This is how my dog looks at me whenever I start packing my overnight bag for the drive to Portland

Thursday, March 4, 2010 2:47 PM, PST

So, I saw my medical oncologist today. Dr. Karamlou is a nice guy and gets it that chemo is the last resort, because – at Stage IV – it’s really a quality/length of life issue. So here are some things that came up:

1) I asked him to switch me (for slightly low thyroid) from Levothyroxine to Amour – and he DID! He wrote the prescription and I was able to fill it at the compounding pharmacy in Portland. Wow. I am slightly dismayed to see that it’s made from animal thyroid glands, but at least it’s natural. And my insurance covered it – amazing.

2) I asked him to prescribe Progesterone cream for the pain of the tumors that have percolated to the skin on my breast (photo above, hope it’s not too graphic for you…). He blanched and said not to put ANYTHING on the skin, as it might aggravate and cause it to erupt. So my question is – just to confirm – there are some of you out there who use this on their tumors, right? My tumors are ER/PR+.

3) I told him that I’m going to go to Dr. Forsythe’s clinic in Reno for a consultation, and gave him the print out with the 2 year study. He seemed pretty nervous about it and said that whatever I do, I should do it soon, because my cancer markers have gone up again. CA 15-3 went from 43.8 to 53.2 from Jan to Feb. And CA 27-29 went from 95.5 to 114.

4) His and my surgeon’s recommendation is that I have my ovaries out and start on Arimidex (I’m on Tamoxifen now, pre-menopausal). The gynecological surgeon (after vaginal ultrasound and biopsy of a lesion on my cervix that was “mild dyplaysia”) thinks I should have a full hysterectomy. I’m really not keen on any more surgery, and I told this to the med onc today. He said that my alternative would be to get a Lupron shot, and then go on Arimidex. I’m considering that.

5) So, I made the appointment and flight arrangements for Reno. I will have a consultation with Dr. Forsythe next Wednesday 3/10. I made an appointment to get the Lupron shot on Thursday on my way home through Portland, but I can always cancel it. I want to see what Dr. Forsythe’s take on all this is.

OK, that’s the news. I’m feeling pretty strong and excited about going to Reno next week. The only way I am able to this is that my dear mother is getting a bonus at work, and she’s giving me the consult for my birthday present. When I told my lymphatic massage practitioner about that, SHE offered to pay for my flight. So this is all an amazing gift. If I decide to do the treatment, I will need to raise $20,000! I’ve already started working on a fundraising website for that.

Anyway, I just feel SO much better to moving in a new direction, and I have high hopes for the Reno trip.

Wish me luck!


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