Update

Hey all,
Rambling update, followed by a note from Jay! Skip ahead for the heart, read on for the heady Western medicine.

So we met with our main oncologist today, Dr. Darren Feldman. He is thorough, kind and a leader in his field. He reviewed the pathology results with us in detail. The cancer cell type is called “non-seminoma” and the particular subtype is most likely “choreocarcinoma”. (Pause to google.). This is definitely a serious beast; Stage 3C, risk profile: high.

Here’s the strange part: The choreocarcinoma cells forming the tumors are actually placental tissue (I.e. there is a grapefruit sized placenta in Jay’s belly, a brussel sprout-sized placenta near his heart and a bunch of baby placenta in his lungs). The initial culprit in his left testicle has “burnt out” and is no longer active. The reason there is placenta everywhere, as I understand it, is that his sperm (technically his germ cells) went a little haywire and jumped the gun, dividing rapidly as if fertilizing instead of waiting to get inside an egg. We’re still puzzling at this one.

In terms of treatment, Jay is going to participate in a testicular cancer study comparing two chemo drug regimens: BEP and TIP. BEP is the standard treatment now, and TIP is frequently used as a follow up regimen when the BEP doesn’t work. Dr. Feldman is experimenting and having good success with TIP as a primary regimen, but it can only be administered within the trial as of now, and the odds are 50:50 that Jay will get the potentially more effective therapy (the TIP). We’ll find out tomorrow.

We finally got a bed in Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital, so we’ll go up soon and get J hydrated and rested for what will probably be his first day of chemo tomorrow. He’s in fighting form and has been heartened by some wonderful visits and messages of love today.

Love and gratitude,
KR

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