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My Story

Joseph Jack (Joey) was born June 5, 2006. That day they found a tumor in his right testicle. It was removed on June 8th and after pathology reports, he was diagnosed with a yolk sac tumor which is a type of Germ Cell cancer.



Joey is the 4th child of Steve & Alayna Brooks and has 2 older brothers, Levi age 7 and Sam age 5, and 1 older sister, Lily-Grace age 3. The delivery was fine and actually pretty uneventful, but unfortunately the uneventfulness didn't last long! During his newborn checkup in the hospital nursery they realized that his right testicle was quite a bit enlarged. So a urologist was called in to look at it, and we were told he had a tumor, but not to worry, 99.9% of the time, these things are benign. Well, apparently Joey is already an overachiever and wants to be different, because his wasn't! He had surgery when he was 4 days to old to remove his right testicle and they diagnosed him with a yolk sac tumor that is malignant. Apparently this is a pretty rare form of cancer, the oncologist said it is likely he is the only child in Texas to have one right now - I guess he does like to be different! Since the cancer had not spread to other parts of his body, he was an "observation only" patient, observed by periodic CT scans and bloodwork.

In November, we got our first elevated blood test, so we did scans and nothing was found, and in December, his AFP levels went back down, although they still were not normal. In January they were back up, and after consulting a Germ Cell specialist, we were moved to weekly blood tests, and when his AFP level reached 80, we were going to do chemo. It reached 87 in mid-January, and we checked into the hospital to start chemo. Before they could put in his port, his AFP level dropped to 63, so they let us go home! The next week, it dropped to 13, and we thought we were home free! Over the next several weeks, it has fluctuated, but with an upward trend. So, right now we are still doing the weekly blood tests, with the understanding that if his levels reach 80, and stay that way for 2 weeks, we will start chemo. Normal AFP levels would be less than 10. We are praying for normal AFP levels and for them to stay normal!

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Alayna Brooks posted a new journal entry.

I just wanted to let y'all know that Joey is doing wonderful, and his last AFP was 4!  Praise God - I'm still hoping that next AFP will be the elusive 2 we've all been ... Read more

Alayna Brooks posted a new journal entry.

I just wanted to let y'all know that Joey is doing wonderful, and his last AFP was 4!  Praise God - I'm still hoping that next AFP will be the elusive 2 we've all been ... Read more

Alayna Brooks posted a new journal entry.

Okay, I know it has been such a long time since I updated, but while I always have lots to say, finding the time to get it written down is nearly impossible! First off, ... Read more

Alayna Brooks posted a new journal entry.

Sorry for the lack of updates. Life happens fast around here, and it seems almost impossible to get anything productive done. I hate to answer the question, "what ... Read more

Alayna Brooks posted a new journal entry.

The Wienerschnitzel Saga ContinuesThank y'all for your suggestions in getting Joey to take the medicine. We've done the blowing in the face and it wasn't working anymore. ... Read more

Alayna Brooks posted a new journal entry.

First day of school! First day of school! Yaay! Levi & Sam started their first day at their new schools today and all went well. They both made some new friends ... Read more

Alayna Brooks posted a new journal entry.

Update: Our friend from the Lighthouse, Grace, who had Wilm's tumor just happened to have an appointment today, and it wasn't busy so she asked her doctor about us - ... Read more

Alayna Brooks posted a new journal entry.

Big Exhale Well, it’s been a few weeks of non-life-threatening medical events in our family, but sometimes I just need to be reminded of that. You see, one of the side ... Read more

Alayna Brooks posted a new journal entry.

It’s 11 o’clock. Saturday night. I know I should be in bed, but I’ve always been a night owl, and that has only doubled since I’ve had kids and after bedtime has ... Read more

Alayna Brooks posted a new journal entry.

Hi Guys,I just wanted to write a quick update to let you know we did Joey's bloodwork yesterday, and it was 7.9! Yay! I was a tad bit nervous since it had gone up last ... Read more

Alayna Brooks posted a new journal entry.

Survivor Friday night we had our first Relay for Life where our little Joey wore the purple shirt proudly declaring he is a SURVIVOR! Wow. Let me tell you it took a ... Read more

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