My name is Tanya Graham. I am a 42 yr old female, and I currently reside in Seattle Washington. I enjoy working out, listening to all types of music, dancing, staring into the ocean, seeing new places, and exploring new things. I am supported by friends and family.
I was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma November 2021. Mid-June 2021 I experienced what I thought was a mild cold. I just felt tired and had a stuffy nose. I never experienced a fever, however, the stiffness kept getting worse. After going to 2 different doctors, I was still miss diagnosed by both as allergies. The situation kept getting worse and by October; therefore, I reached out to an Ear, Nose, Throat specialist in Spokane Washington, and scheduled an appointment right away. At this time, I was also trying to help with my mom as she had fallen ill and was driving 2 hours away for appointments. After my first appointment, the Specialist saw a large blockage right away after going up my nose with a camera. I had a CT scan the next day and the following week an MRI and biopsy. A week after the biopsy, the tumor came back as Cancer, and it possibly could be Olfactory Neuroblastoma, pending final confirmation from the Cleveland Cancer Research team. After weekly appointments, I had surgery right away on November 2nd.
On the morning of November 29th, 2021, around 9am on Monday, I get a call from my Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist who completed the surgery on my sinuses. He called me to inform me about the results of the Cleveland Cancer Research; that I have an even more rare cancer, Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. This cancer is uncommon in adults, and it is fast-growing. My head is spinning because everything is happening so fast. My treatment will consist of proton radiation in addition to the Chemo in Seattle. Chemotherapy will be about 11 months with each session 3 weeks apart. Half the chemo will include the following poison: Vincristin, Cytoxan, and Doxorubicin. Second part includes Ifosfamide and Etoposide. I started the first 2 sessions of Chemo in Spokane until the living situation in Seattle was confirmed.
I initially moved to Clarkston, WA from California to help care for my mother. She had Cirrhosis of the Liver Stage 4. Finding out I also had Cancer was just more added stress and fear on the family. My mother ended up passing the night before moving to Seattle on 2/11/22. I am grateful that I was able to get home in time to spend the last week with her. With all the challenges I remain positive by keeping my mind focused on healing most of all. I am trusting the process and thankful for all the support I have been given from family, friends, and healthcare workers. I am also grateful for the $500 from Northwest Sarcoma Foundation and an amazing gift bag full of stuff I will use. Besides healing, my end goal is to hopefully bring awareness or help to others. Helping just one person will make all the difference.