Feb 10, 2012 03:02PM dancetrancer wrote:
OK, so I had my 2nd, 2nd opinion yesterday...LOL.
He was GREAT. So, so compassionate, exactly what I needed. He was very caring and seemed to understand that treating the mind (which I feel like I'm losing with all of this stress, LOL) is just as important as treating the body. Thus, he suggested we run a PET scan of my body to reassure me that as of now (since you never know what the future holds) I don't have any metastatic cancer anywhere. (yes, I know this can lead to false positives...hoping I don't have that stress). They will be setting me up for this soon. He says he can tell that with all that I have been through that I am way stressed out and obsessing, and he wants to try to put my mind at ease or, at worst, give me some answers. He also wants to run some blood work to check tumor markers (again, I know these are not foolproof - hopefully they won't cause me MORE anxiety) and also will be checking my vitamin D level.
He said in terms of treatment, we really need to see what the calcification is in the R breast (a residual calc was seen on mammo AFTER my BMX) before we make any final recommendations - b/c of course - if that is cancer, depending on how big it is or the kind it is, that can totally impact the ballgame. Of course it could just be artifact still, too. Either way, we need answers on that before deciding how to proceed. I see the surgeon next week about doing a biopsy.
He did say that if it ends up that all we are dealing with is the L 3 mm HER2, then we have some decisions to make. He acknowledged that much of the time tumors this small, even HER2+, are not treated with chemo/Herceptin. However then he said he knows that now people are saying we need to look at not just the size of the tumor, but really consider the biology that may make it more aggressive (re: HER2). He said if it comes down to peace of mind for me, he is willing to give me Herceptin only (instead of giving it with chemo, which is the standard way it is given). Herceptin only has fewer side effects than chemo. So the risk of giving it for the unknown risk of my size tumor may balance out, whereas the risk of doing chemo w/Herceptin may be too high when the risk of my tumor is unknown. I hope that makes sense.
He didn't seem to think that waiting another 5 weeks to start Herceptin (i.e. after rads) would make a huge difference.
Anyways, I was really encouraged, and he was so, so compassionate and seemed to look at caring for my whole being (i.e. mental status!) vs. just my medical status. I'm not sure exactly where this is all going and of course I reserve judgement after meeting with him/dealing with his office more, but I am leaning towards choosing him as my medical oncologist.
So no - not a strong consensus - (1) strongly says no tx except Tamox (2) urges chemo with Hercep (3) offers Herceptin only if that gives me peace of mind.
I'm leaning towards Herceptin only.
BTW, how many of you have had your infusions in your doctor's office, instead of the hospital? These last two docs, I think (need to ask on 2nd one) do their infusions in their offices. That scares me a bit...ie. if you have an allergic reaction, are they equipped to handle it? It will be a question I ask my doc, but I was wondering what other's experiences have been with this. Maybe I am worrying over nothing, but if you haven't figured it out...that's a character flaw I've got that isn't going away! LOL