Morgan’s Story

Site created on May 16, 2008

Morgan Nicole Palmer

January 27, 2001 - January 20, 2009

Morgan we will miss you and hurt from our loss every day. We wish you well on your next journey, free from the bonds and pains of your last year. Thank you so much for allowing us to be your Daddy, Mommy, Sister, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, and Cousins. Thank you for touching our lives and making us better.



In early January 2008', Morgan became sick with a soar throat, fever and mild headaches. After a visit to the doctor, Morgan was given a prescription for Strep Throat.

The prescription worked great and Morgan began to recover. However, began to vomit a few days later. My wife, Lisa, and I chalked this up to Morgan catching a flu bug in addition to the Step Throat she was recovering from.

A short time after this Morgan fell at school. Coming in from recess she slipped and fell knocking the wind out of her. A frightening experience for a little one. She came home from school early.

Lisa and I both checked Morgan over carefully looking for signs of injury from the fall and did not find anything out of the ordinary. We figured she has simply slipped on the slippery floor and fell. We decided to keep a close watch for the next few days.

Then on January 22 Lisa noticed Morgan having a very hard time balancing while getting into a bath. Lisa had me came and look and I asked Morgan to "walk a line." One of Morgan's legs was not working right. She had a very bad limp and was dragging her foot.

This was very alarming and we decided to have Morgan examined, thinking maybe there was some head injury from her fall.

The next morning, January 23, Lisa made the appointment and I took Morgan into see the Doctor. Morgan was given a standard exam, followed by a neurological exam. Very concerned about her walking the doctor ordered an immediate CT Scan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ct_scan).

We completed the CT Scan at American Fork Hospital and then I took Morgan out to lunch while we waited to hear about the results. I thought to myself... "at the very worst she has a concussion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concussion) or maybe a bleed."

I could not have prepared myself for what came next...

The doctor called back and calmly told me that the CT Scan showed a "mass" or "anomaly." He told me to get Lisa and an overnight bag and take Morgan up to Primary Children's and that they would be waiting for us.

We arrived at Primary Children's ER and learned that Morgan did in fact have a Tumor that was on / in her Brain Stem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_stem). The immediate concern in the ER was that Morgan could have the start of Hydrocephalus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrocephalus). This would require surgery right away.

An MRI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mri) was ordered so that we would have better imagery to work from in making futher decisions. Neurosurgery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurosurgery) was brought into the discussion and Hydrocephalus was ruled out. Morgan did have Ventricle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventricle_of_brain) Swelling and Edema (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edema) caused from the Tumor, but we could still treat with drugs so surgery would not be required. Morgan was admitted to the Neuro Trauma Unit.

Very early in the morning, around 2 am, on January 24, we reviewed the MRI with Neurosurgery. What they showed was horrible and terrifying. An incredibly large, over 5.5 cm, located in the Pons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pons), near the top of the Brain Stem. The images from the MRI were very frightening.

Later in the morning, around 10 am, we were able to consult with the entire Neurosurgery Team and learned that surgical removal, or sugery in general, would not be an option because of the Tumors location. Taking a Biopsy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biopsy) was discussed.

Oncology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oncology) joined the team and reviewed the case with Neurosurgery. After a long day of waiting we met with them and discussed what to do next.

Performing a Biopsy was ruled out. Both groups agreed that this Tumor was a Grade 3 / Grade 4 Glioma. Treatment for either would be the same.

Morgan would begin a Radiation Therapy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_therapy) treatment with a Radiation Oncologist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_oncologist). This treatment designed to shrink the Tumor, this is the best option for this Tumor's treatment aside from surgery.

These treatments would continue for 6 to 8 weeks, five days a week.

Morgan would also begin an oral Chemotherapy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemotherapy) treatment with a drug called Temodar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temodar). This is designed to chemically kill the Tumor cells and make the Radiation Therapy more effective.

These treatments would continue along with the Radiation Treatments every day of the week. Morgan would also go into the Oncology Clinic once a week for Blood Counts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_counts).

Morgan would also be put on a steriod called Dexamethason (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dexamethason), which would help control and reduce the Edema. This steriod has an adverse effect on the stomach and can cause significant damage. So Morgan would also be on a drug called Zantac (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zantac) to protect her stomach from the Dexamethason.

Arrangements were made for us to be released from Primary Children's the next day so we could meet with the Radiation Oncologist.

(Continued in our Journal (viewJournal.do?method=executeInit)...)

Newest Update

Journal entry by Brandon Palmer

Happy Valentines Day!

Thank you to all of you who have contacted us over the last couple of months.  We VERY much appreciate all of your continued love and support!!

Next month Uncle "Meatloaf" (Brett) is participating in an event to raise money for Pediatric Cancer Research / Treatment.  Please visit this
link to read more about the event and to participate.

Moops would be VERY proud of you Uncle Meatloaf!

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