Further app after treatment finished - is this normal?

Hi Ladies

Feeling very freaked out this morning but I have had what I thought was going to be my final appointment with my oncologist this morning as I have finished all my treatments. He examined me said that everything looked fine and then said ‘we’ll see you in 3 months’!!!

Is this normal? And before you ask ‘why didn’t I ask him’ he was gone before I could get myself back together again.

I know that I will have to have annual mammograms but I was convinced that I would be able to put all this to the back of my mind for 12 months, now I can’t. Plus the appointment is for August and I’m getting married in September so now don’t know if I should put it off until after the wedding/honeymoon because if I was to be told something awful in August I would be freaked out just before the wedding!!


phillippa x

Hi Phillipa

Yes I think this is normal. It’s a double-edge sword because it is, as you say, a reminder of things although on the other hand if you have any worries or anxieties it means that a specialist can check you out rather than your GP.
I have my second 3 monthly appointment next week and I feel anxious but also have questions to ask him.

I do understand though about your wedding. Perhaps have a word with your BC nurse and see what she recommends. If it’s a matter of 2 or 3 weeks I shouldn’t think it would be a problem. I expect others on this site would be able to advise about this too.

take care
elinda x

Hi elinda

Thank you so much for replying so quickly - I am feeling so stressed and freaked out.
Last week I was feeling so good but the stress levels grew and grew from Sunday onwards as the appointment day got closer, how on earth do you deal with this every time you have to go for another appointment?
This bloody disease is just always there in the back ground waiting to pounce again isn’t it!!
I have just left a message for BC nurse so hoping she will call back and put my mind to rest.

This sounds normal - just a chance for you to ask any questions. It doesn’t seem like they are suggesting any tests or scans - so there won’t be any news to give you. I still see my breast surgeon every 3 months - probably go to 6 months after the next one. I would hope to see my onc every 3 months after treatment is finished - I’m sure there will be some questions that will have come up in the mean time.

Well done on finishing you treatment - now relax and enjoy planning your wedding!

Hi Finty

The oncologist did ask me if I have an app to see breast surgeon but I haven’t heard anything from him either so that worried me as well!!

No mention was made of any scans or tests either so you are probably right that it is just them keeping an eye on me and I shouldn’t be so freaked out.

I will try to relax I promise…and as much as I’m not looking forward to going back to work I know that it will be good for me to have something else to occupy my thoughts rather than cancer. I’m going in ‘unofficially’ tomorrow just to see everyone and my boss is taking me out to lunch so that will be good.

We bought our wedding rings the other day…still can’t quite believe that I am getting married again.

It’s really hard not to worry - but actually I suspect in some ways seeing someone frequently is less worrying than big annual check-ups. And now you are finished I’m sure you will gradually stop thinking about it all the time - I had my last Tax a week ago, and I can see already that my attitude is subtly changing and I’m feeling more positive. Still have rads to go, and then years of Avastin and Tamoxifen - but I am starting to see how it can recede from being an ever present blight to something that I think about less often.

Good luck going back to work - I’m sure it will help, but don’t over do it.

finty x

I suppose thats one way of looking at it, the oncologist said something similar that at least seeing me would catch something sooner rather than later, although mine wasn’t found through having a lump it was microcalcification which can only be seen on a mammogram.

So pleased to hear that you are one step further along the road to completing your treatment, good luck with the radiotherapy the fear of the rads is far greater than actually having it. Once you get the first few over with its just the grind of having to go there every day that can get wearing.

Look after yourself.


BC nurse has just called me and told me the same as all of you, that if oncologist was worried then he wouldn’t leave me 3 months and that when she spoke to him to ask him was there anything I could be worried about he looked blank and said no.

So the only thing I have to think about now is do I stick with my 3 month app in August before I go on holiday/honeymoon or do I chicken out and leave it until I get back?

Phillippa x

Hi Phillipa

I’ve alternate appointments with the Oncologist and breast surgeon every 3 months. This gives the benefits of two opinions instead of one. I think that’s good quality care. This may be what your oncologist was talking about.

To some extent I block it out. I feel relieved that I’m seeing someone every 3 months so they keep an eye on things. I try to think of it as an opportunity to ask questions rather than anything else. It is a reminder of the cancer although I don’t think there’s a day go by at the moment when I don’t think about it anyway. But on the whole I live my life working on the assumption I don’t have any cancer anymore as I’m such a worrier I’d go mad.

Did you discuss delaying your appointment with the BC nurse? If not, I’d call her back and ask her about that too.
Elinda x

Hi elinda

I did ask her about delaying the appointment and she said it didn’t matter if I did, but wouldn’t I rather get it over and done with so I could look forward to the wedding - that would be lovely if I could guarantee that I was going to get good news!

I am trying very hard to see this as a positive rather than the huge negative that it seems at the moment. And I’m sure that once I get my head round it I will be able to push it to the back of my mind, and yes I do try to see it that I don’t have cancer anymore but oh god it is hard isn’t it!

phillippa x

Apparently, at my hospital, they alternate every 4 months between the surgeon and the oncologist for two years (I think), plus the annual mammogram. Then it goes down to 6 months for two years and then annually. Although I know I shall get worked up, I find it rather reassuring as I would rather they were keeping an eye on things, rather than just relying on me!

Ann x

I had thought that I was doing really well, I felt well and my general attitude to everything was very positive, I couldn’t believe how nervous I was this morning walking into the hospital. But I suppose that I will feel like that for the next five years!

phillppa x

like the rest of you, i have just finished chemo and rads. I will be seeing the oncologist every 3 months and the breast surgeon every 3 months. They asked me to make sure they do not clash so an appointment every 6 weeks then

I should have been discharged from Oncology in June 2008, a few weeks after I finished Herceptin. However, at that point I had postmenopausal problems and my Oncologist had also referred me for counselling,which had been refused by my GP, so she said she was not willing to discharge me until she knew those issues were being dealt with and I was on a more even keel emotionally. Having an extra appointment tagged on at the end helped me immensely.

I was always offered only an appointment every 6 months and given the choice as to whether I saw the Onc and Surgeon or just the Surgeon. I was treated privately. For the first year I did see both but this year I’m seeing the Surgeon twice. My Onc. said that they had come to realise that sometimes the medical profession think that they are being reassuring by having appt. every 3 months but actually appts. just cause the patient stress! Apart from the yearly mammogram I don’t think that they can tell me anything I don’t already know.

take care everyone

Not sure wchich hospitals you attend, in Scotland I saw the onc after I finished my chemo in Aug 2007, then had my 1 yearly mammogram and saw the surgeon at the same time. I had a small problem in jan/feb 2008 with bleeding on the Tamoxifen and had a visit to the gynea outpatient everything was ok I saw the onc just after in March 2008 but havent seen her since, and I now only see surgeon at my yearly mammogram. I suppose if their was something wrong my GP would contact them and I would get a referral. Sometimes you feel very alone after treatment but suppose you have to learn to live again without constant hosp appts. A wee bit scarey tho.

Carolyn x

I have just started rads today, following a WLE in Nov 09 & chemo. I was only saying to my mum today that I thought it was strange that I had only had one appointment with my surgeon since the op and that was the week after to discuss further treatment. Also on my long list of appointments in the future I don’t have any with him, just lymphodema checks and with a nurse practitioner (don’t know what that one is for). Obviously I have been seeing onc regularly.

Is this normal?

According to my BC nurse I should see the surgeon a year after the first operation, they leave us with the oncologist up to then.

I know that seeing someone regularly should be reassuring but just the thought of having to go back to the hospital every 3 months has stressed me out so much, and I know it shouldn’t and I know its for the best, I end up thinking that I will never be able to put all this behind me.

phillippa x

Hi Phillipa and all

I know exactly where you are coming from got my 1st appointment for my annual mammogram with the surgeons registra today. Yesterday I had to come home from work as I was so emotional and worried sick. There should be no need to worry except I have had a cough for several months now and the Onc said to ask for a chest xray today. 1½ hrs to go now, not crying today but still scared stiff. I have a list of things to ask just hope that the appointment is long enough!

love Wendy

Hello everyone
just popped in, hope thats OK.
Wanted to say that it DOES get better over time - it becomes fairly routine as you go on and the fear kind of switches gear to mindfulness, rather than full blown anxiety of the waking at 4am variety. I can’t promise blithe indifference (and we’re all different) but just wanted to reassure that you tend not to have 5 years of near-constant anxiety. I think you kind of come to terms with it, and when you have had a couple of reassuring appts they start to feel different. Up til now they’ve all been dealing with the big lurgy, from now its more of a check up.
Well done on finishing it all - try and relax and enjoy the summer - which we all deserve after the winter we’ve had
much love
monica xxx