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So my mother who is stage iv with metastasis to liver finally told me the truth about her diagnosis. she originally told me there was one tumor in one lung and a small spot in her liver and they didn't give her any idea of her survival rate. today she told me there are several small spots on 1 lung and then the small one in her liver. she has had 4 treatments of keytruda and the first scan looked good. her doc only did a scan this early because he was concerned because her voice had become hoarse, but he said nothing more is concerning him right now. she is due for another scan in a few weeks and has finally agreed to let me go with her and ask questions. What are some things I should be asking? one thing I want to ask, but maybe it's a stupid question is If the cancer is primarily the small spot in her liver and the small one in her kidney, why isn't surgery an option in the future? if the keytruda can get rid of the cancer in her liver, is a lung removal an option? Why isnt she beng given traditional chemo along with the keytruda as that seems like a common treatment option?She truly feels like she only has 2 years because he mentioned that he can't promise she will be here longer. I've tried to tell her this isn't an expiration date and that he told her that before she was ever tested for keytruda. Am I wrong to give her hope at this stage? She is only 53. She is still very healthy. she goes to work every day and aside from feeling tired after treatment, she seems fine right now. she even gained all her weight back in the last few weeks. Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
I was asked a simple question the other day: "how did you choose your oncologist?" My answer, after an embarrassing pause, was I didn't. When diagnosed, I had no idea what an oncologist was. Likely, I couldn't have spelled the word. My exposure to medicine was limited to visits with my general practitioner where we'd discuss investment opportunities, automobiles, calculating hydraulic head pressure on pumps, almost anything but medicine. He is more friend than physician. The evening after hospital admission for coughing up blood, perhaps the most frightening day of my life, my general practitioner said he'd selected the specialists to battle my lung cancer. He noticed my puzzled expression when he said oncologist and clarified with "cancer doctor." In this world of medical complexity, the role of general practitioner is often under appreciated. His tenure in practice gives insight into the world of medical specialities; he knows the best from the rest. He also knows my temperament, medical history, and diagnosis complexity. Merging insight and patient knowledge yielded the team that saved my life. Mine was an accidental solution. On reflection, my answer should have been: cultivate a good relationship with your general practitioner.