On December 9th, 2020 Ellie had routine scans. We found out something showed up on Ellie's MRI on the way back to West Virginia on December 10th. We went back to Cincinnati the 15th for a needle biopsy. Unfortunately they couldn't get to it. Then we went back again the 19th for a special mapping CT Scan so the surgeon could figure out how to get to whatever was in Ellie's face. Then we returned on December 23rd for a more invasive biopsy. We were told there was a second spot on the left that needed biopsied. Thankfully the left was not cancer. We went back home and nervously awaited Dr. Raj's call. Monday December 28th, 2020 we were told Ellie had relapsed. She was in remission for 17 months. This is now Ellie's third battle with cancer. She has had embroynal rhabdomyosarcoma all three times. The doctors say battling the same cancer over and over is worse that battling a new one each time because your body remembers the chemotherapies and may not fight the cancer as well. We aren't losing hope and neither is Ellie. She is the bravest fighter we know. Ellie has scans coming up in March. These scans will determine how her body is responding to the chemo and how much radiation she will need.
Her first battle started at 17 months old on May 1st, 2015. That tumor was localized and growing out of her ear. She did 43 weeks of chemotherapy locally. She had ten brachytherapy radiation treatments in NYC at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Her second battle happened after a little over two years in remission. She relapsed in June of 2018. That tumor was the whole right side of her face. It was down into her throat and all the way into the fluid of her brain. It luckily never invaded tissue or organs, it just weaved around. She was treated with 30 days of proton beam radiation and 54 weeks of chemotherapy at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Ellie and mom lived at the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati during that course of treatment.