Brady's journey started a few week ago when he complained about his throat hurting at school on August 25th. One of the school nurses pointed out some obvious swelling on the back left of his throat that didn't look quite right. We decided to get him into the doctor's office asap, as he had tested positive for strep back in May. The doctor at Henry County Hospital confirmed, again, that he tested positive for strep and started a course of treatment with antibiotics and made note of the swelling and recommended we see an ENT specialist because he appeared to have a Periodontal Abscess. So we road tripped to St. Luke's Hospital that same day to see the ENT specialist who confirmed a possible abscess and tried to perform a procedure to drain fluid. Turns out Brady does not like needles poking the back of his throat nor the nasty tasting numbing fluid. On top of that, the Doctor did not get the fluid she was expecting. We decided an outpatient surgery would be appropriate at this point. A few phone calls later, Brady is at the main facility at St. Luke's Hospital being admitted for surgery to, again, drain the abscess. The results of that surgery were the same with no fluid to be drained. That procedure revealed that Brady had a suspicious mass growing and a sample was sent for biopsy. As you can imagine, that was our first big scare and had to wait until the following Wednesday to finally hear it was negative for lymphoma. In the course of waiting for those results, Brady seemed to be responding to the antibiotics so we were feeling some sense of relief. On Tuesday the 5th of September, we received a phone call that Brady had vomited at school and he came home for the day. Although he was feeling better towards the evening, he had a persistent low grade fever into Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday, he was taken to the Family Physician and prescribed another antibiotic on the off chance his body was not responding to the first prescription. A post-op visit had already been made for September 8 at the ENT specialist. Based on Brady's condition the last few days, the ENT Doctor ordered a stat CT scan for the affected area. Again, results indicated that there was a mass that required another surgery to grab more tissue samples and try to figure out what was going on in that affected region. Side affects of the growing mass were pressure on his sinuses and fluid in his ears that would not drain (consequently, some hearing loss).
Wednesday, September 13th, 2017. A day we will never forget. A day our world fell to pieces. During the middle of the scheduled surgery at Flower Hospital. The ENT Doctor met us in a consultation room to break the horrifying news that Brady did indeed have a tumor and is most likely cancerous. Shock and disbelief cannot adequately describe the emotions you feel when presented with this information. For this to happen to the most happy and empathetic kid, a kid who rarely ever complains, is hard to comprehend. Even though we had to wait for pathology results to confirm it was cancer, we both knew in our hearts that it was and prepared ourselves and Brady's siblings, accordingly.
On Thursday, September 14th we received the phone call that confirmed that Brady has cancer. It's one thing to know it.....but to hear the actual word is heart wrenching. Rhabdomyosarcoma of the soft palate. The ENT doctor started making the calls and met with a tumor board at the hospital to come up with a game plan to tackle this affliction. Short term, we thought life would go on somewhat normal. We even made some weekend plans to get way because we knew what was on the horizon. The doctors decided the plans were not good enough because we received a call around 2pm Friday, September 15th for us to pack our bags and head to Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.
The rest of the story will be shared through journal updates. Angi and Steve are co-authoring this page to help all of you keep tabs on Brady. Please keep in mind you'll be reading dual perspectives. Thank you all for your love, thoughts, and more importantly, prayers.
-Steve, Angi, Ashley, Phil
P.S. We are new to this site so please bear with us as we figure out how to best utilize it.