Monday, May 18, 2009

Latest Report

From the Wife:

Last week was tough...Just thinking of what could happen and what was happening in the surgery room was too much to think about at times...sitting in the waiting area having time pass by and not knowing is a horrible thing. Your stomach is turned in so many ways and you can't even call the staff to see what is going on cause they just took him in 20 minutes before and it seemed like an hour had gone by.

I had several scenarios that the doctor said could happen but he couldn't tell me anything till he was on the operating table and figuring it out himself. There was a lot at stake this time around.

The first thing was to place the scope (camera) in the pleural cavity and see if the cancer had spread in that area. If it had then there would be nothing else to do but to close him up and do another chemo round to see if that would do the job. The pleural cavity is an inoperable area. (We hoped it would not be this one)

The second was to go in with the scope and see where the tumor was and what it was holding on to. If it was attached to something, they needed to see to what. The plan was to remove 4 ribs and the chest wall, remove the tumor and reconstruct his side to hold everything in place.

We were all excited when Dr. Grannis called us all in to give his findings during surgery and he asked if we all wanted good news. We all said yes, of course. He said he didn't remove any ribs or the chest wall but he did have to do the major surgery (a cut of about 12 in. from back to front on his left side) to remove the tumor and that he would be in great pain. We all cried tears of joy! I couldn't believe what I had just heard. It's amazing what the doctors at City of Hope can do.

Marco was transferred to ICU to be under observation because of the type of surgery he had and needed to be monitored for other things.

It had been the worst day I could recall from all the times that we have been at City of Hope. The doctor telling us we had to watch out for infection and fever, which probably wouldn't happen .... but it happened. We were all very scared and having the word "pneumonia" in the conversation was not good at all. I tried my best to have Marco rest and not get too worked up about what was happening but I think we all did our part as best we could. The high heart rate was not helping either and not to mention that he couldn't breath. That is the part that I hate the most when I can't physically do anything to make it any easier. As I headed home that night I couldn't sleep just wondering what was going on and if his fever went down , if he was breathing right, if his heart rate was down. I don't think any of us slept right all week. Nerve-wracking I tell you. This is the time were you hate the fact that Marco has cancer and you want to choke cancer for having him go through all of this.

I was so excited to see Marco up and looking good than the nights before. He had a more calm look to him. His heart rate was down and his breathing was better too. A whole new person sitting up in his hospital chair. You can't even imagine the joy to see that sparkle in his eyes...knowing that he felt so much better.

They had him get up a day after surgery and that was painful for him...but the fighter in him amazes me. He went out there and walked more than what the nurses wanted him to walk. Everyday after that he would double that walk. Since they saw he was determined to go home they started physical therapy and he was good to go by Friday.

The pathology report came in on Friday and the doctor was excited to report that there was no live cancer cell in the tumor that was removed from the diaphragm and there was no cancer in the pleural cavity. This was good news...very good news. Because we know that sarcoma cancer is very aggressive and is known not to react to chemotherapy but had. I have said Marco has a very positive attitude and mindset that he will beat this. The chemo worked and it killed all of the cancer cells in the tumor.

He was told he is a candidate for a medical trial coming up, this would be a medication given every day for patients with soft-tissue sarcoma that meet the requirements. Marco fits the requirements now. This is a decision that needs to be made within a couple of weeks. A lot of paperwork was given with pros and cons and what may or may not happen. The other thing would be that a placebo would be given to some patients during this trail but only the FDA would know who was given the "sugar pill". A lot of information could be collected from this trial that may help Marco and other patients too.

I am so very happy to know that there is NO MORE CANCER (for now). But we will not let our guard down and we'll stay focused on this upcoming trial. I will let you know what happens in regards to Marco doing the trial or not.

I would like to thank everyone again for all you do for my family. We truly appreciate it all.

Marco, Myself and our kids are very lucky to have each and everyone of you.


Anonymous said...

Leezy120 said:
Thank you Wife for the thorough and latest report. This is a very good way to communicate all the information to us all. I check the blog everyday. Hope Marco you are recovering well in your environment where you might feel a bit more at ease. Your surgery was big and hopefully your pain and healing process is under control. Thank you Wife for keeping us posted to what is going on. I truly appreciate it. My love to you all.

Anonymous said...

Surviving 3 under 5 said:
What is the name of the trial that you were offered? Has it been around for long?

Raquel said...

you have a special 14yr girl, Marco! I have a 36yr old sister who is battling a rare agressive sarcoma(they've classified it as angio sarcoma then changed it later to epithiloid sarcoma)and found your blog while researching this type of cancer. She was diagnosed at the beginning of this year(2009) and has been weakened by the treatments and sent home with hospice care. I draw strength and hope from your daughter's essay - God Bless you and your family!