Back in Children’s Hospital, Dr. August brought up the idea of a Bone marrow transplant. My parents were confused and wanted to know what this was, they never heard about it before. A bone marrow transpant is the infusion of bone marrow in to a patient who has been treated with high dose chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Patients can use their own marrow, which has sometimes been frozen or marrow from a donor.[http://www.ecancermedia.com/Dictionary.aspx?Letter=B]
The reason they had not heard about it was because this was only an option if the patient was doing well enough to actually get through the procedure, it is very difficult on the body. It wouldn’t be an option if I wasn’t. The plan was for me to be a self donor.
Chemo and radiation would kill everything for a week. Total body radiation and Doxorubicin, (trade name Adriamycin) which is a drug widely used in cancer chemotherapy. It is an anthracycline antibiotic and structurally closely related to daunomycin, and also intercalates DNA. It is commonly used in the treatment of a wide range of cancers.The drug is administered by injection. The main benefits of this form are a reduction in cardiotoxicity. It is photosensitive and it is often covered by an aluminum bag to prevent light from affecting it.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doxorubicin]
Another medicine that was used was called Cisplatin. It is a platinum-based chemotherapy drug used to treat various types of cancers, including sarcomas, some carcinomas, (small cell lung cancer, and ovarian cancer) lymphomas and germ cell tumors. It was the first member of its class, which now also includes carboplatin and oxaliplatin. Platinum complexes are formed in cells, which bind and cause cross-linking of DNA-- ultimately triggering apoptosis, or automated cell death. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cisplatin]The radiation and chemotherapy really tore me up! It seemed like it killed everything.
There was another little boy who was going through the same stuff I was going through. His name was Robert, he was doing very well with the treatments. He was kind of my parents and my hero. If he could do it, so could I!
When they started the medication and radiation treatments, they would put you in total isolation. They would put you in a sterile room, all by yourself. You could have visitors but they had to wear paper suits and masks. This was to keep germs from entering the room. Germs cannot live on paper.
Back in the eighties there were smoking rooms in the hospitals. This is where a lot of the parents of the patients would converse, kind of hard to imagine nowadays, everyone is so health cautious. Anyways my dad told me a story about one of the times he was in the smoking room. He said there was a woman crying in a corner she was sad her child was diagnosed with diabetes. Another woman in there told her maybe she should go someplace else. This wasn’t the nicest thing she could of said, but I guess she felt those that were in that room were dealing with something a little more serious than what she was crying about. This was where all the families of the cancer patients hung out.
After the isolation treatments were over they would hold like six patients in room to watch over them. All these people in one room, plus the nurses and doctors always coming in an out made it hard to sleep. The hospital is one hard place to get some sleep.
After all that my hero Robert defeated the cancer too! Than all of sudden he got really sick and ended up passing away. It turned out he had HIV/AIDS which took his life. This was one of the first times my parents or I have ever heard of this virus.
It turned out I was the first kid to be an athlete. I played Pee-Wee Soccer which made my parents and my doctors very proud. They said I was the first kid to ever become an athlete who survived Neuroblastoma.
Fast forward to today, The side affects I have received from the chemotheropy and radation are hearing loss, weak roots in my gums, cataracts, heart failure, kidney failure, gout, diabetes, and weak veins. About 2 years ago my kidneys have failed completely, so I decided to go on Peritoneal dialysis. I would use hemo-dialysis as a last resort, because of my small veins. I did use it for a short time when they found cancer in my stomach last year but that is another story for another time.
Praise the Lord! I was able to get through all that! The Lord blessed me with the strength and fortitude to keep on fighting! Praise the Almighty Jehovah! With out you, Christ Jesus I am nothing...