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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Medical Update -- Doctor's Recommendations & Second Opinions

My oncologist recommending continuing with the Herceptin and switching from Taxol to Taxotere (rather than Xeloda) for two main reasons:
  1. Taxol and Taxotere are both taxanes. Since Taxol was effective, it is reasonable to expect Taxotere to have similar results. Stick with what works.

  2. Save Xeloda for when there is progression. Then we can use Xeloda in combination with Tykerb. Studies show those to be an effective combination.

This all makes a lot of sense to me.

Moshe wants a second opinion.

We have consulted several times with one of Israel's top oncologists, who specializes in breast cancer. Unfortunately, she is located in Tel Aviv and we can only see her privately.

I do not expect her to disagree with my oncologist. Even if she might suggest a different chemotherapy, I doubt she would advise against Taxotere. Taxotere makes so much sense as the next course of treatment.

I have been so tired since Pesach. I really do not want to schlep (drag myself) to Tel Aviv, not to mention shell out all that money. Each consultation with this oncologist costs 1,100 NIS! (I get half back from the kupah (health fund), but it is still a sizable chunk of money)

For his part, my oncologist is completely backing up my husband. Though he does not think a second opinion is necessary, he does think it is completely reasonable.

My doctor constantly emphasizes that "this is a couple's disease." He maintains that it would be wrong for me to have the attitude that "this is my body" and do just what I want. It is important that Moshe also feel comfortable and confident that we are doing the best we can to treat this disease.

Over the last few days, Moshe has read many articles about these drugs, and he has many questions. Not only is he interested in Taxotere vs. Xeloda, he is also interested in the combination of Taxotere and Xeloda. (thanks to A for sending us several relevant links, including this article).

Moshe, God bless him, is taking this decision very seriously. He does not want to be at all casual about my life.

I am not being casual about my life. I just know what I want to do.

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,

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