Continuing our series “Profiles of Sarcoma,” we introduce you to a wonderful woman who has become a friend of EDDF over the past few months. Meet Meredith Ravenscroft, a fellow Texan and a supporter of EDDF. She courageously tells her story of sarcoma today.
Eric D. Davis Sarcoma Foundation (EDDF): Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Meredith Ravenscroft (MR): My name is Meredith Ravenscroft. I am 30 years old. I have been married to my amazing husband, JD, for 6 years. We don’t have any kids, but we do have one very spoiled dog. I was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, but raised in Keene, Texas.
I graduated from Chisholm Trial Academy in 2001. I am a Police Fire EMS 911 dispatcher for the City of Roanoke, Texas. I have been there for a little over two years, but I have been dispatching for over 10 years.
I love to spend time with my family, attend Rangers games with my husband, play the piano, cook, listen to music and travel.
EDDF: What type of sarcoma do/did you have?
(MR): I was diagnosed with a Synovial Sarcoma. As of March 18, 2013 I am in remission!
EDDF: How did you first detect you had sarcoma? How old were you?
(MR): A little over 3 years ago, when I was about 27 years old, I noticed that I had a lump in my upper leg/thigh area. I really didn’t think anything of it, and pretty much ignored it for over two years. In 2012 it started causing pain, and I would have shooting pains up and down my leg. Finally in November 2012 I went to my Family Physician, and she immediately started scheduling different tests and scans. After several scans, it was discovered that it was a tumor that measured approximately 6 cm. I had my first appointment with a Surgical Oncologist and she scheduled a biopsy, which took place 3 days later. On December 17, 2012 she called to let me know that the tumor was malignant, and that it was a Synovial Sarcoma. I was 29 at the time.
EDDF: Tell us about your experience with sarcoma and sarcoma treatments.
(MR): Two days after I was diagnosed, I met with the Radiation Oncologist at Texas Oncology in Ft Worth TX. Since I wasn’t fully healed from the biopsy, and the Christmas Holidays were coming up they scheduled me to start radiation treatments on January 2nd, 2013. I went through 25 rounds of radiation, which lasted 5 weeks. The first couple weeks of radiation went really smoothly, but the radiation started to take effect and my legs started to get pretty intense radiation burns. After completing radiation, and the burns had healed I had surgery. On March 5, 2013 (3 days after my 30th birthday) the tumor was removed. My surgeon was successful at removing the entire tumor and the surrounding muscle. The pathology report showed that all the margins were clear! Next step is to go to MD Anderson in Houston, Texas to speak with another medical oncologist. My current medical oncologist initially did not think that I needed chemo, but he wants me to get a second opinion. If they do recommend chemo, I will have a lot of thinking and praying to do!
(MR): I would definitely tell them not to be afraid to ask a lot of questions about their sarcoma. I know in my case I had never really heard about Sarcomas, and I never expected to have one myself. Hopefully they will be as lucky as I was, and have an amazing team of Doctors that will patiently listen to their questions, and answer them in a way that they will understand.
Another thing is to not be afraid to ask your family, loved ones, friends and co workers for their support and prayers. Just knowing that you have a support team, and a lot of people praying for you can give you the strength you need when you feel like you can’t go on.
Stay positive. Negative thinking will get you nowhere. Keep telling yourself that cancer will not beat you, that you will beat the cancer. Fight. Fight as hard as you can.
EDDF: What/who has been your inspiration throughout this experience?
(MR): I have a couple people that have been a huge inspiration throughout everything. The first one is my father, Bill. 9 years ago he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He went through several rounds of chemo and did not let it stop him. A few years later he was told that the Lymphoma was back, and once again he went thru chemo. Today he is cancer free! His faith in God, and positive attitude was a huge inspiration.
The second person that has been a huge inspiration to me is a friend from college, Jessica. She was diagnosed with Primary Hepatic Neuroendocrine Carcinoma, which is an extremely rare form of cancer. In March 2011 she had a liver transplant. She is unstoppable! When she is not working, she is continuously volunteering, training for triathlons, and raising cancer awareness. She was one of the first people to reach out to me when I was diagnosed, and I value her friendship, and her advice.
My family, friends and co-workers have been so supportive. They have all been by my side every step of the way, encouraging me, praying for me, and supporting me. When I was unable to work, my co-workers donated sick time to me so I would be able to concentrate on kicking my sarcoma’s butt!
EDDF: If someone has a friend or family member with sarcoma what are some ways they can support that person?
(MR): Let them know that they are loved. Let them know that everything is going to be okay, and that you will be by their side no matter what. Give them a shoulder to lean on. There will be a lot of pain, tears, fears and worries. They will need you to be strong for them. Let them know that they are not alone, and although you might not know what they are going through, there are many of us that do, and we are all here to support them.
EDDF: Anything you would like to add?
(MR): I want to thank the Eric D Davis Sarcoma Foundation for the opportunity to tell my story. I also want to thank my family and friends for all of the love and support they have shown me.
Meredith’s fellow dispatchers, and friends, created the “Fight for Mere, Stick it to Sarcoma” bracelet, and they have been selling them to help Meredith with her medical bills. The bracelets are $5.50 each (shipping included). For information on how to purchase, visit www.Facebook.com/FightFor Mere