Birthday: December 11, 2007
Location: Georgia, USA
Diagnosis Date: June 2008
Type of Sarcoma: Myxoid Sarcoma
Tumor Site: Top of right knee
Age at time of Diagnosis: 6 months
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Dr. Louis Rapkin
Dr. Joe Williams
Marcanthony was the second born of twin boys. They were born by c-section in December 2007. As soon
as Marcanthony was pulled out, the operating room fell silent. The staff didn't even show us the baby
but instead, took him directly to the warmer & the other medical staff. My husband rushed over to see
him and exclaimed, 'What is that!' The medical staff replied, 'We don't know what that is!' By this
time, I was trying to get off of the operating table to see what everyone was talking about. I
couldn't, of course, because I was numb from the surgery. My husband took a picture with our digital
camera and brought it over for me to see. “Marcanthony has a bump on his knee,” my husband said sadly.
“His knee? Oh, that's nothing,” I said. Oh, but was I ever wrong. For the next 3 days, doctors ran in
and out poking and prodding Marcanthony. He had IV's and x-rays and all sorts of other tests. Finally,
after applying LOTS of pressure to the nurses, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon was sent to see
Marcanthony. He said the 'bump' looked like a hemangioma (an out-of-control birthmark) to him. He'd
seen the x-ray and said that the leg looked fine and that this 'AV Malformation' was just sitting on
top of the knee but was not disturbing anything. So Marcanthony's journey began with an MRA when he
was 2 weeks old. He ended up having 2 laser surgeries by the time he was 4 months old to shrink the
'hemangioma.' The bump didn't shrink much at all and so on May 20, 2008, Marcanthony went into surgery
again to remove the bump from his knee. Everything went well and we rejoiced to see a more normal
looking leg on our baby. A few days after surgery, the surgeon called to say that pathology had studied
the bump and weren't convinced that it was a hemangioma. The bump was sent to Emory Hospital to be
studied more. It took 4 days to hear back from Emory. The bump wasn't a hemangioma at all but low grade
Myxoid Sarcoma. I was in complete shock! My husband broke down crying when I told him and our family was
at a loss for words. Now we are trying to decide on treatment options, get second opinions, and trying to
decide what we should do as far as our family and lives are concerned. We thought that with the removal of
the tumor would come calmness and a sense of normalcy. However, the surgery was only the beginning.
The plastic surgeon (Dr. Williams) and the oncologist think that one more surgery would take care of this.
However, a new orthopedic surgeon who specializes in tumors seems to believe that we should do chemo first
to shrink what's left of the tumor. He doesn't like the idea of cutting a large amount of Marcanthony's leg
because he's so small and it might sacrifice a large portion of muscle. There are so many decisions to make
and I will need many more professional opinions before allowing anyone to touch my baby again.
We are just learning to depend more on each other and to accept MORE help from others. We have no family in
Georgia. They are all in Texas but we have a few great friends that are willing to help us as much as they can.
I have to return to work next month and I am extremely nervous! I want to work but I know it will add stress
to an already stressful situation. My husband and I still celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary thanks to good
friends who offered to baby-sit while we went out. We are committed to continue to spend time alone together
and to spend time out with friends away from each other so that we can remain relaxed and ready to face this
cancer head on!
To the parents with newly diagnosed children--HANDLE IT! Be proactive, ask questions, join support groups, ask
for help, accept help, and don't forget to take care of yourself. If you're tired and broken down, you won't be
able to function properly, and now more than ever your family needs you to FUNCTION PROPERLY! Be blessed and kiss
your kids a lot!
July 17, 2010
Marcanthony still hasn't received the memo that he has cancer :) ! He started walking at 9 months of age
(far before any of my other children started walking) and hasn't stopped moving since! He is a spunky 2 year old,
is developing normally, and is quite a strong little guy. At this time, Marcanthony is not undergoing any treatment
for his condition, however, he does go to Scottish Rite (CHOA) for scans every 4 months to ensure that there aren't
any changes. If changes should occur, life would change drastically for us. As for now, we're just counting our
blessings and enjoying what we have.
Click Here to Return to Faces of Sarcoma Home Page