Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Glaring Omission

I got to the hospital very early today, about 6am. I wondered briefly why it wasn't as busy this morning and then as I tried to get breakfast in the not-yet-opened cafeteria, it then occurred to me. It's Saturday.

When I got up to the room, Henry was mercifully (for Tara) still sleeping. I watched and listened to him until he finally awoke. He has many demands right now, so when he's asleep its worth paying attention to. Last night they began another drug, Leucovorin, that rescues Henry's bone marrow and intestinal cells from the effects of the original drug, methotrexate. This also lowers his methotrexate levels and prepares his body for the other drugs.

After breakfast and coffee (thank goodness for coffee!), I headed back toward home for a day with the girls. Anna had a soccer tournament all day (and tomorrow, as they did well!). Sophie and my mother joined us late in the afternoon for the final game and some playtime with some of Sophie's soccer buddies.

On the trip to the soccer fields from the Hopkins, I found my mind wandering over various details of recent days, thinking how grateful we are to have such devoted friends and family, excellent care in the hospital, exceptional emotional support. Also how lucky it is that we live in the time we do and have the benefit of the technology, research and other advances that weren't available not so long ago. And these at the expense of past patients and their families, wading through their own anguished times.

Then I realized that in future years, decades perhaps, we will be a part of that family as well. I was surprised not to feel a bit resentful of the future care that will be available to patients like Henry - because of Henry.

Instead I felt very connected to the whole chain of people and events; grateful to those that were/are motivated by their personal circumstance to endow their knowledge and efforts for our benefit. I am compelled to do the same. I'm not sure how yet, but I felt at that moment that I'm beginning to realize more fully that we're all intimately connected with one another, and with our circumstances. Henry's pain is our pain. It seems a short leap to the pain of the child in the next room, or the next floor, next hospital, next country.

Then I realized a glaring omission in my efforts to appreciate what everyone is doing for us. None of this would be happening - this appreciation we've begun to feel for the moment to moment, contact with caring family, expressions of love from close and distant friends, anonymous tokens of sympathy and support, and a more compassionate understanding of each other and our pain - without the brave little boy lying in the hospital bed now.

Please let me correct my mistake by thanking my son Henry for accepting this challenge for the benefit of us all.


Anonymous said...


Simply beautiful.

Your little Henry is one amazing boy. We are honored to have this chance to get to know Henry through this website & your beautiful, honest description of all that comes your way.

Love & hugs from KS...

Gwen, Scott, Cal, Claire & Lola Hartley

Granya said...


What a courageous and unselfish way to examine the plight in which we are all involved.

We are all taking the time to reflect, to consider our own responses to Henry's illness, to marvel at the outpouring of support and prayers and love that has been bestowed upon us.

Henry's strength and acceptance is central to my ability to cope, to appear strong to other people.
I believe his strength comes from his trust in his parent's love for him.

You are, and have always been, awesome parents.

I'm so proud.


Anonymous said...

Bryan, Steve and I think of you and Tara and the children everyday.
Your blog is amazing! In my years in the medical field, I have always been amazed at the strength of children. Henry's example will be a lesson for us all. Your comments and insights are wonderful. We send you lots of hugs and kisses and prayers from the Texas Scheck's. Steve and Susan

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to let us know your thoughts and the latest with Henry.
Cody picked out a card for Henry and we will mail it tomorrow.

Our love always,
Susan, Kendall and Cody Herren

Anonymous said...


From the first night of soccer practice, I could see what a special family you guys are. Our family(Jakob and Lincoln) continue to pray for all of you everyday. We so appreciate you keeping us up to date on Henry's challenge.

God Bless,
Tanya, Bill, Jakob and Lincoln Ball

Anonymous said...

You make me cry. Very well thought out & put, Bryan. Thanks.
Cousin Fran