Aubrey was diagnosed with Stage II A inductive carcinoma (HER2+) in June of 2004 at the age of 24. She had a lumpectomy and sentinel node removal, and followed up with Taxol/Lupron and Arimidex. This was followed with radiation to her breast. Things had been going well up until last October, when an MRI showed small (almost invisible) lesions in her lungs. A subsequent brain MRI showed some evidence of tumors in her brain. She went through a round of hormone therapy, which didn't seem to help, followed by brain radiation. She was also given tamoxifen and other chemo drugs (Xeloda, etc.). Things seemed to be alright, but none of the chemo seemed to help. This summer she was put on navelbine.
Early July, she started having bad headaches, and an MRI showed new tumors at the base of her brain. These were radiated over the course of a week, during which time she was given decadron for the swelling. This was followed by another round of Navelbine. At this point, she developed shingles. She took Valtrex and Auxo-clav for about two weeks, and during this time, her train of thought seemed to get lost and she had a hard time walking (some of this was due to steroidal myopathy from the decadron). A contrast CT showed activity in her brain at which point Aubrey was put onto Hospice.
4 weeks later, Aubrey passed away. At the time of her death, she was surrounded by loved ones at home, and showed no evidence of pain or suffering.
Even though Aubrey went through a barrage of treatments over the last 5 years, she never complained. She kept her positive attitude to the very end, and lived up to her motto "No Worries".
Aubrey loved life, and during her time here, she was able to travel around the world, visiting the Carribbean, Europe twice, and even a short trip to China.
She was actively involved in roller hockey until she was told that the impact was too risky for her bones. She was excited to participate in the 3-day walk in San Diego in 2006 and planned on working pit-crew in San Francisco this year before she was diagnosed. Even to the end, she never gave up.
Aubrey was just nearing the end of her PhD work in Biochemistry. It was thought that her career could lead into cancer research. Instead, the goal of this fund is to raise as much money as possible for cancer research so Aubrey can still make her contribution to science.
She is dearly missed.