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33 year old son just diagnosed

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  • Scott
    Wow, just two days away! Best wishes, Brian. We'll eagerly anticipate good news.

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  • BREwing
    RPLND on Friday!!!

    Well everyone, my RPLND surgery is going be done this Friday, May 12th!!! Still not 100% sure about the time, but I spoke to another doctor out of the surgeon's office and he was leaning towards 11:15 in the morning. All of us are very excited that its taking place so quickly , and very nervous as well !!! We met with Dr. Malkowicz from the Hospital at the University of Penn (HUP) and are very confident that everything will work out fine. Thanks again for everyone's support and either myself or my mom (DianeE) will keep you upto date with my recovery!!!


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  • Scott
    Originally posted by DianeE
    If you all get a moment, please take a look at Brian's post #89 (BREwing) in the Livestrong Challange thread under News and Announcements. You'll see a photo of my beautiful grandsons!!
    I love Brian's avatar photo. Those kids are adorable!

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  • DianeE
    Amen Dadmo! We haven't felt alone since joining this wonderful forum.
    I've spoken with Dianne (Mom) a few times and Brian has been corresponding
    with a couple of the guys who've gone through the surgery and he's
    getting a lot of addtional support from them.

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for your words of encouragement! I've received support
    messages from your mother too and hope to chat with her today.

    Hi Mary Ellen,

    So glad to hear all these positive stories about the surgery. Thanks
    for the encouragement.

    If you all get a moment, please take a look at Brian's post #89 (BREwing)
    in the Livestrong Challange thread under News and Announcements.
    You'll see a photo of my beautiful grandsons!!


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  • Chris'Mom
    replied son Chris had RPLND surgery in NY last July 22nd with Dr. Sheinfeld, he did great, and I had alot of support here on this site even during surgery....I will never be able to express how it helped us all...I can't believe it will be a year since surgery, Chris' scar is almost faded to a white line.....take care and all will work out...God Bless...Mary Ellen

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  • Kev332

    Isn't it wonderful how great this site is!! Its always comforting to hear other stories and to know things will be okay soon. Everyone on this site are so helpful!

    I had my RPLND a little over 2 years ago. Its weird because I can remember it like it was yesterday. Yes there were some tough times after the surgery, but things do get better and your son will do fine. By the sounds of it, he has a great family to help him along the way, which is very important.


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  • dadmo
    Isn't it nice to not feel so alone? We're all here to help, it just happens that it's (unfortunatly) your turn.

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  • DianeE
    Dadmo, thanks so much for the insight. It's not easy not to
    worry about the surgery, but you've made it sound so logical!
    I will let the doctors worry about the surgery and I'll concentrate
    on doing whatever I can to help my son and his wife get through
    the recovery. Brian has read this post and the many others and
    he is very confident about having the surgery and getting on with


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  • Scott
    Originally posted by DianeE
    Maybe we'll see you in Sept.!
    I hope so!

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  • dadmo
    I know you can't help but check out all the posts on an RPLND, don't focus too much on the operation, the doctors will take care of that, your main roll will be support staff. The helpfull hints below is from several previous posts

    Hosp. stay for 7-10 days, about 7 days of no food.

    make sure you get all necessary supplies (blankets, pillows, toilet paper, etc.) during the day because if you need/need to replenish some of these items at night, you might be hard pressed to find them. the hospital appears to work by having floor assigned nurses (12 hour shifts changing at about 7 pm and 7 am with each nurse working 3 days on and 2 days off) handling the meds, etc, and with roving personnel handling tasks such as IV magagement (the floor nurses do not like to change IVs and if there is a problem, you might need to wait a while for a roving IV specialist to come to the floor), vital signs (blood pressure, weighing), and bed and bath supplies.

    bring loose clothing to wear when you walk. The shirts should have buttons in front. Sweatshirts may cause a problem with getting them over your head.

    the patient will not likely remember too much after the operation the first day

    despite the morphine drip and weakness/stiffness the day after the surgery, the patient will be up for short walks.

    the fellows stop by each day usually early am and early evening

    if you have trouble sleeping, sleep meds (they like restoril) are available after 10 pm (the fellow can prescribe if necessary)

    the patient will have sleep interrupted several times at night for a blood draw, vital signs, iv bag changes, etc.

    the day of the surgery begins by going to the patient reception area. there you will change be seen by medical staff, and then wait in waiting room area. the waiting room area is limited so the staff may allow only one relative to wait with the patient. When it is time to go to the or, you will be wheeled in a wheel chair to the or. in the or, you will be moved to the surgical table and strapped down. Everyone will greet you and tell you to relax and reassure you. it is cool in there and you will have a warmer placed over your shoulder area. they did not tell me when they were going to put me out, so you are going out right about that time. i would estimate that i was out a little after 7 am. i did not remember much about the recovery room thereafter. i felt tired and very groggy so i dont remember much other than seeing relatives and then later arriving at a hospital room.

    relax and enjoy the stay! probably the worst part of the whole thing is getting the digestive system working again. stop the morphine drip as soon as you can because it delays restarting the system. the pain will probably not be as bad as you would think. having the runs while things get back on track is probably worse than any other type of pain or discomfort. once your digestive system is working and there are no other problems, you will be going home -- the bumpy roads were a bit painful but it was good to get home and relax.

    the patient will probably feel tired for several weeks after the surgery. just relax and enjoy the time off. i went back to work four weeks after surgery. i had residual pain for about 3 months, decreasing with time, but feel pretty good at four months post the experience.


    take some morphine prior to getting out of bed

    The patient will be catheterized. When you're helping him out of bed make sure to keep the catheter bag lower then the patients waist. The urine rushing back into the bladder can be quite uncomfortable.

    He may gain between 15 and 20 lbs and as a result his ankles may be swollen. You may want to bring sandals (or something else that slips on) for him to walk in.

    Even if your doctor doesn’t recommend it stay on a fat free diet for a few days. It will help the ends of the lymph nodes heal.

    I know the weight gain sounds excessive but the kidneys will be in shock for a few days and when they begin to work properly again the weight will come off.

    If you can get a T bar over the bed so the patient can help themselves get out of bed.

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  • DianeE
    Scott, as always, you have the right advice! I meant to ask that
    today, but it's probably a question for the surgeon and I'll make
    sure it's part of the consultation.

    Scott, this site has been a lifeline for us and I can't thank you
    enough for it. Because of this site, each time the oncologist
    mentioned something in clinical terms we knew what he was talking about!

    I am amazed at the amount of information I have been able
    to gather about this disease, in just two weeks! All because
    of this wonderful forum. Thanks so much!

    Maybe we'll see you in Sept.!


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  • Scott
    That's a perfectly good choice. There's a lot of good advice in past posts about what to expect. Be sure to ask about the low-fat diet before and after surgery to help avoid complications.

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  • DianeE
    Hi Beachtech and MRM,

    Thanks so much for your input. We appreciate the wonderful
    support we're getting from all of you at this site.

    Huckchef, what an adorable name. You and your wife must
    be in heaven with the anticipation!

    Here's is the latest on my son, Brian.
    We are now two weeks after his surgery to remove the
    testicle and we found out today that the AFP is down to 7
    and the HCG is 1. Before his I/O the AFP was 41 and the
    HCG was 88. One week after the I/O the AFP was 13 and
    the HCG was 2. We're thrilled that these markers have
    gone down like this.

    Brian saw a wonderful oncologist today, (my husband and I were
    with Brian and his wife) and to my surprise, the oncologist
    agreed with the urologist and said Brian should have the
    RPLND. I was expecting him to suggest surveillance, but he said
    in a young and healthy male like Brian, the surgery would be
    the best way to a cure. He did say he would like a second
    opinion on the pathology report and that will be done when
    we go to the surgeon for a consultation on May 8.

    After much discussion, and in view of the teratoma
    that was removed with the testicle, the drama of
    what step to take next has been resolved. We now
    have two experts who have recommended the RPLND,
    and unless the surgeon vetoes the plan, Brian will
    have the surgery, as long as the AFP drops to normal,
    which is expected since it is almost there now.

    We're all feeling so much better than we were two weeks ago.

    I can't believe how much we've learned about this disease
    in the past two weeks, and 99% of what we've learned has
    been from this site! You're all wonderful!!


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  • huckchef
    yes diane we have decided on a name. Mary Abigail. we will call her Abbie! thanks for asking!!i hope your son is doing better. a strong family support system will mean alot to him as you all face the next few months. be strong and have faith and things will improve. give your son our best and let him know he is not alone! thanks for being there for him and my thoughts and prayers are with you all daily!

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  • MRM
    If your son can handle the uncertainty of surveillance, it's a perfectly acceptable choice. The semi-monthy CT scans are a pain, but at least that's figurative rather than the real pain post-RPLND.

    If he is the type who would be very nervous every month waiting for results, then an RPLND is the way to go. It does increase the chance of cure a lot, immediately, and reduces the odds you'll ever need chemo.

    It seems most urologists favor RPLNDs-- it's surgery; that's what they know-- and oncologists often favor surveillance, with chemo for a backup.

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