Meet our beautiful supergirl Shanaya the First who is currently battling Stage 4 #EwingSarcoma in her left humerus with #metastasis in both her lungs. Ewing sarcoma is a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones (soft tissue)—often the legs, pelvis, ribs, arms or spine. Ewing sarcoma can spread to the lungs, bones and bone marrow. Ewing sarcoma is the second most common type of bone cancer in children, but it is very rare.
Our princess in May 17
Our Princess in September 17
Our princess now
Prior to her diagnosis, Shanaya had a completely uneventful childhood in relation to illnesses. She was born on the 1st November 2013. She has completely melted everyone’s hearts since her birth. She recently turned 4 years old. Shanaya is completely in love with Disney Princesses, John Legend and everything related to dressing up. She calls herself Shanaya the First because she says she is the one and only.
Shanaya’s Journey to being diagnosed with cancer:
On the 14th April 2017, Shanaya woke up in the middle of the night screaming with pain in her left arm and a fever of 41. We gave her pain medication however the pain was not subsiding. We took her to the nearby medical centre and they gave her nurofen thinking it could be a sprain. 3 days later her arm started swelling, her fever wasn’t breaking and the pain was unbearable. We went back to the medical centre; they did an x-ray but couldn’t find a fracture. We were referred to a nearby hospital, whereby we were admitted. The orthopaedic requested blood tests, x-rays and a MRI. He told us she had osteomyelitis and needed to take her into theatre to drain the infection from her left humerus. We stayed in hospital for 6 nights and she was taken back into theatre to clean the wound. The Dr advised that all the blood tests and pus cultures came back clear.
We proceeded with the follow up checks. In May her bandages and stitches was removed. In June her arm started swelling again, we took her to emergency at the same hospital. They did blood tests, x-rays and a sonar. The sonar showed 2 abysses. We were admitted again, the first orthopaedic was on leave so another orthopaedic saw us and advised they had to take her back into theatre to drain the 2 abyss. This was done on the 15th June. The Dr connected a drain to her arm and discharged us after 2 nights. He advised that the blood tests and pus cultures were clear.
The next week at her follow up more x-rays, bloods and a sonar was done. The sonar still showed 2 masses but the orthopaedic said he was happy that everything looked ok. My husband and I was concerned that her arm wasn’t decreasing in size so we went to our GP who referred us to a Homepathic Paed that gave her natural medication and treated her for septic arthritis. The arm still was increasing in size so I went to another Orthopaedic for a third opinion who referred us to a bone infection specialist. The bone specialist requested CT scan, xrays & blood tests. The infection count in her blood was extremely high. Her arm continued to increase in size so he admitted her on the 29th July to administer a very strong antibiotic. He took her into theatre on the 31st July where he drained the abyss, scrapped the humerus and connected 2 drainage pumps into her humerus. He sent 8 tissues samples for microbiology cultures which identified staph aureus infection. We were in hospital for 18 days. He took her back into theatre on the 14th August to clean the wound and remove the drainage and we were discharged.
We did the follow up appointment but the arm wasn’t decreasing in size. On the 5th September, we sent the specialist a picture of her arm as it was looking abnormal, the specialist referred us to another orthopaedic. He did an x-ray and advised us that it looks to him like she has a bone tumour but he would need to do a biopsy with full histology to confirm it. On the 7th Sep the biopsy, MRI, Xrays, bloods and CT was done and on the 13th Sep the histology results confirmed that she had a Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. The bottom half of her left humerus had been eaten away. The top part of the left humerus was fractured and there were metastasis in both her lungs. He referred us to an Oncology unit who is now treating her.
Due to the massive size of her tumour, they advised us that she requires 6 cycles of intensive chemo which completed on the 9th February. Considering the aggressive nature of her tumour she is facing shoulder disarticulation on the 2nd March and thereafter maintenance chemo.
Please feel free to follow her progress on her facebook page, “Supergirl Shanaya the first battles Ewings”
Shane & Lee-Ann Govender (blessed parents of a little warrior who is fighting a battle no child should)
We believe for a 4 year old with Stage 4 Ewings Sarcoma, her spirit is an inspiration.
This little body has been through hell and back and she still smiles every day.
She has head on fought 6 months of misdiagnosis, with 4 incorrect surgeries then another 6 months of intensive chemo.
The chemo medication that she gets is so extreme with such bad side effects but our supergirl:
– never has given us hassles to eat
– she listens and stays isolated
– she drinks nearly 1.5 litres water a day
– she has gained 5.5 kgs
– she has never had a fatal hospitalisation due to infection
– she takes such care with her health
– she is always dress in a pretty outfit with accessories even during chemo
– she bloodcounts will drop to almost nothing but she prays and doesn’t show us a sign of her being ill
For a 4 year old girl to be so strong this is to me amazing not only because she is my daughter.
She prays so hard, and her prayers are never about what she wants but always about what she is thankful for
Even though she is facing amputation of her left arm from her shoulder on the 2 March, she is not sad, she is making plans to go back to school and ballet. She loves herself and her spirit gives us as parents strength
We believe this warrior princess needs to be celebrated and appreciated for the strength she shows.