Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Update 6/22/2010 The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

I'll start with the ugly:  The spots on my body that were shaved for surgery which were never meant to be shaved.  I think it will be months before the hair is back and I start to feel normal again.

Before I get to the good & bad though, a quick update about the last few days:
  • Healing continues very well, worst part now is the itching from the stitches (and the fore mentioned newly shaved spots).
  • On Monday I got up early and went to the gym in our building and peddled away on the stationary bike for 35 minutes (at a pretty slow speed) and it went fine.  Went to work that day and felt like I was starting to get back to normal finally.  Or at least my new normal.
  • This morning I went out with Julie & Bica for a jog.  Just 1 week after my surgery the jogging went very well.  We did a scenic 4, maybe 4.5 mile run on the national mall including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the White House.  Very pleasant to jog again, and although I ran very slowly (Julie was faster than me!) I had no pain at all, no shortness of breath, just a hell of a lot of itching.  Felt even better at work today and was very busy, so the day flew by.
So the good & the bad from my Drs appointment today which was to discuss the pathology report on the tumor:

The good -- The case was what is called pure seminoma, which as I understand it basically means it was just one type of cancer.  If it were mixed that would be bad (worse, I guess) news.  But if I had to have cancer, this was the kind we wanted it to be.  This cancer responds very well to radiation.

The bad --  There was evidence of vascular/lymphatic invasion, which (again as I understand it) means there is a higher chance the cancer could have spread.  If you've read below you know that as far as they can tell the cancer has not spread, but this bad news makes it more likely (slightly, perhaps, but still more likely than before) that the cancer could show up later.

So it seems now extremely likely, almost a sure thing, that I will have to have radiation therapy in the coming months.  The good folks at TCRC have a lot of info up about this entire process, including radiation therapy.  But the therapy will most likely mean 2-3 weeks of daily radiation blasts (each weekday) which will have all the nasty side effects you'd expect (fatigue, nausea, etc.).  But at the end of that treatment period things should slowly being to return to normal.  I mean my new normal.  Not a fun outlook for the next few months, but by all accounts I'll be as cancer free as is possible for medical science at this point.

I still have to meet with the various drs about both radiation and chemo (chemo is still an option so one I have to explore).  I'll update after those discussions take place.  For the next few weeks I expect to have a normal life again, running in the mornings, working all day, walking the dog at lunch, etc.

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