We arrived at the cancer hospital at UNC today in eager anticipation of a bone marrow aspirate and spinal tap to check for any remaining cancer. We left without them.
But that’s okay.
As you may know, Harrison’s case involves researchers from around the world. His case has been in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the American Association of Pediatric Oncologists, and the White House. He’s a bit of a rockstar in the childhood cancer world.
All this means that his treatment is intertwined with research. This about it this way: most children with cancer have treatment protocols that were developed through research and clinical trials. Harrison’s protocol is the subject of research and hopefully with be the basis for a clinical trial in the future. Like everything else in Harrison’s life, he has to do it his own way!
Of course, because we agreed to this method of treatment (duh!), we also [GLADLY] consented to participate in the research associated with it. Unfortunately, the schedule of the research lab at St. Jude and Harrison’s scheduled procedure this morning didn’t match up. Our doctors did not discover this until this morning, so there was nothing they could do about it.
So what happened today?
Dr. Weston made fun of Harrison. That’s always a given.
Then Harrison returned the favor. Again, a given.
Then Dr. Weston asked if we would postpone the harvesting of Harrison’s bone marrow until Tuesday to comply with St. Jude’s schedule. Of course, we agreed. As committed as we are to getting finished with treatment, we also know Harrison’s case is important to the future of targeted therapy for childhood leukemia. How many kids’ lives might be spared by the work Dr. Mullighan, Dr. Weston, and others are doing? We’ll never know. But the saving of one child is worth the inconvenience of some missed work, missed school, and five additional days with a port in Harrison’s chest.
So, we weren’t able to discharge the gun today. But standing down for a few more days is incomparable to the challenges of the last three and a half years.
Being a rockstar can be a real inconvenience :-).
Thank you for praying. We will reload on Tuesday, and promise to keep you posted.