Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We Want a Second Opinion!

Dr. Edwards and Dr. Pang

No disrespect to Dr. Pang but we wanted a second opinion. Who knows maybe he was wrong in his diagnosis? At the time, Dr. Michael Edwards was ranked as the top #1 or #2 neurosurgeon in the world. He had offices in San Francisco and Sacramento but had over a year waiting list for appointments. We inquired anyway and low and behold he had a cancelation that same afternoon. We rushed down to his office with Jackie and Emily (her hamster) in tow and picked up her X-rays from Kaiser. Dr. Edwards was down to earth. He treated us with kindness and talked to us like we were peers. He is a brilliant man who did his residency at the same hospital (Charity Hospital in New Orleans) as my dad. He looked at the X-rays with us and explained the extent of the tumor and what to expect. He said that the medical community had made huge strides in treating brain tumors but not brain stem tumors. He encouraged us to seek radiation treatment for Jackie but was also straightforward regarding her chances. He said that the radiation may shrink her tumor temporarily, but 99 times out of a 100 the tumor grows back with a vengeance and ends up taking the person's life. :-(

Bottom line, Dr. Edwards confirmed Dr. Pang's diagnosis and although nobody has a crystal ball and can tell you exactly how long a person has to live, Dr. Edwards thought Dr. Pang's suggestion of 2-3 months to live was in the ballpark, maybe longer if we got lucky.

Jackie died 6 weeks later.

Dr. Pang's diagnosis and prognosis were right on.


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