Oncologist appointment tomorrow - what questions should I ask?

After being diagnosed on 18th January and going through all the various test, I finally get to see the oncologist tomorrow. Would like to hear from anyone who has any suggestions about what questions would be good to ask. 

Also what are your experiences of how long it took for treatment to start after first oncology appointment. As my breast cancer is grade 3 and fast growing, I'm worried about it spreading, before my treatment even gets started. 

Was it suggested you have a PICC line or port?

  • Hi Pippin 24, hope everything has gone well today with having your port fitted,  my veins are already playing up with all the blood tests so not sure if this might be the way forward for me xx

  • Hi Rufusblue, all went well today thank you. Was a bit of a shock when they told me I wouldn't be sedated, just local anaesthetic and gas and air. I did ask for the sedation several times, but they insisted I would be fine, which I was. I got to the hospital at 8.30am and got home about 2.30pm, a bit longer than I'd anticipated. The only concern I have is regarding sleeping, which I didn't ask about and they didn't mention. The port was put on my left side (opposite side to my cancer), which is the side I usually sleep on. I've looked online and it says sleep on back or opposite side to the port. I don't mind this while it's healing, but would rather go back to sleeping on the port side afterwards. Really not sure if this will be OK or not, so will have to try and find out. How are you feeling at the moment?

  • Hi Pippin 24, didn't get back until 6.30, my appointment was 3.30 but it was so busy catching up after the 2 Bank Holidays,  fingers crossed I'm feeling OK physically,  still struggling with trying to be positive but I'm trying,  glad all went well for you today xx

  • Oh gosh well done for doing it under local! Glad it went well in the end..sleeping wise I can firstly sleep on the side of my port (like you it’s the other side to my cancer side) but I have no probs lying on my port side..probably slept on other side for a night or so but it settled pretty quickly. Hope yours does too. Hope all goes well for your next cycle too…xx

  • Offline in reply to NGS

    Ah sorry the injections have been so painful..yes definitely worth chatting to your BCN about whether you can do fewer injections…I’d definitely ask. Hope all the other side effects have been manageable.

    at the moment no sign of my hair falling out but I’m only just week 2..I did only have half a dose though so it may last a little longer?? Did you get any signs before it started falling out, like itchy scalp?? Or did you just wake up one morning?? I’m intrigued! My son said he wanted my hair to fall out as he wanted to see what I would look like!!!! I just can’t imagine how I’m going to feel when it starts to thin?! It’s super fine already so doesn’t stand a chance! Really hope you’re ok. It’s  a big thing losing your hair in the i think because it has such strong association with cancer..and I guess makes it feel a bit more real? Sending you virtual hugs. Good you have thick hair as maybe it will just thin rather than all fall out???

    interesting about the Tamoxifen too..just goes to show there’s not certainty about whether it’s going to come back…all we can do is try and keep living our lives to the full….and hope! There is always hope! 

    xx

  • Keeping everything very firmly crossed for you!

  • Hey Pippin, 

    Sorry just read your last message: I spoke to my team about the cold mitts and they didn’t really say much. They said some women had tried it so they wouldn’t be surprised if I turned up with them but they said there wasn’t enough evidence either way?! the lady I spoke to didn’t seem very knowledgable if I’m honest…. I’m torn as to what to do but I’m also willing to try anything so may well invest and hope it helps…neuropathy scares me. I don’t want to be in pain in my feet so that I can’t run or exercise..so may give it go..I guess it can’t hurt? Nothing to say it has a negative impact? 

  • Hi Greeny80, I was so nervous and kept asking for the sedation. They reassured me and said I would be fine. I was a bit of a wimp towards the end of procedure, just started crying, really not sure why. Think all the emotion of the last few weeks just came out. Was probably all the gas and air too, I was hogging it a bit! Thanks for the info about the sleeping, I was really concerned about it. I forgot to ask them and when I looked it up online, it said to sleep on opposite side. This wouldn't work for me as I like to sleep facing out of the bed. Xx

  • It's a shame the team were not a bit more knowledgeable about the cold mitts. I think it's quite popular in America, from what I've read. The neuropathy really scares me too, really not sure what to do. Hope all goes well with your next treatment  xx

  • Online in reply to NGS

    Hi, sorry for the late reply, I must of missed your post earlier. I was a bit nervous as they didn't sedate me as I thought they would. Got through it though with local anaesthetic and gas and air, although did get a bit emotional at the end for some reason. Sorry you are struggling so much with these injections, good idea about asking to stop at number six. I'm struggling with a heat rash under my boobs at the moment, which is really irritating. Think all the hot flushes are causing it. Will need to get some advice on what I can use for it. It must be upsetting for you that your hair is thinning, especially as you're using the cold cap. A friend of mine used the cold cap and although her hair also thinned, she never lost it. How did you find being on tamoxifen previously and do you know if you'll have to go back on it? Xx