I am not your guinea pig

After completing four rounds of AC treatments and 11 rounds for Taxol, radiation was next on my treatment plan.

During my mastectomy, the plastic surgeon had implanted the latest version of breast tissue expanders: AirXpanders. The technology was still very new at that time.

My medical oncologist referred me to one of the radiation oncologists at the Miami Cancer Institute. Another wonderful doctor, very sweet and caring.

She was very open with her concern about radiating my breast with these new expanders. The cancer center actually did not allow to radiate on breast with those implants at all. There was not enough research and evidence that the radiation would work through air and how the different components of the AirXpanders would possible redirect the radiation rays.

She recommended I go back to my plastic surgeon, which I did. He suggested I go see another radiation oncologist outside of the Miami Cancer Institute and get another opinion. It wasn’t very easy to get an appointment, but we finally did and went to see her.

We arrived in the waiting room of her office, which was very disorganized. Not something we were used to. Not a good start and first impression.

I was called into the exam room and spoke with the nurse reviewing my entire medical history.

After waiting, what seems like a very long time, we finally saw the doctor.

One thing I don’t appreciate, not only with doctors but in general, is when people want to make other people wrong and from the start this is what this doctor did.

I had received fantastic care and now she was telling me they didn’t do it right. On what authority!

She wronged the cancer center for not being more forward thinking and going with the latest technology, something I saw as care and precaution. She was telling us how she had experience radiating patients with my type of expanders with great results.

This doctor had her own practice and was not associated with any of the major hospitals and I got the feeling when speaking with her that she was in this for the money, running her business. There was a lack of genuine care for her patients.

My gut was telling me something was off, and when your gut does that you better listen.

My husband asked how many patients she had treated with this type of expanders given she said she had great results.

I would be patient number 4!

I was not going to be her guinea pig. How can you honestly claim to have great results when you have only treated 3 patients? We couldn’t get out of her office fast enough.

I ended up replacing the expander in my right breast with a traditional saline implant. On March 21 2018 I went back into surgery and got the implant replaced. During this surgery, the surgeon also removed my chemo port for which I had no more use. I would have to wait at least a month before starting radiation. We had to ensure all the wounds were properly healed.

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