Clementine Brown was diagnosed in November 2016 with bleeding on the brain due to a tumor.
After a successful surgery to remove the mystery tumor, we had the final devastating diagnosis of cancer, Glioblastoma Multiforme grade 4 (GBM). She went through 6 weeks of radiation with a resulting very little to no evidence of disease! What a great way to end 2016.
We opted for her to participate in a clinical trial in Pittsburgh to increase her chances of a positive prognosis in the long run. The trial run by the University of Pittsburgh at UPMC Children’s was studying immunotherapy with another drug that was supposed to kick-start her immune system. We traveled every three weeks for treatment, and Emmy's cancer was held off for six months. In October 2017, two tumors appeared and we went back to the drawing board.
Clementine was such a trooper as we decided to switch gears and try another clinical trial. This time it was a combination of chemo drugs, and was closer to home at the University of Minnesota's Children's Masonic Hospital - Journey's clinic. (Who names these places?!?) Chemo is not a walk in the park, but Emmy weathered it well. She lost weight, lost her hair, but NEVER lost her spunk. From November 2017 through the end of January 2018, our girl gave the drugs a good fight. Fortunately, one of the tumors was taken out by the drugs. Unfortunately, the cancer fought back brutally with the other tumor and we went back to the drawing board again.
Surgery again was the path we walked. Emmy spent Fat Tuesday 2018 (the day before Valentine's day & Ash Wednesday) in surgery. Surgery was successful in removing the remaining tumor. She is such a fighter! Since she had high doses of radiation less than one year before, they could only 'shoot laser-beams' into her brain in 5 sessions. Recovery seemed like it would be a breeze, but the brain is a tricky organ. She ended up suffering from something called Radiation Necrosis. This is basically swelling of the brain around the site which was hit with the 'laser-beams'. Because of this swelling and the history of tumor recurrences, we decided to go ahead with a more traditional approach with chemo. This variety is exciting because we give it at home!
After surgery, two new clumps of tumors have re-appeared. One has been taken care of by chemo, and the other seems to be holding steady. Clementine is such a brave fighter!
Our goals are pretty simple: LIVE our lives FULLY to the best of our abilities. One day at a time.
We use this site to give updates on her adventures and progress on this journey. Thank you for all your well wishes, help and prayers!