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.


  1. Wow Michael, you've been through a tough journey. Tina and I are so very happy to hear of you being cancer free.

  2. Glad you made it, and are doing great. Think about it, you are cancer free now! :D

    Cheers, and the best.

  3. Be sure to count those staples when they come out! :)

    And I hope your wife does replay that comment from Foster back to you. :) He never said that to Kel, as far as I know ... he must like your wife better than me. ;)

    Congrats on getting through this major ordeal, and heal well.


  4. Yay,am soooo excited for this news and that this prayer of so many was answered in a positive way. Know that this aunt & uncle love you and Jenn so much. Hugs,darlin'.

  5. Just wonderful Michael! We are so excited for you and Jenn! I must say that is quite the impressive samurai (?) fight you won....I'd hate to see the other guy. God bless you both, and those splendid docs.

  6. Congrats on successful treatment and surgery. Just went through 3 rounds of hi dose chemo w stem cell transplant last month. There is still teratoma mass in my abdomen which is going to be removed with RPLND in about a week at the Nashville VA hospital. Im only 32 and hoping to have the same success as you had after surgery. I was originally diagnosed with stage III T.C. back in August 2011. The tumor was a mixed germ cell tumor, had characteristics of seminola and non seminola. I went through 4 rounds of BEP, but mass remained and grew back quickly after that, so doctor said that I needed the high dose chemo. Right now I'm doing well, just anxious to get surgery over with and return to normal activiies. Honestly, I just feel blessed to still be here though, had many days and nights wondering if treatment is going to wark or not.

  7. Who was your doctor and where did you have your surgery?