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My Story

Marissa Jean Monroe - Born on July 10, 2005 - Angel wings on June 13, 2008

big sister: Makenzie

little brother: Mason

mother: Tracy

father: Randy

On November 27, 2006 Marissa was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma. Marissa's only symptom was a black eye that appeared out of the blue & wouldn't go away.

Marissa relapsed on October 19, 2007 with a spot on the MIBG scan on her skull above her left ear.



Neuroblastoma is a form of cancer that occurs in infants and young children. It is rarely found in children older than 10 years. The cells of this cancer usually resemble very primitive developing nerve cells found in an embryo or fetus. (The term neuro indicates "nerves," while blastoma refers to a cancer that affects immature or developing cells).

After several tests, two tumors were found in Marissa. One in her abdomen and one next to her left eye. Cancer has also spread in to her bone marrow. A biopsy of the tumor was sent to Los Angeles and the results are as follows:

Dr. Shimada's evaluation of the tumor biopsy: HIGH RISK

MYCN GENE: amplified / unfavorable

DNA PLOIDY: favorable

Shimada Classification: unfavorable

Marissa's Treatment:

  1. 7 rounds of high dose chemo- Bronson Hospital
  2. stem cell rescue/collection (10 million stem cells collected)- U of M
  3. remove tumor in abdomen 3/26/2007 - U of M
  4. 3F8 Antibody therapy-Sloan Kettering NYC (so far, 5 rounds of 3f8 and HAMA)
  5. a second stem cell collection (7 million stem cells collected)-Sloan Kettering, NYC
  6. 14 rounds of radiation, 2 times/day with sedation-Sloan Kettering, NYC
  7. 6 rounds of retinoic acid (Accutane), 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off- home (5 rounds completed)
  8. 8 rounds of lower dose chemo (Irinotecan and oral temador) NYC & Kalamazoo
  9. 12 rounds of radiation to her entire skull
  10. Many scans and bone marrow biopsies

Marissa relapsed on October 19, 2007 with 3 spots on her skull. This cleared after full skull radiation and 8 rounds of Irinotecan/Temador. It took 6 months for the spots on her skull to clear. On April 10, 2008 after her MIBG scan we found that Marissa now had a new spot of NB in the marrow on her spine between L3-L5. The NB is also in her bone marrow, but is microscopic. There is question if the NB is in her spinal fluid. On April 21, 2008 Marissa started more high dose chemo. On June 5, 2008 we were told that the cancer had spread everywhere in her body and there were no more treatment options. Marissa was sent home from MSKCC on hospice. Marissa became one of God's Angel's on Friday, June 13, 2008. She is forever loved and missed. Marissa was laid to rest on Tuesday, June 17, 2008.

www.lunchforlife.org Giving tree code 24348. Donate in Marissa's honor, proceeds will benefit new treatments.

****People have been asking what they can do to help us. We have a savings account set up in Marissa's name at FNB in Three Rivers, Centreville, Mendon & Constantine. Donations can be made under "Marissa Monroe". All of the money donated will help with travel expenses & medical expenses. Another idea would be to purchase Visa gift cards & mail them to us. The gift cards can be used anywhere that Visa is accepted. Thank you all for your help. We couldn't get through this without all of the amazing support that you have provided.

Feed

Randy Monroe posted a new journal entry, "Five Years".

Today marks 5 years since Marissa went to Heaven....5 years.  It's hard to believe that it's been that long already.  We miss her like crazy.  It still feels like ... Read more

Betty Pirrmann signed Marissa's Guestbook.

Dearest monroe family,  We did not forget Marissa.  On her day we thought of and prayed for all of you.  We have been in the midst of moving and travelingShe will ... Read more

Betty Pirrmann signed Marissa's Guestbook.

Precious Monroe's,  Yes it is so hard to believe 5 yrs. have passed sincedarling Marissa went to be with Jesus!  I will never forget her or your ... Read more

Sheryl Pauley signed Marissa's Guestbook.

Think of you guys often as well as the other kids that fought this battle at he same time. Brett's 5 year anniversary was March 6. It is hard for me to believe it has been ... Read more

Randy Monroe posted a new journal entry, "Five Years".

Today marks 5 years since Marissa went to Heaven....5 years.  It's hard to believe that it's been that long already.  We miss her like crazy.  It still feels like ... Read more

Randy Monroe posted a new journal entry, "Five Years".

Today marks 5 years since Marissa went to Heaven....5 years.  It's hard to believe that it's been that long already.  We miss her like crazy.  It still feels like ... Read more

Randy Monroe posted a new journal entry, "Five Years".

Today marks 5 years since Marissa went to Heaven....5 years.  It's hard to believe that it's been that long already.  We miss her like crazy.  It still feels like ... Read more

Randy Monroe posted a new journal entry, "Five Years".

Today marks 5 years since Marissa went to Heaven....5 years.  It's hard to believe that it's been that long already.  We miss her like crazy.  It still feels like ... Read more

Randy Monroe posted a new journal entry, "Happy Birthday Marissa".

Today is Marissa's birthday...she would be turning 7!  That is so hard to believe.  We will be releasing 2 purple balloons for her 2 birthday's on Earth and 5 white ... Read more

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