Oct 24, 2012 - 8:40 pm
Yesterday I went to my second opinion, Dr. Carol Portlock, a lymphoma specialist, at Sloan Kettering.
My husband and I didn't expect that she would do anything too different from my local oncologist at Yale, but in anticipation of the appointment, I postponed the starting of rituxin and prednisone which my Yale oncologist had scheduled for last Friday for the follicular lymphoma stage IV grade 1 that she diagnosed me with.
After two hours of waiting at Sloan (which was pleasant because we met a patient volunteer who worked in her office, and had been diagnosed with fnhl 13 years earlier who shared her story) we finally met with the fellow and Dr. Portlock.
As we braced ourselves for what additional chemo I would have to endure, with the chemo I am on currently for my eye cancer, Dr. Portlock told us, "she was not convinced that the evidence of a 3% small monoclonal B population in my bone marrow was a "true" lymphoma in the absence of any other evidence like a positive PET scan, or tumors, or a positive blood component. She said Rituxin and prednisone would not be her first choice to restore my only symptoms, low platelets either, and that I should find a hematologist.
She then told us that there are sometimes findings of B cell populations that have no clinical significance, and some findings that become "true" lymphoma in time....
So this latest world wind of dueling doctords has taught me two things again....I am my best advocate, and one should always get a second or even a third opinion when necessary.
The great news for me is that God has granted me a window of possibility that three cancers maybe my limit. Today I am celebrating that possibility!