Nolan started vomiting occasionally around July 2009. I thought it was a little stomach virus since Nolan tends to be prone to these. Instead of getting better Nolan continued to vomit every morning which turned into everyday all day. Then came the headaches. When his pediatrician couldn’t figure out what was wrong we were referred to a GI doctor (Dr. Liu) who ordered further test including a CT scan of the brain. His CT scan was done on October 8, 2009 which showed a brain tumor the size of a golf ball in the 4th ventricle of the brain. He had an emergency MRI within two hours of his CT. The MRI showed a tumor in his brain, two in his spine and a spread of leptomeningeal disease within the brain and spine.
The operation took place on October 13, 2009 and took about seven hours including time for anesthesia and recovery. Dr. Reisner, Nolan’s neuro-surgeon, was able to remove most of the main tumor; the rest would have to be killed with radiation and chemo. Nolan’s first spinal tap was considered negative for tumor cells. Nolan’s diagnosis is “Large Cell Anaplastic Medulloblastoma”, a very aggressive form of brain cancer.
Nolan endured 14 months of chemotherapy, four brain surgeries and 30 days of radiation. His treatment ended in December 2010 with clean scans. Three months later we found out, through a routine MRI, that his cancer had returned in the brain and spine. Nolan has started back on chemo every other week. We won’t know how long he will be on chemo or whether this is working or until June 1, 2011.
Nolan is such a fun loving guy who doesn’t let much get in his way. Despite all the obstacles he’s had to face he has kept such a good attitude! He loves watching Nascar, participating in the Beads of Courage, and going to Camp Sunshine.