I’m going to take the liberty of posting an update on our visit with the oncologist today at Mercy.
First of all, Jenny really liked him. That surprised me.
It surprised me because of how much he talked. He talked and talked and talked. Then he talked some more. He talked so much without stopping that it was hard to get a question in (but he did answer our questions — thoroughly). He barely took a breath.
As the one typing up notes, I didn’t like that sometimes he used words I couldn’t spell.
But he did know his stuff.
And that’s why she liked him so much. He was full of information. He explained in detail and with passion why he agrees with the surgeon’s suggested path. He explained why Jenny’s pathology makes her an unlikely candidate for reconstruction at the time of surgery.
He also suggested we get another opinion at MD Anderson — but he recommended doing that after the surgery. He made the recommendation to go to Houston after the surgery because he thinks there won’t be much debate about the need to have the mastectomy.
However, when MD Anderson called shortly after Jenny left his office, she set up the appointment in Houston for Oct. 18. As the people at MD Anderson explained to her, we will initially meet with an oncologist to evaluate her pathology and set the next steps and the next meetings with other doctors. We assume surgery will still be the next step, since starting with chemo to decrease the size of the tumor is (we think) unnecessary with a mastectomy.
But who knows?
And that’s the point. We don’t know what we don’t know. Going to MD Anderson will at least allow us to see them go through a different process — and if they arrive at the same recommendation, well, that might be a good thing. And in the process, Jenny might meet a surgeon or oncologist that she likes and trusts even more than the ones she has already met.
So, for now, we plan to go to Houston in two weeks. We expect to be there for about a week (we think) while we meet the team of doctors assigned to her.
And we plan to postpone the Oct. 17 surgery for 10-14 days.
I qualify everything with ‘for now’ because Jenny might wake up in the next week and decide to go back to the path of having surgery on Oct. 17 and moving forward with the doctors at Mercy. We don’t lack confidence in the surgeon or oncologist; we just want to see the options while we have time and have the opportunity (‘for now’).
Jenny is currently en route to Houston tonight to go on a previously planned cruise with her friends. They are leaving from Galveston tomorrow. (Unfortunately, we could not schedule the MD Anderson appointments around her return through Houston).
And when she leaves the port tomorrow, her job is to not think about cancer for four days. That will be a good thing for her.
On Monday, her job is to be a strong cancer patient again.