July 18th Braden was at a hockey team off ice get together and him and the boys were playing. Braden fell off of the monkey bars and he complained of his hip hurting from the fall.
I took him to the Chiropractor and they did x-rays and did not see any brakes or fractures.
He was treated a few times and the pain went away but he was still limping. Mike took him in for his normal physical for football and mentioned it to the doctor and he said he didn’t feel anything but if it kept bothering him to bring him back in a week.
Mike took him back to the doctor the next day and he referred Braden to an orthopedic specialist. The orthopedic specialist took x-rays and did not see anything but sent him for an MRI because of dads concern over the limp.
The MRI was on Friday August 15. After the MRI the tech came out and asked us to wait a few minutes because they wanted their doctor to look at the films. There was a lot of swelling so they wanted to make sure that they did not need any more pictures. The doctor came back within a few minutes to take some more pictures.
At that point, we thought that was a bit odd. Two hours later, we had an odd phone call from the referring doctor’s office regarding a call they received from the hospital, but no results were given to us yet.
The initial MRI report indicated possible Leukemia, Lymphoma or Neuroblastoma and recommended additional testing.
We were in shock; the earliest appointment we could get was that Friday. We decided to not say anything to Braden yet as we had no real answers.
Friday the 22nd we headed to U of M for his appointment. After meeting with the doctor she put Braden on crutches and ordered tons of tests.
We spent the entire day there going from one test to another and returned on Monday for a Bone Scan, which required additional scans as well and back on Tuesday for a Biopsy.
During the biopsy, a Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist came to meet with us and go over Braden’s case. At that meeting, they told us that it was Cancer, but they were waiting on the results from the biopsy to confirm which type, the tests that had been done were leading them to think it was a form of bone cancer.
At that point, I put in for FMLA leave from my work knowing that we had a big battle ahead of us. Braden was then scheduled to come back on Friday August 29th to have his port placed, a bone marrow biopsy and a PET scan.
The official diagnosis after the bone marrow biopsy was High Risk, Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. The cancer is present in his hips, spine, skull and bone marrow. Braden’s cancer started from a tumor and then attached to the bones.
Neuroblastoma is typically found in children younger then 3 and very rarely over 10, we do not like to focus on the prognosis statistics and typically do not share that information because we would never want to dwell on it. We are trusting in the one who really knows the outcome.
The full treatment will take approximately 18 months. Braden has chemo every 21 days, the first two rounds were for 5 days straight with the other rounds differing in length and require hospital admission.
Between round 2 and 3 he had a stem cell harvest to collect bone marrow that will be returned to him later in the treatment.
Between round 4 and 5 he will have surgery to hopefully remove as many of the tumors as they can safely get.
He will be in an MIBG study that will keep him in the hospital as well, and will have a bone marrow transplant that will require a hospital stay of 3 to 5 weeks.
Braden is staying strong and misses his teams. When his counts are high enough, we try to take him to see his fellow team-mates. He can not wait to get back on the ice and the field.
Thank you so very much for the support, we ask that you please continue to keep Braden and all the children that are suffering in your prayers.
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