Jan 13, 2010 - 7:14 pm
I'm confused and angry today at our oncologist and need advice as to what I should do about it.
My wife, Cheryl, was diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma Cancer on 11/30/2009. It appears to have started in her lung, and matastasized to a lymph node in her lung and then her liver. We live in Virginia. The first consultation with our oncologist at a respected NYC hospital (yeah, that one) was on December 4th. We met him again Dec 7 & 8. He explained the "success rates" of traditional treatment and for one alternative -a Phase III clinical trial he's overseeing that, in his opinion, was a "break-through" melanoma drug with a huge success rate. He recommended we wait for the trail to began just after 1/1/2010. Though it was a long time to wait for treatment, my wife finally said OK.
On December 9th my wife had an appt with an GYN oncologist. A couple of days later her pap smear biopsy came back with evidence of melanoma cells. Cheryl's oncologist was informed, but he wasn't worried - stay on track for the clinical trial.
Cheryl called the oncologist 1/4 about the date of the trial. She was informed that it was now scheduled for 1/12. On 1/7 he informed her the trial was delayed 3 weeks. The oncologist called last night (1/12) and told Cheryl he was no longer sure when the trial would start. He counseled her that there was no treatment he could recommend at the NYC hospital, but did explain that he had spoken to an oncologist at a Tennessee hospital about the Phase II trial for the same drug he was working. He gave Cheryl the TN oncologist's phone number (it was the hospital's general number) and recommended she call and pursue treatment there. We called the TN hospital but were told Cheryl was not eligible because the Phase II trial is for people who have failed a previous treatment.
How can a doctor dump you and leave us twisting in the wind like this? And to top it off, now TN can't take her because she doesn't fit the criteria! We have lost 1 1/2 months with no treatment with these yoyo's, and my wife's cancer does nothing but grow - is this how it works?