Maryann’s fight with Osteosarcoma

33514886_1541610420342820_r.jpegI would like to give you a little background on my mother; she is a 56 y/o wife, mother, grandmother and sister to a very loving family. She spent most of her life dedicating to her family and putting everyone else’s needs before her own. My mother never had any serious medical conditions or social history that would alter her life or lead to risk factors associated with other diseases. She is a devoted employee that never stopped; she always worked two jobs one as a cosmetologist and the other as a teacher assistant for medically challenged children. She has always been this incredible, strong, hardworking woman. Nothing ever got in my mother's way; she always strived and pushed herself to make sure her family was secure. Now leading to the battle that we did not choose, my mom’s fight with osteosarcoma began back in July of 2016 from what we thought was just some calcification in an unexpected area on the gingiva (gums). One morning in 2015 my mom noticed a bump on her gum right above her central left incisor (left front tooth). At the time the word cancer was never even a thought, after all she has always kept up with her dental hygiene and health.  My mother made an appointment with the dentist and endodontist and they were inconclusive in their diagnosis. At the time they didn’t seem like it was anything to be concerned about. She had obtained CT scans and partial removal of what they thought was some sort of calcification. But unfortunately the growth had grown back and even bigger this time. Now my mom was starting to experience discomfort such as temperature sensitivity and neuropathic facial pain. The endodontist sent my mother to a specialist (maxillofacial surgeon) to obtain a biopsy of the calcification. The maxillofacial surgeons initial attempt of the biopsy after 5 weeks of pathology reviews came back inconclusive. Upon submitting a second biopsy, which consisted of a larger specimen sample it was discovered after two weeks of further pathology evaluation, the teams final diagnosis was the one word that was dreaded the most Cancer (Osteosarcoma). My family was in disbelief and absolute shock by this devastating news. After a few weeks of pure denial and sadness, we as a family pushed through to do whatever we had to do to face this dreadful disease with fortitude and faith. The battle was on and we were determined to make several appointments with different cancer specialist to get as many professional opinions as possible, but they all came up with the same course of action, the cancer had to be removed.
In August 2016 was the first surgery for removal of the unidentifiable localized cancer and they told my mom she didn’t need any chemo or radiation because the cancer was considered unidentifiable. The surgeon stated they cleared the margins and this type of cancer is normally treated just with surgery. During some time in November 2016, she started to feel like something was growing below her left nostril. The surgeons voted it to be normal postoperative changes from the surgery labeling it as scar tissue. After several subsequent recurring visits some deformity started to show and they finally suspected something was not right. After a CT scan in December of 2016 and April 2017 they came to the conclusion that the cancer recurred and is located in the left premaxilla adjacent to the left nostril. In May of 2017 was the second resection and reconstructive surgery to remove the recurrent cancer from the primary site. The reconstructive surgery consisted of the removal of her left fibula to reconstruct her upper jaw and palate. After that resection we waited to see if she needed radiation or chemotherapy based on the pathology reports and recommendations from the tumor board. Once confirmed, it was decided by the tumor board to be treated with proton radiation. She began treatment in August of 2017 through October 2017. After receiving radiation treatment and multiple PET/CT scans with results showing no signs of cancer, excitement grew that she was in the clear. Unfortunately in February upon a normal visit with her surgeon they noticed some signs of tissue abnormality and immediately followed a biopsy in February of 2018, which came back inconclusive. With not much concern based on the inconclusive result of the reports my mom continued on her path to recovery. In June of 2018, she went for a follow up PET/CT scans, which delivered terrifying results. With abnormalities on the PET/CT scans, she was sent for blood tests and received the news the cancer metastasized (multiple sites). Upon this terrible news chemo was immediately started in early July. Being the strong woman that my mom is she endured chemotherapy very well up until October 31st 2018 when she became extremely neutropenic and ended up in the hospital for 6 days. Still receiving chemotherapy and battling this terrible Cancer she managed to continue working as a teacher's assistant working with autistic children from grades 1-2. After getting out of the hospital we agreed she must take a medical leave of absence and focus on getting through this journey to recovery.
As we all know traveling, medical expenses and the cost of living (especially in New York) is never easy. With everyday bills and medical expenses adding up it can be overwhelming, as we all may know.  Worrying about expenses is the last thing we want for her to deal with. Osteosarcoma is one of the rarest cancers out there, especially in adults. Because of the limited research on this cancer we want to seek out multiple medical opinions and treatment options outside of New York to get my mom the best treatment plan as possible. We will be seeking out opinions at Dana Farber in Massachusetts and MD Anderson in Texas as well as immunotherapy drugs, which is not covered by most insurance companies.
So we are reaching out for help. My mom has always donated to causes to help others in need and has been a giver all of her life. I am hoping that through this page we can raise enough money to take some of the financial burden off of her and my father as she continues through this journey to fight and win against this Cancer. 

All and any donations are deeply appreciated by my family to help my mother seek the medical treatment needed and to support getting through these difficult times. 
Thank you in advance for your consideration and support. 

The Rocco Family
  • Lynn & Ron Rosenberg 
    • $100 
    • 29 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $4,000 
    • 30 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 30 mos
  • Abbe Granelle 
    • $50 
    • 30 mos
  • Joyce Wool 
    • $50 
    • 30 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Rocco Strong (3)

Brittany Rocco 
Raised $9,200 from 85 donations
Selden, NY
Anthony Rocco 
Brian Goff 
Team member
Raised $710 from 5 donations
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