Posts Tagged ‘oncologist’

U of M

June 9, 2009

Today I have an appointment at University of Michigan Breast Cancer Center. The plan is to get a second opinion for an oncology (chemotherapy) plan.  So far, all my phone interaction with them has been pretty easy, and I anticipate this visit will be, too.  

It has been quite a difficult week, for reasons I can’t go into right now, but I think today will be a good thing.  

More later


A whole new day

June 5, 2009

Wow….life has been ticking away at quite a quick little clip that I haven’t had a chance to post any comments…and things have been looking up, too.  I think the last thing I wrote was some silly little wishy-washy-worry-wort mess.  

Since last Friday when I was concerned that I had made too quick of a decision on treatment options post-mastectomy, I have worked the phones quite a bit, talked to lots of Doctors, Nurses, insurance people, and schedulers, and now I have an appointment at University of Michigan next Tuesday for an evaluation/second opinion on treatment options for BC post-surgery.  This, I am extremely happy about!  

And to think, all of this has been driven by the lowly “arm-port”.   The “port” is the delivery system by which one receives the poison that is known as chemotherapy.  And the mix of caustic drugs is best delivered directly into the superior vena cava, the biggest vein going into the heart, where the drugs are swooshed around and diluted with a bunch of other blood  before it is delivered to the arteries and then out into the the rest of the body to look for any cell that might be dividing… hair cells, fingernail cells, skin cells, and also….cancer  cells.  Then each drug in your chemo mix has a different function, but together they seek to kill those dividing cells.  So….losing your hair as a result of chemotherapy is a “good thing” it shows that the drugs are doing their job!  (This is my new perspective and I’m going to stick with it!!)  But really, the more research I have done, the more fascinating it all is.

So this week has been busy with gathering records, doing lots of thinking, all the while preparing for a couple of brief appearances at school to see the kids, and let them see me…see that I am looking good, and I’ll be OK.  

My next post is going to tell you about the MAGIC that occurred at school, and why I now really know that I have the best job ever.  Right now though I have to get ready to pick up records at Dr. B’s office.

Not so fast, “bucko”

May 30, 2009

So, remember my last post how I had so easily come to a decision about the chemo plan?   Well, I have changed my mind a bunch of times since then.  Since I found out my cancer surgeon will not put a “port” in my upper arm, I have decided to pursue another option to see if  I can get this procedure at U of M (where my onco-man suggested it is currently being done.)  I have spent hours on the web and on U of M sites in the last day, and I think I am ready to cancel the pre-op appointment coming up this Thursday at St. Anne’s (in Toledo).  

Now, I just have to be sure Medical Mutual will allow me to travel for this procedure……and since I am doing that, I think I want a second opinion on the chemo plan too.  I can hardly believe I am saying that. I’m worried that I am making a big decision too quickly.  I’d do more comparison shopping for a pair of shoes than I have for chemotherapy.  That’s a sobering thought.

I’m worried about the insurance, worried about the “port”, worried about the “plan”, and worried about my kids.  All the while, I keep thinking I should really try to have a good time now, before “chemo” starts and the likely nasty side effects decide to cozy up inside my little ol’ body.

Oncologist to Oprah

May 26, 2009


Well, we finally got to meet the oncologist, Dr. M., and I’ll say this much, I think he is smart.  BUT-that doesn’t help me make a decision.

So far, this has been exceedingly difficult to even think about, much less write about, and I can’t exactly figure out why.  Maybe it is because I feel so clueless and immobilized by…..what?  fear? the fact that I really didn’t understand hardly anything he said?  And what he said, well, just had to do with my “odds of surviving” this stinking disease.


so at 3:00 am tuesday morning, I am still wondering how do you choose which type of treatment to do after breast cancer surgery?  We even taped the appointment so I could listen to it again (and again and again) but that hasn’t helped much

I think my choices are a clinical trial, or a more conservative chemo plan AND tamoxifan or a hormone blocking clinical trial.

Dr. M favors the clinical trials, but said if it were him, he would do the conservative chemo treatment. I think that is his way of being diplomatic about it all. We see him again on Thursday, I’m supposed to at least have an idea by then what I want to do.

I do think he is a smart, thinking doctor, but it would be nice to have somebody else decide for me.


Taped the Memorial Day Oprah show with Christina Applegate on Breast Cancer, hoping for some pearls of wisdom.  It was a nice show, but for me in the “thick of it” right now, it provided no answers.  Shoot.  Actually, it was something said on that show that woke me up this morning.  A BC survivor made a comment which really bothered me, something about how great God was for giving her a second opportunity at life. Of course, the crowd applauded and cooed approvingly.  I so much can not relate to that kind of belief.

The thought that pulled me out of my now-normal uncomfortable sleep was, the universe is just “what it is” and it is what you choose to do with it that makes it turn beautifully for you, or makes life pass by achingly slow.  Good Lord, I have got to  get back to hanging out with the Unitarians again.