Wednesday, July 7, 2010

And... Doubt kicks in. Son of a~

Am I over thinking? Or is this normal? Or both?
I just scheduled an appointment with Dr. Chalikonda at Cleveland Clinic. They have just recently started doing the HIPEC surgery there. Am I looking there because it's the #4 hospital in the country or because it's 3 hours away? I've heard good things about it's cancer research branch. I want another Doctor to look at my records. I'm wondering why the MOAS wasn't suggested by my other surgeon. I want to get more than one doctor that thinks I'd be a good candidate. So why not? Right? Maybe? Shit. I don't know.
I have a good feeling about Doc Goodman- don't get me wrong, but how do you KNOW which doctor to go with? What If I get a good feeling from this other doctor too? What do I base my decision on? This is my LIFE we're talking about- so geographical location shouldn't matter. But does it have a bearing on my decision subconciously? WTF? How can I be so stoked one day and then on the fence the next? One thing is for sure: I'm not doing any more chemo. I just can't. I truly believe I need the MOAS and I need to be in the best condition I can be in before GO day and I simply can't do that when I'm sick and tired all the time from chemo. I'd rather swallow glass.
What the hell am I doing? Sabotaging myself?
The earliest I could get in to see the new guy is July 20. Gotta get records to him in the meantime. It was harder to get where I needed to get with what I was wanting talking to Cleveland Clinic. Is that bad? In the big scheme of things does it matter? How the hell do you pick the right doctor to do a huge surgery?

To rest my mind... a Haiku:

Too much to process
Maybe I'll pick some flowers
Cancer sucks on toast


  1. Hmmmm...I've been following your blog for awhile now (fellow babycenter Dec.08 mama)I have prayed for you & rejoice in the good news with you. I was happy about your post yesterday. You asked how do you KNOW which dr.? Our daughter had to have a pretty major surgery and we prayed A LOT and then trusted God to lead us and He did. Not sure if you're the praying type, but that's definitely what got us and is still getting us through her medical issues.

    Just throwing that out there:)

  2. I presume you've seen this? Ask how many procedures this doctor has done. I think you want him to have done over 100. He trained at Pittsburgh, an awesome place, if he trained under Bartlett, et al. Any data on success rates would be good too, but that's hard to find anywhere.

    NO Rachel, geographic distance cannot be part of your decision-making process. NO. And just having a good overall reputation as a hospital cannot be the reason either. The Cleveland Clinic is fantastic, but if the doctor doesn't have experience with MOAS (cytoreduction and HIPEC), the name of the hospital is meaningless. The cytoreduction has to be complete for the HIPEC to work--if they don't get all the tumor out down to a certain small size, the HIPEC won't be effective. Hence the need for an experience surgeon who can spot the bastard tumors.

    And in my experience, you'll know when you've found the right doctor. It should "click" when you've done all the research you can and you've met the right one.

    It is good you are checking all options, that's what you need to do to make the decision you are comfortable with... so check out Cleveland Clinic, who knows? Maybe he has enough experience, maybe it will click. Maybe it will lead you to realize Dr. Goodman is the guy. So you are doing the absolute right thing here.

    If there is a God, s/he gave you a brain to help you figure these things out. Trust that s/he gave you a good one and use it!!

  3. Having never been in your shoes, I certainly can't give you a hard and fast "right thing to do" answer. But I can say I think the doubts, fears, confusion, trepidation...those must all be part of the territory. You're facing a decision that could change the outcome of your life--of course you're afraid of picking the wrong door!

    Just know that whatever you choose will be the right choice when you make it. Do your research and follow your heart (sure, easier said than done).

    I'm full of cliches, but I really want you to know that you are always in my prayers.

  4. What a tough decision. I know sometimes it's hard to hear your inner voice, especially with such an important decision, but try to listen to your gut feeling-it's usually right. You may have to go to a quiet room and sort of meditate on it, but if you have a good feeling about going, go. Don't let location be a factor-it has little bearing on your outcome. I will pray that God will make your path clear for you-and quickly. Bless you Rachel. I think about you every time I see a mom out with her children, and I hate that life has to be so hard for you.