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First Oncology appointment/ What to expect?

TulsaMomof3's picture
TulsaMomof3
Posts: 107
Joined: Mar 2010

Is it like an exam? Or do you just sit and talk? Do they do any blood work, weigh in type stuff? He will have all my pathology reports, Oncotest, ect.. Will we make a decision on Chemo during that visit? Will he ask me my opinion first or show me all the date and tell me his first? If Chemo is chosen, is the oncologist the one that puts in the port or do they send you to a general surgeon?

Just curious

2Floridiansisters's picture
2Floridiansisters
Posts: 361
Joined: May 2010

Hi Tulsa, with my first meeting, all I did was cry, he listened then told me everything that I needed to know. He left a great impression upon me as being a very caring man.All we did was sit and talk and then he did feel my breasts, that was all he did. My second appointment took place because I wasn't feeling right with the rude and uncaring way my surgeon was handling things, so I went to see my oncologist again, so I sat there and cried in front of him one more time, he said he would take over and take care of me. The following day I had an appointment with a plastic surgeon because my oncololgist pulled his weight and got me into his office, the next day I had an appointment with a new surgeon, the oncologist said he would take care of everything and he has. I am getting a port put in me on Wednesday and later that same day I am getting my first of 12 chemo cycles started. And this is all because of the new surgeon and my oncologist and myself agreeing that "let's get this show on the road". This coming spring I will have a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, from there I don't know exactly what happens next. But I have been lucky, and blessed to find this wonderful dotor.

Ask everything, and they whould tell you the answers to your questions.

Love Ronda

GayleMc
Posts: 311
Joined: Jan 2010

My breast surgeon put the port in the day before I started chemo. It's quite easy and painless. Some people get the port in and go right to get chemo. No worries there. I had a breast exam and some blood work, but I saw the onc. even before my Onco score was back. The onc came in on my second visit and said, " based on your onco score, you need chemo and your hair is going to fall out". Short and sweet. She was very reassuring and explained everything about side effects and didn't steer me wrong. Everyone's experience is different but I'm sure you'll feel much better after it is over. My onco score was 22, and my onc requires everyone over 18 to get chemo. You will be fine, you have a great attitude. Best Wishes.

new2me's picture
new2me
Posts: 176
Joined: Jun 2010

So sorry to hear you have to go through all this. This is all new to me too. When I had my first appt with the Oncologist he already had all the information on me. We sat and talked and he explained what we have to do. Test etc.... he did axamin me. He was very kind and gently and very understanding. Make sure you have family members with you to take notes. My daughter took notes that I refer to today. Try to have questions ready for the Onc. My family even asked questions. You will receive alot of info. don't stress yourself over it -you can go back over the notes later.
When were you diagnosed? I was diagnosed in April and had my first treatment Friday.

Feel free to ask anything you want. :)

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

The surgeon puts in the port. My first onc visit he did an examination of the breasts and looked over the test results (I had already seen the surgeon and he had arranged for the tests. he is who decided I needed chemo first) and told me what chemo I'd receive and for how long. Then set up my first chemo treatment a couple days from then. I didn't get a port. My doctors didn't ask my opinion altho at that time I didn't know enough to form an opinion or ask questions.

TulsaMomof3's picture
TulsaMomof3
Posts: 107
Joined: Mar 2010

I was diagnosed in March and had a BLM in May 5. I asked my doctor earlier on in the process when she would be reffering me to an oncologist and she said after we had all the pathology reports and test. I was Ok with that since I knew my tumor wasn't big enough to require treatment prior to surgery. My husband was going to go with me to the appointment but he told me tonight he thinks I should go by myslef. I know that the chemo decision for me will not be clear cut because I am low risk with oncoscore but did had have a 1.4cm tumor of IDC and I am 37. So there will be many things to consider. He is afraid that if he goes I will look to him to make my mind up and he wants the decsion to be mine. So I am going to write down questions, take notes and try and go focused with a clear head.

MyTurnNow's picture
MyTurnNow
Posts: 2694
Joined: Aug 2009

TulsaMom, I would recommend that you take someone with you to your appointment. You will be given so much information and it's almost impossible to remember everything you are told. At least if someone else is there they can help take notes too. Or, maybe you can take a recorder along, I know several sisters here have done that. Good luck on making your decision once you have all the information. If we can help in anyway, just ask. Take care.

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

Don't go alone. You need another pair of ears to listen to what is said. My first oncology appointment was before my lumpectomy to go over what might be the possible treatment and options, and, to just get to know them. I then saw him after my lumpectomy to go over my pathology report and to discuss what treatments he recommended.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

greyhoundluvr's picture
greyhoundluvr
Posts: 402
Joined: Apr 2010

I agree with MyTurnNow - if this is the first visit with the oncologist, you will probably be a little overwhelmed with all of the information - especially if you are in that "gray" area of the oncotype score where a decision has to be made about chemo. I had my daughter and my husband with me and to this day (I have finished chemo and getting ready for rads), there are things that one of us heard but not the other. I think between the three of us, we have a pretty good recollection. If your oncotype score is low, I would doubt there will be any pressure to make a decision about what you want to do on the spot. If you have another set of ears and/or someone taking notes for you, it can still be your decision what you wish to do. Best wishes - I hope all goes well for you!

jo jo's picture
jo jo
Posts: 1175
Joined: Jun 2010

My first onc appt...i didnt remember hardly anything that was said, thats why i was glad i didnt go alone. For me it was a short breast exam and mostly talking. By the time i seen him he had all my info there and we talked about what type of chemo and for how long and much more stuff i dont remember.
By the first visit with the onc I already had my port in from my breast specialist surgeon.
Good luck

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

Surgeons do surgery. Oncologists do treatment plans. Both are very knowledgeable about cancer, but they try not to step on each other's territory. I brought both another person(my husband) and a tape recorder to my first oncology session. The stats on various treatment plans were a little mind boggling to me and I minored in stats in college years ago.I had read up before I went what treatment plan was likely for my kind of cancer. But the data pouring out of the doctor's mouth was still impressive. The choice of treatment plan is up to the patient, but you have to take in a lot of information to make a good choice for yourself. Yes, you can just do what the doctors tells you to do, but it helps if you understand why they are recommending a treatment plan, especially if it is going to involve heavy duty stuff like chemo. If you understand what you are getting out of the treatment, you will be in a better position to deal with everything. If they recommend a treatment plan for you, they will also inform you of every single side effect that can go wrong with the plan. That is so you can make an informed choice. Just because some people have a particular side effect doesn't mean that it will happen to you. The doctor let me know that many of the worst outcomes happened to older patients(at the time he considered me young even though I thought I was over the hill in my mid-forties. No treatment at all also has statistical outcomes. In the end, you have to decide how bad your particular cancer is, what plan will probably work the best for you, and how to deal with whatever baggage that comes with that plan. The oncology nurses are wonderful resources in that last department. Don't be shy about contacting them any time you need them! My oncologist always did a breast check, as did the surgeon, on every visit. Occasionally I had a blood test or a flu shot done when I went to the oncologist, but I did not have chemo and didn't need much in the way of tests. Of course, the oncologist wanted to review all scans and prescribe needed meds to prevent the BC from coming back for me even though I did not have chemo or radiation. I really liked my oncologist and found the visits positive. Back in 2002 when I first was diagnosed, he let me know that they were beginning to keep 20 year statistics on breast cancer survivors. At the time I wasn't sure if I had a month or a year to live! So hang in there. Here is another tip. It didn't hurt that I always went out to eat somewhere nice after every visit to the oncologist or recheck with the surgeon. After awhile a visit to the oncologist for a recheck even meant to my husband that we were going out to eat. So don't forget to do something nice for yourself every time you have to face a difficult medical situation. Children get rewarded by the doctor and the dentist when they make it through their visit. We adults have to reward ourselves and we deserve that reward just as much!

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