Monday, May 02, 2005

Opinion #2 - Interferon-alpha & My Choice

So with the Richmond 10K under my belt, I did more reading and tried to patiently wait 10 days for my second opinion from the Oncologist recommended by my surgeon.

On April 18th, Jim and I met with Dr. Butler and discussed my prognosis. His recommendation is a Lymph Node Dissection to make sure that there is no more cancer and a year of Interferon-alpha therapy.

Jim and I weighed the pro and we weighed the cons of Interferon vs a clinical trial. The Interferon leaves allot to be desired in the immediate "Quality of Life" scenario but we know it has a high chance of adding an additional disease-free year to my life. The clinical trials are a gamble. Some work, some don't ... and most trial are 2 years of study with no guarantee.

So for me the real factor became:

Do I give up a year NOW and feel like I have the flu and worse so that I gain a year later?


Do I give up 2 years on a clinical trial, have better quality of life for those two years and run the risk that it might not work at all, in which case, Interferon-alpha will probably have to happen anyways?

No decision is easy to make. Interferon is nasty for some people and mild for others. There is no way to know what my reaction will be. But it is my decision to take the choice that already has know efficacy.

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