Lexi had some scans done today and this is what we now know. PTL shows no new cancer and chemo is working better than anyone could have thought. Scans look better. The doctors are super shocked at how well she is responding to the chemo. One of the doctors told her mom that adults can’t handle the type of chemo these kids get and here Lex is at 17 showing all the strength and courage of someone so much more than 17.
According to St. Jude this is what Lexi has. Ewing sarcoma is a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones (soft tissue)—often the legs, pelvis, ribs, arms or spine. Ewing sarcoma can spread to the lungs, bones and bone marrow.
Ewing sarcoma is the second most common type of bone cancer in children, but it is very rare. About 200 children and young adults are found to have Ewing sarcoma each year in the United States.
- About half of all Ewing sarcoma tumors occur in children and young adults between ages 10 and 20.
- This type of cancer is rarely found in African-Americans and Asian-Americans.
- It affects slightly more boys than girls.
- It does not appear to be inherited (passed down in families).
- Although not often seen, Ewing sarcoma can occur as a second cancer, especially in patients treated with radiation therapy.
Symptoms of Ewing sarcoma can be the following:
- Swelling and soreness around the tumor area (commonly mistaken for a sports injury or the “bumps and bruises” every child gets)
- A low fever that at first may seem to be caused by an infection
- Bone pain, especially pain that worsens during exercise or at night
- Limping, which is caused by a tumor on a leg bone
Now with Lex, she was misdiagnosed. She was diagnosed with something else and it wasn’t until another scan was done that the cancer was found. She kept complaining about her leg hurting it was in her bone not her muscles.
Treatment involves chemotherapy and radiation and possible surgery. Right now Lexi is on the chemo and radiation tract. She is just getting ready to start 6 weeks of radiation and 16 more rounds of chemotherapy.
Here is what St. Jude says about treatment options:
Chemotherapy (“chemo”)—is usually the first step in treating Ewing sarcoma. It uses powerful medicines to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing (dividing) and making more cancer cells:
Chemo may be injected into the bloodstream, so that it can travel throughout the body.Combination therapy uses more than one type of chemo at a time.
Surgery—may be done after several weeks or months of chemo have reduced the cancer to the point where surgery can be most effective.
Surgeons remove as much of the tumor as possible.Sometimes the surgeons will graft (add on) bone or tissue (from either the patient or a donor) to replace diseased bone and tissue that have been removed. An artificial bone, called an implant, may also be used.For some patients, amputation (surgical removal of an arm or leg) is required to ensure that the tumor is completely removed.
Radiation therapy—is used to kill or decrease cancer cells that cannot be removed surgically. This is followed by more chemo to kill any remaining cells. Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing:
Survival rates can be really good but due the the way it has spread in Lex the odds aren’t in her favor but as Han Solo says, “Never tell me the odds” this little girl is a fighter and is fighting harder and with more courage and strength than someone twice her age. So instead of focusing on the negative we are focusing on the now and how well she is doing.