1/5/09, Brooke was diagnosed at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) with stage IV high risk Neuroblastoma, a very aggressive pediatric cancer. Her cancer started in her adrenal gland & spread through her entire body (every single bone in her body from her skull down & 80-90% of her bone marrow was packed with cancer). Her prognosis was not good. She went on to endure 6 rounds of chemotherapy, surgery to remove her right adrenal gland, 2 stem cell transplants(lethally high doses of chemotherapy followed by stem cell rescues), 12 rounds of radiation to her skull, abdominal area & both femurs & a 6 month immunotherapy clinical trial ch.14.18. Brooke’s scans on 9/10/09 showed that she was NED (No Evidence of Disease)! Brooke finished treatment in April 2010.
Asa result of her treatments, Brooke has high frequency hearing loss and now wears hearing aids, has Thyroid disease from her scans and Horner’s Syndrome.
NB has a very high chance of relapse & potentially serious late effects from the toxic treatments so she was being monitored closely & having scans done every 6 months. 12/5/12 she relapsed with a tumor on her spine (L4). Brooke is now back in treatment & participating in a phase 1 clinical trial at CHOP. Statistics are abysmal…but Brooke is a fighter & I pray that we can keep her disease stable or better & hope that a cure is found in time for my baby.
Update: 12/5/12 Brooke relapsed with a small tumor on L4 of her spine. It was picked up on her routine 6 month scans. She participated in a clinical trial at CHOP for 5 months involving Irinotecan, Temodar and the trial drug Temsirolimous. She remained stable on this trial but it also made her very sick with terrible migraines. From July 8th-Dec 30th she participated in a clinical trial at Boston Children's/ Dana-Farber Cancer Institute involving a Dendritic Cell Vaccine. Brooke did great on this trial and had very little side effects, wonderful quality of life and her disease continued to be stable. As much as I wish she could stay on this trial longer the protocol is only for 6 cycles so we will be off in search of a new trial (most likely heading to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston for our next adventure).