by Michael Wells
It’s a rainy night in Jersey, I’m sitting home alone doing laundry and bored to tears. I’m not in Philadelphia as tomorrow a visiting nurse is coming to our home to teach me how to give myself injections of Neupogen. This drug is designed to stimulate the blood system (bone marrow) to increase the number of stem cells. I will be sticking myself for the next 4 days and the side effect of this drug is achy bones and muscles. I started feeling sorry for myself until I reviewed what’s in store for Brady the next 2-3 days.
Tomorrow (Saturday) Brady begins the next round of conditioning chemo with the truly maniacal drug; Thiotepa. This wonder drug has some hideous side effects including: dizziness, hair loss, headaches, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and in severe reactions it can cause rashes, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, and/or tongue, chills, fever, sore throat, cough, unusual bruising, weakness, and problems urinating. I told this was a nasty drug.
This drug also has a tendency to permeate through the recipient’s pores so Brady will be required to wear as little clothing as possible (a very loose fitting diaper) and he will receive baths every 4 hours for the next 2-4 days. He will be confined to his crib as he will not be able to wear socks. Keeping him in his crib for the next 2-3 days and waking him in the middle of the night should prove to be rather interesting.
So, my injections are a walk in the park compared to what our baby will be enduring this week end.
I just got a phone call from Sherrie and for the very first time Brady said Da-Da, I luv you! It just makes my heart swell with pride and break all at the same time. The photo of Brady was taken yesterday in the playroom at CHOP having a blast. The dryer is beeping so I’m going to say good-night and fold some laundry. Until next time please continue your prayers, hugs and good thoughts as Brady enters this phase of his treatment, thank you…
“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.