It all started with a lump on her face
When Emma was eight years old, we took a family holiday to Egypt. Whilst I was applying sun cream, I felt a hard lump on her face, around her cheekbone. I wasn’t too concerned as she seemed okay and it wasn’t hurting her.
When we returned, I took her to the doctor who suspected a blocked saliva gland. We took her to the dentist who referred us to maxillofacial. They weren’t sure what it was and so Emma had an ultrasound and an MRI.
The MRI showed a growth but they were pretty sure it wasn’t anything serious. The consultant ordered a fine needle aspiration, just to be sure and then four days later, we received a call back. They told us they weren’t sure what it was but that it looked and acted like cancer. Our world came crashing down around us.
Three days later, we went to see a paediatric oncologist at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital who told us he suspected rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer. A week later, Emma had another biopsy and a central line fitted. The official diagnosis came three days later; it was alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.