My Story

Welcome to Mary's CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your prayers, support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

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Before we get to Mary's story, here's a timeline:
Nov 15, 2012 saw orthopedist who sent her directly to Children's
Nov 16 after MRI and biopsy, diagnosed with osteosarcoma
Nov 20/21 bone scan and CT scan
Nov 26 EKG/Echo, met with oncologist - cancer is contained to right distal femur
Nov 30 Port placement surgery and first chemo of 10 weeks
Jan 2013 Researching and decision regarding surgery
Feb 12 Rotationplasty - done at Shands, Gainesville, FL
Feb 20-28 3 sessions of PT
Mar 1 First chemo of 2nd 10 weeks
Mar 4 Stitches removed, wound healing well
May 16 & 17 First chemo of 3rd 10 weeks and Mary brought her new prosthetic leg home
July 20, 2013 Completed chemo, scans all clear, NED
Aug 11, 2014 One-year post-treatment scans ALL CLEAR

Now here's Mary's story in her own words. 

My name is Mary Elizabeth Tankersley and I am 11 years old.I was born in Dallas, Texas and soon moved to Little Rock, Arkansas. When I was 4 years old, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia and I have lived here since that time.I attend Lost Mountain Middle School and I am in the 6th grade. I enjoy Language Arts, chorus and orchestra, and spending time with my friends. I like to read and my favorite books are The Hunger Games. Playing outside with my friends is always fun and something I like a lot. My favorite type of music is pop music and I love electronics. I attend North Metro Church with my family. I have several pets, a dog named Pepper and a frog. My little brother is Will, he is 10 years old.

For a few weeks, my knee was swollen and painful. My mom took me to an orthopedist to have it checked out. They took X-rays and were not happy with what they saw. They immediately sent me to the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta to have an MRI performed on my knee. I had to be admitted and they put in an IV and drew my blood. I spent the night in the hospital and the next morning I had the MRI. I waited for a couple of hours and then they took me to do a biopsy on my knee.  I remember having to wear a mask that contained “laughing gas”, then the smell changed, and I was asleep.  After I woke up, we were finally able to go home. 

When we arrived home, I slept with my mom in my parent’s room. I woke up the next morning and I was in a lot of pain. My parents lay in the bed with me and started talking about my diagnosis. They told me that I was going back to the hospital for more tests. I thought they were meaning that I was going to have to have surgery, but then they said that God brings us through everything and we need to trust. My daddy was tearing up and he said that I have bone cancer. I began to cry because I was thinking that cancer is very serious and I was thinking about how my Papa (my dad's dad) had just died from cancer. I did not want to die. My daddy explained that 80% live and the odds are more in my favor. My parents asked me if I wanted to tell any of my friends face to face, so I called several of my friends. 

At this point, I feel a little doubtful and I am scared. I am scared that I am going to die. I am scared of the needles, the procedures, and what is actually going to happen to me. I am worried that someone may make a mistake in my procedures and I may die. I am afraid of not having enough to eat and being hungry all the time. I am afraid that I am going to forget everything that I know and have learned. I am afraid of losing my friends. I am not going to be at school a lot and I will not be in the know. I am afraid that I am going to flunk 6th grade. I'm afraid DFCS is going to take me away from my parents because I've missed so much school. I am afraid that my foster sister will not care about me and will take advantage of the situation. I am afraid that I am not going to be able to walk again.  I am going to have metal in my leg. I am afraid that the port or IV’s will mess up my veins.

I am glad to have friends and family. I like to see all the support on Facebook for me. I hope my cancer is not as bad as my Papa or Alexa.


Alicia Tankersley posted a new journal entry, "We're DC Bound".

We’re DC BoundWe’re half-way through Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and we wanted to share a few highlights and things we’re excited about.1. At a Friday night ... Read more

Alicia Tankersley added a new photo.

Alicia Tankersley posted a new journal entry, "It's That Time of Year Again".

It’s ThatTime of Year AgainFirst, Mary’s one-year post-treatment scans came back ALL CLEAR so we are forging ahead healthy for another three to four months. She had ... Read more

Alicia Tankersley added a new photo.

Anne and Tom Bosley signed Mary's Guestbook.

All right, all right, all right! Good news! Please keep us in the loop. We care so much for all the Tankerslys Read more

Alison Bonner signed Mary's Guestbook.

We are thrilled to hear this great news about Mary!!  Mary, have fun in your Little Mermaid!!  I bet you are awesome in your role.Thanks for keeping us posted!!  Hope ... Read more

Pam Tinsley signed Mary's Guestbook.

You and Mary are an encouragement to me daily. I thank God for the clear scans and her excitement about life everyday. What a treasure she is!! Read more

Sundra Purser signed Mary's Guestbook.

Wonderful news!  So glad you are doing so well!  I know your play will be great - I have a feeling your Grandmama in Statesboro will fill me in on all the details. ;-)    Read more

Betty Dasher signed Mary's Guestbook.

This is good news.  Guy & I keep up with Mary through her grandmother, Kathy, and are always blessed to get another good report.  She has demonstrated so-o much ... Read more

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