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Questions to Ask at Follow-up Appointments

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 401
Joined: Oct 2012

It would seem that I should know, but I was wondering what types of questions do you go prepared to ask your oncologist when you have follow-up appointments?  I have just begun the three-month cycle.  This time I did not have to have any tests ahead of time; next time, I will have to have had blood work and a CT scan.

What kinds of things do any of you ask about?  I sometimes feel that I do not get my time/money's worth when I see my oncologist, but that is my fault.  I rarely have much to say or ask about.

Tomorrow morning I see my oncologist.  Since I last saw him I have gotten my port out and have met with my surgeon as well as radiation oncologist.  I have also gotten caught back  up with my regular med people (and had reports sent from there to my oncologist and radiation oncologist).  My hair is back to just about what it was before I lost it to chemo.  (I wear my hair somewhat short, but not terribly so.)

I am not apprehensive about tomorrow, as there are no test results to discuss.

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5259
Joined: Oct 2010

I am a list maker, which helps me a great deal?

 

I usually bring family or friend along for 2nd set of ears..

 

Denise

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

If you are having any symptoms, aches, or pains you should be sure your onc is aware of them.  My rule of thumb is if it lasts for two weeks or more, it's time to bring it up.  My onc always listens to my lungs and heart.  He will sometimes ask how my family is doing with all this.  We discuss current treatment and any side effects I might have.  We discuss plans for the future (when is the next scan, etc.)  They are often short visits, as I also use email a lot.

Hugs,

Linda

 

 

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 401
Joined: Oct 2012

This was one time when I did have things to ask about.  I had them jotted down so I would remember.  This was my first oncologist appointment in a long time in which I had not had to have any tests.  So, I was thinking about what we could talk about, since I was there.

I had been having CT scans and blood work because of some very tiny spots, not in the organs, seen after my surgery.  The spots were too small for a PET scan to be able to discern whether or not these were cancerous.  I had a follow up CT scan after I finished chemo.  No change.  I had another CT scan the end of November, and this showed the spots gone.  My oncologist decided that he agreed with the radiology doctor that the spots were some of those things we all have floating inside us.  Mine may have been related to my surgery.

I learned through my surgery and treatments that whenever I was going to be hearing test results, I needed to be sure I had someone with me.  That is my husband.  This past time I had no test results to hear about, but I did have my sister-in-law with me and could have called her into the room, if I had received some unexpected news.

The DR is checking now to see how I am doing with the tamoxifen.  I believe I am doing all right.  I take ibuprofen when I am feeling especially stiff/sore, I told him, and that seems to work for me.  Other effects that I could have are also manageable at this point.  We both agreed that the light case of hives I had been having did not have to do with the tamoxifen.  It just might be a fluke as to why I seem to be getting more colds than usual this winter.

Thanks for your input, though.  Tapping into experienced people is always a plus.

 

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