Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Distant Drum Roll

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next. - Alice in Wonderland

Tomorrow is oncology day - my first since the mastectomy. I start bright and early with the medical oncologist to go over the results of the PetScan (that I had to request) and the Oncotype DX test (that I insisted upon). After doing the conventional MedPro, I do a sit down with the naturopathic onc in the afternoon to go over same.

It's curious. Although we will be reviewing the same diagnostic instruments, the perspectives will most likely be at opposing ends of the spectrum. One will be offering me synthetics to address statistical probabilities; the other will be looking at how I got to this place and how to adjust my body to overcome my individualistic propensities.

Recap: Oncotype Dx is a unique diagnostic test that looks at the activity of 21 different genes in the tumor tissue and helps identify which women with early-stage, estrogen receptor positive and lymph node-negative breast cancer (this is me) are more likely to benefit from adding the toxic cocktail to their adjuvant treatment. It also helps to quantify the likelihood of recurrence for the individual woman (this is me too!...AS WELL AS each and every other individual woman who has stood where I am).
The results of the PetScan will not be a surprise. I snagged the written report from the onc's office on a drive-by 10 days ago. Nothing in those results, in my lay-opinion, justifies opening up my veins to the "red-devil."

It's the Oncotype that I am anxiously anticipating. These results are another integral piece to enable me (the patient / general health-care contractor) to make an informed decision as to adjuvant therapies.

Hmm, the anticipation raises another curious dichotomy. It appears that the distant "drum roll of anticipation" is both deafening and comforting when you find yourself free-falling down a "rabbit hole." Ta-da-Ta-da-Ta-da-da-dum!

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