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Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Henry Frey, 8. Embryonic Neuroblastoma

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

“You can do hard things” took on a new meaning for Henry his Pre-K year at LPPP. One month after Henry turned 5, a large frontal lobe tumor was found on a CT scan. The very next day, December 2nd 2016, he had brain surgery. That day in the ICU he enjoyed magic tricks, built a relationship with the child life specialist who would go into the OR with him, and was taken in without hesitation. No questions. No doubts. Not knowing the hard things he’d endure in the months to come.

Henry survived 2 cycles of intense high dose chemo, 40 days of radiation to his brain, and 3 cycles of autologous transplant cycles. He had a port and broviac placed. He had a NG tube (even went to school with it). He had lengthy hospital stays and long drives to San Diego for proton therapy. He suffered from seizures and had extreme inflammation. He took 30 “100 ft dives” in hyperbaric chamber therapy. He wore a backpack for 2 weeks straight for a continuous infusion. He had scans and countless blood transfusions. He did hard things.

This past August marked 3 years with no recurrence. Making it to the two year mark was huge. Henry moved from scans every 3 months to now every 6. He lives and struggles with the long term effects but is strong and healthy. Henry still loves legos, baseball, riding his bike, and playing games. He fondly reminisces of the different experiences he had, laughs at the times he was scared, and still misses his nurse practitioner and oncologist.

Childhood cancer, to say it is a “hard thing” is an understatement. Yet it is SO much more than that. It is an incredibly beautiful thing, which you wouldn’t believe until you experienced it. You see love. You see support. You see communities coming together. You see a child doing the unfathomable.

~ Heidi Frey

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