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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Wow, doctors certainly have strong personalities, especially women doctors who have risen to the top of more traditionally masculine fields.

My Onco, who I really feel is in my court, called me into her office today before chemo, asking me why my surgeon called her at home last night "freaking out" and saying that "the chemo hasn't done anything to my tumor. The onco and I know this is bullshit. The surgeon didn't even see me until after my second round of chemo, so she has no clue although she does have my films. I don't know what her deal is and that's basically what Dr. Mo said today.

Meanwhile, I've already written about how the surgeon and the plastic surgeon are disagreeing about reconstruction options. As an aside, I'm becoming more and more convinced that flap surgery is not an option, at least not in the near future. Maybe in a year or so down the road. I'm just not willing to sacrifice weeks and maybe months of time when I could start to feel good and work on regaining my health to some boobs. I'm sick of feeling sick.

So, the surgeon called me in to get an order for a breast MRI and wants it "asap." OK, I'll break the rules in chemo and call and schedule that today. Then, Dr. Mo says, "Well, that would be stupid, let's give this round of chemo a chance to work...there is a little lump there, but it could be dead cells or it could be gone after this round...regardless, Anita is nuts that the chemo hasn't been working." So she then says, "Let's get this MRI scheduled for 10-14 days after this round of chemo to give this round the optimal chance to work." I reminder her Anita, the surgeon, wants it done ASAP and Dr. Mo responds, "Well, *I'm* the primary here and I say 10 days, so I'll have my people schedule it and I'll tell Anita that's how it's going to be. Leave that up to me."


Then she drops the big bomb and almost made me cry. If this "little" lump is full of cancer, surgery will be delayed and I'll have at least another round of chemo. Otherwise, if they do the surgery and find active tumor, I'll have to do another full effing 18 week course of chemo.

Now, I'm feeling more vulnerable than before.

First of all, I thought we had a plan. Secondly, I'd been led to believe everything was going well. Third, it's not cool to have your doctors spatting over you. Fourth, I thought I was getting some control over my life. I can actually make plans for surgery. I like making plans. I've never been good at following them through, but I'm good at making them. Fourth, for the first time in months I heard the words, "Your best chance of survival..."

No, really, survival is my only option, yet, I can really begin to understand the whole concept of "quality of life" right now, staring another full course of chemo in the face. Possibly 18 more weeks of this shit, after surgery? It'd take more than a low dose of Lexapro to get me through. It might take more than a low dose of Lexapro to get me through the next two weeks....

Another full round of chemo will leave me positively brain dead. Louis is out of work, I'll be too dumb to ever work again if I have to go through 7 more treatments of chemo. I can barely function now. It would be interesting to know how much my IQ has dropped.

If I didn't have kids, I might consider the option of dying smart as opposed to living dumb and sick. This has been hard enough on the kids already. The only positive is that I can't beat a single member of my family at any games at this point...not even games of chance, which in the grand scheme doesn't bode well.


Anonymous said...

Oh Dawn, I know how frustrating it is to consider your own options, but to have the docs disagreeing... That has put an additional stress on your plate that you don't need. The only bit of light I can offer is, having gone through Cytoxin and Taxotere myself, the cognitive functioning does improve after the treatment ends. At least it did for me, and I bet it will get better for you, too. I know, when you are in the middle of all this crap it seems like things will never get better.... I think you would benefit from some "Healing Touch" therapy. The Victory Center has a great practitioner, and it is FREE. I know it is anpother appointment, another drive, etc... but it might really help make you feel BETTER!

Kelly KH said...

Dawn, I'm screaming here beside you. Why can't doctors get some training in bedside manner? It's so hard to ask questions on the spot too, when you're being given shitty news.

Here's praying this round of chemo does its job and virtually holding your hand for the next two weeks.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I have been reading your blog and keeping up with your journey. Hang in there because it will get better. I know it's bleak now but we are all here for you and are pulling for you and Louis and the kids. We are thinking of all of you and we're here for you along with all of your other friends and loved ones. Love, love, love and many hugs, Lisa