Monday, April 16, 2012

RPLND @ IU - Day 6

I wanted to let everyone out there know that my surgery went well, no complications and I am on my way to recovery now. The pain was pretty bad, and still is at this point, but it will get better as time goes on... as with most surgeries everyday is better than the one before it.  The great news is that I got my pathology results back and my remaining masses were Teratoma and Necrotic tissue.  The latter is just dead cancer cells from the chemo (3xBEP that whooped it up) and the former isn't really that bad.  Teratoma (the mature kind) is very slow growing and quite treatable in small quantities like I had <4.3cm max dimension by resection. Really it only becomes an issue when it is in very large masses or when it is in places that cause issues to other things your kidneys or arteries. If it goes unchecked for long periods of time it can also transform into some bad things but no reason to talk about that because its GONE!

Dr. Foster officially told me I am "cancer free" so 4-12-2012 is the first day I was clean of cancer since my original diagnosis back 11-21-2011.  Its been a crazy 5 months, diagnosis, I/O, port, 3 rounds of chemo, and then then RPLND to get the remaining stragglers.  But now is the beginning of the end, I can switch to surveillance and start putting this all behind me.  Its been quite the journey but, its all paying off.

Now as with most TC cases I do have a chance of recurrence, but due to the very small volume of teratoma Dr Foster removed and the wonderful response I had to my chemo he says my chances are quite low.  From my research I found the same thing, and even if I do have a recurrence with Dr. Foster/Einhorn in my side of the ring I am confident we will find and squash it quickly! All I can do now is focus on recovering from the RPLND (which is going to be an adventure in of itself) and get myself and healthy and all around "better". I will start marking off those check boxes as I get test after test of clean and clear results as we move through the coming months.

I wanted to give you guys a couple of pictures from my experience up at IU, which I would whole heartily recommend to ANYONE. Their care was fantastic and Dr. Foster is amazing. First, they had me up and walking barley 48 hours after my surgery... it was no fun but it made me feel so much better to move around. For those of you reading this blog about to go through an RPLND I will tell you that it will hurt and it will be a struggle but moving around, walking, just being as active as possible will help you more than ANY pain medication will.
That's one of my nurses Heather, who was amazing.. I actually had two Heather's one during the day and one during the night through Sat and Sunday it was funny. She was great, and those yellow socks mean I am a fall risk due to my surgery and my anesthesia type.  On that note I had the one where they give you a shot in your back into your spine I think (it was recommended by Dr. Foster) and I would tell anyone thinking of going through RPLND to get that if at all possible.  It was a huge help!

Then for those of you curious about the incision here you go, btw I am still sticking with the story that I got in a fight with samurai ninjas or something... hehehehe:

Well that's all for now, I will let you all know as I regain movement etc and if anything pops up in my recovery.  My plan right now is to stay home from work for a few weeks at least until I am able to move around easily etc.  I do hope to be able to work from home starting maybe next week but I am playing that by ear, my team is doing great and getting thing done at work so there is no huge rush and I want to focus on getting better first.  One funny thing Dr. Foster said was that if while I am recovering I want a glass of water or something "I" should be going to get it instead of having my wife do it because movement and activity are what will make me better and stronger.  I am sure my wife is gonna love quoting that back to me in the coming weeks HAHAHAHA.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

RPLND @ IU - Day 0

So the day has finally came, I am here in Indianapolis @ IU and I will soon be heading over to get my RPLND with Dr. Foster.  Depending on how I feel afterwards I may not post for a few days but I will try and give people a picture of how it went each day if possible.

My guess is that after the surgery today, I will be mostly sleeping and on pain meds :-P So tomorrow is probably the earliest I will post anything.  Once I know about pathology and etc I will let everyone know.  I am of course hoping for necrotic tissue only, then maybe some teratoma, fingers crossed there is nothing else in there.  I had a my tumor markers redone last week, first time in 6 weeks and the first time post chemo.  And great news my HCG was <1 still and my AFP actually went down a bit to 5.2!  So all looks good on that front, now I just need to get this remaining "crud" out of my system so I can put all this behind me and move on.

This isn't going to be a picnic but I have had a lot of great advice from people on the forums ( and I am as prepared as I can be.  I also have one of if not the best surgeon in the world taking care of me so I am in great hands.

I will see you all on the other side, hopefully CANCER FREE!