Alaskan Bush People Grapple with Mom Ami's Lung Cancer Diagnosis: 'I Can't Fix It ... I'm Useless'
Diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, the matriarch of the of Alaskan Bush People's Brown family admits she's in a lot of pain but is still focused on the well-being of her husband and seven children.
“Bill and the kids are very loving and supportive. They’re all worried. I tell them, don’t worry. Please don’t worry. Be happy … keep the faith. Good or bad, it’s God’s will and we’ll walk that road,” Ami, 53, says on Wednesday’s emotional episode of Alaskan Bush People. “There’s a lot for the kids to experience. I want to be there,” she says of why she wants to fight. “I want to hold their babies. I want to hear them laughing … I want to see their eyes wide with enthusiasm as they experience these new things.”
“Seeing mom and dad get out of the car I … kind of already get a feeling that it hasn’t gone too well,” eldest son Matt, 34, says of his parents coming home from getting Ami's test results. “In one way, I can say that everything in my life has prepared me for this moment. In another way, nothing can.”
“Once we got the call that it was cancer, part of me just, like, wanted to run away,” Bam, 32, who had left the homestead to find love in late 2016 but reunited with his family in Southern California after Ami's diagnosis. “But stronger than that was the emotion to get here and to see mom and do whatever I could to be moral support to everyone.”
“To see mom not wanting to get out of bed because it might hurt to walk around the room, that was really difficult,” he continues. “And then when I gave mom a hug, I felt how thin she was. So yeah, that hit me pretty hard. As prepared as I was to walk into the room and go into that, it’s different when you’re there.”
"To be honest, I've never actually been afraid. Literally I've been in burning buildings, sinking boats and stared gigantic bears down and never even felt fear at all," says Bear, 30. "But, you know, it's in the back of everyone's mind that, you know, it's Mom."
“This is not the end of the road,” says Gabe, 27. “It looks like it’s going to be the beginning of maybe a very long, very hard road for everybody. But we’re just going to have to be stronger than ever and keep up the faith in the good Lord and make it through this.”
“The hardest part of all this is knowing that I can’t fix it. I can’t do anything. I’m useless,” says Noah, 24, who stayed in rural Alaska to take care of the homestead while the rest of the family was in Southern California where Ami underwent tests before her diagnosis. “The funny thing is, I don’t like hugs. And right now all I want to do is give my mom a hug and tell her that it’s okay.”
“You know, it helps everyone for me to stay positive,” says Bird, 22. “I do that to help everybody else, but it helps myself as well.”
“I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what you’ve been through. I don’t care how old you are. If you hear that your mother has cancer, it’s going to shock you,” says daughter Rain, 14, the youngest of the Brown’s seven children. “I just wish I could change it somehow. I’m very scared for her.”
“She doesn’t want to be a burden on someone,” Billy, 64, says of his wife. “That’s not Ami. Ami is to take the burden away and take care of everything, but she has to admit to herself that she can’t be that right now. It’s just time for us to pay it back to her right now, it’s all I think we can do.”