As many of you know I live in Boise, Idaho and my oncologist practices medicine in UCLA. (Los Angeles, Ca.) I am one of many, who actually travel a long distance to consult with a CML specialist. I see him four times a year and so far, this has been sufficient.
The unfortunate thing about having an oncologist far away, is that by the time my PCR results are available, I am typically back in Idaho; most of the time this has not been an issue, as my PCR results have been “good,” but my latest test showed a remarkable increase in the Bcr-Abl gene. Our greatest concern is that the PCR continues to rise, despite my increased dose of Sprycel.
Since I am not scheduled to see my oncologist again until August, he is sending an order for a PCR test to be drawn, a month after being on the increased dose, to a local blood draw center; my blood will then be sent to the lab in California, to be tested. Once the results are read, we will determine our plan of action. Hopefully I will be back on track and there will be no further need for concern.
While it would be ideal to have an oncologist right down the road in Boise, I feel that the expertise of a CML specialist is in my best interest, so I will continue to travel to see him. Luckily with all of the medical advances, not to mention the advances in transporting blood, I am able to have my blood drawn here, and tested there. I am also blessed to have my oncologist available, by email, whenever I have questions or concerns.
I lieu of my recent test results, I have considered consulting with a local hematological oncologist to see whether or not he would be willing to work alongside my primary oncologist, in order to have someone close by, in case of an emergency; I know many who have gone this route and it seems to work out well. I fee l that it is advantageous to have someone close in distance, but it is also advantageous to have a CML specialist on your side, too.
I think my next post will be the Pros and Cons of choosing an oncologist!