• Clarify something Oncologist said in last visit.

    Asked by Jeanine on Friday, March 29, 2013

    Clarify something Oncologist said in last visit.

    She said.....you were stage 4 when we started this, I gave you 5 yrs then (2 yrs ago) there is nothing much we can do at this point, just remove what we can and make you comfortable from here on out. Does this mean she thinks this is the end?

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      The best person to ask is the oncologist for clarification of exactly what she meant, as far as how long from this point forward.

      My interpretation of what you're writing there is that everything within the standard of care has been done to treat the cancer. Are they not going to do chemotherapy anymore?

      over 3 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      It means exactly what she said. Some people live for many years with cancer as a chronic disease, other do not. She can't predict the future course of you cancer and she is saying that whatever options their were to cure your cancer have been exhausted.

      over 3 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      Does that mean there aren't any more chemo and/or radiation that can help you? What if you got another opinion. Those statements seem so abrupt. Makes me sad. I pray there is still some hope out there for you.

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      A quick explanation to your question is, of course, open to interpretation. However, I am an oncology nurse and having heard this before I can tell you that what your doctor is telling you is that there is nothing more than she can do for you. That does not mean there is nothing left to be done, only that this is as far as she is willing to go. You have to decide what it is that you wish to do and if you wish to stay in the fight, then you have to find an oncologist who has a line in the sand that is a little further down the beach. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago
    • LindaD@StF's Avatar
      LindaD@StF (Best Answer!)

      If there is no more treatment left at this point, that does not mean there is no hope or there is nothing to be done. I'm sorry you got such a blunt unfeeling statement from your oncologist. What this does probably mean is that your goals may have to change; when cure is not possible, comfort and quality of life become priorities. Does your hospital have a palliative care team? They are the experts in pain and symptom management. What is on your "bucket list"? Maybe now is the time to spend time doing the things that make you happy.

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I am sending you prayers, hugs and healing vibes. As other have mentioned, speak with your oncologist and find out what she meant. Get a 2nd opinion, I find that a another pair of eyes and experiences is always helpful in getting the best treatment plan in place.

      over 3 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      Jeanie, If you are not ready to give up and willing to continue to fight it is time to seek a second opinion. I recommend going to a Dr associated with a research hospital or research clinic as they will have knpwledge of and access to the latest treatments and trials that ma help you. If you can get to HoustonTx MD Anderson is one of the top places in the country. It soiunds to me like you are no longer the typical cancer case and you need a Dr that can think outside the box of standard treatments. I too am that knid of case and have learned to get Drs to think long and hard about what else can be done. If they do great things can happen and you could still live a long and happy life. Good Luck and let us know how it goes and what else we can do to help.

      over 3 years ago
    • Vjp2012's Avatar

      Never give up! Never give in! No one knows when our time is up. You do not have an expiration date on your XXX. Ask for clarification from your oncologist and seek another opinion. In the meantime, just live each day to the fullest and don't give up! Hugs!

      over 3 years ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar

      I would think they'd do chemotherapy or radiation or possibly surgery based on the statement to 'remove what we can', but that's up to interpretation. Ask for clarification.

      over 3 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      Never give up -- maintain hope and a positive attitude. I have heard of people who were given 6 months, a year, 5 years, etc. who are still here over 10 years later. It is up to God when it is your time. You will be in my prayers. I wish you the best.

      over 3 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      The first thins I would do is talk to her and ask her for a more thorough explanation on her comments and feelings about her views regarding your situation. Then I would ask for a second opinion. Just because this is her view doesn't mean it may not be the views of another doctor. Patients sometimes tend to think that all doctors think alike but they don't. Not all doctors are trained the same way to handle situation. There are many doctors that are trained in the newer advancements in medical treatments and may have a course of action that can be tried that she may not be fully aware of. All doctors are updated on new treatments and therapies but that doesn't necessarily mean they are willing to try them out. I'm sure she feels that as she has done what she can based on her knowledge and training. Take care and my thoughts are with you.

      over 3 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar

      I was also stage 4 when I started. My oncologist said she couldn't cure me and that I would be in treatment for the rest of my life. I asked how long that would be. She said she couldn't tell me that for 2 months. At the end of 2 months I asked her again. She said I responded well to treatment and her opinion was 5 years or better, even though she was not God and didn't have a crystal ball. I am still being treated. I have bad days and good days. They keep a close eye on my markers. I know I can't be cured but my doctors treat me as well as possible and consider my quality of life at the same time. When I was having a bad time with chemo they put me on break from it. Still keeping an eye on my markers. I know I wont be cured. I will be treated for the rest of my life. I am getting things in order so if it happens sooner rather than later I will be somewhat ready. I am also trying to look to the future to make sure I have the means to continue.
      I hope this is the same for you. If your doctor isn't trying everything possible to keep you stable then find another doctor. If you don't know what she means ask her. If she doesn't give you an easy to understand answer, find another doctor.
      You will have to take charge of this yourself. When you don't feel comfortable with your doctor it makes for an uncomfortable visit. It's all about you. Make sure to keep it that way.

      over 3 years ago
    • Gena's Avatar

      The first thing my onc told me when I was diagnosed at Stage IV was I can't be cured by I can be treated. The onc never told me how long I would have. Stage IV cancer survivors are living longer every year. It has been eight years from initial diagnosis of Stage I, and 5 years of Stage IV diagnosis. I still get treatment, , pray, go to work everyday, play golf and just go about my daily life. I have put my life in God's hand. I can't do this alone.

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      Definitely get clarification from your doctor. A difficult conversation for you to begin, for sure, but, personally, I would be agonizing over trying to grasp the full meaning of what she meant. It sounds like you want her to spell out her prognosis for you, and you have every reason to ask. If you don't like her prognosis or treatment plans for you, you could seek another opinion but first you need to understand the details of what she envisions for your future and why.

      over 3 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar

      If I were you I would find another doctor and get a second opinion. Cancer is curable today and especially bc. So go and get a second opinion right away.

      over 3 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      Although there is no cure for breast cancer, I have many friends who are Stage IV andhave been living with it as a chronic condition for many years. If you want clarification, ask for it. If you are not comfortable with what your onc has told you, get another opinion. As Peroll said, there are many cancer centers that are more research oriented and will use more clinical trials and more different types of treatment. I live in FL and Moffett is one of the best. My Cancer Center is an affiliate of Moffett and that is the main reason I chose them. If you are not ready to give up, then don't.

      over 3 years ago

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