This site was set up to help Brennan’s family and friends keep tabs on his whereabouts as he undergoes treatment for primary osteosarcoma of the spine.
Email Brennan and family at bhoughton at ozemail put-a-dot-here com put-a-dot-there au.
Thanks, Bren, for tarting up this site!
|August 2007||Rib pain.|
|October 2007||Rib pain continues. Began screaming at night. Bloods and x-rays clear except for slight scoliosis. Stiff spine. Can’t touch chin to chest.|
|November 2007||Suspected spondyloarthropathy (spinal arthritis). Diagnosis changed to costochondritis (inflammation of rib cartilage)|
|December 2007-March 2008||Pain persists, but appears to be improving. Unusual sleepiness during the day we explained away by Brennan not sleeping at night|
|early April 2008||Pain worsens, unusual stiffness of spine, weird way of running/walking (think Road Runner – legs pumping away, but arms and rest of body straight and stiff). Falling over and down stairs several times per day|
|15 April 2008||So it begins. An MRI at Geelong Hospital revealed a spinal tumour. Sent to Royal Children’s Hospital. Starting weight: 33kg|
|late evening 17 April 2008||Osteosarcoma of thoracic spine at T4 diagnosed|
|early hours of 18 April 2008||Chemo started|
|18 April 2008||Hickmann’s line inserted|
|late April-mid May 2008||Deterioration of walking and reduced sensation in legs/lower body. Eventually, Brennan could no longer walk or stand. Could move his feet, but not his legs|
|16 May 2008||Emergency operation to remove tumour. Titanium rods and screws inserted, and bone graft created from hip bone.|
|end May-Christmas 2008||Chemo continued. Various complications, including collapsed lung, infections, fevers, ulcers, mucositis, blood noses. Much time spent in Geelong Hospital, as well as Royal Children’s|
|29 August 2008||Nasogastric tube inserted. Lowest weight point: 26.4kg|
|29 December 2008-3 February 2009||Radiotherapy at Peter MacCallum|
|17 February 2009||Nasogastric tube removed. Weight: 32.8 kg|
|10 March 2009||Hickmann’s removed|
|26 May 2009||Latest CT clear. Off all medication|
|9 March 2010||New tumour identified at junction of 5th right rib and adjacent vertebra|
|20 March 2010||Chemo begun (VETOPEC II protocol). Weight 42.3kg|
|22-23 April 2010||Autologous (self) stem cell harvest|
|29 April-3 May 2010||High dose component of chemo, including transplant of stem cells, begun|
|June 2010||Chemo ceased due to non-response|
|27 July 2010||Operation to remove new tumour at T5 and attached rib|
|5 April 2011||Reappearance of tumours. In “watch and wait” mode|
|16 May 2011||Slight increase in size. “Watch and wait” continues|
|16 September 2011||New tumour and hairline fracture in right tibia|
|3-18 October 2011||Radiation to right tibia|
|10 November 2011||New tumour at T10 vertebra|
|24 November- 8 December 2011||Radiation of T4 and T10|
|11 February 2012||Right tibia encased in plaster due to bowing of leg|
|21 February 2012||ORIF procedure on right tibia, viz. rod, screws and cement to reinforce bone|
|5 April 2012||Off crutches|
|24 October 2012||Suspected fracture in right tibia; back on crutches|
|5-18 December 2012||Radiation to right tibia begins|
|31 January 2013||Spread of back tumours and progressively worsening leg weakness|
|3 February 2013||Leptomeningeal metastases|
|25 February 2013||Debulking of tumour at T6/7|
|1-14May 2013||Radiation to spine|
|12-18 September 2013||Radiation to left femur and pelvis|
|11 February 2014||Passed away|
We are on a journey
We are on a journey;
We walk it on our own.
People all around us,
Yet we remain alone.
Our journey is a long one;
It goes for years and years.
The road is hard and bumpy,
And we shed many tears.
Our journey is not over;
It never will be done.
Once you start this journey,
It never can be done.
No one thinks they’ll make this trek;
What person ever should?
But life is full of things that
You never thought you would.
Our journey is a sad one,
Yet with lots of laughs and smiles.
When you know that life is precious,
You make each inch last miles.
The simple things like cuddles;
The fiery, brotherly spat;
The normal grind of daily life;
We now so appreciate that.
Hands reach out to help us,
To make the way seem light.
But the road ahead is long
And continues day and night.
Just looking at your dear one,
And just knowing he is here.
If only there was something
That would take away that fear.
The fear that’s ever-present
So you cannot sleep at night.
The fear that makes you tremble
So you have to hold him tight.
The cancer that invades him;
That cancer we so hate.
We pray to God to heal him,
To make cancer ‘vaporate.
This journey we are walking
On this long and lonely track
Is a lifetime journey
From which we can’t go back.