Monday, November 24, 2008

Coin Toss

After all that, this is not an allegory post. (Just consider yourself warned, for when I spring one on you.)

Today I went to see the medical oncologist. I have a belated infection at the surgery site. Oh yes I do. Better late than never, I guess. (?) Also, possibly even less delightful, was the copay for the prescription I had to buy to get rid of said infection. But yeah, I'd like to get rid of it. That wasn't why I went to see the doctor, though. I went to see her because she scheduled me to, so she could tell me the results of the Oncotype-DX.

Wouldn't you just know it. I'm in the middle category. This means I can a) bite the bullet and decide to have chemo and Tamoxifen or I can b) become a lab rat and let them put me in a random process which, at the equivalent of the flip of a coin, will allocate me to a group that is treated as above, or a group that is only given Tamoxifen. (Radiation therapy is a given in either case.) Then they will use the data from my ensuing life--what treatment I had and whether I ever get any kind of cancer again or not--to decide how to treat other patients, years from now.

There isn't a lot of data on this stuff for women my age. It would be very heroic of me to decide to become a lab rat. But it turns out I don't think I'm that heroic. I am a little perplexed about the numbers the doctor showed me, as compared to the ones I was quoted as needing to fall below. So I'm going to go ahead and phone my Second Opinion Doctor tomorrow, just to confirm. But, all Opinions being equal, I think I'm going to go for the chemo. I already pretty much have a wig picked out. (Did you think I said, "I already pretty much wigged out"? 'Cause I did that, too.)

But boy. Will those Starbucks customers be confused.

1 comment:

christianne said...

Dangit. I was praying for it to be really clear which path you should take: clearly chemo, or clearly not. What's up, God?

There was an error in this gadget