What happens on a 1st oncology/ radiotherapy appointment

I’ve got my first oncology appointment on Tuesday I know I’ll be having radiotherapy for high grade DCIS and discussing tamoxifen but that’s it and I’m really nervous about what’s going to happen can anyone give me some advice please luv Clair x

Hi again Clair. I’m not sure it’s the same across the country. At my first appointment we discussed I met both the oncologist and the BC nurse to my results and possible treatment - chemo was in the mix at that point. Today we met again and confirmed radiotherapy and medication, giving me a first month’s prescription. She explained how many sessions I would have. I then had my CT scan to set up where I would be positioned etc. All were lovely and put me at my ease. We talked about possible side effects and that I would have a bone scan soon and another in 2 years. I went with a great long list of questions, all of which were answered very patiently!! Good luck xx

Thank you Janey, did you have any blood taken on the first appointment? I’m just wondering how they got your score I thought I’d got my head around everything but I’m having a wobble day today . I’m down in the southwest where are you ? ?

Ooh!! So am I in the Westcountry. My treatment at RD&E, what about you? Maybe we will go through this in reality as well as virtually! Because of my BC type I was eligible for an Oncotype DX test - a sample was sent away for testing and results finally came back for today. Wobbly days all made easier by the lovely people here. For me a good day with a plan. I think you may be a little younger than me or at least pre menopausal if tamoxifen is in your plan. Big hugs westcountry maid xx

Sorry forgot to say no blood taken - phew!!! Xx

Blimey that’s not far from me ? My consultant treatment is based in YDH and I’ll have my radiotherapy at The Beacon Centre in Taunton. I’ll be 47 next week, the dr thinks because I was sterilised at any early age (4 children was enough for me ?) I might have had early menopause so they’re going to check. This forum is fabulous not only for info but calming my fears when I wobble and not being judged at all xxxxx

That isn’t far at all. Do you have access to something like FORCE in Somerset? I’m 51 now but definitely menopausal, as hysterectomy when I was 46. It is a wonderful site, especially for wobbles xx

Hi Clair, just want to wish you good luck for Tuesday, i will be thinking of you. Xx I’m having massive wobbles today and my first onc appt isnt til thursday. Janey what sort of questions did you ask, my brain is fuzzy with nerves and can’t think of anything much at mo…H xx

I’m still fuzzy, but think that’s the new me. I tried to cut and paste my list, but it seems you need to ask about milk, bread, eggs and you don’t need my shopping list!. I had an Oncotype test as I was borderline for chemo. Thankfully it isn’t indicated, so my questions were about work, how long sessions would be, creams to use, possible side effects of tablets (i.e. Would it make menopause worse?), could I use normal deodorant etc. Interestingly I think every area is different. Most of my questions were then answered by the radiotherapy team. I was told I could wear deodorant, was given a gown to use and told not to worry too much about creams, I’d be given more advice when I start. Just having some questions gave me a bit of a sense of control. I’m going to have 3 weeks then a week of boosters (not sure why they don’t call it 4 weeks!). Big hugs for Thursday xx

Hi Clair, I’m thinking about you, don’t know what time your appt is today but good luck and glad your taking hubby for support & help with prompting coz of our fuzzy troubles! My mum is coming with me thurs so sure she will propmt me as hubby offered doing rads runs with me when the time comes. Janey you did make me giggle with thought of getting your shopping list :slight_smile: but thank you so much for ideas of things to ask. I am having more wobbles after 2nd WLE & snb than i did after first one, and i also forget what im saying/doing mid flow. Finding this forum a lifeline to keep our spirits buoyed up and know we are there and rooting for each other. Big hugs xxxx

Hi my lovely, so glad that appt is all over for you and that you are healing well. Its completely understandable to feel teary because we have been through so much already in a short space of time, physically & emotionally and i think it helps to let it out and not bottle it up. I only work part time since having my kids and i was glad to get back after both ops to keep busy and be with other people rather than sit on my own at home. But you must take it easy and listen to your body and just do what you can do, dont overdo things. Thanks for tips on deodrants, that never crossed my mind that might have to use certain ones and i really must start making a list tonight of things to ask onc on thursday & rad team later. I really hope i will get told when mine will start as feel in limbo at the moment, can’t plan anything. I really appreciate your support ladies and thank you for being there to talk to. Love H :slight_smile: xxxx

Hello Welsh lady - sorry to hear you have been upset.  I finished my radiotherapy in July but still have days when I feel upset.  I started taking Letrozole in around May time and for me I think it is the meds which affect my mood.  I would say it is too early for you and is most probably as a result of the shock and everything that has happened to you since your diagnosis.  For me breast cancer came from nowhere and it made me face all sorts of things.   I remember being told to be strong and positive and sometimes I didn’t feel like that.  So I had a good rant and cry - made me feel much better.  

On the radiotherapy planning it is all over very quickly.  If it is the very first appointment the radiographers will take a scan of the breast/chest wall so the oncologist can then plan the treatment.  This is when I had three small tattoos (just tiny dots) which then helped the radiographers line up the equipment for each treatment session. There is one either side of my breasts (well scar now on one side) and one in the middle.  It took about a quarter of an hour (if that) and everyone (as ever I found) was very professional and kind.  I began my treatment proper around three weeks later.  I remember the Breast Cancer Care booklet on radiotherapy to be really helpful as there are pictures of the equipment showing how you will position your arm etc.  I am not clever enough to provide a link here but I am sure you will find it if you search in publications on the main site.           

I hope you feel better soon.  I am two months following the end of my radiotherapy and on the whole feel positive and upbeat.  Takes a while but you will get there.  

Sending a big hug to Wales (if you are there) from a rather windy Scotland.  Jill xx

Big hugs to all of you. The very worst are those 3 ws. I’ve found it very odd the times The tears took hold. But each blubby session helped release some tension. Xxx

Good luck Kary for your first rads tomorrow, i will be thinking of you . Wobbles are natural, im having them for my first onc appt tomorrow… .when im not looking forward to something i try really hard to think past it… ie think by tomorrow night or whenever that hurdle will be over . Take baby steps and we will get there. Big hugs for tomorrow and beyond as my younger son would say :slight_smile: xx

Hi. I’m going for my 11th out of 15 rads today and so far it has been fine. I am in and out of the treatment room within 10 to 15 mins and the staff are all lovely. I was told I could use deodorant so I bought a non aluminium one although I wasn’t told to. Use of creams was not mentioned so I asked to be told they didn’t recommend them as some could cause more irritation and they would advise which cream to use if they felt it was becoming necessary to use one but I could wear one my skin was used to if I wanted. I am not on any tablets as in my area hormone receptors are not tested and if they had been I’m way too old to have been given them. Are there any other ladies like me who had a diagnosis of high grade DCIS and have had 2 WLE procedures then only radiotherapy as a follow up?

Hi 76Ag, hope you are ok. I had 10mm grade 1 invasive ductal carcinoma with intermediate DCIS. I had 2 WLE and an SNB to get clear margins. Although bc was ER positive onc who i saw for first time today said tamoxifen would only give me 1% advantage (right word???) so he said weighing up the side effects (i have clotting issue) he thought not worth it in my case but i had a choice. So i am also now going to have rads only & no hormone therapy. It was a surprise coz i was expecting to take meds as thats what surgeon told me originally but i trust onc advice. Can you recommend a suitable deodrant for rads as i dont know whether my current brand is suitable. Take care. H xx

Hi Clair , thank you for your good wishes…so glad first appt with onc over and it wasn’t too bad.I was fine but as soon as i got into the consulting room to wait for him i burst into tears & so did my mum!! These bloomin wobbles are so annoying. I said “we cant both be crying when he comes in” so quick dab with tissues & we were ready…went thru results again, discussed rads & tamoxifen pros & cons, discussed ok foods to eat and exercise. …a funny bit was when he told me to do daily arm exercises for rest of my life and told me like the ones Barbara Windsor did in carry on camping and demonstrated what he meant…that definitely lifted my stresses away …big hugs dear ladies xx