Monday, February 27, 2012
UCLA & 2nd Opinions
To say that I was anxious about my 2nd opinion UCLA Oncology appointment today in Santa Monica would be a gross understatement. And in an attempt to diminish the butterflies flitting and fleeting around in my gut, we left early, drove down our beautiful coast on PCH and had a car picnic on the way. But the news of finding out whether or not I need chemo was about to become a reality and those butterflies in my stomach promptly returned.
SCREEEEECH!!!! (Insert loud car breaks here!).
That's right. All that anxiety for nothing! Ok, well not nothing, but holy-health Batman! I got myself all worked up for the news about chemo and ended up leaving without an answer, yet AGAIN!
To begin with, I got the same greeting from my 2nd opinion doc that I get from all the other docs. Enter, Dr. Sara Hurvitz, Breast Cancer Oncologist, UCLA. "Hi, my name is Sara. Boy, don't you just love your complicated case?"
Doesn't anyone ever say 'How are you?' anymore?
Anyhoo, Dr. Hurvitz turned out to be a rockstar doc and the appointment with this genius, cutting-edge-oncologist turned out to be a good thing even though the chemo treatment in question is still lingering. She drew a clever and picturesque cancer tumor cell with simplistic yet detailed information, in order to determine whether or not my body needs chemo. And may I say, it really explained quite a bit! Not only was her tumor drawing stellar, but her penmanship was quite impressive.
Bottom line, more testing needs to be done which now involves THE founder of the HER2/neu test who just also happens to be Dr. Hurvitz' colleague at USC. Now, all I need to do is...brace yourselves....FedEx the HER2 guru, my mastectomy tissue samples that are apparently preserved in their own wax museum in a pathology lab in Santa Barbara. Little did I know that they kept such specimens on hand.
Soooo, another week of waiting it is.
FYI: What is the HER2/neu Test? (Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2). HER2 positive breast cancer is a breast cancer that tests positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which promotes the growth of cancer cells. HER2-positive breast cancers tend to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer. Routine testing for HER2 is recommended for most women diagnosed with breast cancer because the results may affect treatment recommendations and decisions such as chemo. (Mayo Clinic)