On September 17, 2010, William was at the park with his Mimi and dropped his pants to pee on a tree. When William bent over to pick up his pants, she noticed a large "lump" on his right buttock. That was on a Friday. On Monday, Robin took William to the pediatrician and was sent immediately to the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite emergency room, where it was confirmed that the "lump" was a "tumor." Several days later, William was diagnosed with stage 3 embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive soft tissue cancer. It was nearly the size of a racquet ball. During all of his baths, trips to the potty, change of clothes, and doctor visits, we never noticed it.
William has endured forty-two weeks of chemotherapy, four weeks of radiation therapy, two surgeries, and many trips to the clinic and hospital. He has taken it all like a champ! William's last scan was "clear" and we look forward to one more surgery to remove the port in his chest. He will have periodic scans for the rest of his life and has an increased risk of future cancers and "late effects" from some of his treatments.
We have grown tremendously as a family during this ordeal and feel blessed to have received such overwhelming support from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, church members, doctors, nurses, and complete strangers. One of the organizations that have supported us during this experience is CURE, an Atlanta-based organization that funds childhood cancer research and helps families cope with the difficulties of raising a child with cancer. Our family would encourage anyone that wants to join the fight against childhood cancer to support CURE.