I went to get a third opinion today on the question of chemotherapy for my breast cancer. I had one very reputable doctor say “yes to chemo” for me and another very reputable doctor say ”absolutely not on chemo” for me. I was stumped. I spoke to my plastic surgeon and my breast surgeon and I decided to go for the third opinion. I met with James Waisman, M.D. today and he changed my mind about chemo. He educated me about my cancer and really took the time to make sure that I understood exactly what I am dealing with.
Generally the decision for the need of chemotherapy is black and white. With me….not so much. I am the case where it is very gray and qualified professionals tend to differ on their opinion in this area. One of the cancers I carry is the HER2 - positive breast cancer. This is a cancer that tests positive for a human epidural growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which promotes the growth of cancer cells. In about 1 of every 5 breast cancers, the cancer cells make an excess of HER2 due to a gene mutation. HER2 - positive breast cancers tend to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer. With the proper treatment there is a 95% cure rate. Without the proper treatment the cure rate drops to 80%. I will take the 95% any day. I have to do the right thing. I cannot make the wrong decision.
I am lucky enough to have a great husband who has told me that the worst is over (the surgeries) and that he will be there with me along every moment of the chemo. This brings me such comfort. We are both not scared anymore of chemo. We went through so much together with the surgeries and it really bonded us. Jason is the right person to have with you in dark times – he makes you laugh and forget about how serious it all is. This is the guy who in a leap of faith, I abruptly married after knowing him for just twelve (12) days. Both of my sisters severly judged me and thought I was crazy and had lost my mind. Funny how that stranger (my husband) has walked me through the fire in the past three months and my sisters have had no part in caring for me or participating in the experience of my cancer. Family – the other “F” word.