Monday, December 12, 2011

Second Opinions....senses of urgency.....

On Oct. 13, my 21st wedding anniversary, I started a treatment of 20 mg. of Tamoxifen to try to kill off the cancer.  According to my oncologist, sometimes it causes a tumor flare up during the first 8 weeks, and after that point has proven useful for killing off the cancer in stage IV patients.

Well, fooey.  My markers have risen dramatically....39 in Sept., 79 in October and of Dec. 2, 214.  Still...he wants me to continue and to see him in February.

Meanwhile, my neck and shoulders are getting stiff.  Sort of scary.  Obviously, my close friends and family are getting parents and sister at least, and they've started asking about second opinions.

So...I guess I'm going to go to my oncologist and tell him that I need the surgical removal of my family from my back and that I would like to get a second opinion....and ask him who he would recommend.  I don't want this to be a vote of no confidence, because my doc really does keep up on the latest and employs it...I was a bit nervous when I told him that I thought I could beat this and get 5 - 10 more years, but was nervous about waiting to bring in the reinforcements until I was too far gone to pull me back.  When he said he thought I could beat it as well...he dropped his eyes and didn't look me in the face.  Now, that's scary.  So....I guess a phone call is in order tomorrow.

If I don't keep at it...then who will?


  1. Sounds like you should go ahead and seek that second opinion. The doctor should certainly understand your doing so, especially given the rise in markers and the stiffness. It's your life (though sometimes influenced by family and friend opinions!) and you have a right to be in the driver's seat re getting all info possible. Good luck & love, J and the Z's

  2. I am sure your doctor won't take it personally. I imagine he would understand why you or your family want to look at a 2nd opinion. Any doctor, oncologist or other, should give their patients the gift of letting the patient steer the course. Prayers flying high.

  3. Yep. The appointment is made and I'll see him tomorrow...Wed. It shouldn't be a big deal, but I do trust him....I just wish he weren't so methodical! I know of some Docs who have been really upset when asked about getting second opinions, and while that usually doesn't indicate a doctor who really understands the patient (instead indicating someone who has a really strong ego...), it has made things uncomfortable for the patient...who, after all, needs to know what alternatives (if any) are out there.... While doctors should look at it as an opportunity to have fresh eyes on a problem and more brain power, as well as an opportunity for another person to validate the choices which are being offered, it sometimes isn't viewed that way and the patient is the one who has to suffer....

  4. Thanks Roni! You were writing as I was...thanks too for your comment on the other post...although I don't feel that I am wise...just ask my daughter, she'll be more than happy to tell you that I'm a goofball. ;)

  5. Cured of TNBC!
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