Today Jen met with Dr. Fisher (?) at Dana Farber in Boston, and she got some more details about their take on her situation.
First and most importantly, they confirmed and seconded everything Dr. Spira, Jen’s primary oncologist, had said on diagnosis and treatment. Second opinions are good, and we’re thrilled to have two that have come to the same conclusion.
Dr. Fisher said that CHOP+R, versus plain CHOP of the days past, has an 80-90% permanent remission rate. That’s great news, up from 70-80%. Of course, these are ranges and I’m sure there is not an exact number, but I’ll take anything. Additionally, he said that this type of treatment is less painful and has fewer and more mild side effects, meaning that this will suck less than the current treatment for other types of cancer.
Dr. Fisher also said that while the number of cycles can range from 4 to 6, he advised going the full 6 cycles. There’s not a lot of research that has been done on 4 vs 5 vs 6 cycles, and he said to be safe and thorough, 6 cycles would be good. We’ll do some research here too to find out the best answer.
Radiation will happen after the chemo is complete, and we got the sense that it will be 5 days of radiation for a month after chemo. That kind of sucks, but hey, Jen will do almost anything to be done with this for life.
All in all, encouraging news. Confirmation that our current treatment plan is solid, an updated prognosis on permanent remission rates, and positive news that chemo won’t suck really really bad. Woot!