by Michael Wells
Just Wonderful People
This past Monday evening as we were preparing dinner our doorbell rang and to our surprise, one of the teachers from Kiddie Academy of Kendall Park dropped off a card for us with the proceeds from several of the recent fundraisers that they held in honor of Brady. Sherrie couldn’t read the card without crying. And the monetary amount was above and beyond generosity. We cannot believe the kindness of the owners, Bevin, Reshma, Miss Kris, Miss Khadejah, and all of the other teachers, and the families that participated in this incredible outpouring of love. You just overwhelmed Sherrie and me! If there is anyway or anything we can ever do for anyone of one please contact us immediately. From the depths of our hearts thank you all!
Back at it
Tomorrow we are back at The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for our third round of chemotherapy. Well, actually it’s the 4th round but we’re not counting the first round of ALL treatment. I would have thought it would get easier with time but I must say it’s just the opposite. We don’t want to go through another 4 – 6 weeks of chemo crap. It’s been just wonderful having Brady home and it’s difficult to think about the next month.
The Latest Diagnosis
While we were at CHOP, Dr. Bunin kept referring to Brady’s cancer as bilineal which is very close to biphenotypic but slightly different. Here’s some good reading to explain the two types. It reads best at 3:00am:
Leukemic blasts from patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) commonly express cell markers of more than one lineage while retaining characteristics that demonstrate a strong commitment to a single lineage. Acute leukemias with this type of aberrant antigen expression include cases of ALL that express myeloid-associated antigens (My+ ALL) and cases of AML that express lymphoid-associated antigens (Ly+ AML). Large studies of patients with My+ ALL and Ly+ AML have demonstrated that lineage infidelity does not have prognostic significance.1–8
By contrast, mixed-lineage acute leukemias (or acute leukemias of ambiguous lineage) represent a heterogeneous category of rare, poorly differentiated acute leukemias that possess characteristics of both lymphoid and myeloid precursor cells.3,9–16 These divergent morphologic and immunophenotypic features may be uniformly present in one blast population (biphenotypic leukemia) or may be seen on distinct blast populations in a single patient (bilineal leukemia).
Acute mixed lineage leukemia in children: the experience of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Blood, 21 May 2009, Vol. 113, No. 21, pp. 5083-5089. Prepublished online as a Blood First Edition Paper on January 8, 2009; DOI 10.1182/blood-2008-10-187351.
The article goes on to state:
We studied 35 pediatric patients with mixed-lineage leukemia treated at this center over the past 20 years ( 2% of all cases of leukemia). Overall, 32 patients (91%) achieved CR, with 17 (49%) remaining leukemia-free survivors.
Excellent results even if the data sampling is so incredibly small. 35 pediatric patients in 20 years is such a small number. However, Biphenotypic or Bilineal – it really doesn’t matter because Brady is going to beat this.
Please continue to keep your prayers, thoughts and hugs coming Brady’s way, he is about to begin a horrific battle…
“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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