As you all know this last week started off great with the negative MRD test! The rest of the week was fantastic for Brody too.
Brody got his 24 hours of Methotrexate from last Friday evening (4/13) until Saturday evening. We thought he was going to have to stay in the hospital until Monday morning to let the levels of Methotrexate go down (typically it takes 48 hours or more). Saturday night his level was 61 (no clue what that means, couldn't get a clear explanation) but in order to be sent home his levels would need to be 1 at hour 42 and .4 at hour 48. Sunday morning at hour 42 they drew his blood to check the level, we asked the oncologist what if he was already .4, would we be able to go home? She said in her long career of doing this she has never seen it and to plan on staying until at least Monday morning. She came back an hour later and said "um I need to take my foot out of my mouth, he is at .35, I have never seen this and am not sure what to do" she continued "I need to consult with the other oncologists to see what to do" We were all shocked and hopeful Brody could get home to see his brother! She came back about a half hour later and told Brody "Great job! you get to go home!" and with that we were home Sunday afternoon! The only drawback was that we didn't get a chance to have another CBC done before we left since they had anticipated him being there for the night, so we won't know his counts again until the 26th.
Starting Sunday and Monday Brody had a really good appetite and ate extremely well. Him and tyler had a blast playing together. On Monday we got Brody an exercise bike and he tore it up for an hour. He has really been into getting himself back in shape, of course Gina and I are all for it.
Tuesday morning when Tyler was getting ready for school it was clear something was bothering Brody. When Gina asked him what was wrong he fought back tears and told her he misses school and his friends. We had a long talk and decided it was time to give school a try again. We coordinated with the school so that he could go in for Lunch on Wednesday and then we would see how it went from there.
Gina and I were both very nervous for several reasons. Brody has struggled at times with his balance and energy levels and we weren't sure he could make it. The last thing we would want to happen is for him to push it too much. But our biggest concern was that the kids would be awkward towards him, or even worse. The school and the kids have been great through all of this but kids are still kids and they haven't seen Brody in a long time. I was worried that their reactions might depress Brody and the things I pictured in my head broke my heart. We had a long talk with Brody Tuesday night, we talked about how he may need to reexplain things to his classmates so they understand better. He seemed to grasp that when some of his classmates saw him they might stare or have questions and he seemed very confident that he would be able to explain everything. By the end of the conversation I was confident that Brody could handle himself just fine. Brody was able to not only get in for lunch he stayed for the whole afternoon! None of my fears came true, as a matter of fact far from it. The kids were great and he came home happier than he has been in months! From there things kept going uphill.
Thursday morning Brody went in to school and stayed for the entire morning. Gina picked him up so he could go to PT, he was so tired and worn out he couldn't quite make it through the whole session. Even though he was physically tired his spirits were so high, you could just sense how happy he was to be back in school and with his friends again. After a little rest he was able to still play with Tyler.
Friday he managed to make it through the entire day of school (Gina dropped him off after the morning announcements and picked him up just before dismissal). We are so happy he is getting back into school and having some sense of normalcy. We are hoping he can finish the year out strong. His current protocol is called interim maintenance and is not quite as rough on him (hopefully) as the last 3 months have been. His next protocol will be much tougher so we are hoping he can really enjoy the next few months. After Brody got home from school, and since the weather was so nice, Gina put together the nerf bikes the boys got for Christmas, they are 4 wheel sit down bikes. They couldn't be more perfect for Brody right now. They take an incredible amount of strength to pedal but have four tires and a seat so it is very easy for him to rest. Him and Tyler rode all over the neighborhood until dark. Great excersise
Saturday was awesome for the whole family. With the weather finally turning nicer Brody was able to ride the nerf bike some more and just be outside with Tyler.
Today was the same Brody and Tyler spent all day outside today, riding their bikes, playing catch, talking to kids at the park and tonight even played a mini wiffle ball game. Brody is not at 100%, but seeing him the way he was today, and this whole week has made me cry with joy. He is so strong and so determined, he really sets an example to live by. I love him so much and am so proud of what a great young man he is.
We know that there is still a long and tough road ahead for Brody. He will have some set backs no doubt, but like everything he has been through thus far he will fight through and come out on top. For now though I hope he gets pure joy from each and every day, he deserves it.