by Michael Wells
Brady is back in the hospital and it feels like we never left. He has been diagnosed with ALL/AML with most likely his own sub-type but very close to AML sub-type M04. All of this means is he is a very sick baby with a very rare illness. He has (I think) an outstanding medical team focusing on his case. His primary physician is Dr. Richard Drachtman who manages the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Department at BMS Children’s Hospital. Dr. Drachtman is in daily consultation with Dr. Stuart Winters of the University of New Mexico, Dr. Stephen Hunger of Children’s Hospital Denver, Dr. Elizabeth Raetz and Dr. William Carroll of NYU. Needless to say, Brady has a team of the very best Pediatric Hematology/Oncologists in the country.
Currently Brady is again hooked up to an IV pump and is receiving zofran, pepcid and vistaril which are all pre-chemotherapy drugs. He is also getting his first round of eyes drop. He will be receiving eyes drops every four hours for the next 12 days. The drops are to prevent conjunctivitis. This should make for some very interesting sleeping patterns. I had the opportunity to actually administer the drops and Brady is just a special kid – no crying, not even much of a fuss.
Next he will have an IV push of Cytarabine followed by an IV bag of Daunorubicin which will take 6 hours to complete. When that is completed the final 4 hours application of Etoposide will occur.
The Cytarabine will be administered twice daily for the next 10 days, the Daunorubicin will be done today and the day after tomorrow and the Etoposide will be once a day for the next 5 days. Then we wait until Brady’s white blood count has recuperated sufficiently (usually around a month) and it’s back home for 2 to 14 days and then we start this treatment all over again.
We will follow this protocol for 3 to 5 courses and hopefully have this beast in remission. Once remission occurs discussions of bone marrow transplants will take place. Transplant discussions will start in earnest sometime around the end of January.
If we need a transplant we have been assured finding a match will not be a problem. Brady was “typed” today and this will confirm our assumption regarding a bone marrow match. Anyone who would like to register as a bone marrow donor can do so on-line, just go to www.marrow.org and follow the instructions. Registering as a bone marrow donor will help someone but not necessarily Brady as donors are on a random basis.
Finally, this is going to be an excruciating and exhausting experience for us but I am so confident Brady will win this battle. He is a strong, happy and loved child; please keep him in your thoughts and prayers…
“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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