Milestones during a Cancer Battle
- Luna Perrone, 10, is currently battling a type of bone cancer called Ewing sarcoma, and she’s inspired many stars with her courage as she battles the disease.
- Perrone is about to turn 11. In lieu of a big birthday party, Perrone’s mother is asking people to send her birthday wishes and messages of support.
- Ewing sarcoma is a type of sarcoma that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue surrounding the bones, and “lifelong monitoring” is generally recommended after treatment for the disease.
- Reaching milestones during or after a cancer battle is huge. These events – like getting engaged or reaching another birthday – may mean even more than they did previously, so it’s important to take them all in and celebrate all that you’ve overcome.
Luna Perrone is the 10-year-old fitness fanatic who’s inspired many a star with her bravery during her battle with a type of bone cancer called Ewing sarcoma. She’s received words of encouragement from actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, soccer phenom Alex Morgan and golf legend Tiger Woods.Read More
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Nearing her 11th birthday and just passing a year since her diagnosis, Perrone has finished chemotherapy treatments and is taking everything one day at a time. In a health update, Perrone’s mother explained that her daughter is having her port accessed, blood drawn and port flushed every 4 weeks and her last set of scans were somewhat inconclusive. Now, she’s playing the waiting game until her next scans at the end of January to see how she’ll proceed from there.
Regardless, she’s determined to make the most of her upcoming birthday and celebrate how far she’s come. In a recent Instagram post, her mother explained that the family had special plans even though the surge in COVID-19 cases has forced them to cancel her big birthday party.
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“LUNA TURNS 11 on Saturday! Help make this go viral!!,” her mother wrote under a video montage of Perrone. “Hard to believe it has been over a year since our LB was diagnosed with bone cancer. Insane to think how much she was forced to grow up from age 10 to 11. She sees the world differently now. She’s not an innocent child anymore.
“She was thrilled to be able to have a big party this year since she couldn’t have any friends over last year due to being diagnosed. Unfortunately due to COVID cases increasing we have to postpone her party. She’s not thrilled with us but understands.”
In an effort to still make her day special, Perrone’s mother is hoping to create a video filled with messages of support and birthday wishes for her daughter.
“Please send any videos or photos by Friday 1/21 so I have time to get them made into one video!” she asked Perrone’s followers. “Also please post them on your Instagram and tag her on Saturday 1/22! This would mean the world to her as she has read all the comments from everyone throughout her battle with cancer and they have really helped her through some hard times!”
The term sarcoma is used to describe an array of more than 70 rare cancers that begin in the bones and the soft tissues, such as muscles. This diverse group of diseases accounts for only about one percent of tumors in adults and just over 10 percent of tumors in children.
The main symptom of sarcomas is generally a slow-growing, painless mass, but symptoms can be hard to detect as soft tissue sarcomas are typically painless and bone sarcomas can be mistakenly diagnosed as orthopedic injuries.
“Unfortunately, most sarcomas do not cause many of the symptoms that may be associated with other cancers,” Dr. Dale Shepard, director of the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute Phase I and Sarcoma Programs, tells SurvivorNet. “A mass the size of a golf ball or larger and growing should be evaluated as a potential sarcoma. It’s important that patients who do have symptoms are not dismissive of them.”
Types of Sarcoma Cancers
The word sarcoma refers to a large array of bone and soft tissue cancers, and individual cancers within that set go by unique names. Some of the types of sarcomas include:
- Ewing sarcoma is a cancer that typically occurs in and around the bones, often in the arms or legs, or the bones of the pelvis.
- Kaposi sarcoma is a very rare type of cancer that causes lesions on the skin, in lymph nodes, organs, and the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and throat. It typically affects people with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV.
- Epithelioid sarcoma is a type of soft tissue cancer that grows slowly. It is likely to begin under the skin of areas like the finger, hand, forearm, lower part of the leg, or foot.
- Synovial sarcoma, also called malignant synovioma, is a cancer that can form soft tissues such as muscle or ligaments, commonly close to joints or in areas like the arm, leg, or foot.
- Osteogenic sarcoma, also called osteosarcoma, is the most common type of cancer that starts in the bones.
- Spindle cell sarcoma is very rare, comprising as little as 2 percent of all primary bone cancer cases. It can start in the bone, often in the arms, legs, and pelvis, and usually occurs in people over 40.
More about Ewing Sarcoma
Perrone’s cancer — Ewing sarcoma — is a specific type of cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue surrounding the bones. It is most commonly found in adolescents, but younger children, as well as adults (in their 20s and 30s) can also be diagnosed with this disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some signs and symptoms of Ewing sarcoma include:
- Pain, swelling or tenderness near the affected area
- Bone pain
- Unexplained tiredness
- Fever with no known cause
- Losing weight without trying
Treatment for Ewing sarcoma depends on the location of the cancer and the size of the tumor at the time of diagnosis. A doctor’s treatment plan may involve a combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Sometimes the aggressive nature of these treatments can cause both short-term and long-term side effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, “lifelong monitoring is recommended” after completing treatment to watch for potential late effects of the intense treatment.
Reaching Milestones as a Cancer Survivor
Reaching milestones during or after a cancer battle is huge. These events – like getting engaged or reaching another birthday – may mean even more than they did previously, so it’s important to take them all in and celebrate all that you’ve overcome.
Chrissy Degennaro is a cancer warrior determined to keep enjoying these precious milestones. She has been battling a rare blood cancer called multiple myeloma for 14 years, and was first diagnosed when she was just 36 years old with a 2-year-old son. When she was given her diagnosis, she almost expected to not be able to see him enter kindergarten. But thanks to 27 rounds of chemotherapy, two stem cell transplants, a CAR-T cell trial and two CAR-T cell transplants over following 14 years, she’s able to keep making memories with her family.
“You know, I do live one day at a time,” Chrissy previously told SurvivorNet. “Now, maybe I can go a week, a month, but things are looking pretty good. I’m able to be here for more milestones for my son, for more holidays, more birthdays. I do feel like I have had another chance at life.”