by Michael Wells
9:45am – Brady managed to get through the night without any major complications. He received both the Clofarabine and the Cytarabine chemo drugs. He is resting and I think he will be sleeping a good portion of the day. For the intellectuals the following are brief summaries of the 2 principal drugs being used:
Clolar (clofarabine) is an antineoplastic purine nucleoside analog used to treat lymphoblastic leukemia. The drug acts as an anti-metabolite, interfering with DNA replication. In addition, the drug appears to disrupt the integrity of the mitochondrial membrane, releasing pro-apoptotic mitochondrial proteins, cytochrome C and apoptosis-inducing factor, activating pathways of programmed cell death. In these ways Clolar exerts a cytotoxic effect on both rapidly dividing and quiescent cancer cells.
Clolar is specifically indicated to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in pediatric patients ages 1-21, whose disease has relapsed or become refractory after at least two prior treatment regimens.
Cytarabine is a chemotherapy drug that is given as a treatment for some types of cancer. It is sometimes called Ara C. Cytarabine is most commonly used to treat acute myeloid leukemia.
To my simple mind, it appears the medical team is trying to destroy both the ALL cancer (with the Collar) and the AML cancer with the Ara C drugs. This is the first time Brady’s had this mixture of chemo drugs and let’s all hope they do their jobs.
Brady is having his blood checked every 4-6 hours and right now, his platelets, red and white blood counts are getting lower quickly. This is a good sign but it is way too early to see any positive trend.
3:45pm – Our boy continues to sleep the day away. Brady was aware for a couple of hours but he was in obvious pain and required a bolus of morphine to help him. He is retaining lots of fluids and is now receiving lasix to help him with that symptom. He is also receiving the other 9 or so drugs necessary when he is getting chemotherapy. It’s not a very pleasant thing to watch but other than the eye drops; Brady just opens his mouth and takes every medicine given to him.
Brady received a couple of very nice surprises. Yesterday he got the most wonderful gift from his Aunt Barbara & Uncle John – a beautiful Cookie Monster stuffed animal. He also received a very touching “care package” from Tracey Levine (Mark’s Mom). I just don’t know where Tracey gets the strength but she is truly appreciated for her compassion and love.
Today, Brady received the biggest Elmo balloons I’ve ever seen. We placed them in his crib and the very first thing he said when he woke up, “Elmo.” Thank you Grandma Wells. Mom, he really loved them!
Speaking of my Mom, she is going to be 91 years old on June 14th and she has requested instead of birthday gifts to please donate to the Hugs for Brady fund. Mom, I love you!!!
We have been asked by several people about making donations in our son Brady’s honor; and here’s what we have set up:
Hugs for Brady Fund™
The Hugs for Brady Fund™ was established to help the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital ( BMSCH) fight the ongoing battle against pediatric cancer. The fund will be working in cooperation with the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Foundation.
Donations to the Hugs for Brady Fund™ can be sent to:
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Foundation
10 Plum Street, Suite 910
New Brunswick, NJ 0890
Make checks payable to: RWJUH Foundation
Memo section: Hugs for Brady Fund™
Phone: (732) 937-8750 for Visa, MasterCard, or American Express
Please mention: Hugs for Brady Fund™
All donations are 100% tax deductible [removed].
100% of every dollar donated goes directly into the fund, with no administrative fees! A letter of acknowledgment will be sent to you for your tax records. If you need more details, please contact Craig Williams, the Director of Major Gifts & Planned Giving, [link removed].
“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.