Matthew Fabian

First post: Jul 31, 2020 Latest post: Jan 19, 2023
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Here is just a quick recap on Matthew’s unexpected health issues.

I brought Matthew in to the doctor on July 22nd of 2020 as he had a dull, nagging headache for a couple weeks. Not everyday and not when he slept. I wanted to get it checked out before he moved back to the dorm on August 1 where he is an RA at Bemidji State University. It is his last year there for his Biology with a medical emphasis major and Biochemistry, Cellular, Molecular Biology degree.
He also was a part of the Cancer Research Team and Pulmonary Fibrosis Study along with Band and Trap Team at BSU.
Anyway, after an MRI they life flighted him from Crosby to the St. Cloud Hospital, ran a whole bunch of tests … to find he had a mass on his brain stem that needed to come out right now, they removed it in the wee hours of the morning with no complications. Everything was going well until the 2nd day when he had a STROKE. They ended up putting a drain tube in his brain to relieve pressure. He was unable to swallow, urinate, double vision and his right side of his body was affected from the stroke.
Because of being on his back not able to move he also developed an pneumonia. Boy, he was in tough shape for a while!They ended up putting a feeding tube in him to help with nourishment and provide him with some energy.
After almost 2 weeks they removed his brain drain...of course it broke off in his brain and he had to go back to surgery to remove it....UGH! So once the tube was removed he got released from ICU and was moved to the Neuro floor for another week and then to in-house rehab to continue his re learning how to sit, stand and walk.
We also found out at this time his mass was Medulloblastoma brain cancer.
At just under a month he was released and was able to go home for a couple days before heading to Mayo for Proton Radiation for 7 weeks along with establishing every baseline test with audiology, endocrinology, cognitive and ophthalmology.
Radiation definitely takes a toll on a body but is an absolute necessity especially for this flavor of cancer.
With some planning with Mayo doctors and oncology in our home area, it was decided he could do chemotherapy at our home hospital. He had a port put in to make access easier for chemotherapy two weeks before first infusion. He was able to complete six months worth of cisplatin, etoposide and cyclophosphamide finishing the end of April of 2021.
Medulloblastoma is a rare cancer in a twenty year old, it’s more of a pediatric cancer so not a whole lot of research on adults. There is no remission or cure for it. We were lucky that his mass was all removed by his surgeon but will be doing MRI’s for the rest of Matthew’s life as that is the only way to test for it and pay attention to the headache, dizziness and nausea symptoms.
We still have a long road ahead of us but things are going the right direction!

Matthew is really disappointed about missing his last year of school! He was so excited to return to being an RA.  His plan is to try to go back the Fall of 2021. Chemo fog is real, plus the brain trauma he has had, radiation and treatments will certainly make things a little more difficult. Processing, retaining and memory issues have become very evident along with frustration as you can imagine.
Also he is so disappointed that because of radiation and chemo he is not allowed to be around loud noises. Shooting trap is out, playing the trumpet in his college Pep band is out, shooting his compound bow is out because it will cause strain to draw the
string back....he is not used to sitting idle.
UPDATE May 2022:
We have had more than a few scares, hiccups and detours along the way and are now in a bimonthly MRI and lab schedule and will be for quite sometime. Scans are the only tool with his brain/spine cancer to see if any reoccurrence has happened. He will have them for the rest of his life.
Matthew was able to go back to college and finish his degrees which we are so very proud of! It was a very difficult year for him…his fight, determination, work ethic and faith helped him accomplish this huge task! The university, professors, student services and housing department were awesome and helped so much in making his dream come true! Due to his new normal, he is now reevaluating his career choices so will be continuing his education and going back to school to find an area that fits with how his brain now works. He is still wanting to stay in the Health field, he just needs to find his niche.

We really appreciate your support, prayers and keeping him in your thoughts.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help Matthew incase anyone was wanting to help him with his medical experiences.
It is under “Matthew Fabian”