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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Medical Update -- Xeloda vs. Taxotere

I tried to bypass the trip to Tel Aviv.

I emailed the oncologist and received an answer from her. She recommends Xeloda and Herceptin.

Because Moshe wanted an uninfluenced opinion, I sent her the minimal amount of information necessary to form an independent opinion. But now I had more specific questions.

I emailed her again, but did not receive an answer. So I called her with several follow up questions.

She was in the middle of seeing patients, so she was not available for a lengthy discussion. I managed to ask about Taxotere, and she repeated her recommendation to switch to Xeloda.

I wanted to ask her more questions, but she did not have the time or the patience. I asked if there was another time that I could call her. She was noncommital.

That is the only thing that I do not like about this doctor. The only way to consult with her is to come in person. It seems to me that we should be able to have a short phone consultation for relatively simple questions or, at least, a short correspondence via email.

It is clear that the only way we are going to receive satisfactory answers to all our (read: Moshe's) questions is to go in for a consult.

Moshe really wants to do this. I really do not want to. This is so ironic. I am going for him, and he is going for me.

Either way, we are both going to Tel Aviv tonight.

All I want to do is sleep. I forced myself to stay awake to call the oncologist when the secretaries said to call. (Then I had to argue with the secretary until she put me through, and then the doctor did not even really have time to talk with me!)

Now I can't sleep because I have to get ready to go see the doctor, because she did not have time to answer my questions over the phone, and she would not commit to talking with me later.

Oh, yeah, and did I mention that we had an appointment for 8:30 pm, but they moved us up to 7:30, which is NOT a good time for us?!?! (I hope I can sleep in the car!)

I am really trying to stay focussed on how important this is to Moshe.

I wish my two doctors would just talk directly with each other.

I am really inclined to take the Taxotere, for all the reasons I wrote in my previous post.

Moshe asked that I do not decide anything until I speak with the other oncologist. I am trying, but it is difficult.

Now, in addition to not wanting to spend the time or money getting this second opinion, I am worried that it will cause even more strife if Moshe and I do not agree on the next course of treatment.

...as if I did not already have enough stress in my life!

I HATE having cancer!

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

With love and optimism,


Baila said...

I'm glad you are going for the second opinion, as difficult as it is. You need to see her and hear in order to make an informed opinion. And Moshe is right. If the roles were reversed, you would probably want to do the same thing.

Thinking of you...

rickismom said...

Well, this type of beuracracy is par..... I get it with Ricki's things all the time.
Better to get a second opinion than regret later not getting.
If you ever need a place to crash in the Tel Aviv area you can come to me.

adena said...

Rivka: I feel for you. I understand that the 2nd opinion, while helpful to your husband, is not necessarily helpful to you. If doc #2 recommends something else, then what do you do? Go see doc #3? My opinion is that you should do what YOU feel is correct. Even if it is "a couple's disease." It is your body the medicine is going into, after all. Good luck with all of this.

Ilana said...

Thank you for writing your updates.

Melissa said...

Dear Sweet RivkA,

I have been out of the blogging loop for awhile.

I will be praying very hard for you and your family that you get the best advice and care.

Thank you for all of your kind words to me and know that I am thinking of you.


Anonymous said...

We're wondering what happened in TA? Please update...Jameela

Cheryl Pitt said...

As difficult as it is you did the right thing. Hope all went well.

This is the way it is in th US, at least with a primary physician, I don't know about specialists though. If you want to talk, drive forever for an appointment-ugh.

Cancer does Suck!