Mar 26, 2009 Latest post:
Jul 29, 2016
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Thursday, March 26th 2009 we received the news that our son Greg, who was eighteen at the date of diagnosis, had a "mass" on his brain. This initial diagnosis was preformed at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville Arkansas, our hometown. He was immediately sent to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock to have brain surgery where the biopsy of the tumor indicated the official diagnosis was Medulloblastoma, a rare cancerous brain tumor that primarily effects children. On Tuesday, March 31st surgery was preformed to remove the tumor. The tumor was removed but in order to lesson the likelihood of recurrence, radiation and chemo treatments were administered for the next two months. Greg completed 30 sessions of cranial/spinal radiation at CARTI and initial chemo treatments (Vincristine) at Arkansas Children's Hospital, both located in Little Rock. On June 16th we returned to Fayetteville. Unfortunately, Greg experienced a recurrence of his medulloblastoma tumor. The recurrence was diagnosed on October 15th of 2010. Greg decided to enroll in a clinical trial through St. Jude Children Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The trial, PBTC #25, began in November 2010. Greg stayed one month in Memphis in order to be evaluated for potential side effects. On December 19th we returned to Fayetteville, continuing the clinical trial at home. One month later an MRI revealed that Greg's tumor had doubled in size while on the clinical trial. Greg was removed from the trial. Greg began taking oral chemotherapy in Fayetteville that was aimed at slowing down the growth of his tumor. An MRI in the Spring of 2011 revealed that his tumor had shrunk over 95% while on this palliative chemotherapy protocol. Truly, a blessing from God! Hoping that a more aggressive chemotherapy protocol would get rid of the remaining 5% of the tumor, Greg began a five month intensive chemotherapy protocol in May that was completed in the Fall of 2011. Unfortunately, an MRI in Feb. 2012 revealed that a new tumor had begun to grow in a different region of his brain. Again, single agent palliative chemotherapy protocol was administered with great success, as he experienced a relatively side effect free period of tumor regression for about a year. In February of 2013 an MRI revealed that Greg's newest tumor (septum pellucidum) had doubled in size and his original tumor (fourth ventricle) had begun to regrow. New palliative chemo treatments were used which slowed the growth of his tumors until he began to experienced side effects consistent with advanced hydrocephalus caused by tumor growth. Greg was released from the care of St. Jude in early September and placed under home hospice care through Washington Regional Medical Center. Greg remained under hospice care while living at home until he was taken to our local hospice home on Monday October 26th. Greg died peacefully on Sunday, October 27th surrounded by many family members and friends. He is now in perfect peace and rest in the presence of previously departed friends and family members in Heaven because of his acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Savior while he was a teenager.