My daughter was 13 years old and ready to start her new school year as a 9th grader. She was having pain and swelling in her jaw and cheek but the dentist said she had an infected tooth and an oral surgeon said she needed a wisdom tooth removed. We gave her antibiotics and scheduled the tooth extraction. To our dismay, it was not an infected tooth but a tumor in her sinus cavity that had invaded her bone, cornea, and was headed towards her brain. The cancer was diagnosed as Ewing’s Sarcoma. Our lives were hit with a drastic detour. While her friends began the new school year, she began a new life which revolved around chemotherapy. The treatment was aggressive. She was to receive five different chemos every two weeks. Our hospital stays alternated between three days and five days, so we essentially lived out of bags. She received 31 days of radiation treatment. The regimen was pretty brutal towards the end and although we are now officially done with the treatment part of this journey, her body is still recovering. Her tumor was inoperable so they consider what remains to be scar tissue and we pray they are right, but we won’t know for until she has several good scans over the next two years.
Kids are supposed to worry about school and friends, sports and hobbies, not cancer. Although we weren’t oblivious to the tragedies all around us and the world, we didn’t think it would happen to us. That’s what is so deceptive about cancer — no one ever thinks it will happen to them, until it does.
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!