For those of you who know Haley, she is a very private person and doesn't like to draw attention to herself. That said, I contemplated deeply on sharing and posting this information. Please respect her privacy as our family conquers this difficult battle. Thank you.
Haley noticed a lump on her left thigh while home on Spring Break. Originally thought to be an ingrown hair or small cyst; she did not visit her family doctor at that time. After returning home for the summer, the lump was still there so she visited her family doctor in June and was sent for an ultrasound. The radiologist immediately recommended a biopsy be taken, unsure if it was a lymph node, cyst, or tumor. The biopsy was performed in early July, and we received the pathology report the following week stating there were spindle cells present that are indicative of sarcoma cancer.
The biopsy samples were sent to Johns Hopkins for further testing and Haley was referred to the Sarcoma Specialist at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD. The specialist then ordered a CT Scan, PET Scan, MRI, and Echocardiogram while waiting for the pathologist report. All test results indicated that the tumor was isolated and had not yet spread to other areas or attached to her bones.
Haley was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma; a rare form of soft tissue cancer most often found in adolescents and young adults. This cancer occurs primarily in the extremities of the arms or legs, often in close proximity to joint capsules and tendons.
Haley's fight with this disease will consist of a very aggressive treatment plan over the next 6 months. Her treatment consists of several chemo sessions, a series of radiation, surgery, and then a few additional chemo sessions. Because of the length of treatment, we had to withdraw Haley from her sophomore year of college.
The first session of chemo treatments began in August; each consisting of a 21 day cycle involving 3 days of chemo and 18 day rest period. Her radiation will be scheduled in the week(s) to come and will consist of treatments 5 days a week for 5 consecutive weeks. She will be admitted to in-patient for each of the chemo sessions, but still unsure about lodging for the 5 weeks of radiation (out-patient). She has been assigned a social worker who is trying to get her a room at the local Childrens House.
Haley is very strong and mentally prepared to take on this battle. However, we will be taking countless trips to Baltimore (2 1/2 hours each way) over the next six months and would like to ask for assitance from friends and family to help her take on this battle and aid us in supporting her.
- Verónica Castro
- Karen Faber
- Ed Wallace
- Valerie Friedman
- Sandra Jalinski
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