Carter Escobar: Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma
Updated: Dec 12, 2021
Hello again! Thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedule to read my blog posts. I love sharing these stories and bringing more awareness to this awful disease.
Today's blog post is about Carter Escobar. Carter is 9 years old, and was diagnosed with Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, in July of 2018. Carter had been suffering from back pain for about a month, had been to multiple doctors, multiple trips to the ER, and still nothing was found. He continued to be in so much pain, that he couldn't even sit to watch the fireworks for the 4th of July. His pediatrician finally ordered more specific x-ray images, and a lesion was found on his spine. The days following were filled with biopsies, tests, scans, surgery to have his port placed and discussion about his treatment plan. This is something no parent or child is prepared for, and it's absolutely heartbreaking. To see your healthy, happy child now be faced with a cancer diagnosis. Carter's treatment has consisted of 20 rounds of chemo, 38 proton therapy sessions, and maintenance chemo. The proton radiation is a more targeted form of radiation, but it has caused a severe burn on his foot, where his primary tumor is located, and many months without walking and chronic pain. Carter's maintenance chemo is being done through a trial at St. Jude, and includes 4, three week cycles of 2 daily oral chemo meds and an infusion the first week of each cycle.
This is all far too much for any child to endure, but Carter is a strong, smart and funny kid. He loves Fortnite, dogs and telling jokes! He has a younger sister, Peyton, who is 7. So many of the kiddos that are affected by cancer, have such an amazing outlook. They have to go through so much and yet still continue to smile.
What is Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma?
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of sarcoma. Sarcoma is cancer of soft tissue (such as muscle), connective tissue (such as tendon or cartilage), or bone. Rhabdomyosarcoma usually begins in muscles that are attached to bones and that help the body move. Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma in children. It can begin in many places in the body.
There are three main types of rhabdomyosarcoma:
Embryonal: This type occurs most often in the head and neck area or in the genital or urinary organs, but can occur anywhere in the body. It is the most common type of rhabdomyosarcoma.
Alveolar: This type occurs most often in the arms or legs, chest, abdomen, genital organs, or anal area. (This is what Carter has. It has most predominately been in his foot.)
Anaplastic: This is the least common type of rhabdomyosarcoma in children. https://www.cancer.gov/types/soft-tissue-sarcoma/patient/rhabdomyosarcoma-treatment-pdq#_1
Carter has received one of our BFF bags, & a birthday box! Carter & his family live in Fort Worth TX.