Thursday, August 28, 2008

An Update From Karen

Well, yesterday became a nightmare for him when we got stuck a nurse who didn't know what he was doing which ultimately resulted in Sean being taken off all pain medication for 6 hours while he received a blood transfusion (if this sounds like it was completely unnecessary, believe us, it was. There is no medical reason to keep a person off pain medication while they receive blood.) Luckily, the food director here at this hospital who is like my second father, came up to see how he was feeling and noticed the situation. He got the floor nurse involved who got Sean fixed up and he was fine for the rest of the day. He started his clear liquid diet yesterday and has been doing great with it. He is allowed to eat soft foods today like mashed potatoes, etc, but in very limited portions. He's been able to get out of bed a few times, which is excellent, and just what the Dr. ordered so he's progressing very nicely while he's been in the hospital. Still no word yet though on when he'll be released.

The bad news came this morning, though when we were told that the pathology reports that got sent to the lab from the surgery came back positive for residual cancer cells meaning that the surgery didn't get 100% of the active cancer cells out of Sean's body. About an hour after we got the news, Sean's wonderful oncologist, Dr. Chandramouli stopped by to go over the results with us. He's really been great for us during this whole thing and we're really lucky to have him as Sean's cancer doctor. Dr. Chandramouli explained that there are two possibilities for the type of cancer that is left in Sean's body. The first type is called a teratoma (I don't know if that's spelled correctly) which is a cancer that grows locally and does not spread to other areas of the body. If Sean has this type he could live a long full, relatively healthy life while still having cancer. This type of cancer can result from having the regimen of chemotherapy that Sean went through, and is sort of what we're hoping it is. The second type is what has been in Sean's body from the beginning. This type of cancer spreads throughout the body and can be fatal if it goes untreated. Dr. Chandramouli referred to this as being yolk-sac cancer cells. Long story short (haha, right, I know) Sean and I are planning on going to Indiana University to meet with Dr. Einhorn. This man discovered that cisplatin (the drug that makes you really sick from chemo, but is the most effective in treating cancer) was effective. He wrote the book on treatment for testicular cancer and the operation that Sean just had was developed out of that university as well. We're going there to get the best advice and potentially treatment possible. If when we go out there and they decide to treat this as aggressively as we'd like them to, Sean will most likely have the same operation again, with the team at Indiana University, and in this case, they WILL get all of the tissue and tumor out of his body.

I know it's a lot to take and it's really confusing and it is actually very exhausting. Sean has requested that I let all of you know that he loves you and that what he would like most right now is to be left alone about questions and everything. If you do have questions or want a message relayed to Sean, post your comments and question on the blogsite here and I'll get back to you about everything. Please continue to keep us in your prayers and thoughts. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by too, it's been really nice of you all.


Karen Martella said...

This post was actually updated by me, Karen, so if you have questions direct them to me so as not to bother the Martellas or Sean. Thanks!

Carl and Mel said...

Karen, I am so sorry!!! I hope that the best case scenario comes out for Sean! You are so great! Your wedding was beautiful!!! You will be in my thoughts and prayers! Love you Both! Melanie

Tayster said...

Sorry about that posting mix-up, Karen. I'm not used to seeing your email with the last name "Martella" so my brain automatically posted it from Taffy.

I've changed it now.

Elaine said...

Let us know if there is anything we can do for you. We love you guys.

Ann Marie said...

We know this is a trying time for your family. Hang in there, and we'll keep on praying!
Thanks for the updates. It's nice, so we don't have to bother your family with phone calls. :)

Hang in there, and keep on having Faith!