Friday, April 5, 2013
I am posting a very special story that I wrote August 15, 2008. It was after Braden had been in transplant for 3 days...and it already sucked.
Transplant is not fun!! AT ALL!
Our friend, Kori, who is a 17 year old FIGHTER is currently in transplant and I've been thinking about her family and praying for them every single day. She is amazing, but I remember how awful that process really is.
The background on this story is that a few weeks earlier, Dr. Shore asked me to write a story for a contest the hospital was having. He felt like it would be a great way to get kudos for the hem/onc team (and himself). Dr. Shore and I were getting along fine at that point.
I agreed but just didn't have time to do it. I DID want to try to publically praise our nurses and staff...I love them with my whole heart!! They are AWESOME!!
I remember that Dr. Shore walked into our transplant unit room on August 14 and said, "So...the story is due tomorrow and you haven't turned anything in yet!"
I said, "For someone who wants me to do something for him, you took the wrong tact. How about you turn around, walk out that door, and come back in and try it again?"
He did. :)
He came back in and said, "GOOOOOD morning Mrs. Hofen...I hope you had a restful night and that things are going well. I was wondering if you had considered writing that story yet? WE would really appreciate it, PLEASE!"
The nurses and I fell into fits of laughter.
So late that night after Braden went to sleep, I wrote the story.
I will tell you about Princess Jamie next week...she was Braden's heart! And he STILL adores her even though she is no longer at the hospital. We do have playdates occasionally because we love her so much! She worked in clinic and they were like two peas in a pod...I mean he LOVED her!!
So this is my post from August 15, 2008...and minus thinking Shore was any sort of an okay person (I no longer think that in any shape of form)...I stand behind every single word I wrote!
Those people are AMAZING!!! And I love them very much!!
The word limit was 500...I got it knocked down (which you can guess is tough for me) to 499..so at the end I threw in 2 "verys" because it just felt "unfinished" at 499!! :)
Hope you enjoy it!!
Brave Knight Braden
Once upon a not so long time ago, in a kingdom not so far away, there lived a brave knight named Braden. Braden was one of the most determined and courageous knights in the kingdom as he had faced numerous heath and development challenges during his first 3 years resulting in many visits to Children‘s Mercy Hospital and its clinics. On December 28, at 3 years 3 months of age, he would encounter his most mighty foe, a monster named Cancer.
After tests, doctors told Braden’s family that he had a rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma. His was stage 4 and high risk which resulted only about a 30% chance of survival. Braden was sent to a section in the kingdom called 4-Henson. On this floor, they met the equally determined Dr. Richard Shore and his team of merry gentlewomen, Nancy and Becky. Braden began chemotherapy treatments to try to control this monstrous tumor that had also invaded his bone marrow and right hip. The hope was that five cycles of high dose chemotherapy would shrink the tumor enough that it could be removed with surgery, and then additional therapies would be needed to eliminate all remaining cancer from his body. Braden was told that his battle would last about a year and be challenging at every step.
Braden found a strong support system in this kingdom to help him do battle with this cancer. Friends from around the world were hoping and praying for a victory. Those people became known as Braden’s Army. Some of his most heralded warriors were the nurses and care assistants in the Hem/Onc clinic and on 4 Henson. They were comforting, calming, and caring while helping him fight this vicious enemy.
Along the way, Braden met a beautiful princess who he adored. Her name was Jamie and she met Braden at the clinic with a smile and an innate sense of understanding. Braden also drew great strength from fellow brave knights fighting their personal battles with their own cancer monsters. Their strength inspired Braden and his family to continue to battle even during the darkest of days. And with the help of them all, Braden was successful in his first battle with the monster and was able to have his tumor removed successfully by Dr. Ronald Sharp.
The monster does not give up easily. Neither does Brave Knight Braden. The next battle Braden faces is a bone marrow transplant which is where the story continues today. Braden has fought hard and will continue to do so to win the many battles ahead of him. Braden’s story is one of hope, faith, and great love. And that is how the next chapter in Braden‘s story begins, with hope! The kingdom of mighty warriors at Children‘s Mercy Hospital, Braden’s Army, Braden’s own great bravery and strength, and continual faith and love provide that hope. The hope that this story will end with “and he lived happily ever after…for a very, very long time”!
And this is the video that I made to recap his first year of therapy.... it still makes me cry but it was very healing to put this together! This should be an active link...I hope!