Friday, November 22, 2013


This is the last post I'm going to write because ROBERTO IS CANCER FREE!


The visit to the surgeon on Wednesday was full of great news!

First, the surgeon divulged some more tidbits about the surgery.  Another reason why the tumor was difficult to remove was because it was "hard" and "had cartilage" in it.  :\  The cartilage is actually normal for teratomas (teeth and hair have been found in some). 

Second, the tumor had NO malignant cells!  Hooray!  I'm guessing this means the teratoma was around for a while (maybe since birth?) and the seminoma was a recent development.  Also, the teratoma will *probably* not come back.  Roberto will have to follow up with the oncologist to periodically check for the seminoma.

Third (I told you, lots of news), the surgeon took the staples out of Roberto without any trouble and put some skin glue on the incision.  There's some tape on the incision now so Roberto doesn't burst open.  Oh yeah, the adhesive I mentioned in the last post is from all the bandages for the dressing and tape to keep the sensors on Roberto's body.  Yep, there's still bits on him because I've been lazy.



Roberto is making really good progress and is slowly weaning himself off of the pain medication.  We are cautious because we don't want him to get to a point where he is "chasing the pain."  He's slightly more mobile now but it's still hard for him to move his arm around.  There's a part of Roberto's chest below the pectoral muscles that are numb.  The surgeon told us that when they spread his ribs during the surgery, there is a nerve that was affected.  Roberto might be numb there for a long time. 

I feel like I can finally breathe a sigh of relief now that the surgeon has told us that Roberto is cancer free.  It's almost strange to think that I won't have to occupy my thoughts with how sick Roberto is feeling or how to juggle Roberto's care with life's other activities.

We're lucky:  the doctors found the cancer in time to treat it effectively and the treatment only took up 6 months of our lives.  I know others who were/are not as lucky.  I said this already, but I'll say it again - I'm going to cherish every day that I have with Roberto now. 


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Is this it?

Roberto is doing great.  We compromised and he's on a 5 hour schedule for his pain medication.  He's also having an easier time moving around.  He still has random bits of adhesive on his skin, though.  No, we aren't lazy.  There are some parts of his body that are a bruised and tender from his stay at the hospital so we're just leaving the adhesive stay for a bit longer.  

Wednesday afternoon, Roberto will meet with the thoracic surgeon one last time.  Roberto will have the staples removed from his body (yikes!).  I'm fairly sure Roberto is at the end of his treatment.  The next step would have been radiation - but that's out of the picture because the teratoma tumor cells are dead.

Unfortunately, Roberto's cancer, specifically the seminoma, has a 50% chance of recurrence.  The seminoma was the cancer that responded well to chemotherapy but grew rapidly.  Roberto will have to be checked every couple of months or so to make sure that the cancer has not come back.

Honestly, this scares me.  The unknown of whether or not it will come back and if it will come back stronger and worse.  There's also the suffering that he may endure if he has to undergo chemotherapy again.  I didn't take Roberto for granted before (at least, I hope I didn't) and now I have even more motivation to enjoy every day I have with him.  :)

I hope this Friday will be the last post I'll write for this blog! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Slowly Recovering

Hi all!  My bad about posting late.  Roberto is continuing to make progress and even tried to wean himself off of the pain medicine by relaxing his medicine schedule from every 4 hours to every 6.  I thought he was being a little ambitious and made him get back on the 4 hour schedule. 

My friend Martin stopped by with his wife to drop off dinner for us yesterday!  It was delicious and more convenient than I realized.  Driving back and forth to and staying late at the hospital last week really drained me of energy.  Also, the stress of the surgery probably took more of a toll on me than I had realized. 

While Roberto is recovering fairly quickly, he still needs lots of help because he can't lift his arm too much.  I have to run around and get food and drink for him, but at least he is not feeling sick!  It's easier to take care of someone watching TV all day than someone who is throwing up all day.  Although, he made me go out at night to get him soda.  I'm pretty sure that wasn't a medical emergency.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Good news everyone!  Roberto was released from the hospital in the morning!  The surgeon checked on him in the morning and said that Roberto was making great progress!  The more important news is that the pathology report came in and the tumor cells are all dead!  DEAD!  That means NO RADIATION! 

I'm not sure if this is the end of Roberto's cancer woes, but he is at least out of trouble for now.  The cancer Roberto had has a 50% chance of returning so he will be monitored for the next few months.  Also, he is not out of the woods just yet.  Roberto has to make sure to do his breathing exercises and walk around to help his body heal.  The incision still has the staples, but those will be removed on Wednesday when we see the surgeon one last time. 

I'm going back to the MWF updates for at least one more week now.  Hopefully, I won't have to update this blog for much longer.  :)