Third try is the charm
I’ve stopped saying the phrase “good news,” but I’ll say that Rosie and I are a little more upbeat about her options today.
We spent four hours in the office of her third opinion doctor yesterday (third surgeon; fourth opinion if you count her oncologist). The appointment was at 5 p.m. and we didn’t leave until almost 9 p.m. We weren’t with the doctor the whole time, but we were with him about half of the time. He had a lot of good information and a refreshingly good outlook. He was the first to create a treatment plan that fit our desires and priorities (without us even telling him what our priorities are), and the first doctor to treat Rosie’s illness as a unique event. Once he started talking about the treatment plan he would create for her, we realized that all the other doctors have all been prescribing generic treatment plans, basically the same treatment plans they would give anyone with her type of cancer. But since Rosie is young, still wants to have kids and her cancer is fairly aggressive, we don’t feel like the standard plan would fit well with her. So, we really like the new guy and have pretty much decided to have him start treating Rosie.
The best news is that he is recommending no more surgery until AFTER chemotherapy, since the chance that the cancer is “spreading” is a greater risk right now than the tiny bit of microscopic cancer remaining in her breast. He’s also very concerned about doing everything to try to save her breast and disfigure her the least (why is he the first to show any concern about that?). He agreed that she will need more surgery in the future, but there’s no need to rush into that (music to our ears).
The even better news is that this new doctor has referred Rosie to THE most respected medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer in Indiana, and this hotshot doctor wants to see her right away. They will be performing a huge number of tests on her tomorrow (all day) to try to detect any existing “spread” and to set a baseline to compare against in the future. She’s scheduled for a catscan, heart test, bone scan, lung scan, abdominal scan, pelvic scan and several blood tests. All in the same day. This is exciting and nerve-wracking, but definitely a step in the right direction.