Kelley Christine Bula was born on August 14, 1988. She would be 34 this August. In January of 1993, Kelley was diagnosed with a brain tumor, a PNET (primitive neuroectodermal tumor), in the pineal region of her brain. The tumor was the size of a tangerine. The doctors also found a semi-necrotic tumor in her clavicle. Kelley had two surgeries that same month to remove both of the tumors and place a shunt in her brain, then had 3 months of chemo followed by 8 weeks of radiation. Because she was so young, Kelley needed to be still for the radiation treatments, so she was given “sleepy medicine." She was in remission for about two years.
In August of 1995, right before her 7th birthday, the cancer was back – small spots all over her brain. Kelley went through more chemo at Georgetown and was then sent to Duke. Kelley went through a trial where she had an autologous bone marrow transplant at Duke Hospital. The transplant did not work.
The last time the cancer came back was August of 1996, and we tried intrathecal chemotherapy. Kelley didn’t tolerate that well at all – she ended up with a Bell’s Palsy and she lost most of her hearing. It was then that we were told to go home and spend the rest of her time together.
Kelley died on January 18, 1997.
“Till we meet again, sweet angel, Kelley”
Age at Diagnosis:
4 1/2 Years Old
Date of Diagnosis:
Type of Brain Cancer:
PNET (primitive neuroectodermal tumor)
Summary of Treatment:
-Brain Surgery and shunt placement
-Surgery to remove tumor in clavicle
-3 months of chemotherapy
-8 weeks of radiation
-Bone Marrow Transplant