Earlier this year, Alaskan Bush People's Ami Brown was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. She and her family moved from Alaska to California so she could undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy to combat the disease.
During an episode that aired this past June, the 54-year-old reality star spoke about how difficult it was to consider relocating from the bush.
"It's hard to even talk about it, because it's something I never thought would come out of my mouth," Brown said. "This is earth-shattering for us, it really is."
According to her husband, Billy Brown, it was their children's decision to move away from Alaska.
"The kids really made that decision. We saw Ami slow down so fast. She started out 128 lbs. and she dropped to 89 really fast," he told PEOPLE. "We’ve always told the kids they don’t have to follow our lives. We moved out there because we wanted to. They just came along and we have been so proud that they wanted to stay with us as long as they did out there but it was time. We had to make this move to do what’s best for Ami."
Keep scrolling to learn more about Ami's battle with cancer.
Brown's First Interview About Her Cancer Diagnosis
In August of this year, Brown revealed the first time that she knew something was wrong.
“Last fall I had some pain in my back,” she told PEOPLE. “Walking from the house to the garden, I would get winded. There were days I was just bedridden, but I just thought it was my arthritis… In December I went to the dentist to get impressions made for new teeth, and when they did a scan, they noticed a little capsule. That’s how this all started.”
In addition to her back pain, Brown explained that she was dealing with issues with arthritis in her neck.
“What it is, I have some arthritis in my neck,” she told Radar. “It’s degenerative from working and injuries and things. The arthritis has built up where your nerves come out of your cervical spine there at your neck area and shoulder. It pinches on the nerves. The muscle was like three times its size, so that also pushed on the nerve. It was a really bad, painful thing.”
Brown later learned that her lung cancer was inoperable. She explained in an interview that she could lose the fight with cancer at any moment.
"I realized early into this that it's very easy to want to give up and just die. And not the pessimist side, it could be my last days," Brown said. "But I have the will to fight."prevnext
Billy's Reaction to His Wife's Cancer Diagnosis
Brown's battle with cancer has been tough on her husband, Billy. He hasn't been as sad about giving up things in life like living in the bush, but rather watching the woman that he loves going through something so painful and devastating.
Billy spoke out about Brown's sickness for the first time during an interview with PEOPLE in August. He began by explaining that his wife may be the one fighting the disease, but she has been his source of strength.
“The doctor came in and said, ‘You’re giving her so much support’ and I said, ‘She’s the one holding me up,’ " Billy said.
He continued by explaining that his wife is a fighter and that this process has left him admiring Ami even more than he already did.
"She’s the strongest person I know, so if she’s saying it hurts, it really hurts. She tries to hide it from everybody but four or five times a day she bends over like a baby and cries. She bends over and tears run down. She put out seven babies without a grunt. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Ami, but I’ve got a lot more now. She makes me feel like a wuss," he said.prevnext
Brown's Second Round of Chemo Reportedly Halted
At the end of October, it was reported that Brown was undergoing a second round of chemotherapy. However, the treatment was reportedly put on hold.
Inquisitr, who cite posts from "Alaskan Bush People Exposed," a Facebook page that frequently posts insider information about the show and its family members, reported the news about Brown's second round of chemo.
The reason behind putting the chemo on hold was that Brown's weight had reportedly gotten too low for the lung cancer treatments and the side effects were too rough for her to manage. The pause in treatment is temporary, but an exact time frame was not given for her to resume chemotherapy.
Brown's 14-year-old daughter, Rain, was one of the first people to announce that her mother was going through the second round of chemo.
“She is now going through her second round of chemo,” Rain wrote. “Sadly I can’t say how she is doing just yet, but we are all hopeful and faithful. Thank you all so much for your support and love in this harsh time.”prevnext
Brown's Positive Mentality and the Support From Fans
Despite her condition, Brown has worked hard to maintain a positive outlook on life.
"Worrying about it only makes it worse. There is hope and that hope is having faith in God. You can’t give up. I tell people be happy. Just be happy. It’s a choice. Things can be hard and you just want to curl up but you have to shine," she said.
After revealing her cancer diagnosis, Brown has received an outpouring of support from her fans.
“People will stop us at red lights on our way in and tell us their whole church is praying for us,” she said. “I want people to see what a big giant family we feel a part of. The world needs more of that.”
Brown has also tried to reach out to others whose lives are being impacted by illness.
"People ask for photos in the elevator and I get their phone numbers so I can text with them. There was a lady who is dying of a very rare lung disease. It brought tears of joy to her eyes to see me and I’m just so humbled to bring a little happiness into her life. Another woman has these rubber bracelets that say 'God’s got this' and she gave us some. I gave the lady my bracelet. It meant a lot to me when the woman gave it to me but it meant even more to be able to give it to someone else," she said.prevnext
Is 'Alaskan Bush People' Filming Without Brown?
Last week, the news surfaced that Alaskan Bush People might be filming season 8 without Brown.
The Browns were spotted in the wilderness despite the family matriarch's condition. Their absence from the family's Beverly Hills mansion sparked the rumors that they might be marching on with the next season of their Discovery Channel series.
Members of the Brown family have also been spotted at their new homestead in Trinidad, Colorado. The Browns weren’t expected to return to the home until they began shooting new episodes of Alaskan Bush People.
Furthering the speculation that filming has moved on, Rain has taken to social media to share glimpses of her time in Trinidad. The young cast member shared photos while hiking, enjoying a warm beverage as snow fell, and dressing up as “Rain Brown from Alaskan Bush People” for Halloween.0comments
Rain also uploaded several cryptic messages on Snapchat to further fuel speculation that ABP began filming new episodes.
“Just got off work! What am I working on you ask? You all may never know MUHAHAH jk you’ll find out soon!” Rain wrote over a recent selfie. In another post, she teased, “Why am I up so early and why do I look like a mess? I don’t know… you’re just going to have to find out soon!”prev