My daughter accompanied me on the drive north to Portland for moral support, plus we could visit friends and family who live there. My wife had those days off, but Ithought she could use a break after the consult with the oncologist in Medford, which kind of blew her away.
The doctor at OHSU had a pretty casual delivery I found slightly unnerving, but seemed well-informed. He said that in cases of locally advanced bladder cancer (which my TCC was, basically, though it was in my kidney), their knee-jerk response is to recommend a 4-month course of gemcitabine/cisplatin, which might provide up to a 10% survival benefit. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but apparently there are not many completed studies to go on. So that's where we are. I'm not thrilled at the prospect of chemo – it could kill my lone kidney and put me on dialisis for life, besides the other well-documented risk. But after weighing the possible risks versus possible benefits, I've decided to go for it. I'd hate to look back in a year and think there's something I could have done to prevent a recurrance, (which would likely end in my demise), and not to have done it.