Diagnosed with a second cancer: alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma
After three weeks of markers, he was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer, not a recurrence of AML as everyone had suspected. No one knew whether the second cancer was a result of genetics, the drugs from the AML or just bad luck. Max started treatment in the January of 1996 with tailor-made drugs and a stem cell transplant
. He seemed to respond well. He finished treatment at the end of August but then in the September, Max started to complain about pains in his legs. We were on holiday in Wales when we noticed the top of one leg was really swollen so we went to the local doctors. Unfortunately they couldn’t refer us to a local hospital, so we made the difficult journey home. We were so scared. The doctors told us there was nothing more they could do. Nobody could tell us how long he would have left with us – the doctors initially thought just a few days but he carried on fighting for a few weeks.