"Don't spend time worrying about how you are going to die. Worry about how you are going to live today"

Friday, January 21, 2011

Second opinions mean hope and more questions

This morning I met with a second medical oncologist at another hospital for a second opinion on the whole chemo situation.  Though I don't know what to do yet, the meeting was good for me. 

I met with the medical oncologist for over an hour.  At first she reviewed my basic stats and oncotype score and said no chemo recommended.  Then I brought up my concerns and questions and as she went through them one by one, she started to question if no chemo would be the best choice.  We reviewed the Adjuvent! Online tool and that indicated that there may be an additional 5% risk reduction with chemotherapy for me. She said the main thing driving that number was my age and my tumor grade (2).  As we reviewed this and all of the other information, she seemed to think further research was needed because I was in a bit of a gray area regarding chemo. 

So she left it with me that she would review my complete file (it's getting sent to her from another hospital), look into new studies/literature, evaluate risk reduction from other options (ovarian oblation) and get back to me.  She scheduled me to return to her office in two weeks to review this after my case was reviewed at tumor board next week.  Although I don't have the answers yet to make a final decision on chemo, I feel like this doctor is working with me to get there.  I think getting a second opinion was the right thing for me.  I think it has brought me a little peace as I feel like I am doing something to help me make this important decision. 

I know that being an analytical person is making some of this torture for me as I want solid information to make my decisions on and sometimes that information is just not available.  I am having a hard time accepting that when it comes to making life-saving decisions.  I know no one will give me any guarantees here - I realized that the day I was diagnosed when they kept using the word "treatable" instead of curable.  There are no guarantees in life, especially when it comes to breast cancer.  I just need to come to a place where a decision seems clear to me and that decision becomes something I can live with knowing in my heart it was the right thing to do for me.  Right now, I am not equipped enough to make that decision with the questions I have and the little information that has been provided to me so far.  I pray to God asking for a sign or something that triggers the right decision for me.  I pray I find peace in that decision and I can feel good about it no matter what it is. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I am not sure the best way to get in touch with you, but I am going to give this a try. I am in a similar situation today as you were years ago. My oncotype is 18. Tumor grade 2. The Adjuvant online tool is offline and has been for months. I have to make the chemo decision and my MO is ambivalent. I am shocked that the benefit was estimated to be as great as 5% for you. My advisers are saying maybe 1-2% benefit, tops. So confused.