It all started with a small, painless bump on Macgill Fruthcey’s shoulder. Present for over 10 years, she never thought of it as a health concern – until her 4-year-old gave the bump a big bop, causing it to rapidly grow, morph and change color all within a span of three weeks.
Concerned about the rapid growth and changes, Macgill’s doctors recommended the growth be immediately removed. The aggressive growth mixed with unfamiliar results led her doctors to initially believe it was an aggressive case of carcinoma.
A strong woman of faith, Macgill entered her doctor’s office not with thoughts of uncertainty, but with thoughts of positivity and determination. She settled into the mindset that she would survive the meetings, treatments, surgeries and chemo-therapy that may come.
Macgill and her team of doctors, including Northside’s Dr. Nahai of plastic surgery and Dr. Possert of radiation oncology, then began creating a surgical and treatment plan. After the tumor was fully resected and studied with a closer eye, Macgill finally learned her official diagnosis: she had a rare, highly aggressive form of sarcoma. So rare, in fact, that it was only the 114th case of this cancer type in the world.
Sarcoma itself is a rare form of cancer, and it appears in the bone and connective tissues of the body. Symptoms, tumor type and location of the cancer vary, but there is often a noticeable lump or pain. Most cases of sarcoma have no clear cause.
Because of this particular sarcoma’s aggressive nature, Macgill’s physician advised six months of chemotherapy followed by 33 rounds of radiation. Losing her hair, recurring hospital visits and a constant pump companion weighed Macgill down, but her network of support kept her spirits high.
Macgill finished her last round of chemo only a few weeks ago and has received a clean bill of health from her first tri-monthly scan.
“Laughter helped suck the poison out,” Macgill likes to say. Today she continues to spread the positivity, as she spends her free time creating funny content for her motherhood websites that she runs.
*The health story shared here may portray atypical results of survival for this type of cancer, given its severity and stage. Atypical results are considered surviving a cancer that has less than a 50 percent five-year survival rate. Patients should consult an expert to discuss specific treatment plans and the possible outcomes before making medical decisions.