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Another One Down

Today I met with Oncologist #2 at Rush-Presbyterian in Chicago. This was my first experience with a big university/big city doctor’s office and it was definitely different from what I’m used to. They were very efficient and business-like and much less personal than the smaller offices and hospitals that I’ve been dealing with so far.

The doctor, however, was amazing. She was also business-like and efficient, but had a very calm, confident, and reassuring bedside manner. Her name is Dr. Cobleigh and as I’ve mentioned before she is well-known and very well-respected in the Chicago area (and maybe in the country). Unlike Oncologist #1, she let me tape record our conversation. She was deliberate and thorough and I felt as if she would have spent as much time with me as I needed, no matter how long that might have been. In reality, our time together was only about 45 minutes. (Additionally, her husband is a federal prosecutor in Chicago. Interesting that my oncologists all have attorneys in the family, isn’t it?)

Once again, I’m just going to give a summary of what Dr. Cobleigh recommended rather than recording every detail here. If you have questions, just let me know! Essentially, she agreed with Oncologist #1’s recommendations of a chemo treatment of Adriamycin and Cytoxan followed by radiation. She also recommended genetic counseling and possibly genetic testing based on my age and the fact that my (also young!) cousin had breast cancer. (Jenny, we need to talk about that soon!) The difference was that she also recommended the addition of another chemotherapy drug called Taxol. Interestingly, she suggested the consideration of a dose dense chemotherapy treatment, which means four doses of AC every two weeks instead of every three weeks followed by Taxol every two weeks for an additional four doses. This would extend my treatment time from nine weeks to twelve weeks (not including radiation time). I am definitely not thrilled about that, but the subsequent decrease in the risk of reoccurrence is worth the additional three weeks, I think. Based on how I feel about Dr. Cobleigh’s expertise and knowledge in this area, I tend to think that her recommendation is probably the way to go. I have a little more research to do before I make the final decision, including discussing her recommendations with Oncologist #1.

Dr. Cobleigh also cleared up some confusion that I had about my pathology report...it turns out that my cancer was both ductal carcinoma in situ and infiltrating ductal carcinoma. She also let me know that my cancer was Stage I, which I kept forgetting to ask the other doctors.

It was good to confirm Oncologist #1’s opinion and to find out that we are on the right track as far as treatment options. I’m not excited about the extra weeks of baldness and nausea, but in the grand scheme of things it is probably the way to go. This was a long, exhausting day and I’m feeling a bit mentally fried right now. I’m going to try not to think about any of this for the rest of this evening and revisit it tomorrow after a good night’s sleep.

Comments

Glad to hear you got thru the second opinion.

What's up with all of these oncologists "lawyering up?"

And you're right, that's alot to digest but you are getting on track to finding the right treatment plan to fit your lifestyle.

Hang in there, we are all rooting for you.

I agree, hang in there! Sounds like a lot to absorb. I'm sure you and your family will make the right choice for you. :) You're in my prayers.

Stage I!!! How I love to hear that!!! HOLY MOLY! This will eventually be a minor blip on your screen. You are going to kick this cancers ass all over the place.

Hey again; I went back and started reading from the beginning. I, too, had AC followed by Taxol. I did dose dense (I was 27 at diagnosis), so I had chemo every two weeks for four months, same as Onc #2 recommended. If you have questions about side effects, contact me! I've been there -- and though I wasn't taking Evidence at the time, I was taking Family Law, Medical Malpractice and Constitutional Law, among others that I can't remember just now. :) Hang in there!! You have a great attitude, and stage I is soooo beatable.

Just thought I would put my two cents in here now. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 48 and it was found in a routine mamo! Yea for early detection! She went with Dr. Cobleigh as her oncologist and her surgeon was also at Rush. I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Cobleigh. She is WONDERFUL! I am so glad to read that she is Oncologist #2! You will be in great hands with her treatment regime.