6 month checkup

Mosis50 Member Posts: 59
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
On Monday I will have my 6-month checkup after chemo. One year ago my life changed when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My life will never be the same again. I have rediscovered what is really important in my life and I have realized that I want to LIVE. I have made the decision to retire two years earlier than I had previously planned and I want to spend that time doing the things I enjoy doing (spend quality time with my family and friends) and doing things that serve my LORD. HE has given me a wake-up call and I am listening.

Now for my concern: I was very disappointed in what the dr. did when I went back for my 3-month checkup. Seemed like a pat on the head and that was all. He did do blood work and explained my levels to me. Since that time, a lady I work with (who is about a month ahead of me in this process) was diagnosed with a re-occurance of cancer cells and that really SCARED me to death. I need to know your ideas for what you think SHOULD be done. All ideas and prayers are welcome. Susan


  • Malloy
    Malloy Member Posts: 4
    Hi Susan:

    I am 1 year after chemo; 1-1/2 years post-mastectomy. I too was concerned that in my check-ups there is no blood work, no scans, nothing but palpation of the scar to feel for recurrence. The latest thinking seems to be that if I pay attention to my body and report symptoms, the chance of catching a recurrence or metastasis is about the same as if other tests were given. I posted this same question to our friends here on the network and they agreed and eased my worries to some extent. I am glad you have rediscovered some things about life that are important to you. Keep up the good fight.......we'll pray for each other. Anne
  • jhope
    jhope Member Posts: 58
    Hi susan, I guess we all have different ideas. My CA is very aggressive and went from a pea to a golf ball size between 3 month mammograms when I was first diagnosed. I have only had one check up since chemo & rad. Had cat scans, mammograms and bloodwork. I will have this every 3 months for 5 years then every 6 months for the rest of my life. I say great. I'd rather get checked, I have insurance so if they tell me a couple of years from now I don't have to, forget that, I know too many women dying at their 5 year mark etc. I want to be checked, my body has been through so much I can't tell what the heck is normal anymore. Keep in love with God, Julia
  • lynne40
    lynne40 Member Posts: 87
    Hi Susan, My first check up after cancer was a mammogram, and it was 6 months after diagnosis. My docs felt that 3 months after was too soon to be a true picture of where I was. THat was in Jan. 2004. Now I will go see the surgeon again next week which is 3 1/2 months after first check up. They haven't scheduled any blood work nor done any except last fall a few months after chemo. I will seee the oncologist again in July. From what I gather this is pretty standard around here but I'm going to ask next week. I've never had a scan at all? I'll ask about that too. Luck to you and congrats on clarity about what's important! Take care,
  • hummingbyrd
    hummingbyrd Member Posts: 950 Member
    Sorry so late to post, hope this helps, and you check message before appt tomorrow.
    Breast cancer, if it metastasizes, typically goes to BBLL (brain, bone, liver or lung).
    For a baseline workup I requested an MRI of brain, bone scan, CT of abdomen and lungs, labs to include CBC, CMP, CEA and CA 27.29
    What the docs don't understand is we need a baseline to compare to for later if we start having symptoms and IF there is a met we want to catch it as soon as possible. I wanted baseline studies done because I had just been diagnosed with CANCER! I felt it perfectly reasonable to want to look over and check out my whole body and make sure we knew exactly what we were dealing with here. Now mind you, I am a bit compulsive, but certainly didn't feel I was unreasonable. Important thing is that you feel comfortable with the extent of care you receive. Oh, and a mammagram too, every 6 months for first year then annually along with a yearly PAP smear. Sounds like loads of fun, eh?
    God bless.
  • Duck5373
    Duck5373 Member Posts: 8
    Mosis50, I hope I can bring you some confort. I am a 6-year breast cancer survivor. Diagnosed in 12/97; mastectomy in 1/98 and a year of treatments and reconstruction. First of all, congrats are making the decision to LIVE! I too made that choice and have been doing aggressively so since 1998. Just a couple of suggestions that may help in working with your dr. First, outline how you expect to be treated. I had to actually schedule a separate appointment with my oncologist where I had written a note outlining my fears and how important it was that I was educated on what I was dealing with. Now, when I leave, they give me a copy of the blood work ran while I'm in the office and send me a copy of my BCA results. He was surprised at the proactive approach, but has worked with me since then. Remember, all a doctor has over any one else is lots of education. I do too, just in a different area. If he had to come do my job, he'd need information and help. Well, I want to understand his role, so I need information and help. Second, make sure he knows how you want to be treated -- its okay to say "please, I need more reassurance. Tell me if its your opinion that my levels, my film, etc., indicates a higher risk of re-occurence so I can do things to either reduce it or be prepared for it. Third, please remember all survivors or different. I can tell you that we have lost several women from our support group -- its a sad and scary time when that happens. But I can also say, more are surviving than not. And finally, find a breast cancer survivors/support group. My group has been invaluable in education and understand.

    After 6 years ... my life is still great. I hunt, fish, scuba dive and do everything and more that I did before. Not to say I don't get nervous everytime I have to have a mammogram and go in for a check up. I just know I've survived once, and I'll survive again.

    Keep your chin up and remember -- WOMEN ARE AMAZING!