Raising pennies for Princess P
P is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me, she is the light of my life I would be completely lost without her.
Penelope was born with a bruised lump on her back, which become bigger over time. I remember constantly feeling that something wasn't quite right so I decided to have it checked out. But everywhere I went nobody would listen to me and I kept getting told that she has reflux, colic, constipation etc. Over time Penelope was getting progressively worse. On the 4th of October we saw our local health nurse who was extremely concerned about P’s distended stomach and told us to get to the hospital ASAP.
Six weeks ago Penelope was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). RMS is a cancerous tumour that originates in the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, tendons, and connective tissues it is very rare, on average there are only 17 cases per year. In Penelope’s case her tumour began developing in the womb and continued to rapidly grow up to 15cm over her short life. The cause of Rhabdomyosarcoma is unknown, it develops in most cases sporadically, with no known risk factors. The survival rates depend on where the tumour is located and if the cancer has spread. If the disease hasn’t spread, five-year survival rates are around 70 to 80%.
With RMS the treatment consists of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Due to her age the doctors have ruled out radiation. As Penelope’s tumour is so large major surgery is required, however her specialists would prefer it to be reduced through chemotherapy. Penelope has already had one round of chemo and is currently on her second round and on December 21st she will have an MRI that will determine whether she has another round of chemo or surgery. Her doctors and specialists have informed me that chemotherapy will be continued for several months and up to 2 years after surgery to make sure any secondaries are killed off.
As Penelope needs support with feeding the products needed at home cost $658 a month. This includes giving sets, containers (need to be changed every 24 hours), Infatrini and calogen (promote catch up growth). Unfortunately due to the location of her tumour and chemo Penelope also has to use creams and take various different medications which can be quite costly.
It’s been a rough journey so far and we still have a long road ahead of us. I am determined to give my baby girl the best chance at life as I want her to develop and have the same experiences as other infants her age.
For a young single mum it’s a huge task… I am seeking your help to raise money for Penelope with the ongoing cost.