Well, I can finally update the website myself. Eric was coherent enough to harass today about the computer and we have internet connection again! Tom and Terry were kind enough to update the web and email so that you weren't left in the dark too long.
So, here's the latest. They moved him to a med/surg room this afternoon and he's up walking around a little. It's going to be a long summer but his doctor is optimistic that the worst is over. The tumor is out and Eric's vein started filling up immediately; no damage was done to it while the tumor was pressing up against it all this time. From all appearances it is in fact NOT cancer but an even rarer anomaly, a teratoma.
Mature teratomas of the mediastinum are benign lesions. They do not have the metastatic potential observed in testicular teratoma and are cured by surgical resection alone. Because of their anatomic location, intraoperative and postoperative complications are the only significant source of morbidity, as other intrathoracic structures often are intimately involved with the tumor.
Sex: Sacrococcygeal teratomas are much more common in females than in males, occurring in a female-to-male ratio of approximately 3-4:1. Most sources report no sex predilection for mediastinal teratomas. Others document a marked male or marked female predominance. Excluding testicular teratomas, 75-80% of teratomas occur in girls.
Also, to paraphase another oncologist, they can be comprised of all sorts of cells, such as hair, teeth, skin, intestines. He said it's not surprising to actually find teeth, hair, intestines within the tumor!?! (anyone familiar with My Big Fat Greek Wedding will appreciate this). Leave it to Eric to be as unique as possible!!! Of course, we won't have the official word until Tuesday/Wednesday next week but I plan on riding this wave as long as I can 🙂
Thank you, thank you for all of your kind thoughts and prayers and especially all of your help. We couldn't have made it this far without you.
Bek, Eric, Emme and Ally
PS: Anyone looking to visit should probably call first but he may be up to it as soon as tomorrow afternoon. He's in room 413 (4-West) at Scripps Green in La Jolla. Their main number is 858-554-9100. We still don't know for sure when he'll be home but it'll probably be sometime between Wednesday and Friday.