by Michael Wells
What an exciting day! Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow; 6 more weeks of winter which should make everyone happy. And by the way; Brady and I have compatible HLA genes! Phil has seen his shadow 99 out of 114 times. The chances of him seeing his shadow are just a little better than Brady and me having compatible HLA genes. Here’s what the University of California at San Francisco has to say about histo compatibility:
Optimal Donors — Identical Tissue Typing
The optimal donor is a histocompatible (HLA) matched relative who is usually a sibling or, in rare cases, a parent or grandparent with identical HLA tissue typing. Everyone inherits two sets of chromosomes containing HLA genes, four genes per set. One set comes from their father and one from their mother, for a total of eight genes. There is a one in four, or 25 percent, chance that any brother or sister will have inherited the same two sets of HLA genes as the patient. For a parent to be “matched” with his or her child, both parents must by chance have some HLA genes in common with each other. It is very unlikely, about a one in a million chance, for two unrelated individuals to have the same HLA genes in common, and there is only a one in 200 chance that a parent and child will be HLA matched.
I think maybe I should buy a lottery ticket! Either Brady is a very lucky kid or somewhere back in our family trees Sherrie and I are distant cousins or something. Sherrie just read this and said she can hardly wait until she starts giving me injections.
On to the serious stuff: the latest on Brady’s condition is this coming Thursday or next Tuesday depending upon his blood count are the 2 options for his all important bone marrow biopsy. His blood count today was: red blood cells 3.27, hemoglobin were 10, white blood cells 2.0, and platelets were 86,000 with an ANC of 440. Brady is still neutropenic but is headed in the right direction and once his ANC hits 500 – 1,000 he will be eligible for his bone marrow biopsy.
Brady continues to be afebrile and without diarrhea. He is still receiving antibiotics for both fungal and bacterial infections but is being weaned off of these this week. Finally, he is not receiving any more morphine! As the insert photo illustrates; all and all life at this point is pretty darn good!
But while Punxsutawney Phil is more about style than science; each Groundhog Day, people gather at Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania to await a winter weather prediction from America’s favorite furry forecaster. And on this day Brady is forecasting 6 more weeks until he is well on his way to a successful bone marrow transplant.
Until next time please continue to pray, give hugs and think good thoughts for they all truly are working to cure Brady!
“8 Years Later—Still No Cure for Pediatric Cancer” is a series of posts revisiting the journal kept by Sherrie and Michael Wells during the cancer diagnosis and treatment of their son, Brady Michael. Hopefully these entires will provide an understanding of the journey families face when dealing with these horrific diseases and of the important work the Hugs for Brady Foundation does.
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