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  • I'm so ready for this to be over

    Been a while since I've been here. It's amazing how quickly 4 months flies by when you're preoccupied with cancer. Isn't that the understatement of the decade? Yeesh.

    Wanted to update about Eric. Finally had the orchiectomy done in December (had to wait because of extensive disease in his lungs) and he's about to finish up BEP next Tuesday. Busy day that day - meeting with the urologist to schedule the RPLND, CT scans, BLEO, and meeting with the oncologist. Can't wait for more news though. I'm a planner and not being able to plan just drives me crazy. At least I have a little screen shot of where we're going hopefully. With a small child it's better to know how to plan instead of fly by the seat of our pants ya know?

    Anyway - I have something I'm worried about but wanted to see if anyone could offer feedback. The pathology report showed part of Eric's tumor being a teratoma. I know these bad boys are rare. Unfortunately because of the teratoma, we're looking at a probable wedge resection of Eric's lungs in a handful of spots (to remove anything that shows up on a CT scan over 1cm) after all the chemo that can be given him, is given to him (easier said that done - ugh). My main concern is there being a possible spot of cancer on the pelvic region of his bone. His oncologist is ordering a follow up bone scan to confirm it went to his bone, and I'll of course ask him next Tuesday about this, but has anyone had experience with a mixed germ cell tumor including teratoma with mets to the bone? Teratoma's don't respond to chemo or radiation so the only way to get it out of the body is to cut it out. How the heck will they remove bone from his pelvis? UGH.

    Otherwise Eric has survived BEP "well". As well as anyone can I suppose. Besides neuropathy, extreme physical fatigue, and nausea he's ok. We're looking at a RPLND next month (if his tumor markers are stable and normal, which they are NOW - his HcG is holding steady at 4 versus 67,000 in October) then 2+ rounds of VeIP which are done inpatient (basically he'll be blasted with chemo until his lung tumors don't respond anymore) and then a wedge resection come summertime. I know he'll have left over stuff in his lungs over 1cm. It was really ugly in there. I'm fooling myself if I don't think he'll need it. At least the possiblity of a wedge resection has made me tolerate the idea of the RPLND now. Silly how something that sounds worse makes something pretty awful sound better. Jeez.

    Anyway - sorry to be a stranger. Between being a mom, me working nights, and all the fun stuff cancer offers, I'm stretched so thin. I'm just looking forward to the day when I can offer hope to others caregivers when Eric is free and clear of cancer, and my brain doesn't feel like it's going to explode.

    Take care all. I'll update more when I know more next Tuesday.

    Jenny
    sigpic

    Read the journey from a caregivers point of view: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ericrichter

  • #2
    They can certainly remove portions of his pelvis - of course it depends on how large the lesion is but, it's possible. Find a very good ortho surgeon who has experience with malignancies.

    I was reading through your caringbridge posts and I must say you have so eloquently put this experience into words. Sitting here reading it, I'm tearing up (and would probably be bawling if I was not at work). Your strenght and courage are amazing and inspiring.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you both during this difficult time.
    Last edited by loveumms; 02-04-10, 03:28 PM.
    MY husband:
    1/15/2010 - diagnosed with testicular mass (2.5x2cm): 2cmx2cm para-aortic lymph node on CT scan (no other abnormalities)
    1/19/10 - R I/O
    1/21/10 - path results back Embryonal carcinoma 95%, teratoma 2%, seminoma 2%, and yolk sac tumor 1%
    2/1/10-end of March - 3xBEP
    4/7/10 - CT chest/abd/pelvis - lymph node normal, no new masses
    all of 2011- all labs and imaging normal
    --> still on surveillance

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you! That comforts me so much. Eric's oncologist has said several times that it's possibly a very small spot on his pelvis but "he's not too worried about it". Probably because there's nothing we CAN do about it until everything else is taken care of anyway. It's just been bugging me thinking about the what-ifs associated with the teratoma. My whole life is a what-if lately. Gets tiresome.

      Thanks again for your feedback! And I need to get back to journaling my thoughts on caringbridge. I have so little positive to say lately and feel as if I'm a broken record at times. I know people can benefit from our experience as caregivers though - and that's what motivates me to keep wanting to write. Thank you for telling me you appreciate it. I might just air out my heart there in an effort to move on emotionally. God knows I need to stay strong to get through this.

      Blessing to you and your family,

      Jenny
      sigpic

      Read the journey from a caregivers point of view: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ericrichter

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Earmansgirl View Post
        ...when Eric is free and clear of cancer...
        Here's to that, Jenny. Sending all good wishes to you and Eric.
        Scott, scott@tc-cancer.com
        right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since


        Your donation funds LIVESTRONG Foundation services for people facing cancer now. Please join me!

        Comment


        • #5
          I am so ready for this to be over.

          I can so agree with that. I want my Jay to hurry up and get treatment done so we can get on with our lives. It keeps hitting me that no matter what this may never be over. No matter what we do it may still come back and we will have to live with that worry the rest of our lives or just learn to get over it.

          Originally posted by Earmansgirl View Post
          Been a while since I've been here. It's amazing how quickly 4 months flies by when you're preoccupied with cancer. Isn't that the understatement of the decade? Yeesh.
          So agree with that, time just flies by like crazy when you are going through this treatment stuff. We will be starting I think faze four for us and Jays cancer has not been as bad as many others here. I like to plan ahead too. It just seems to be so impossible when you have all these doctors appointments to deal with and they need to schedule them at the last minute. We are lucky its tax refund time and I am getting a good tax return that will cover the time I have to take off in the near future.

          Can't give any advice on the bone metastize, wish I could but am glad that I haven't had to deal with that one yet. Jay has teratoma in the mix too. Never realized that that just needs to be cut out (he did have an RPLND back in Feb 09). We have been lucky in that it hasn't made it to his brain or lungs, or bones that we know of.


          "Otherwise Eric has survived BEP "well". As well as anyone can I suppose. Besides neuropathy, extreme physical fatigue, and nausea he's ok." (Jenny)

          Funny how our perspectives change once we enter the world of cancer. We see these major side effects as mere minor things. Do you find it amazing the things that some people complain about now, that you never would of before cancer? I am glad that Eric is doing well at this point.


          "At least the possiblity of a wedge resection has made me tolerate the idea of the RPLND now. Silly how something that sounds worse makes something pretty awful sound better. Jeez". (Jenny)

          Not silly at all. Very understandable. There always is someone who is suffering through worse and there is always someone who is have a better time of it. The worst possiblity of all makes anything else worthwhile.

          "Anyway - sorry to be a stranger. Between being a mom, me working nights, and all the fun stuff cancer offers, I'm stretched so thin. I'm just looking forward to the day when I can offer hope to others caregivers when Eric is free and clear of cancer, and my brain doesn't feel like it's going to explode. "(Jenny)

          No apologizes necassary. I totally understand where you are coming from. And as stated previously you put it so eloquontely. I look forward to when Eric is free and clear of cancer and your brain doesn't feel like its going to explode. I understand completley what you are going through and were you are coming from with that statement. It does seem neverending, and sometimes I wonder if cancer has taken over our lives. I don't want to let it, it certainly has changed our lives completely in every aspect of everyday life and the battle isn't over yet. I wonder if it ever will be.
          Diagnosed Mixed Germ Cell tumor Carcinoma and classic seminoma StageIIC 6*8cmbulky June 26-08
          Left I/O June 26-08 4*BEP July-08-Sept-08
          Mets to Abdomin/chest,
          Stage III, , 6*8 cm Jul 08
          Markers normalized Nov08, residual tumor 3*2cm in abd. 13mm in chest. Spinal Stenosis,Neuropathy RPLND feb 09
          Found all three: Cancer, teratoma and scar tissue
          10/09 B-HCG up to 39.90, recurrent TC, 2*VIP 12/09, TI started 05/11/2010, stem cell infusion 5/18/2010 day of rebirth
          08/10 all clear

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Earmansgirl View Post
            Teratoma's don't respond to chemo or radiation so the only way to get it out of the body is to cut it out. How the heck will they remove bone from his pelvis? UGH.
            It can definitely be excised. Ortho surgeons do hip replacements every day!
            "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
            11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
            12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks everyone!

              I must admit - I feel like I'm going on vacation or something this morning because I'm so excited. Today is the final day of round four BEP and I got Eric balloons and these plastic champagne glasses with hearts on them and a card to celebrate at the cancer center. He's worked so hard to get here and been through so much. I'm so proud of him.

              We're also meeting with the urologist to get word on the RPLND today. Finally we get to plan and feel like we're moving forward. I'm filled with a little dread about the RPLND but he'll get through it. It's weird being excited and sick to your stomach at the same time. I'm going to take this happy feeling and live it as long as I can right now. Screw worry and fret. I'm actually smiling. And it feels damn good to be on our way to a cure with 4 rounds of BEP in our pocket!
              sigpic

              Read the journey from a caregivers point of view: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ericrichter

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              • #8
                You'll have lot's more days like this.
                I'm going to take this happy feeling and live it as long as I can right now.
                Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

                Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.

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                • #9
                  I hope you take a picture of this last day. It was a landmark day for us, and the nurses made me a "crown" out of pipecleaners and gliter.

                  Most sincere congratlations on this new kind of graduation day.
                  Stage III Non-Seminoma- 7/11/06
                  Right I/O 7/12/06
                  Completed 4x BEP 11/06
                  Bi-Lateral RPLND (Dr. Shenifeld)- 11/27/06
                  Surveillance since then

                  When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell.
                  Lance Armstrong.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    yeahhhh!!! Time to celebrate.


                    Jay has his RPLND done after 4*BEP too. His surgery lasted around 8 hours and they kept him asleep after it. I posted a picture of his scar post surgery in this forum if your interested. Jay already had a scar before surgery and his scar looked better afterward.
                    Diagnosed Mixed Germ Cell tumor Carcinoma and classic seminoma StageIIC 6*8cmbulky June 26-08
                    Left I/O June 26-08 4*BEP July-08-Sept-08
                    Mets to Abdomin/chest,
                    Stage III, , 6*8 cm Jul 08
                    Markers normalized Nov08, residual tumor 3*2cm in abd. 13mm in chest. Spinal Stenosis,Neuropathy RPLND feb 09
                    Found all three: Cancer, teratoma and scar tissue
                    10/09 B-HCG up to 39.90, recurrent TC, 2*VIP 12/09, TI started 05/11/2010, stem cell infusion 5/18/2010 day of rebirth
                    08/10 all clear

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Celebrating we are! And Boyce we took pictures and had everything but confetti! I told the oncology nurses it was gonna be a party - and party we did!!!





                      So our oncologist said "chemical remission" which basically means his tumor markers are normal and nothing is showing up as problematic . I know he still has cancer in him but it felt AWESOME hearing that we're soooo close to normal. I needed to hear this today. The fear and anxiety of the unknown was really weighing down on me for the last couple of weeks. THANK GOD for feeling good! Woke up feeling great and will go to sleep feeling great. Wahooo!

                      And we finally got a good look at the CT scan today of his lungs. MAN OH MAN were they improved. I remember (with dread) the original CT scans. I could cry thinking of how bad they were. But today they were beautiful and clear. Only a few spots, nothing that appears over 1cm, and just not tumor ridden like they were 4 short months ago. Whew. I didn't quite realize I was holding my breath for the last 4 months. Feels good to finally take a deep breath.

                      RPLND is scheduled for 7 weeks. WOW. Seven weeks of normalcy. No chemo, no appointments - just simple peace and quiet. Can you hear that? That's the angels in Heaven singin'! Whoo hoo!

                      Thank you all for the continued support. We're not sure if more chemo is neccesary today, but today I don't care what else it takes. If it feels this good to be almost there - I can't wait to hear we ARE there. Full blown remission - here we come!
                      sigpic

                      Read the journey from a caregivers point of view: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ericrichter

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                      • #12
                        Awesome! Congratulations!
                        Scott, scott@tc-cancer.com
                        right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since


                        Your donation funds LIVESTRONG Foundation services for people facing cancer now. Please join me!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Way to go!!! Keep the spirits up and enjoy the down time prior to RPLND. Congrats!!
                          Best,

                          Zsolt


                          Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another; "What! You too? I thought I was the only one." - C.S Lewis

                          “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” - C.S. Lewis


                          Mass found 11/20/08
                          Left I/O 11/25/08
                          Pathology: Seminoma, Stage 1
                          Surveillance: All Clear since

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                          • #14
                            Great to see the pictures! Congratulations!
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              We are all so happy for you guys. It seems like you both have such a positive outlook. Enjoy those seven weeks with your family!
                              MY husband:
                              1/15/2010 - diagnosed with testicular mass (2.5x2cm): 2cmx2cm para-aortic lymph node on CT scan (no other abnormalities)
                              1/19/10 - R I/O
                              1/21/10 - path results back Embryonal carcinoma 95%, teratoma 2%, seminoma 2%, and yolk sac tumor 1%
                              2/1/10-end of March - 3xBEP
                              4/7/10 - CT chest/abd/pelvis - lymph node normal, no new masses
                              all of 2011- all labs and imaging normal
                              --> still on surveillance

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