With a Second Opinion in hand, so to speak, we rushed out of the doctor’s office and over to my current medical provider’s clinic to get hooked up for Cycle 2 treatments. It was a strange feeling going into treatment knowing for sure that the 2-drug regime I was about to receive was not standard of care. Believing in the original 3-drug regimes as prescribed by my Oncologist, backed by William’s weeks long research and just now offered as proper standard of care by the new doctor, made the whole experience feel somewhat surreal.
I met with my current Oncologist for a standard pre-treatment workup and checkup. He was aware that I had obtained a second opinion and was very gracious in his approach and exercised the utmost professional conduct. I explained that I would not be adding a second chemo drug to the 2-drug regime, as he had suggested. This was not an acceptable replacement for the Perjeta his office staff was withholding from me. What a tough position to put your doctor in – both me and his office staff. Me because we can’t afford to self-insure a drug we already have insured through Aetna and his staff for failing to manage business risk with the insurance company outside of the treatment room. I had to tell my doctor that I would be working to transfer care elsewhere after this cycle was complete. There is no doubt my doctor had it right – Perjeta is the way to go as the additional drug to be added to my current 2-drug regime. His business office does a great disservice to women with Her2-positive breast cancer. They do him a great disservice as well. It is fundamentally wrong to allow non-medical staff to interfere with medical prescriptions, particularly denying standard of care.
My check-up was nothing but good news. My white blood cell count is holding up. The tumors might be shrinking a little – and this is 3 weeks after my 1st treatment. Alleluia! My weight is continuing to go down as I march towards my surgeon’s prescription/preference that I lose another 20 pounds before surgery. I’m hoping to continue this trend in spite of the massive amounts of steroids I’m required to take to prevent an allergic reaction to the chemo drug. What is really impressive is that my head is clear and brain is working quite well. It maybe that I’m able to clear chemo drugs in 1 week which is huge. I will be able to function at work just fine as a work through 2 weeks and then return for another treatment cycle.
Cousin Lona came to visit with me. Time flew by as we chatted and chatted. William went home to rest thinking he needed to get ready for the long drive home to Sacramento tonight. We won’t be going home tonight. Chemotherapy didn’t finish until after 5pm and travelling after the long day today doesn’t make sense. What an emotional roller-coaster it has been. I have the answers I needed. I have made the decision to move my care and wait for this decision to be approved by the new doctors business office. My current doctor tells me I’m tolerating treatments well. I’m clear-headed, although tired. The 2nd cycle treatment was noticeably easier on me – much less discomfort. All in all I go to bed tonight more at ease than I have felt in many days.
Tomorrow we drive home to Sacramento which I expect to be long, but regularly long only.
Good night friends. Good night!