Today in history, February 3, 1959, marks the tragic airplane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper at the peak of their musical careers. While I was not in existence at this point in time, being a rock and roll music aficionado dictates that this event has impacted me on a profound level. Plus, I love the Don McLean song “American Pie”, which commemorates the tragic event. I know this song by heart and can even strum a bit of it on the guitar. It’s always a hit around the campfire.
While the events of what happened in 1959 are, indeed, tragic, my sorrow surrounding this event is completely overshadowed by my immense joy. We learned today, February 3, 2010, that our fine young son, Benjamin, is in a good position of being CURED of this whole neuroblastoma mess. It’s going to take a while and there are some steps we weren’t expecting, but the overall outcome should produce a “long-term-on-earth” Ben. The minute Dr. Kramer made this statement, the tears started rolling. THANK YOU, JESUS!
Admittedly, I’m not crazy about this New York City place. I might reach a certain comfort level in time, but for now, I feel completely claustrophobic. I’m more of a Wyoming girl – preferring a total population of 500,000 compared to this itty-bitty island with its millions of people and crazy drivers. Someone give me a paper bag. I need to hyperventilate.
So, this morning we arrived at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) to meet with Ben’s treatment team. First, we met with the financial guy. Then we met with Ben’s social worker. She is in charge of our Ronald McDonald stay and helping us apply for financial aid. Then we met Dr. Kim Kramer. She examined Ben and chatted with us at length about her thoughts. She said that since Ben relapsed so late after initial therapy (four years after being declared to have no evidence of disease) and the fact that it came back in just the one spot with no bone marrow involvement, she believes that this 3F8 therapy will CURE MY BEAN!!!!! Someone give me a paper bag. I’m hyperventilating (in a good way).
So, tomorrow Ben will have an Echocardiogram and an MIBG injection. Then Friday he will have his MIBG scan, a CT scan, and then a four point bone marrow biopsy (which takes a cross-section of bone from the front AND back of the hips. He’ll be sedated for that last part and probably be a bit sore for the rest of the day.
What will come next depends on the outcome of his scans. If he has a little bit of disease left over, he’ll be scheduled for surgery (with Dr. LaQuaglia here in NYC), a round of high dose chemotherapy (in Denver), and then start the 3F8 antibody therapy AFTER he recovers (back in NYC). If he has no disease at all, then he’ll be scheduled for a round of high dose chemotherapy (in Denver) and then start the 3F8 antibody (in NYC). We weren’t expecting having to put him through more chemo, but Dr. Kramer says that the antibody therapy will work better if he’s had recent chemo. It’s going to be a bummer though, because his hair has just started to come back in AND this is going to knock him out big time. I was hoping for no more hospital stays, but this round will mandate that we’re inpatient. OH WELL. HE’S CURABLE!!!!!! We’ll take the positives where we can get them.
So, we have a long way to go. But we want this antibody therapy to work so we’ll do what we have to in order to get this kid of mine back on the road to normalcy. It just can’t happen soon enough.
More soon. 🙂