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Should I seek second opinion?

cabinlife's picture
cabinlife
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2011

I am a 60 year old female and I have fNHL Stage III, no bone marrow involved, no symptoms that I am sure of--I do have hot flashes all the time but not at night and I have tenderness under arms. I got the DX in June 2011 after enlarged lymph node in neck was removed. After PET scans and CT's I was told it is in both sides of neck and underarms, chest, stomach and gut. My OC in Nashville TN recommends "watch and wait". I go back in Oct. for blood work recheck. Many friends want me to go to M D Anderson in TX for a second opinion. My insurance would probably cover 80% for the second opinion but it would still be expensive for travel and such. Anyone have opinions on this?

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3184
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi,
I think going for the second opinion would be a good idea. The tenderness under your arms might be a sign to see if anything new is going on. I did the watch and wait for about a month after my diagnosis, but during a bi-weekly exam with my Onc, she found a new lump along the side of my jaw bone. She decided then it was time to start a chemo protocol. I had tumors in my groin, stomach, and neck...(hence stage3). I did CVP-R and did well on it and finished my 6 rounds in Dec 2010. I then started the Rituxan Maint in February and now go in every other month for my infusion. I'll do this for the next 2 years unless something new pops up. I'm doing pretty good except for the fatigue. My energy level is ok, but not as good as I'd like it to be. MD Anderson is considered one of the best cancer centers in the country and everything I've heard and read about it has been very positive. If for no other reason than to put your mind at ease, it would probably be wise to go. Please let us know what you decide to do. Take care and best wishes to you. Love, Sue
age 60..Follicular NHL(indolent)stage3(no bone involvement)grade2-typeA-DX in June 2010)

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1112
Joined: Jul 2009

I am a 25 year survivor of nhl and had a bone marrow transplant, my own bone marrow.

I read your posting and if you have been diagnosed with stage 3 in all of those locations I would definitely get a second opinion and MD Andersons is a fabulous hospital with many wonderful doctors. The way I look at it, why not get a second opinion? then make up your mind as to what to do from there.

If you can get 80% covered medically then the other expenses pale when it's your life you are talking about. You can save here and there on the visit there with places to stay etc. Your life is more important.

Keep us posted. Wait and see works for some people in some situations but personally I couldn't do it and chose the transplant instead. For me, it worked. I wish for you the same in whatever choice you choose but truly, I would get a second opinion if I was you and sooner rather than later.

Blessings,

Bluerose

moftexas
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb 2010

In would definitely get to MDA for a second opinion. It is a phenomenal place with incredible doctors. I have been a patient for over 2 years and have been in remission after just a few treatments. They are aggressive, but that's exactly what I wanted to fight my cancer. Good luck.

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