In Memory of Brian Montgomery
June 26, 1997 – April 3, 2006
We miss you little buddy! We miss all your energy and your big smile! We will never forget you.
Brian was born on June 26th, 1997. He has always been a very energetic and healthy young boy. In April of 2005 he began having headaches and throwing up, we thought it was just a flu bug that he could not shake. He would get better and then it would come back again. On May 14th he was throwing up worse than ever. It really scared us so I called the doctor and immediately took him to the ER at Children's Hospital in Akron. It was there that a CT Scan showed a tumor in his right Temporal Lobe. A surgeon was summoned right away.
On May 18th Brian had brain surgery to remove the mass. An Intraoperative MRI showed that the tumor was completely taken out. We were thrilled. Brian came home on May 21st and recovered very quickly. Tumor samples were sent to John's Hopkins University Medical Center for confirmation. On June 3rd the news came back. It was a Glioblastoma Multiforme Level 4 tumor. We were numb. This tumor is very rare in children and is usually a fatal tumor in an adult, with the average life expectancy being only 6-12 months. We were crushed. We had also learned that within two weeks after his surgery the tumor had already started to grow back. There was no time to think.
Brian's team was assembled immediately. Dr. Talai his oncologist and Dr. Fromm his Radiation Oncologist. There was a protocol for his treatment which meant that no matter where we went, he would get the same treatment. This made our decision to stay here in Akron near our family and support system an easy one.
Brian's summer was one filled with 42 days of chemo and 33 days of radiation. He did amazingly well. Hardly a complaint. Brian entered his maintenance phase where he took his chemo for 5 days then got a 23 day break until he would start again. He was taking 160 Mg. of Temozolomide each day he was on treatment. He was schooled at home using the St. Pat's curriculum with the hopes of sending back to school in April, 2006. We had a wonderful tutor, Anita who would work with him weekly. Brian would go to school during treatment as he was able.
A MRI and CT scan in the fall of 2005 showed that the tumor that had regrown was now a mass of dead cells. More scans followed and in early December a follow-up scan showed that there have been no changes. That was what we were looking for -NO tumor growth! We continued the battle. Brian was winning this battle and that was all that mattered. He was very strong and loved Tae Kwon Do/Karate and hated to miss his lessons. He was a green belt at this time, but he would go on to earn 2 new belts while in treatment. He loved to ride his bike and race in his Papa's Go-Kart. He was granted a wish in November, 2005 and we enjoyed 4 days in Walt Disney World and one day at Universal Studios. Brian was an amazing little boy with a very big heart, a true inspiration to us all.
On Feb 17, 2006, Brian had a series of seizures while we were at his cousin's house in Westlake and was life flighted to Akron Children's Hospital. On Feb. 28th we found out the the tumor was growing back and growing further into his brain. Surgery could not be done. We were given options but the risks far outweighed the benefits, and even with the options any additional time with Brian would be minimal at best. We wanted Brian's time left with us to be good times. Brian marched on, he went thru therapy and told jokes and always had a smile. He continued to weaken until finally on March 17th the vomiting and headaches were too much to bear. Hospice was called in and Brian got to spend his last few weeks surrounded by his family and friends. He was in a lot of pain and he could no longer move his left side, he was growing weaker by the day. His Uncles made it in to see him, Michael from Philadelphia and Stanley on leave from serving in Iraq.
Brian was with his dad when he opened his eyes, looked up and lifted his arms (even the one that had been paralyzed), Mark knew at that time an angel was in the room and had come to take Brian to heaven. It was on April 3, 2006 at 8:10 PM that our Brian got his wish, he was finally "Cancer Free". A few minutes after he passed his sister Allie noticed that Brian had a smile on his face. That was his gift to us. We miss you little guy.