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Stay with Credit Valley or move to Princess Margaret for treatment?

I have had disappointing outcomes with Credit Valley Hospital and their treatment plan hasn't gone according to plan.  The opposite outcomes were had - the actual opposites to what they said/told me.  However, I like my new CVH medical oncologist.  He listens and he takes the time to answer my questions.  However, a friend suggested a medical oncologist at PMH.  She said with my rare cancer (aggressive, fast growing high grade serous ovarian 3C spread throughout the abdominal cavity, inoperable, platinum resistant) I should be treated at the best hospital in town where new treatments and trials are coming along all the time.  However, Credit Valley is a 40 min drive each way.  There is no way I could drive into Toronto, nor can my husband.  I have anxiety attacks on the highways due to childhood trauma.  We'd have to take the Go train in - a 3 hour round trip.  I am having weekly Taxol and bi-monthly Avastin to try to slow down the growth and hopefully shrink the tumors - results remain to be seen.  I have a consultation with the new oncologist at PMH next week.  Through my friend, she has agreed to treat me if I want to switch.  I'm really torn.  My friend suggested her because she doesn't give up on her patients - she will keep fighting for them to have new treatments and won't leave anything off the table.  I like the sound of her.  My present oncologist seems to fight for me too though - he got Avastin paid for even though I didn't fit the criteria exactly.  I'm so worn down by the whole cancer patient process and feel blocked to make the right decision.  What would you do?  Should I just meet her and go with my gut?  I feel that I've not done a great job of making the right choices to date, given the information I had at the time. Thanks.


  • Have you tried connecting with the Canadian Cancer Society to arrange for a ride to PMH? I’m not sure if they are providing them these days, but it’s worth a phone call.  They used to charge a yearly ‘membership’ fee.
  • Strongwoman
     I think @dorisirene has an excellent suggestion regarding transportation.
      Have you considered or previously asked your current Medical Oncologist about any trials etc that may be available to you elsewhere?  How long have you been working with your current Medical Oncologist? Do you know what the estimated time is (on average) that one might start to determine as to whether your current treatment regime is working or not?
    Or have you inquired about it?  Perhaps your new Medical Oncologist can reach out to Princess Margaret to see if they are aware of any treatments available to you there. By doing it through your current Medical Oncologist perhaps it would or may reduce many visits to another facility for treatment options and you may be able to have them all working together.  
     Are you currently working with a Palliative Care doctor or asked about a referral to one?
      Have you reached out to someone who can help you with your feelings of being "worn down" and "blocked" (like a social worker)?
      This process is very difficult emotionally, mentally and physically and that all has an impact on both yourself and your family. Reaching out to any resources available to you to address those feelings may help as well as letting your team know about these feelings so that perhaps a medication might help with that. It is my knowledge that Palliative Care doctors can consult only, consult/watch/advise or take over treatment entirely.  It may be something to consider.  
      I hope this may help you and give you some things to consider and wish you well no matter your decision and on your unique journey.
  • Fearless
    @BellaDonna1959 you're sounding overwhelmed and rightly so.  So much to think about, make decisions about.  It's exhausting, isn't it?  Try to chunk it all down into bits and then take them on one at a time. 

     First step, is the possible new oncologist at PMH.  You haven't even met her yet so don't get ahead of yourself.  You might not like her, or her approach.  

    Now if you find you're leaning to moving over to PMH, they should have a cancer care navigator there who can help with logistics since the travel might be an issue. Did you know that if you have to use Via, your "support" person travels free?  The suggestion to check out CCS for transportation support is excellent as well. And there may be more available if you ask.

    And do seriously consider reaching out to your social work department for support.  Their staff are enormously helpful with information, access to resources, and helping you stay balanced.  

    But as I suggested, baby steps will help this process be less daunting for you. And the good thing is that you do like your current oncologist.