Monday, October 12, 2009

Scan Results and Plan

Sean went in for his PET/CT scans this morning at Intermountain Medical Center. We asked them to rush the results back to his oncologists office and we were given the results around 12:45 this afternoon. Rick Hansen, Dr. Chandramouli's physician assistant is the one who called us as Dr. Chandramouli is out of the office this week.

We had hoped that Sean's cancer was localized so that he could potentially undergo surgery to remove the tumor, but unfortunately this was not the case. Sean's cancer is widespread and there are tumors in many areas within his body. Rick mentioned specifically that they found tumors growing in his lungs, liver, and abdomen (all are areas where he has had tumors in the past, but that's not necessarily why/how they are there again), with the largest tumor being 1.9 cm. That's an enormous growth for a 4 week span and it's a relatively large tumor as well. I believe they said that that tumor was in his liver. Anyway, he has little spots all over and upon recommendation from Dr. Einhorn in Indiana, surgery is not really an option for Sean at this point. He and Dr. Chandramouli's team want him to start on the Taxol/Gemzar chemotherapy asap.

We are scheduled to meet with Rick on Wednesday (October 14) at 11:00 am. At this appointment we will sit down with him in the office and go over what this chemotherapy will entail. He stated on the phone this afternoon that Sean will do treatments of 1 day per week for 3 weeks with 1 week off following for a break. This will be considered one cycle and he'll do multiple cycles. I'm not sure how many right now but when we meet with Rick tomorrow I'll update again and let everyone know. After we sit down and discuss everything with Rick and have all of our questions answered regarding his treatments, Sean will begin his first round of chemotherapy. They are going to give him the chemotherapy at the office just like they did with his BEP cycle way back in 01/2008.

I know that there have been specific medications that have worked for Sean in the past in relation to managing his symptoms so I will be sure to stock up on prescriptions for those medications when we meet with Rick. I am going to request that he be placed on home healthcare again as the last time he did it was very beneficial to him. This way we will be able to give him medications and hydration at home and hopefully limit his visits to the ER. Sean will also be having another port placed which is good because then he won't have to he poked to death with IV lines every week. I'll be able to administer his home health medications and fluids through the port.

Right now this is all we know. We have many questions to ask the doctors on Wednesday and we'll be able to post more after that visit. Please keep us in your prayers as we try to make it through another treatment. We're on our last straw but we know that the power of prayer is strong and for everyone who has been asking us what they can do for us, this is it. Thanks to those who have already been praying for us. We really appreciate everyone's love and support.



Anonymous said...

Karen and Sean, I can't even think of anything to say except to PLEASE KNOW YOU ARE BOTH LOVED SO MUCH!!! YOU AND YOUR PARENTS , ALL OF OUR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS ARE IN OUR PRAYERS..PLEASE let us know what we can do...We want to call you when you are up to it..I know you are ALL exhausted... WE LOVE YOU, Aunt Laura, Granpa Martella, Aunt Debbie, and the rest of the entire Martella Family

Timbra Wiist said...

there isn't much to say except that you guys are in our prayers. i can't imagine the feelings, the thoughts, the wonder and the questions at this time. .. but you know you always have our prayer! the wiist family

Shana said...

You guys do not know me, however, I am friends with Heather English, your cousin. I couldn't help but read this and silently cry and get a very sick stomach. I am not sure if Heather has ever mentioned my husband to you, but he was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer not too long before Sean was the first time. My husband had 2 surgeries and went through chemo as well. It had been almost 2 yrs later and we found out it had returned (the end of feb this yr). Jake went through the 2 drugs that Sean will be doing this time around... he even did I think 2 or 3 others as well. He stayed in the hospital overnight for a 24 hr chemo infusion along with 5 more days of the week following his infusion from 8 to 5pm. This just brings everything too close to home and breaks my heart for you both and your families. As you both know the chances of it coming back even a second time are very, very slim means that after going through it a second time up the chances a lot by having it come back even more. Have they talked about doing a bone marrow transplant? I know that my husbands dr mentioned that if it came back again, they would go straight to a transplant. I am sooooo extremely sorry. My heart breaks. There is no way to describe the sadness I feel for you. It is so hard to watch the one you love suffer. I will keep you and Sean and your family in our prayers!! If you have any questions or would just like to chat to someone who truly know what you are going through, please feel free to. It is scary, but be strong and as you know, the Love of our Savior carries you through. My email is

Anonymous said...

Gather strength from your Lord and Saviour, each other, and those around you who care so much for you. Our prayers are continual for you and we find comfort in knowing that you have already received eternal life and there is nothing that can take that from you. We love you and are lifted up by your courage and your faith.
Bob & Pat

Jake said...

Sean, my name is Jake Gardner. My wife (Shana) left a comment earlier about what we've been through with my testicular cancer. I know it seems rough and the road seems long but I promise that you'll get through this. If you ever want to talk feel free to contact me. Just email the address my wife left on her comment. I hope you know that you are not alone in this fight and that people are prying for you, you will be in our prayers and we look forward to good news for you. As a side note I'd encourage you to check out reel recovery. I just attended a retreat they hosted in Utah and it was amazing! I know sometimes it's hard as a man to discuss pain and feelings but they have a great retreat for men only that teaches fly fishing and you tell your cancer story to other men that have battled or are still battling cancer. I'd highly recommend it the website is, this is a non profit foundation and they host 2 retreats in utah and several others throuhgout the west. Be strong, this too shall pass. feel free to contact me, Jake

Grannie Annie said...

Sean, Karen and Family -

You are in our thoughts and prayers. May God comfort and strengthen you in this time as He always has....lean on Him for guidance. May His hands guide the doctors as they care for you, and search for a treatment.

In Him,
Bill and Anne Smith

Anonymous said...

Just came across your blog. I was diagnosed Sept. last year and went thro 'Chemo etc All was going fine til today when I felt acute pain and swelling in my right armpit. Phoned my Oncologist and he's very concerned. I see him thursday. Just to let you know that there is someone else out there who had a shitty day today with TC related problems. You've been through alot. Stick with it Sean. You were in my families prayers at dinner tonight.

Rich H

Ann Marie said...

We will continue to pray for you!
Rely on the Lord.. stay positive and keep fighting.

Thanks for the updates.. ♥