Brady and I made the trek back to PT today. We have been off for a few weeks because there was a break for the school between summer session and the new school year. The "old Brady" (before cancer) would have literally had to start over with his PT Linda. Any amount of time lapse "before" left Brady feeling reserved, unsure, and unhappy! Not the "new Brady" (after cancer). When I told him over breakfast that we would be going to PT, he said, "Go to see Linda and play with toys!" It's funny that he always talks about playing with toys, not exactly what we do there, but I'm glad he associates PT with fun! He gave Linda a big smile when we got there and jumped right back into the routine. We continue to work on strength, balance, and coordination. Both Linda and I see a lot of improvement with Brady, boy has he come a long way! More than anything, this kid has gained confidence galore! Go Brady!
One of the concerns we are starting to deal with are the long term effects of Brady's treatment. With only two rounds of low-dose chemo, we are hopeful that Brady will not experience any of the late effects that some pediatric cancer patients deal with, including hearing loss and secondary cancer. However, because of the invasiveness of Brady's first surgery, there are serious concerns of spinal deformity becoming a problem. Matt is more of an expert in this area than I am, but my understanding is this: During the surgery, the doctor had to remove a large portion of the lamina around Brady's spinal column. The lamina is the bony structure around the spinal cord that protects it. Brady's lamina is no longer there from levels T2 to T7 of his spine (pretty much the length of his scar on his back). As he grows, there is signficant risk for spinal kyphosis. This is when the spine, instead of growing straight, grows into a hump because it isn't supported by the lamina. SO---we have an appointment Dr. Rubery (a pediatric spinal surgeon)at Strong next Wednesday. We want to establish a baseline for Brady's spine so that we can stay on top of this. We are curious to know if there is a preventative measure we can take (surgery, bracing) and what type of limitations Brady will have.
So, this is weighing on our hearts and minds as we head into next week. Brady is thriving and loving life...it's hard to think of having to interrupt any of that with any sort of intervention for his back. But as always, we will do what we have to do for our Brady.
Cancer fact for today: Over the period from 1975-1995 the incidence of pediatric cancer increased by approximately 12% but mostly due to improved detection.