Thursday, September 18, 2008

A New Friend

Yesterday Henry and I made our first trip into Baltimore after about a month. It was like riding a bike, we got back into things very easily. He handled it all like a champ.

We had three tasks yesterday - first we had to visit the audiologist to get Henry fitted for hearing aids. He has permanently lost some high pitched hearing which will hinder his learning particularly at such an early development stage. Hearing aids will ease his way to learning in more noisy environments, ie. classrooms, and will also allow him to hear things that fall into that higher pitch range - birds, some language sounds, fullness of music, etc. Henry let the audiologist squeeze 'playdoh' in his ears and get the molds they'll use. He chose green for the color. Fortunately these must be changed twice a year for growth reasons so we'll get a chance to pick again soon. They'll be ready for him in a couple of weeks.

We had a quick stop a clinic to draw blood - this to prevent us from having to draw and then wait for an hour or two - then were were off across the medical campus to a building that Tara and I recalled having a tremendous amount of difficulty finding the first time last October. We found it with no problem this time and we met briefly with the surgeon who will be removing Henry's catheter from his chest. He assured us of a quick procedure, rarely having any complications and to be scheduled very soon as well. More good news!

Then were were back to clinic to get a check up by the oncologist and see the results of the blood draw. All his counts were increasing, a little slowly, but no cause for real concern. No blood products necessary which was a bonus.

While we were awaiting the results and to talk with the doctor, we met a 5 year old little girl who had just started kindergarten. After inquiring about her to her father, I was immensely relieved to discover that she had the same diagnosis as Henry, diagnosed at about the same age, received about the same treatment and is one year ahead of him with no visible disease. She has begun kindergarten on time and looks great. A sweet little girl - I've added her to Henry's friends, her name is Rachel.

Tara and I look for something to compare Henry's cancer to all the time. Many of the stories are difficult to compare and the outcomes sometimes difficult to swallow. The treatments from hospital to hospital are vastly different, the ages of the patients are too divergent for comparison, or some other small, but disqualifying detail. No two cases are identical, but Rachel and Henry are marching along pretty convergent paths and they appear to be leading to a good place.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping us up to date - sounds like all good news!! Hope all is well with everyone there.
Linda and Val

Anonymous said...

Henry, green hearing aides sound super.....know they will look great on you.
Glad to hear you were able to talk with Rachel's dad--I like the sounds of her path.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. Always like to hear good news on Henry!

Cousin Susan H.