checkups

Hi

I’ve just come back from a 6 month check up. Quick (very quick) feel of my boobs from a surgeon I’ve never met before and will probably never see again who said “you’re fine” and rushed out of the room - and that’s that. There was one no one else to talk to. I’ve had two now - I find myself getting very keyed up before them and it’s such an anticlimax! I’ve got questions about Tamoxifen and hot flushes, but there’s no opportunity to chat. I’ve got a good mind not to go to the next one - what do other people do? Do you bother going?
take care everyone - hope you’re not too hot!!
P xx

Hi

I see surgeon every 6 months and onc every 6, therefore seeing someone every 3 months.

The surgeon just has a grope of boobs and armpits.
The onc checks the same plus ankles for swelling, glands in neck, feels stomach for enlarged liver, and hits back to listen to lungs.

However, I do find they make the appt seem very rushed and that if you ask questions you are holding them up.

I would never consider not going to these appts though.

Thanks for replying Lolly. In theory I think checkups are a really good idea, but if it’s just seeing a surgeon for a quick grope, I can’t see the point… I think if I had a new lump, I’d be the first to find it. Feel superstitious though - if I stop going and then get ill again I guess I’d get blamed!! Lucky you to see the oncologist again - I thought they were better doctors.
P

Hi all magsi put me onto this page as I was asking what happens at first check up and she told me what happened to her,but everyone seem to have different outcomes.I am due to go for my first one on Thursday so will let you know what was done then.Hopefully they will take time to listen to me and not as happened to some of you just tried to rush me out the door.Take care all.Joyce xx

hi everyone

i know how you all feel, i too felt let down at my yearly appointment. i was looking forward to chat with surgeon and i never even got to see her, probably her understudy i saw. he too had a quick grope asked me how i felt about recon and then said ok see you in about 7 months. i only get another appointment cos of my secondaries. like someone said the oncologist is more help really.
but unfortunetly some of you probably dont get to see them.
we just have to keep checking ourselves, i think intuition tells us if theres a problem. because id never felt my boobs before all this, and for some reason i checked at the right time. maybe a bit late thats why it had spread, but better late than never

hope anyone going for check up as more success, good luck.x

I had my first 3mth checkup yesterday, saw a different onc but she was lovely. She explained the main reason for the appt was to check skin had healed after rads - it had. I didn’t feel rushed and asked a couple of questions that she was happy to answer. I had the usual physical exam (boobs, neck, underarms etc)then sent for ecg as a precaution. All this was at the tailend of a really busy, oversubscribed clinic. I saw her again after ecg with results and another quick chat. I found it all reassuring and really sympathise with those who get no ‘quality’ time with their onc as there are always loads of things to discuss I find. I would suggest contacting PALS and/or filling in a feedback form - they are usually available in clinic area. I was extremely anxious leading up to and including the appt and had I felt rushed, like being on a conveyor belt, it would have been awful. Doctors are very busy, we know and appreciate that but the aftercare from the treatments and the trauma we’ve been through is every bit as important. A quick ‘grope’ and a ‘you’re fine’ doesn’t cut it in my book…
x

This is very interesting. There seems to be such a range of experiences. I wonder why they bother with “the quick grope and you’re fine” type of checkups? It’s just a formality, really, I could have been depressed, suicidal, had terrible pain in my abdomen - anything really - and he wouldn’t have discovered it. Very poor medicine, I think

Hi Magsi, Rachel and Cass41- particular thanks for your responses.
Magsi- the thread you mentioned was really helpful. I had a very bad experience at my first ‘results’ clinic- nearly 3 hours to wait to hear pretty bad news; it has rather coloured my attitude ever since. ( I was OK for the first 2 hours’ wait but by the time I was eventually called in, I was so agitated at being treated like a number on a list, that I was in no state to hear anything- good or bad. I ended up in tears etc etc -at my age! In the end the surgeon -unlike the nurse who quoted NICE stats at me- was so understanding and SO apologetic that I was able to deal with it but I was really upset that I had been reduced to such a near- hysterical state by the 'system" )
Since then I have been upfront about poor experiences - especially when I thought they were VERY poor during most of my chemo times and during one in-patient at the LRI - and I have made formal complaints over that. I trained as a nurse and know what good nursing care is when I meet it- and the reverse. I think it’s up to all of us to shout when services are poor- for the sake of any other poor souls who maybe aren’t able to do so. I like to feel I am also very generous with my thanks and appreciation- I’m not really just a bolshie woman!

Rachel - what is it in Leicester & these infrequent checks?! I have to believe it is mainly a money- saving exercise as it does not seem to be the same in other health authorities. Who is your consultant? I was under the lovely Mt Dzuhmer at Glenfield (now vanished from the face of the earth on ‘indefinite’ leave) . I had so hoped he would have returned by August as he has been gone for 9 months already - but then I have been told that I wouldn’t see the surgeon anyway- just the registrar
So I wait a year and then have 5mins with a stranger…?!

Cass41- your experience with your onc. mirrors my own: He always gave me plenty of time when I saw him during my chemo and rads (last saw him in Jan. 09) and he was very thorough - but I’m not now due to see an oncologist (him or anyone else) until August 2010. When one reads the threads on here it seems as if some folk are seeing their oncs all the time …- or could I access mine just as easily /frequently if I wanted to? Should I just be jolly grateful that I don’t NEED to see him? I am seeing my GP over the lovely side effects of Arimidex and the lymphoedema in my breast and just assumed that I could only access my onc. now thro’ a GP referral?

I get what is classed as a review appointment every 12 months, about 10 days after my mammo. The clinic is on a Friday morning and is not busy, so there is only one consultant on from the breast clinic (not the one who did my ops as he heads the clinic and only really sees new patients and those still undergoing treatment). As it’s not busy you do get time to ask questions, however last time I went I was the last appointment of the clinic and I felt as if they couldn’t wait to get me out of the door to get finished!

Hi everyone.Had my first 6 monthly checkup since my op.today and it lasted all of ten minutes.She checked my scar on breast and under my arm and told me everything was okay so that was a relief.I mentioned about flushes and said I had changed from taking it in morn. to night and it had not helped.She suggested changing the maker as there seem to be some better than others,She suggested Nolvadex and I was on Wockhardt to see if it made any difference.So will be on phone to my GP tomorrow to try and get it changed.It might be worth while for anyone else suffering from the dreaded flushes to try that.It might not work but Least we’ve tried.Good luck to you all with your follow-up appointments.Take care.Joyce xx

Topsymo,

My consultant surgeon at Glenfield was Miss Kenny, whom I have to say was very good.
However my experiences during chemotherapy at LRI was dreadful, the waitng was the worst 7 1/2 hours is the record. They seemed totally disorganised. The consultant oncologist I saw left after I had seen him twice at the begining of my treatment. I felt that no one really cared about me.
Best wishes to all,
Rachel.

Hi Raywitch- really agree with you re the LRI and the chemo suite there. I feel it must be something to do with the fear that comes with having cancer that stops people protesting, The over-crowding, ridiculously long waiting, off-hand nurses, lack of privacy etc etc. I certainly felt just like a number - except when I was actually with my onc- Dr Boiagiu.
I saw so much poor practice & heard quite a bit of grumbling whilst I was undergoing my treatment (apart from those who thought all the nurses were ‘wonderful’!) - but I have heard of no-one else who actually complained through the appropriate channels. It didn’t get me very far - but when you know how conditions should be - and how they ARE in smaller units, I just don’t think we should just put up with it
Best wishes
Mary