Monday, June 16, 2008

Prepare for Takeoff!

So our days in Baltimore have become fairly routine and low stress for the most part. Henry now wakes up within 10 minutes after his treatments are complete and customarily devours a blueberry poptart.

Partly because the rest of the day is up for grabs and partly to give back to a system that's done so much for us, we've enrolled Henry in two studies measuring cognitive effects of radiation on children. This means additional neuropsychology testing (which he generally enjoys) and MRI's.

Our researchers are not allowed to use extra sedation for their MRI testing so they can either wait for aclinical scan or attempt the 15 minute scan without sedation.

To prepare Henry for this, last week we began telling him he was going on a spaceship as an astronaut. He got very excited. During the neuropsych testing we met the research radiologist and told her of Henry's "trip". At the MRI today, she'd left him a bag with three beanie babies and a special note talking about the first astronauts were a dog and monkey and that the "engines" on the "spaceship" were pretty loud. It was such a nice gesture.

So the time had come. Henry entered the room in my arms. He laid on the table, let the tech prepare him, put tape over his head, earplugs in his ears and what I can only describe as a cage over his head. The sound was so loud I couldn't read the books I brought him, but instead held them up in view of the tiny mirror that allowed him to see me at the end of the tunnel they sucked him back into.

He did beautifully. They said the pictures were perfect. He's the youngest patient they've been able to do this without sedation. I was filled with pride and admiration for him.

I asked him if he had fun. He said, "Yeah, I could see the moon and everything!" Oh the power of imagination!


Granya said...

He is such a HERO!!!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Henry. You make us all proud! Here's to more spaceship flying. Ditto to what Granya said - HERO to all! Glad to hear that you're off to a good start this week. Take care.

Love, Julie, Brad, Patrick, Andrew and Samantha

rlbates said...


Anonymous said...

AWESOME HENRY...glad you could see the moon and everything!

Have a good week!
Cousin Susan H.

Anonymous said...

What a big boy you are Henry! You always amaze me. Zeb said to say
"Hi" to you.


ms. t said...

Wow. You are just amazing! I am so proud of you! And I know that mommy and daddy are even prouder!

When do you think your next trip on the space ship will be? Check out the stars when you are there!

Ms. t

Anonymous said...

Kudos to both Henry, his folks and the MRI tech. Glad the space ship ride was a success. Hope the upcoming ones are too.
Looks like you are almost 50% to your goal with Alex's Lemonade Stand-way to go kids.

Anonymous said...

Henry - way to go!! We are proud to know a very brave astronaut! Keep up the good work - we send our prayers your way.
Linda and Val