A mother has shared how her intuition led to the discovery of her four-month-old daughter’s rare cancer.
Emily, from Adamstown Heights, NSW knew that something was very wrong with her baby daughter, Penelope, when the inborn bruised lump on her back grew bigger since she was born.
Doctors told her that it was reflux, colic or constipation, but she insisted that something was wrong as her daughter’s condition continued to worsen. So, she took Penelope to see their local nurse in October.
The nurse was concerned about the baby’s distended stomach and told her to go to hospital.
Shortly afterwards, Penelope was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) — a rare cancerous tumour that affects soft tissues which Emily says developed in the womb and rapidly grew to around 15cm.
Doctors say that survival rates for those with RMS depends on where the tumour is and if the cancer has spread.
Doctors have also ruled out radiation treatment for Penelope because of her age. “As Penelope’s tumour is so large, major surgery is required. However, specialists would prefer it to be reduced through chemotherapy,” Emily said.
“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.
“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,” she said in a post on a GoFundMe page.