept on schedule after that till October of 2013, when he was finally done. We have had three clear scans since then. He is a freshman in High School this year and doing great.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by sarcoma cancer, we encourage you to share your story. Sharing your story can be such an inspiration to others who are dealing with sarcoma in their own life and remind us all of the urgency to find better treatments in order to make an impact on the devastation that sarcoma cancer brings. Let your experiences help others become involved with raising awareness!