We canceled the first second-opinion on further chemo canceled the first second-opinion on further chemo, but followed through with the second second-opinion with the Willamette Cancer Center in Eugene.
Determined to ensure I receive the benefit of whatever may be the latest in treating my flavor of cancer, Julie didn’t stop with the disappointment from the previous attempt at a second opinion (see above link for details). She did research and found good things to be said about the Willamette Cancer Center (WCC), and made an appointment for a consultation on December 20th.
The consult was informative, and I was impressed with the doctor and establishment. I was concerned at first because they had requested permission to access my medical records from the VA — and I granted this — and the lady that had made the request commented that there were “over 700 pages in my medical record.” My concern was whether or not the doctor we would be meeting with actually read through my record, or would rely on Julie and me to “fill him in” on what had happened and where I stood now.
Instead, the doctor introduced himself and spoke a bit about his qualifications (to re-assure us I am sure), and then said he would give me a recap of what he found in my record, and if he had missed anything, Julie and I could fill in the pieces. As I mentioned, I was impressed. He was very thorough and very detailed in his recap, and the only things he missed were the few that had occurred since they pulled the records (the liver resection). We filled him in on those items.
He discussed one other possible chemo treatment option other than what I had already undergone. Though no details on specific studies, he wanted to consult with his mentors at his alma mater with my specific case details, and he would get a hold of me in the next few days with his recommendations.
That evening Julie and I did some research on the new chemo drug he mentioned and discovered it had many and different side effects, including loss of hair (I personally don’t care about that as ostensibly the chemo is saving my life) and probably more severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea/constipation issues.
Again, impressed, the very next day the doctor called. The doctor recommended entering the monitoring phase. He explained that normally they have a patient:
- undergo 3 months of chemo treatment — half of the recommended regimen
- heal up a bit
- undergo surgery (in this case the liver resection)
- undergo 3 months of chemo treatment — the last half of the recommended regimen
Since I had already undergone a full treatment cycle, he did not recommend any further chemo after the surgery.
Armed with this information, Julie and I are apprehensively looking forward to our consult with my oncologist at the end of January.