I had a consultation with my GYN/ONC this morning to go over the T8/Bone biopsy results. He was on his annual volunteer doctor trip to Guatemala last week, so his associate called me to let me know the USPC has spread to the new location. She scheduled me for the 1st appointment this morning. I could sense a totally different demeanor in my doctor as he talked to me about the new results and treatments. He could have been stressed at being a week behind with his patient load (I know they squeezed me in this morning, plus I was aware of another woman being squeezed in). Or was he less optimistic or genuinely concerned about options. First he reminded me this cancer is not curable – it’s only treatable. He wants me to receive radiation for the spot on the vertebrae and for the small spot still remaining in the Supraclavicular Lymph node in my neck. He said radiation would be about 5 – 6 weeks, but didn’t go over how many radiation treatments there will be. He’ll request another Scan and follow up with more chemo. Hopefully the radiation will get both spots, but I still have the two small spots in my lungs that have responded well to chemo so far.
Then the meeting started getting weird. He seemed irritated as he mentioned there are different chemo combinations to use, but getting them approved through insurance may be difficult. He told me he contacted MD Anderson this morning about any clinical trials for USPC or Uterine Cancer. I couldn’t tell if he was irritated because the chemo he may want to do, cannot be administered by his office (Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital) or if insurance just won’t approve it, period. ALSO NOTE: I was originally told all the various cancer centers throughout the city of Houston are licensed to do the exact same basic chemo protocol as MD Anderson. Only, if one doesn’t respond to the basic chemo treatment protocols (which I have so far) do they get referred to MD Anderson who IS licensed to do lots of experimental drugs, clinical trials, etc. I don’t relish the thought of going downtown to the Medical Center, the parking, the gas, etc. but I do want to live, so that’s not a big deal to me.
This was the kicker – my doctor has ALWAYS been like a cheerleader, never allowing ‘US’ to think things aren’t going to work out. But, in the course of the conversation, and in my confusion of his less than optimistic attitude, I asked him “What exactly is my prognosis?” He leaned back against the wall, with his arms crossed, and after considerable thought, said “Without any further treatment, you have about 6 months to a year.” I asked how can someone like me, who looks healthy, feels healthy (when not on chemo), and has no pain, etc. die in such a short amount of time. He said that’s how this disease works. That sweet, positive doctor bluntly answered my question this time. I’ve asked it before and he wouldn’t even go there. So Now I’m Freaked. Where did my optimistic doctor go? I am going to proceed with whatever treatment plan he has for me, but was this his way of telling me things aren't going as well since cancer seems to be popping up in several places? Is this his way of preparing me for the worst? I've cried all afternoon!