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Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

15 REPLIES 15
wizardpoo
Member

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

thanks for that alto,very many thanks. I wish you only good things on your 'journey' and I hope all turns out well for you.

Alto
Member

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

Hi wizardpoo,

The way I understand it is that Stage is an mix of size and how far it's spread already on a scale of 0 - 4 with smaller grades like 3b etc. and Grade is how agressive it is (its potential to spread) on a scale of 1-3.

I don't know the stage of mine yet although I think it's probably somewhere in the 3 zone - fingers crossed it's not 4 but I'm having scans next week to check that.
I do know that mine is Grade 3.

There's info on stages here http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-breast-health/diagnosis/your-diagnosis/cancer-stage... and I'm sure I've seen info on grades on this site as well but I can't see it at the moment!

Alto
Member

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

Well, the result is FEC-T, so 3 FEC then 3 Taxotere, three weeks apart. Then radio to breast and collarbone areas, followed by Tamoxifen. I'll be startiing next week or the week after; they just need to check for a slot and phone me.

I've got staging scans next week though, bone on Monday and CT on Wednesday, so that might change things yet if they find anything else...

My oncologist was lovely and explained everything very carefully. Pretty much the first thing she said was that I would lose my hair - I guess that's often the first thing people ask so she got it in first!

There was a BCN in there with us, although she wasn't my usual one. She didn't really say anything, but TBH she didn't need to as the onc explained everything so well and we didn't ask her anything. I know my regular BCN is on the end of the phone if I need her so I'm fine with that.

While I was waiting one of the nurses came over for a chat as she'd recognised me - she lives in our village, just round the corner from us! She told me that if she was ever to get cancer she'd want to be treated in our unit. i know it does have a fantastic reputation - the professor who is head of the unit was oncologist of the year a year or so ago and is very much interested in lifestyle, nutrition etc. to help with treatment and prevent recurrence and has written a book on the subject.

I think I'll be in good hands!

Jane xxx

wizardpoo
Member

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

can anyone please tell me what is the distinction/difference between staging and grade. I know i was stage 2 but no idea what grade was. what does grade indicate? thanks

dancing_girl
Member

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

Hope you get on OK Starky and Jane with your oncologist. Did you have your BCNs with you?

Like Topsymo there was no option for that in my area. Excellent one stop breast care centre and operations performed at one hospital. Chemo and rads at another.

Stella xx

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

Hello again

Results are that I have bone mets in my sternum, and will be having radio (one big dose) and five months of chemo for the other stuff like the lymphatic cells. I am somewhat reassured for the time being that it could have been a lot more extensive, and now just keen to get on with the treatment.

The oncologist was incredibly good, articulate and clear about the issues. Although in the end I didn't have a nurse there too, it was fine and I talked with her afterwards. It does feel like the beginning of a strange unexpected journey with people I will, no doubt, get to know very well.

Starky and Jane... Looking forward to hearing from you both. Hope your appointments went smoothly.

Have a good day all

Jo x

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

Oh hope it goes well Jane. Same but different in that I know I have to have chemo because nodes in my neck are affected. My oncologist will have lots of scans to look at first so it will be an enlightening session I think.

Thanks to everyone for their comments. Really really helpful. I agree SJ that knowing makes everything more bearable. Jo x

Alto
Member

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

I've got my first onc visit tomorrow (the same day as Jo!). I know I've got to have chemo as my cancer was in the nodes (I had a WLE & ANC on Christmas Eve - 6/12 nodes affected) and it's Grade 3, so no choice really. Not had staging scans yet - I'm waiting for a phone call to book those.

I don't think I'm too nervous about it really - I was more nervous about seeing my consultant today for my pathology results but he told me he'd got good clear margins (6 - 10mm) so no more surgery, thank goodness. I'm very nervous indeed about the scan results but I'm having them done privately so shouldn't have to wait too long for an appointment.

I've been told that my oncologist is very nice, and the team as a whole have an excellent reputation so I think I'll be in very good hands. The head of the dept. is also very interested in how lifestyle, diet etc. affect outcomes and recurrences and has written a book on it so I'll be interested to hear what they have to say on that.

In a peculiar way I'm quite looking forward to tomorrow!!!

Jane xxx

topsymo
Member

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

Everyone seems to mention the BCN being in attendance. In our area the BCNs are based at a different hospital and are never present when you see the oncologist-only when you see the surgeons. There is a clinic nurse in the room but only in the role of chaperone .
Do try to ensure you have someone with you if at all possible; write down all your queries and questions and go thro them one by one - however long it takes: don't be deflected!
In my experience you will never have the opportunity again to have so much of the oncologist''s time. as on your primary visit .

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

I called the helpline to assist me in preparing a list of questions. It helps if you can take someone to make notes. Good Luck.

SM422
Member

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

Hi Jo and others
I think even if you are taking a friend/family member with you, that if you have the option of a BCN being present, it is a good idea, as they understand what is being talked about, and can explain or fill in the bits you miss.

Good luck, but found my first meeting very helpful and enlightening, and at least you will know what the next steps are, this will make the whole thing a lot more bearable (seems strange, but true!)

Love

SJ xx

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

Hello

Just thought I would say snap. First visit to oncologist to discover the verdict from scans and what chemo I am likely to have. Mine is on Wednesday, so a day behind you Starky 1. Hope it all goes well for you and let us know won't you?

Thanks to others for the advice. I have the option of asking for the BCN to be there, and I think I will ask for this.

Take care all of you

Jo

elaine_r
Member

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

Dont be afraid to ask any questions they have all the answers its the fear of the unknown im sure it will go ok my onc has been brilliant any problems and issues i had i spoke to him when they have sorted out what treatment you will be having you can focus a bit better and then be able to get your head around things let us no how you get on

tors
Member

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

I actually enjoyed my first meeting with my onc on a funny sort of way, as he had a lot of answers and spent time answering my worries, including many I hadn't vocalised! The bcn at my hospital goes in with you and then chats with you after. That helped too. Pen and paper essential. Don't fret, there's no needles involved just talking. Xxx

Peachez
Member

Re: Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

Hi, have you already had surgery? I had my Mx and ANC at the end of november, and have (not my first) meeting with my Onc tomorrow before starting Chemo on 13th.

I'm sure you'll have lots of questions once you start talking. They'll go over your treatment plan most likely. Is Chemo a choice for you, or a must do?

Remember there is no such thing as a daft question, so open that mouth! Also make sure you take someone with you if poss, and ALWAYS take a pad and pen to write notes. The BCNurses are good for any niggles you have too.

Get some sleep tonight (keep that pad by the bed in case something pops in your mind at 3am!)

Best of luck, Pxxxx

Guest user
Not applicable

Help I have my first oncology visit tomorrow

Hi I'm not sure what to expect got to go n discuss chemo and feeling a little nervous. or what i should talk about?
starky1