Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oncologist appointment

Appointment with oncologist doctor 10:15 a.m. After getting the paperwork and insurance details out of the way, we met with Dr. He flipped through some paper reports then reviewed the events, previous exams (vaginal, colonoscopy). He said that based on the reports he has seen (although had not seen a pathology report??) the level of 2500 indicated that the cancer could be ovarian. There are a couple of other possibilities, stomach, peritoneal, but his call was ovarian. "Bet money on it."

He said ovarian is definitely treatable, and suggested that the course of action should be doing two cycles of chemotherapy treatment with the drugs Topotecan and Praxitel. A cycle consists of doing three weeks on, one week off, then another three weeks on, then a week off. Then she would have surgery to take her uterus and ovaries out, plus do a process called devulking - clean out the rest of cancer implants on any other organs around and possibly on abdomen wall.

He went over the side effects, and said that everyone responds differently to the drugs, but that she could expect some nausea. He was going to prescribe some steroids for her to take before the chemo treatments that would cut down on some of the side effects. He said she would definitely lose her hair.

The chemo treatment would stop the growth of the cancer cells, because they divide faster than regular cells, however it would kill of other cells as well. Her immune system will be suppressed, which will restrict her ability to fight off other sicknesses. Fatigue is another side effect she will probably experience. She may be able to curb some of the side effects with the Prednisone/steroid.

The appointment went so fast (really about 20 minutes) that I barely had time to type. The doctor's office did the chemo right there but in another room. The Dr. was ready to start chemo as soon as mom could get a port catheter inserted. She set up another appointment for Monday 3/30 and his office would call tomorrow with a specific time. If there were any questions she could give him a call at any time.

So she was probably looking at ovarian cancer. I can’t say that was a relief, because it still could be something else. I wish there was some way to know. The only real way to know was surgery, and that isn't in the plan right now.

Back in Geneseo, surgeon doctor met with us and we told him about what the oncologist had said. She decided to set a time to put the catheter port in on Saturday, no use waiting. If things didn’t work out for Monday or if there weren’t a time available, then at least she would have the port in, ready to go for treatment.

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