Hi spacebunny, Jmbrin2 and Seashell60,
Thank you all for the replies...as usual it helps just to know I am not alone in this. As I mentioned, assertive (some would say bossy) in every day life, and a quivering wreck in the Oncology department. Oh well, will just make sure I have a list and take a few deep breaths before the appointment. I don't want to waste my 15 minute slot or whatever it is.
Seashell: I know just what you mean about the physical examination, my last one seemed cursory in the extreme. In fact, as I think someone else once said on this forum, "I've had more thorough breast examinations on the London Underground!"
How did you get on today Jmbrin2?
I feel exactly the same!! My 1st checkup after diagnosis was in January and i felt like kicking myself on the way home having not said all the things i would have liked to! Prior to the appt i would think of things to mention and file them in my brain but by the time the day came all the things i had ready just flew out the window! My next appt is booked for July and this time i might jot things down ( i will need an A4 boxfile by then!!) I was rather disappointed though that part of the appt included a quick examination which to me barely skimmed the surface (considering that my ILC was non-palpable and the mammogram (my first one ever) wasn't clear which lead to another one and a biopsy and ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis) and included a rushed suggestion that maybe i should take up going to the gym to help my joint pain! WHAT!!!! I honestly thought he was joking about when he said it. Hope your checkup went well Jmbrin2 and Catseye i hope you are not too worried anymore. Cheers, Michele 🙂
My routine check up is tomorrow, so was interested to see the posts below. I am now 18 months since surgery and am feeling more apprehensive than I was at the earlier check-ups. I can feel a small lump under the scar, which I hope is just scar tissue. Indeed I think I commented on it at my last check-up and the mammogram was clear but it hasn't gone away. LIke Catseye, I don't want to apprear unnecessarily worrried, but still......
You and me both Catseye. Due my first check next month after Stage 3. Funny how a years treatment seems to go bye and with all the other things you have to deal with in life it seems like "it's done" and "you're well" again. Yet it's as a yearly check approaches it does start to stick in your thoughts, and questions you do have. If you're anything like me,all through treatment... "i'm fine" . "OK" . or " no problem " was the standard reply. Yet now as the wee visit approaches, I do feel the questions re-surfacing. SO ...what to do about it I say. How to get the confidence in that clinic room? Well I'm working on it, and writing down those queries you do have seems like a jolly good idea. Next is to get the docs attention...it only takes a sec to say "Hang on" or "Oi!"...anything to get them to stop and actually listen to you. Then you can say what you have on your mind.This is your time in that room to say what's on your mind so put it to good use. I suppose if getting over this hurdle gives us another 12 months ( 11 really ) to get on with living then let's give it a darn good try I say. Best of luck Cateye.
Whilst you wait for the other users to reply with their support and suggestions you might find it helpful to give the BCC helpline a call and talk things through with a member of staff. Here you can share your thoughts with someone who will offer you a listening ear with emotional support and practical information. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 and lines are open today from 10 to 2pm and weekdays 9 to 5pm.
Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator
I have a routine check up due next month, and was just looking for a bit of advice on how to deal with it. I had surgery, chemo,rads and have now been on tamoxifen for fifteen months.
My problem is that at each follow up appointment, I always seem to answer "I'm fine", to all the questions the oncologist asks, when what I really want to say is,"Actually the hot flushes, sleeplessness, breast pain and pretty much any other menopausal symptom you care to mention do get me down, and if I could give up the Tamoxifen tomorrow I would".
I think I feel duty bound to put on a brave face and underplay my symptoms because a) I don't want the Onc, (he is nice, but unfailingly upbeat, to the point of appearing a bit casual), to think I can't cope and write "worrier" in my notes, and b) because my partner is there and I don't want to upset him.
I've tried writing down my questions/concerns and taking the bit of paper into the appointment, but somehow the discussion gets sidetracked. The clinic is always running at least an hour late and I think I'm taking up too much time and leave feeling I've got nowhere.
In all other areas of my life I'm pretty confident and assertive, so any advice to help me get a better outcome from my next appointment would be great.