So, this story begins on June 1 at 5:05 a.m. when Brady arrived and changed our lives forever. He was 7 lbs 5 oz and 20 1/4" at birth...and, of course, absolutely PERFECT! Mike and I have had the time of our lives in Brady's short time here already! This first sign of any problem presented itself when Brady was just 8 weeks old. One day I noticed a bruised knot on his left elbow-of course, I was worried but because he was moving the arm and didn't seem to be in pain there was nothing to be done. The following week was his 2 month well check-his pediatrician suggested that it was a hemangioma but to be sure she ordered an x-ray to rule out a fracture-this came back negative so we thought we had nothing to worry about as hemangiomas are not a big deal. 4 days later he had another "bump" on his upper left arm. Over the next weeks both marks continued to grow and turn more black & blue so we decided to get them checked out by a pediatric dermatologist. He and a surgeon immediately ruled out hemangiomas and "guessed" they were myofibromas-to be sure they ordered biopsies the next week. So on Sep 23 we brought him to Phx Children's Hos were the procedure was done-he handled it well and by bed time was back to normal Brady. The next a.m. Brady and I dropped Mike off at the airport to head to Boston-when we got home he gradually went downhill. Finally I called his pediatrician-they said to bring him immediately, thinking he was having a reaction to the anestesia from the day before. The fever he spiked when we got there made them think he had an infection from the biopsies-we were sent to a clinic-blood tests showed that he was very sick due to a high white blood cell count. The next thing we knew he was taken to Phx Child. Hos by ambulance at 10:30 that night-what a long day to start this long roller coaster ride! He was admitted into the PICU where he spent the next week. It was Friday the 26th that he was officially diagnosed with AML-Acute Myelogenous Leukemia which is a rare diagnosis for a baby as young as Brady. He was very sick when we arrived and throughout this initial week. His liver and spleen were so enlarged due to the cancer cells in them that he could hardly breathe on his own as his diaphram could not fully expand. He had a breathing tube placed to do the work for him-this was hard to see because he was so medicated in order not to feel the pain and discomfort that go along with the tube. So, for about 5 days he was "asleep"-it was a great day when I got to hold him again after those agonizing days! Once the tube was out and he was breathing ok we were moved to the oncology floor. This was a big reality check to be among others dealing with their very ill little ones as well. In other ways it is also a comfort to be here and draw strength from those around you going through similar situations. It was a couple days later that Brady started to show signs of chemo side effects, which are the WORST!! It broke our hearts to see him in such pain but he mended them with the courage and strength he displayed to get through the rough parts. The worst thing Brady went through was mucasitis-this is caused by the chemo attacking the mucas that lines the entire GI tract. This lasted for about a week and then gradually started to subside. The next bump in the road were the unexplained fevers he was getting. This is uaually a sign of infection but all of Brady's blood samples were coming back negative for any. Sooo, they did a CT scan to double check things...this showed 2 nodules on his left lung. At first, we were told that most likely this was fungus, which is not the best case scenario. However, (we are still waiting for the FINAL results) all preliminary testing are showing no fungus! The same day this biopsy was done Brady also had a Broviac catheter placed in his chest. This is a long term IV (as I think of it). Medicine can be dispensed and blood can be drawn from this device and it stays in him until after his treatment is completely finished. This prevents the risk of infection with new pokes each admission and the pain that goes along with them. As far as Brady is concerned, life is good with full function of his arms and legs to kick around again! He did spend a few days back in the PICU after the procedures were done but has recovered nicely and has been back on the floor since Saturday (Sep 19) - since then he has been a little more himself with each passing day!
I think that is the beginning of this story as condensed as I can get it - oh wait, one more thing...the 'bumps' on his arms are gone! The left arm was the largest and there is some discoloration still but you would never guess those are how this whole thing got started. It is amazing to see the chemo work from the outside of his body.
Once again, thank you all for everything! Mike and I hope this site helps us all stay even more closer connected as Brady progresses through the treatments ahead of him and into remission!