Posted: November 5, 2014
4 Months Old at Diagnosis
At the age of 4 months Megan lost the mobility of her left arm within a week’s time. Her pediatrician found a knot on her left side of her neck. We were then directly admitted to the hospital for numerous tests. Our local hospital couldn’t give us a clear diagnosis so we were transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for more tests. Megan had to have emergency surgery for a decompression on her Cervical Spine where the tumor had spread from her neck into her spine. A biopsy was done and the pressure was relieved from her spine and she was able to move her left arm soon after surgery. A week’s time went by before the biopsy results were back then we received the most devastating news of our life. Our sweet baby girl had an extremely rare soft tissue sarcoma. It is so rare that there was no name, it was an unclassified soft tissue sarcoma. They immediately started her on chemotherapy treatments.
After a few rounds of chemo an MRI showed that the tumor was reacting very well to the chemo. We then had tears of joy and thought we were really going to beat this thing. After a few more rounds of chemo Megan was scanned again to check her prognosis. That scan revealed that the tumor we thought was almost shrunk down to nothing had in fact returned and had already spread enormously. The small tumor had grown to a stage 4 cancer within two months from her last scan. We were told that the best chemo drugs were already used to treat her. They offered to try another set of chemo drugs in a couple of weeks if her health was still in good condition. They reiterated that the best drugs were already used and so the next ones would not be as effective.
A week later we had to rush Megan to the ER. The tumors in her brain had caused swelling and she was in need of a shunt placement to relieve the pressure. After the shunt Megan’s condition continuously worsened. She wasn’t able to move any of her limbs except her right arm and she stopped eating. She was in an enormous amount of pain. We then had to make the most heartbreaking decision that a parent should never have to make. We decided to take Megan off of everything except for pain management. She hung on for 6 days gripping her finger to ours until her little body couldn’t go any more. Megan died at the age of 9 months just 5 months after she was diagnosed.
Megan came into this world as an angel and left as an angel. Although just a baby she had strength, courage, and love unlike most of us. She smiled through her pain, when we as adults would probably cry. She did leave this world before the age of one but she also left an impression on more people than someone of an old age.