The new chemo, or actually the return to the first chemo, started early May and after the 2nd treatment we were expecting to see something…and we did, it seemed like this chemo was helping the cancer grow. The skin mets (metastasized cancer that comes up on the skin like large hard pimples) had gone from just on her right breast to her stomach, side, back, shoulder and other breast and it was moving fast.
I called the doctor at the University and told her we needed to see her right away, we had another round of chemo before we got in to see her so we were 3 treatments in by our appointment. I told the doctor that we needed to go to plan B and fast, she said that they like to wait at least 6 treatments before they determine if something is working or not. I told her to examine my wife and she would see that it wasn’t working.
She examined her and concurred that the treatment didn’t seem to be doing anything and that we would need to determine a plan B. I told her that on the phone she had told us that the specialist had determined that plan B was navelbine and xeloda, she told me that I was incorrect, another doctor had told me that. I told her that she needed to review her notes and she left the room. When she returned she said, we will be going to the specialist’s recommendation of navelbine and xeloda.
This really made me start questioning the doctor’s competence with my wife’s treatment. So I asked her what test she had run to determined that Adriamycin was actually killing the cancer the first time. Her response infuriated me, she said “oh we didn’t run any tests, I just saw in the old reports that the tumor had shrunk from the previous treatment so we thought we would start there”.
At this point I explained to her that not only had the tumor NOT shrunk the first time, it actually had grown a little before the lumpectomy and that the tumor had only been measured before and after treatments with adriamycin, cytoxan and taxol, so how would you have determined that the Adriamycin was the one working. Again she would have to look at her notes….we were done.
We went back to our original oncologist and told him that we needed to start a navelbine and xeloda protocol right away and that following week we started.
We also were looking for other doctors and specialists at this time and that journey had God written all over it….
To be continued…