We met with the uro-oncologist (a specialist in cancers of the urinary tract) at UCSF today. Both she and her fellow were very patient and compassionate, and were very detailed in their information. She explained the current planned treatment protocol for chemotherapy. She is very familiar with the oncologist that my mother knows in Napa so she will be able to receive treatments closer to home once they begin.
But before they start, she ordered three more tests to make sure of the diagnosis. This includes a bone scan and a chest ct scan (to make sure it is not impacting her upper chest or bones, which would change the planned treatment regimen), as well as a biopsy. She is also requesting a test for HER2, which will give her some insights in terms of prognosis and how aggressive this disease may be. HER2 is most often related to breast cancer, but it has been used as a prognosticator for other cancers.
Depending on the results of those tests, we will proceed as planned: six to nine weeks of chemotherapy (carboplatin + gemcitabine), once a week. So that’s three cycles. She would, say, start on Monday with both drugs, the following Monday only one of them, and the following Monday nothing. That is one cycle, and we do two to three cycles and then re-assess.
Our doctors have been very honest and have not tried to soft shoe around the realities of this disease. Both her urological surgeon and her uro-oncologist have expressed serious concern over the current situation. But we’ll do everything we can to shrink the tumors, manage the side effects, and extend my mom’s life. Her doctor even said she suspects my mother may even feel better on chemotherapy than she does right now. Let’s hope for that.
Meanwhile, we’ll accept thoughts, prayers, meditations, positive energy, mantras, etc., are gratefully accepted as continue on this journey.