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Cancer update: Chemo finished but did not get it all….

A bit of an update on what all has been going on.

I went through three full rounds of BEP chemo and discovered after a CTscan that although the cancer had reduced in size the tumor was still there. To be specific, I am talking about the tumor that wraps around the renal artery and vein. After consulting with Dr. Einhorn (Lance Armstrong’s Dr) in Indianapolis, he wants me to come to Indianapolis to have surgery to remove the tumor. The surgeon would be done by Dr. Richard Foster who performed my RPLND surgery two years ago. We have scheduled the surgery for April 11th.

I will post more when I have more information but I wanted to post an update since it had been such a long time. Still doing well and staying very positive.

:)

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Staples were removed this week

I had my 44 staples removed from my stomach this week and although I was told it might hurt, it really didn’t. When I was in Indiana I was given a staple remover in case my local doctor here did not have one. My response to that was “If I go to my doctor and he does not have a staple remover already, I will go to another doctor!” What I did learn after the fact was that the nurse that removed the staples had only done it once before and that was in nursing school while practicing on an orange!! I have to give her full props on doing a great job!

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Time to get things updated..

I have been out of the hospital now for a week. I have been recovering in many ways (physically, psychologically and emotionally) and think it is time to get this blog back on track and to address some of the things that I indented to do when I started it. I really want this to be something that others who are going into the RPLND procedure to have a way of seeing and hearing beforehand what they can expect, not to mention the ability for them to have a place to ask questions.

I have gone back in and added some footage and photos to older posts in order to help keep things in a time line.

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Here is my RPLND Scar..

13″ Scar on my stomach…

13" RPLND Scar

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Having a rough couple of days

I think the reality of all of this is starting to hit me emotionally. :(

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Not my best day

Today was pretty rough. Pain is there for sure but my head is a mess as well. Hoping tomorrow is much different!

Off to sleep now. Hoping to catch up on posts tomorrow.

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Off to the airport

Well my first night sleeping out of the hospital went well. This hotel is right near the hospital and caters to folks like myself who have been are about to be at the hospital. It has made life much easier for my parents since they have been staying at the hospital in shifts.

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Still alive…

I am still alive and kicking. I have just been to tired/drugged to post. I have a ton to post about but need to let my head clear up in the next day. I fly back to NC tomorrow and will post then. Not looking forward to the 2 hour flight with these 41 staples in my body.

Ugh.

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Back Scratcher and sponge bath

I would pay up to $200 for a back scratcher right now!

This morning the docs all came around and did their rounds, then I was told I had to get up and move to a chair. I never thought realized how hard this could be. Tired. Will write more in a bit.

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All IV’d up and ready to walk myself to surgery

I am all IV’d up and ready to go.

Apparently at this hospital you do not get a gurney to take you down to the operating room, instead they have you walk down your own surgery! Now in their defense, this very well may just for my type of surgery. I cannot imagine them asking you to walk yourself into open-heart surgery or brain surgery.

On the plus side, they are going to let me bring my camera down the hallway with me to the operating room OR but unfortunately I’m not allowed to record the surgery.
I really kind of want to see what it looks like with my intestines out and up on my chest! More so, I just wonder how they know how to put it all back together. Although this may be the reason they’re not letting me record the surgery. Perhaps they sorted out as they go!

So they have me in two gowns, one opens in the front and one in the back. And as a part of preoperative procedure they would shave my chest and stomach but to their surprise I beat them to it! I decided to shave my chest and stomach the night before I got here. Apparently, what I didn’t need to do was to shave it clean like a baby! But at least it gave him a clean slate to work on.

Once dressed and ready, they made me put this lovely silver/foil like shower cap. Immediately it reminded me of the balloon boy incident on TV. Where the father made his little boy hide in the closet and then let his cheap foil balloon fly away only leading the authorities and media to believe that the child was somehow inside the floating piece of foil.
And away we go…

Update: The following has been added after I arrived home, I have included the footage taken as I walked to my operating room and some of the people I met along the way.

Here is the long walk I had to take down to the operating room. As I mentioned before, in other surgeries I have been through, they actually wheel you down to the operating room but in this one they made me walk while the nurse wheeled the IV right next to me. It was a rather weird feeling. I had not given me anything for my nerves or to relax at this point so I was a bit tense if you can imagine.

Once we got into the operating room, I handed the camera to a woman who seemed to know very little about video cameras so the clip is only about one second. However it does give you an idea of the place I would be laying for the next few hours and how tiny I looked on the bed.

Thumbs up!

If you notice those boards were used to strap down my arms during the surgery and on one of the boards you can see what looks like a rolled up black belt. I remember asking them what that was for once the cameras were off but cannot remember what answer I was given. As usual they went ahead and put the mask over my face and slowly let the Michael Jackson drug of choice, propofol, take effect.

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