The last week of May, we voyaged to Rochester, MN to get a 2nd opinion at Mayo Clinic.
The first trip, we had a surgeon's consult with Dr. D to find out if surgery was off the table for sure. I had come to know of Dr. D through the great people at No Stomach for Cancer. He is one of the top surgeons when it comes to doing total gastrectomies and had experience in dealing with HDGC. He was the guy to go to in this area of the country. He confirmed that surgery before any sort of chemo would not be a good decision. Since the cancer had spread to the peritoneum, we had to deal with that first. He suggested pre-op chemo and if mom was responsive to that, then we'd look into the surgery option. It did make me feel a bit at ease when said that he's had quite a few patients lately who responded quite well to pre-op chemo and were able to do surgery.
The second trip, we met with Mayo Oncologist, Dr. D.S. She was great and offered a lot of information. She made us feel at ease with the whole chemo process and provided us several options for the type of chemo. Mom had two options: EOX or Folfox. EOX was the most cutting edge and newest technology in the chemo world for this type of cancer. Folfox was equally as good but just an older regime. We asked her opinion on one over the other. She and along with some other doctors all said that EOX would be the best option for mom because it's been successful and it's the latest chemo out there. She said that chemo has come a long way in just the last couple years and they'd do everything in their power to give mom the best chances to survive this even though the chances at Stage 4 were slim. But, I look at it this way....there's a chance! It was a rare genetic condition that got us here to begin with. 100 families in the world have with what we have. I had to hold onto that and perhaps that she will be in that small percentage that kicks the shit of out this.
They said that whichever treatment option we wanted, we could do treatment locally. Dr. D.S said she'd keep in contact with Dr. A to see how mom was doing. Driving home on that sunny day, it felt good to finally have some treatment options at hand. It seemed like it took us forever to get to this point. I had felt helpless up to this point of mom getting sicker and sicker each day and there was nothing I could do about it. We left Mayo with hope.