Thursday, December 19, 2013

Home again!

Christy Churchill, Emalia, and Abbey Jokiel 

We're all very happy to be home again, and we're taking it day by day figuring out the next treatment plan.  Thank you, everyone, for your continued support. We are SO grateful, and please know you are helping us to persevere. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Maui bound

Fyfe and Zoe Kellermyer, Emalia, and Brooke
Jessica Casey and Emalia
We fly home to Maui tomorrow morning and soooo looking forward to being back with our Maui family and friends again. And, we are simultaneously sad to leave our mainland family and friends, who include many new people who now reside in our hearts.

Emalia is still having a really rough time--although you wouldn't know it from the pictures I've posted because my camera only comes out when Emalia's having a good moment! One of her greatest wishes is to have even an hour of feeling good.  In public, she hides her pain and never complains but when in private succumbs.

Emalia is having a lot of pain and nausea and is deeply fatigued much of the time. She is looking forward to seeing you but feels she needs to ease back into Maui life slowly as she focuses on resting and healing.

Dylan Casey, Emalia, Jess,
JB and Emalia--one of many dinners at the Caseys' house!

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Thought I'd add a couple more pictures to the last posting.....

Emalia with Sarah Kirkham at Thanksgiving dinner

Last night at Becky and Jane's (Emalia missed the photo op)

A belated birthday celebration for JB!

. . . and a good time was had by all!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving week

Waiting at Stanford Clinic
University Ave, Palo Alto

After a very difficult recovery from the chemo embolization--actually, Emalia is still recovering--she has been able to get out and about in short doses.

Priorities this past week included: meeting with George Fisher, MD, at Stanford, dinner with Stew and Maryann Kawakami to celebrate JB's birthday, Kahalakea's haircut, a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner with the Kirkham family (our most gracious hosts), and Christmas tree cutting with Jessica and Dylan Casey.

Double shaka for Mama!!!!!

We are hoping to meet with an MD in San Francisco this coming week and then return to Maui shortly thereafter.  Emalia has had a really rough time these past several weeks and is so looking forward to being home again.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Over the past 2 weeks Emalia has met with doctors to determine her options for treatment. After receiving tough news from her most recent CT scan, she was spurred to undergo a localized treatment called chemoembolization on Monday.
It is intense chemotherapy injected directly into the liver. It mandated 2 nights in the hospital. We’re hoping she will get out today, but the side effects have been rough, and we’ll wait until she’s 100% ready to go home. She will need to do another one of these treatments in about a month.
Christy Churchill has been out helping with Kahala and the amazing Jess Grieco-Casey has been incredible in supporting the family too. Thank you all for the donations, cards, and prayers. Aloha, Beck

UPDATE 11-14-13: Em is home from the hospital and feeling better- still some pain but the Nausea is much diminished.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

How You Can Help?

Hi Gang, Beck here:
Many of you have asked, “What can I do to help?” 
The answer has become, “Make a donation.”

Trips to the mainland for doctor’s consultations, uncovered medical expenses, and all the additional costs of dealing with this brutal year have become a serious issue for Em and JB.  Any help is appreciated.

I have a PayPal donation button here- it takes credit card or PayPal transfers.

Or you can send a check to:
Emalia Brown
C/O Stifel Nicolaus & Co.
33 Lono Ave,
Kahului, HI 96732

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Recovering nicely

Emalia has been resting and moving slowly, and we have had many wonderful moments during the past several days. The weather has been lovely, and this whole area is totally geared up for Halloween!  The families with whom we have been staying (we are split between two cottages) have been incredibly generous with their hospitality, and others in the area are bringing us wonderful dinners during this time, which we so appreciate.

Today we will meet with Emalia's MDs at Stanford to get an idea of future treatment. 

Rochelle (Kahalakea's much loved first nanny), Emalia, and Dorien Romanchak

Emalia's new 'do!!!!! 

Dorien and Zadoc, watching the beauty action

Emalia and mom

Brunch at one of our faves, Hobee's in Los Altos
Jane Mitchell, Emalia, and Becky

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Discharged from Hospital

Discharged from Stanford Hospital
Aloha Gang-Beck here.

Emalia was discharged from the hospital Tuesday evening and is recuperating at the nearby guesthouse of some lovely Palo Alto/Atherton people. She is moving slowly and has some pain, but it’s getting better day-by-day. Emalia will meet with her oncologist next week to discuss future treatment plans, but everything in on hold for a few weeks while she heals.

After 2 cancelled flights dad, Zadoc made it to California and is with the family. Dorien Romanchak is also here helping Em to transition out of the hospital.  The amazing Aunty Rochelle is taking care of Kahala- she is a godsend.

How’s Em doing? What can I say; we all love her because she is so Em, and she remains just that way even in this hard place: gracious, concerned about Kahala, sometimes joking, sometimes quiet and tired, but always her loving, quirky self. To quote JB, she is such a trouper.

The outpouring of support from all of you has been truly awesome. 

Big Mahalo from JB, Brooke, & Beck 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Morning

Just a quick update: we're waiting to hear from Em's surgeon about her discharge date. It will probably be Tuesday. We are hoping to meet with her oncologist, Dr. Fisher, today to discuss next steps. Emalia is up and out of bed. She got to see Kahala yesterday, and today the big goal is a lap around the nursing station. Thank you all for your incredible support; calls, texts, Facebook posts. It makes a big difference in this hard time.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Surgery Update 3:15 pm PT, 10/18

Emalia went in to surgery this morning and an hour later Dr. Poultsides, her liver surgeon came and found us. When he made his first incision, he found 3 cancerous nodules in the lining of her abdomen, the peritoneum.  This indicated the cancer was more invasive than previously thought.

Dr. Poultsides called in the colon surgeon, Dr. Shelton, to consult. They both agreed that the addition of a fourth organ with cancerous nodules present (colon, liver, lung, and now abdomen lining) indicated that removing the tumors in the liver and colon would compromise Emalia’s quality of life more than benefit her.

When Emalia learned this hard news, in her ever-present graciousness, she thanked Dr. Poultsides for trying to help her.

Emalia’s stay in the hospital will be much shorter than planned, probably 3-4 days.  We will meet with the Stanford oncologist during this time and assess next steps. 

We thank you all for your support and kindness. We are all processing this hard news and will put more information on the blog as soon as we know next steps.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

NIght Before Surgery

Aloha Gang- Beck stepping in to write a quick update the night before surgery.

 Outside the Stanford Hospital
We spent parts of the day with Em's Stanford doctors: Andrew Shelton (colo-rectal surgeon) and George Poultsides (liver surgeon).  Emalia feels very confident with both of them. They will remove the primary colon tumor, her spleen (it has been affected by the chemo and needs to come out), and major portions of her liver.

The liver surgery is the big dog here: it will take about 4-6 hours. The colon surgery afterwards will take about 2 hours.

With metastatic cancer, the surgeons have told us that this is not a "cut it all out" surgery, but rather "Get all the big problem areas out, get everything you can see, and deal with future flare ups if/as they occur." She will be in the hospital for a minimum of 7 days. Then recovering and staying close to Stanford for at least 6 weeks more. We have Rochelle, Kahala's loving nanny from Maui (& Canada) here for 2 weeks to help out, John and Susan Guard arrived tonight and Zadoc is coming next week.

I will be updating the blog throughout the day tomorrow, but Em, JB, and Brooke wanted me to thank all of you who are covering shifts, helping with logistics, providing housing, who've texted and called to wish her well and all of you who hold this family in your thoughts.

Many of you have asked how you can send a card to Em, here's the address:
Stanford Hospital & Clinics,
ATTN: Emalia Brown,
300 Pasteur Drive,
Stanford, CA 94305.

After October 25th her address will be
Emalia Brown C/O the Kirkhams
88 Hawthorne Dr.
Atherton, CA 94027

Also if you want to send Emalia a digital message you can post it in the comments below.

 Only Emalia, "I'm going to be staring at my toes for 6 weeks, I want them to look fancy" 

 It's not the Bellagio, but it's pretty swanky for a hospital. Fountains and everything!