Serena's Story: Parent's Letter Project Ewings sarcoma- Serena's mom

Hello. Before I share our story, let me first say that my heart goes out to each and everyone of you that has to deal with this (or any type) of cancer. I know what it means to walk a mile in your shoes.

Our story starts in June when Serena was still able to play soccer and run the roads with her friends. We had just finished getting the pool all ready for the summer and Serena was swimming like a fish! In July she started complaining that she was having some pain in her rear and I looked and didn't see anything, so we just thought maybe she hurt it when jumping into the pool. The pain got worse and seemed to "move" to the front groin area. She was in pain and was having a little trouble walking.

I took her to see Dr. Patel and he ordered X-rays (which came back fine) so he thought it was just a pulled muscle. Within two weeks, she wasn't eating, couldn't walk, was in pain all the time...she was bad. Dr. Patel had called to check up on her, and when I told him what was going on, he said to take her to the hospital. I did and they ran all sorts of tests and did an MRI. The doctor explained that he was sending her to Children's National to be looked at further, but said worse case she would walk with a limp the rest of her life.

When we got to Children's National I met with the doctors, and by that time I had been up for 24 hours. The doctor that I met with explained that Serena either had an infectious disease or cancer. My heart sank. They did more tests and biopsies on her bone and bone marrow...and sure enough, it was cancer.

We met with Holly Meany, MD, and her wonderful team. She was so good with Serena, explained to her what she had, how the medicine was going to help her, and what the side effects were of the medicines. Dr. Meany explained to Serena about the port that she needed and when treatment would start. Of course I asked questions, but they said that they were hopeful that the treatment would work. 

After the first round (14 total) of chemotherapy, Serena was able to walk better and started feeling much better. Everyone was amazed at how well she was doing and said that it was a good sign. The chemotherapy was no "walk in the park" to say the least. Serena's taste buds got all "out of whack" and she ended up losing more weight. Even when she could eat, she would throw up from the chemo. She ended up doing blood and platelet transfusions and ran fevers. She more scans and another bone marrow biopsy in November, everything was looking good and the chemo was working.

Serena started radiation (five weeks) and that was so harsh on her body. From December to the middle of February, we were at the hospital every week due to chemo, blood transfusion, or a fever. I can honestly say that what the radiation did to her body, made a grown man cry. Serena finished treatment in April and did more scans and another bone marrow biopsy. We found out that of the cells that they look at, six percent still had the Ewing's sarcoma DNA. We will be doing more scans and more bone marrow biopsies every couple of months. They are keeping a close eye on her to see what the next step is going to be.

During her stay and treatment at Children's National, Serena found great comfort and joy going to the art therapy room. She loves the young ladies who run it and has decided that she wants to be an art therapy teacher at Children's National. I am so thankful to the wonderful staff at Children's National...they make Serena feel like she is one in a million and always know how to help make her smile.

Sincerely,

Serena's mom, Lynn

Treatment Team

Invest in future cures for some of life's most devastating diseases

See other ways to give

Keep in touch with Children's National by signing up for our newsletters.

Sign up now