A question for survivors

karbear Member Posts: 163
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hello, I am a 6 year survivor and have a question about what kind of precautionary steps your oncologist takes. I had my check-up with my oncologist only to find out that he has LEFT!! No one told me until I read the sign on the window in his office. I was devastated,felt like I lost my best friend (after all he saved my life and I trusted his every decision regarding my treatments)I wanted to cry as I waited to see a new oncologist,whom I've never met..The only explanation I had gotten for my doctors not being there was "hes not wanted by the cops,hes not in jail,he hasn't fled the country" ..I was so crushed..The new doctor didn't seem as concerned about doing any blood work,xrays or mammograms. My old doctor had told me that he will have that all done each year for the rest of my life..so now I'm feeling that I don't have any safety net underneath me anymore,,it was rough when they took all the meds. away,for some reason they were my saftey net also.now I have none!! This doctor had told me no reason for mammogram cause I had DIEP and a double mastectomy ,but my other oncologist said "they would do ultrasound to check the surrounding areas",So I was wondering what kind of precaution other survivors have done and for how long did you have them done for? Sorry to rattle on but this has been bugging me since my appt...Thanks again and God Bless!!


  • Hello karbear.
    This is what I would suggest:
    Take IMMEDIATE steps to get ALL your previous records from your original oncologist's office. Even if you have to take legal steps to get your hands on them. They are YOURS.
    Once you have them in your hands, search out another reliable oncologist that you have confidence in or get referral from your GP.
    Get under another onco's care ASAP.
    I am a 21 year survivor and I STILL have checkups once a year. And you need guidance in getting back on whatever meds you need to be taking.
    Good luck and God bless.
  • mgm42
    mgm42 Member Posts: 491 Member
    I echo Zahelene's advice and I would like to add that if you live near a teaching hosptial, you might want to consider starting your search there. Good luck. I'm still in treatment so I sort of know what you must be feeling. Instead of having my radiation treatments close to home, I've chosen to travel 165 miles round trip in order to have the doctors that I've grown to know, trust and love. Take care. mgm 42
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
    I am still in treatments, but I would agree with Zahalene, get your records, take a friend with you if you can, and find a Dr. you feel comfortable with. This site is a good place to look for folks who have similar experience. You might also see if you have a local branch of the ACS that would put you in touch with folks in your area you can talk to about their experiences with local Drs. I think going to a Teaching Hospital might be good too because they will be up on the latest and greatest that is available. My plastic surgeon shares the opinion of your former oncologist...even after reconstruction you still need annual checkups...the type of exam depends on the type of recon. I haven't gotten that far yet, but I do plan to continue annual exams when I get past all the chemo, rads, and recon.

    Keep on keeping on...seof
  • Tigger35
    Tigger35 Member Posts: 21
    Hi, I wholeheartedly agree with the other women. You need to have an Oncologist that you have confidence in and who will take care of you. As for your feelings, I can relate to them. I have had 2 breast cancers, thyroid cancer, and Mets. We move around a lot so I have to get new doctors every 2 years or so. It is a lonely and fearful not knowing who your doctor is going to be. I cried once when one of my doctors quit, it's okay. I feel the same way you do sometimes, I want to know there is a safety net. My body is a train wreck, I need to know my doctors are there for me. So, I say take charge of your own medical care, even if it is scary. Once you get the doctors you want you will be able to settle down. Keep a log of all your procedures, treatments, and medications. Our last move I didn't have all my records in hand, however I was able to had my Oncologist my own medical log, he was impressed and able to work with me without having all my records.

    Oh yeah, we are moving AGAIN the end of May. I was only diagnosed last March with the thyroid and METS so I am not happy to be moving again and finding new doctors. Fortunately my doctor here is going to help hook me up with a doctor in Vegas. My husbad retired from the Air Force and has job in Vegas of all places. He is there for 4 months without me, our son is graduating High School this year so I am staying behind. It sucks, but I don't want to move our son 4 months before graduation. My husband left last week.
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Actually, my onc has a 'wait until something happens' sort of attitude....with all the radiation from both the rectal and the breast cancers so close together, she wants to do as little more radiating as she can. She is VERY responsive if I call with a problem, but I just switched from every 3 months to 6 months, and I haven't had a scan for awhile.

    I agree with all others. Get your records. Actually, everyone should be keeping a copy of each lab, rad, or treatment slip as their treatment goes on....I have, and so I feel I could just hand over a copy if anyone asked...

    Hugs, Kathi
  • 3cbrca
    3cbrca Member Posts: 206
    That's pretty appalling that he left. Physicians who leave fro appts to other positons always send letters to their patients. What city do you live in - I've lived in a lot of cities and know or know of them really good oncologist because of my work. The treatment is only one aspect of our care and you deserve to have an onc that you will feel good with becuse the follow/up care is sooo important. If you want to email me with your town offline, I will look to see if I know anyone I would recommend in your town.
    Best of Luck