Nico’s Story

In mid-October 2017, just a couple weeks before Nico’s 6th birthday, we noticed a small bump on his face.  Our family doctor thought it was just a sebaceous cyst.  However, by the end of November it had grown quite rapidly and our family doctor became concerned.  An ultrasound initially ruled out cancer but arrangements were still made with a plastic surgeon to have it removed.  So on December 21 we arrived at the Kamloops hospital for day surgery with plans to be on our way by noon.  It didn’t play out that way.  The plastic surgeon talked with us in the post-op area and gave us the news that what they thought was a epithelial inclusion cyst was in fact cancerous.  At that point they suspected Leukemia but later when his blood levels came back normal they were able to rule that out along with Lymphoma.  We stayed inpatient for two nights waiting for some news and finally we were allowed to go home for the holidays.  The following week brought a PET scan and a meeting with an oncologist at BC Children’s Hospital.  We returned home with little information as the results from the tumor biopsy were still not reported.  So we returned to our home 3.5 hours away to await some news.  On January 4 we received a call from one of the oncologists who informed us that the preliminary findings from the tumor slides found it was a type of sarcoma- soft tissue cancer.  On January 8, 2018 we packed up for what we thought would be a two week stint down in Vancouver for more testing and possibly to begin treatment.  The next day we finally met the oncologist assigned to Nico’s case who informed us that Nico had Rhabdomyosarcoma.  She went through the procedures that Nico was scheduled to have that week and explained it all.   Later that day, Nico had surgery to implant a port that would be used for treatment as well as a bone marrow test and later that week he had a CT scan and an MRI.  We met with our oncologist again on Friday after all the testing was complete and after the tumor board had met regarding Nico’s case.  Fortunately, the cancer was isolated to the one area on Nico’s face and there was no signs that it had spread anywhere else in his body.  Unfortunately, he had Aveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma which is the more aggressive subtype that has a higher chance of returning even after receiving treatment.  She suggested he be admitted that day so that his chemo regiment could begin the following day.  We went over his chemotherapy schedule, the different chemo drugs that he would be receiving and the plethora of side effects that we may encounter.  It was a lot of information in a language we were unfamiliar with.  So on January 13 Nico received his first chemotherapy treatment and kicked off our 43 week battle against Rhabdomyosarcoma.  We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement as we make our way through the next 40 weeks of cancer treatment. Thank you for visiting.