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12.16.2008

Finally! The 3rd Time's a Charm...

I spent most of last night and all of my waiting time at the oncologists this morning sorting through medical records from multiple doctors. I finally weeded through them, sorted them, put them in order and destroyed the many, many dupes. My files ended up being reduced to nearly half of the original size - which made it way more easier to discuss the files with my new oncologist. I went in there with an open mind, hoping for reasonable treatment options. After all this was actually the 3rd oncologist I've seen, though I must say I had no issues with the original doctor - I was just told they had an office closer to my house so I switched offices. It was the doctor in that office that told me 6 months.

We reviewed my cancer history, pathology, and treatments. I explained to him what my last oncologist recommended, and why I disagreed. I told him what I was hoping to achieve and that I had no issues with doing chemo if it was really necessary - but that I could not see any reason why it would be. After listening and looking through my records he performed an exam, during which he asked me if I happened to be a nurse. I said no and asked why. He told me that I was very knowledgeable on the subject and asked how I came to be so. I explained to him how I work with some breast cancer communities writing, answering questions, and helping women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. He applauded my efforts for educating myself and helping others. I guess he doesn't get a lot of patients like me. I know all the ins and outs of my disease, but I tried real hard to make sure I didn't come off too strong. I didn't want him to think I was hard headed or would only do things my way. When I pointed out how Femara failed to do it's job of preventing my estrogen from binding with my cancer cells, he pointed out that it wasn't just the hormone therapy that failed me - chemo failed me as well. He told me that since chemo failed me and because I've already had a recurrence I am at a higher risk for it to return elsewhere in my body, but he agreed that doing chemo at this point is not the answer. Before he puts me on Tamoxifen he wants me to get another PET scan, which will show if I have any suspicious activity going on anywhere in my body. My last PET scan was clear but it had taken place back in April - a lot could have happened since then as I have not been on any AI meds. So providing that this next scan they are scheduling for the end of the month is clean and that my blood test is ok, he's totally in agreement with skipping chemo and going straight to hormone therapy. He even said that even if I hadn't requested this course of treatment, he still would have recommended it for me. If this scan comes back clean - and lets hope it does - all I would need to do is start a daily regimen of Tamoxifen, have my blood drawn quarterly to check the cancer markers, and get scans done every 6 months....and by scans I mean PET, Chest, Bone and/or Dexa scans. It looks like I just may have finally found the right doctor - how about that?

1 comment:

Heather said...

Yay for finding the right doctor! I'm praying everything goes really smoothly. You deserve a break!