What happens now treatment has finished

Hi

Just wondering what i should expect to happen now i have completed chemo and rads. I am seeing my oncologist in 2 weeks but have no idea what they will do. Will i be offered a scan of some kind or bloods. What has happened to you.

Thanks for any advice

Gina

Hi Gina,

Congratulations on completing your treatment. Everyone expected me to jump up and down when mine finished but I only felt relief. Your onc will tell you how often he wants to see you, depending on what your diagnosis was. As I had Grade 3 2.6cm with 10/18 nodes involved they like to share me between the breast clinic and onc. So I see one then 3 mths later the other. I haven’t had any routine bloods done but I did have a bone scan last week due to pain in shoulder and arm. They say it’s for ‘peace of mind’ and just to make sure.

I’m sure your appt will go well, ask them about routines tests as I find it varies from hospital to hospital. I did find after my active treatment finished (I’m still on Tamox) that I felt quite anxious and worried and not happy as I thought I would. There is an excellent paper by Dr Peter Harvey which covers this in depth. I’m so sorry I can’t add a link but I’m quite useless techy-wise! I’m sure a lovely lady will be along to add this for you shortly.

Again, I’m glad your treatment has finished and I hope you stay well and get back a measure of ‘normaility’ to your life - I craved this but everything just takes so long! I’m impatient, can you tell?! My rads finished in May and I went back to work last June. I feel better than I did but still don’t feel that I’m quite back into my groove, if you know what I mean.

All the best, Pat x

cancercounselling.org.uk/northsouth/extra4.nsf/WebResHarveyText?OpenView&ExpandAll&Count=50
not sure if this will work but heres the link

if it doesn’t put cancercounselling.org.uk into google and look up Dr harvey
rhian x

Hi Peppa- it seems to depend rather more on which hospital/health authority you are under rather than the stage /grade of your cancer at dx.

Like Gina I was Grade 3 with a 2.4 tumour but I wasn’t seen for 8 months after completing chemotherapy and rads… and subsequently every 12 months alternating between surgeon and oncologist.
Personally I do not think this is at all good psycologically after a long period of intense treatment. I think one should be seen at least every 6 months for the first year or two- but my onc said that this was ‘usual practice’ and research showed that more frequent check-ups didn’t achieve any better outcomes.

Hiya

I finished treatment (radiotherapy, preceded by chemo and surgery) last week and feel in a limbo now. I don’t know how I’m meant to feel, should be happy but don’t really feel anything much, just weary! The treatment dominated my life for 8 months and I do want to get back to how I was before but finding it hard. I have been back to work, part time which I feel good about but its the rest of my life I can’t get to grips with. I expect it’ll come with time. I suppose I feel that what I’ve been through should have changed me but I don’t feel any different, just deflated.

Has anyone else had problems with painful joints? I believe its due to the chemo but I’ve only had it since I finished chemo and its getting worse, have to take painkillers to get moving in the morning and if I sit down for a while, its bad when I try to get up again! Also as I only finished rads a week ago, still very sore, red, itchy all around and under breast area. I suppose I feel low as I had hoped to feel a lot better when treatment was over, I know its early days and I’m being impatient.

I wish there was some sort of after treatment get together, with other women so we could talk about how we feel etc. I did ask at the hospital but there doesn’t seem to be anything like that. It makes me feel very alone, on my own now.

best thing is to keep busy so am off to do some housework, ironing, shopping, not working today.

Dae x

Hi Dae

I know just how you are feeling. It’s as though everyone has abandoned you and you don’t know how to deal with it. That feeling will pass and you will hopefully get back to feeling in control of your life again.

I have met up with several girls from my area for two social evenings. We met just before Xmas and again this month. A good time was had by all and we plan to try and make it a monthly meeting. We are all at different stages of treatment, but found it very useful to just chat openly about our feelings with someone who has already been through the same thing. Perhaps you could do something similar, I’m sure you’d find it useful and enjoyable. We just started a thread in ‘your local area’.

Jackie xx

Hi jackie & all

Thanks for that, just got back from having a manicure, decided to treat myself! I messed up one nail though on way home. I may do what you suggest, initiate a get together of like minded women, as you say, people who haven’t experienced the treatment don’t really appreciate what we go through, even if we tell them. Going to take the dog for a walk now, fresh air always helps to cheer me up, even though it’s baltic out there!! Going out for a meal and theatre tonight (hope I can stay awake) nice to have a social life again!

Have just changed my profile photo to one of me wearing my wig, the previous one was me in a scarf which I don’t wear any more. My hair is just starting to grow again!

Dae x

hiya gina

after finishing chemo in nov i was discharged by my onc… rads finish in 2 weeks but will be seen in may by breast surgeon… nothing else in between as far as im aware and will only be annual appts after that so iv been told even though iv had BC twice and carry the BRCA2 gene… although the gene has just been diagnosed so i guess that may change things.

Dae i also have developed painful joints particularly my left hip which almost makes me limp… iv been trying to do with out painkillers though so probably why its worse now than when it forst started just before my chemo finished… i have just been undergoing some investigations to make sure its nothing sinister and had about 10 xrays and an MRI scan which have all come back normal so is a great relief… although it doesnt make the pain go away :frowning:

i have been away with the girls from here to centreparcs for our after treatment therapy LOL and it really was therapeutic… just a pity we dont get it on the NHS lol.

think there are going to be similar things happening with others from the forum.

like jackie i also meet up regularly with others in my area… to start with there was just 3 of us back in june/july but now we have 9 or 10 with various diagnoses and at different stages of treatment or post treatment… im sure there will others who would want to do something similar in your own area.

lulu x

I was discharged in August 2008 after finishing Herceptin. I have an annual mammo and review appointment round about Nov/Dec and that’s it.

Hi all,

I finished treatment about 2 weeks ago now. So reasurring to read that others of you are feeling the same way. I feel incredible low after being so positive throughout. This has come as a complete shock as I thought I would be ecstatic and all systems go. Just feel I want to crawl under a big shell where no one can see me and where I don’t have to answer constant questions etc (I know people mean well).

I do find this site incredibley helpful though and am about to start some counselling sessions so hope this will help me find strength to get back into ordinary life.

Thanks for listening x

Hi there. I’m also very glad it’s not just me. I finished all my active treatment just before Xmas and am still getting my head around it all. I was one of these positive people all through treatment but am really up and down now. I’m on tamoxifen so think some of it is down to that. I was warned by a friend that when treatment had finished was one of the hardest things she had to come to terms with. I’m back at work now, which has stopped me sitting at home moping and brooding over everything but am still thinking about what I’ve been through all the time. I am not myself and hate feeling like this. Sorry to hear others are feeling like this too.
Bev
x

I finished rads in January and had an appointment with my oncologist six weeks later. They seem to alternate every four months between breast services and oncology. I have an appointment with the surgeon in June and another with the oncologist in October. I should have a mammogram a year after the last one, around August/September.

As far as the appointment went, the oncologist examined me and we had a chat. That was it, really. She seemed happy with my physical progress.

However, I felt very low after finishing rads, having been fairly strong and positive up to then. I got quite emotional during my oncology appointment and I think she was a bit taken aback. Maybe she thought I would have got over it by now. I think it was the thought that there was now nothing much I could do to prevent a recurrence, although I am on Letrozole and have a good prognosis. The article about aspirin cheered me up a bit and I am going to see my GP about it this week. It is the thought of being so powerless that gets me down. I read that vitamin supplements and lots of anti-oxidants are not necessarily a good idea after having bc, and that threw me. I now have no idea what is best. Green tea or no green tea!!!

Ann x

Hi there, I am new to this site but after reading other peoples comments I feel better. I had a lumpectomy last Feb followed by chemo and radiotherapy. I finished all of my treatments mid Dec last year. After doing so I have felt quite anxious. While having the treatment I felt like that was a bit of a safety net but now I feel very anxious, every ache and pain seems to play on my mind. Does anybody else feel this way?

Hi,

I am in a similar situation. Had mx last Feb followed by chemo and rads. It’s true you do worry about every ache and pain. Like other people I am suffering particularly with pain in my hips, which I presume is due to the chemo. You try to carry on a normal life but keep being reminded of what you’ve been through because all the treatment has left you with pains in areas that you never had before bc. So then that leads to fear and having a ‘normal’ life seems impossible!!

xx

A lot of us feel the same - see my post on “when will i feel like me again”.

Hi
I am a bit further on - finished treatment (surgery, chemo and radiotherapy) 18 months ago. Now have a mad head of big curls which I am steadfastly refusing to have cut, and life has got going again. Most of the time life is great, full, and I love every moment in a way I didn’t before. But I have days when waves of enormous anxiety wash over me, because I know I couldn’t go through treatment again, so another diagnosis seems like the end. Also the side effects of tamoxifen seem endless and gruelling.
Passing the year mark after treatment ended was good, I certainly feel like me again. I just wish I could get a grip on the anxiety and fear thing.

Hi

I’ve just been for my first mammogram since my treatment finished. My last chemo was in Feb09 and I have been on Tamoxifen since April. I have a clinic appt with my surgeon next Wed and am dreading it. My head is playing tricks with me and making me believe that something sinister will show up. I’ll just be glad once I’ve been to clinic. I really hope that once this is over I will be able to put the ‘c’ word to the back of my mind for a long while. Most of the time I don’t think about it too much but when appts come around it starts all the worries off again. I’m sure I’m not unique in this but that doesn’t help when it happens to you, does it?

Take care everyone

Jackie xx

I had mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction in March 08, then chemo, and rads until Nov 08. Saw the oncologist just once after finishing rads, when he prescribed Tamoxifen and said there was no need to see him again. Had an appt with the breast surgeon in May 09, should have just had a mammo on the good breast but the recon is so lumpy they did a mammo on that one too, luckily the lumpy bits are just thought to be internal scar tissue (looks and feels ugly but not a health risk). I’ll see the breast surgeon again each May until 5 years after the op. This is through BUPA - it was probably less unpleasant having chemo in a nice private hospital, but I actually wish I’d been NHS, because I think they have a far better all-round service in terms of support and aftercare.

Hi everyone

Well it’s off to the breast clinic this afternoon to see the surgeon and get my results from last week’s mammogram, which was my first since chemo finished. Must say I’m pretty nervous about it. So nervous in fact that I haven’t even been able to sort out any clothes for our fantastic holiday in Cuba which starts on Sunday. Once this afternoon is out of the way I’m sure I’ll be able to get into holiday mood.

I really don’t want to feel like this every year when my mammogram comes round. Have even been thinking about asking about a preventative mastectomy. Not sure if it would be considered though.

Anyway take care everyone and try to put any worrying thoughts to the back of your mind, easier said than done, I know.

Jackie xx

I hope it all goes well today, Jackie.

Ann x