REPORT From Local Oncologist: I have to say I was disappointed with the local oncologist. I found him to be distant and not all that compassionate. He mostly answered my questions, but he seemed to be tired and maybe wished he didn't have to be there. For all I know, he had a patient die or he wasn't feeling well himself....I don't know. I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt since he has had so many people recommend him based on his compassion and openness. My husband said he seemed very knowledgeable, but also agreed that the guy didn't display that warmth and openness that we had been told about. I will give him another go or two at it, but if not him, then I'm really into the unknown here in town. There are two other main groups of oncologists and I don't know anything about either.
DNA Sequencing: Well, he first started talking about the cost of health care and how expensive it was.....$10,000. Wait a MINUTE!!! I had read on the web that costs were about $1-2K.....then the Mayo oncologist said about $4-8K and now $10 K. This guy did mention that only one of his patients had requested (demanded maybe?) the DNA sequencing.....so maybe that was done before prices started to come down. (Competition?) Then, he mentioned something about Anyway, I left there more confused about this issue than ever.
I would LOVE to be able to just do all the chemo treatments up at Mayo Rochester, but it is a 3 hour drive. Hubby is willing to do that....2 out of every three weeks, but the Mayo doctor warned that with each succeeding round, I may feel worse and wouldn't want to be riding in a car that long. Wish I had a crystal ball to know. Oh...the chemo will probably be Gemcitibine and Cisplatin. We could do the Oxiliaplatin (sp?) but the cost is considerably more (insurance might balk) and he thought that there was more evidence that the cisplatin might be more effective. If I don't tolerate the Cisplatin, I'm guessing that we might be able to change to the Osiliaplatin since it has fewer or less severe side effects.
I am having a port installed this Friday. Not really worried about that too much, except for the IV placement....but am going to the oncologist's office to have them put one in before I go to the hospital to have the port put into my chest.
Meanwhile, my surgical incisions have not healed yet, due to popped/or prematurely dissolved stitches. I'm in the beginning days of week #8 post surgery. There is a major good change in one and the bigger one looks better, but still not getting to the point of healthy tissue yet in the bigger one. . I'm concerned about doing chemo with unhealed incisions, but the oncologist's point was, ~Which is more important....hopefully killing off cancer cells when they are still very small and can maybe be affected by the chemo, or waiting possibly a long time for the incisions to heal and delaying chemo to the point it may not do any good.~ I want to call my Mayo doctor and see what he says again. I know it isn't unheard of to do chemo with incisions that are still open (mine are only about a quarter of an inch deep), but I just want to be sure of what we are doing. On my own, I initiated an informal visit with a wound specialist nurse who assessed it and said it was stalled healing. She gave her recommendations to my GP who agreed with the nurse, so we are now doing a silver impregnated cloth in the incision to speed healing. Meanwhile, I think I need to see an MD who specializes in wound healing issues, but haven't looked at the phone directory yet to see if there are any in our location to do that. If I'm going to do chemo with even slightly open wounds, I want this to be watched very carefully during chemo to make sure we stay ahead of a possible infection.
This is a full time job. I feel like I don't know who or what to believe anymore.
"Just for today, I can get through anything." I'm a cancer survivor, not a doctor. The opinions I state are my own, based on my personal experiences. As always, talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment.