boxhill wrote:I think you've gotten excellent advice. There does seem to be somewhat of a divide amongst oncologists on this issue. Personally, I'd be looking for someone who was willing to work towards becoming operative.
Mohrfamily: I agree with boxhill that there's a divide among oncologists on aggressive treatment for Stage 4 patients. Many are more than willing to let things run their course, meaning chemo eventually quits working and you're sent to hospice. I was one of those who were told there was less than zero
possibility of surgery. When I continually brought it up to my oncologist, he advised counseling so I could "accept" my fate.
But, one visit to Dr. Kemeny at MSKCC and the whole situation changed! There they said I was a good candidate for surgery, despite what my local oncologist had been stating for 14 months. When I had my liver resection, my surgeon said I was "exceptional." "But," he added, "there are many other Stage 4 patients who are just as exceptional who aren't given a chance for surgery and that's a shame." It's more than a shame. It's a disgrace in the oncology world.
I would ask if the goal is for him to become operative. And if it isn't, I would get a second opinion somewhere else. He hasn't had any new growth since starting treatment, right? And a 50% reduction in the size of his tumors? In my decidedly amateur opinion, someone should be talking to him about the possibility of a liver resection or an HAI pump or both.
Don't be afraid to get another opinion from an oncologist at a NCI-designated cancer center. I know your DH isn't fond of talking to doctors, but he might just have one chance at this. Be strong with your current oncologist - ask hard questions and get straight answers so you know how to proceed.
Sending good energy your way!