• My first oncology appt is tomorrow. What should I epect?

    Asked by szbc on Monday, January 28, 2013

    My first oncology appt is tomorrow. What should I epect?

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I have a wonderful oncologist....at my first appt he spent almost 2 hours with my DH and me.....he went over my mammo that lead up to Dx and the one from the previous year as well as the MRI that was done after Dx and explained everything....he talked about what his recommended tx protocol would be for me....Its gone on 7 years, so I don't remember everything, but what I do remember is that my onc was very thorough...both my DH and I took notes.....After appt with onc, more testing was done....I think I had my bilat 2 weeks after my first onc visit...then saw onc again before I started chemo 3 weeks post bilat.....

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      First let me welcome you to our group, lots of very supportive and knowledgeable people here for you. 2nd I'm sending you hugs, and prayers, as you start this very difficult journey.
      You will met with your oncologist and her/his team - which may include office staff, nurses, nurse practitioners, other doctors, and medical support personnel who take vitals, etc. You will go over your biopsy, test results, etc. A treatment plan will be mapped out, which may include more tests, (for example, I was given a muga heart test, before I started chemo). You will have a chance to ask questions and get clarification about what is being discussed. Your next visit, additional tests will be scheduled. You may also receive a infusion schedule, depending out what type of chemo you are getting, some cancers can be treated with oral chemo, if that is the case you will receive the pills and/or prescription.

      Bring someone with you - for moral support and for their input. Bring a notebook and pen so you can write down important information. Get contact information, so you can call and/or e-mail your oncologist or designated team member with follow up questions and concerns. And there will be follow up questions and concerns. The amount of information can be overwhelming, even if you are not in the process of integrating what is going on.

      Good luck and let me know how it went.

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      Definitely expect to get a lot of information. Bring a notebook and another person. Don't hesitate to ask ANY question.

      over 3 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      Expect to be nervous, scared and apprehensive - expect to be overwhelmed with information so it is extremely important to have someone with you to hear all the little details that may be floating over your head. Expect the Oncologist to be honest and straightforward with you. After laying out a "battle plan" with your Oncologist, expect to feel relieved, supported, stronger, positive and ready to do battle against this evil enemy. These people will become your family in the cancer world. Please let us know how it goes. Good Luck!

      over 3 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar

      Yes, bring someone else, if possible, and a notepad to write everything down. It will be too much to remember. Ask questions, particularly if there is something you don't understand. The oncologist should be able to lay out what needs to be done, how he/she plans to do it, and what the side effects can be. There may be some uncertainties in the plan if more tests are needed. But, that should all be explained.

      You don't have to bring someone else. I didn't. But I went with my mother to her first appointment with the oncologist after her pancreatic cancer surgery. Two heads are better than one.

      over 3 years ago
    • BLBragg's Avatar

      Our oncologist is excellent and very infomative. Greg JUST posted a blog that I wrote "25 questions to ask your doctor" If you go to the blog section of this site maybe some of those questions can help you? I hope so. I wrote them down because people told us to ask questions, but we didn't even know what to ask at the time. It is okay to be nervous. And I agree with everone else, bring someone with you, you won't rememeber everything. Ask for a single point of contact so that when you have a question you always go to the same person. Sending prayers your way. Please get in touch, we are here for you.

      over 3 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      It's best to take someone along. ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS!! You will receive quite a bit of information. The link below will help with some of the questions you should ask. Let us know how everything goes.


      over 3 years ago
    • Ruthie's Avatar

      I remember being so overwhelmed by the whole thing. I was so glad my son was with me. He asked all the questions and wrote down all the notes for me. I was pretty useless. It's okay to be scared and overwhelmed. It will get better as you absorb the information. My oncologist was wonderful at IU in Indianapolis. I'm now in Baltimore at Johns-Hopkins getting ready to start a clinical trial. It's not over tll it's over. Lots of information and options. Best of luck to you.

      over 3 years ago
    • pulley's Avatar

      I pray you will be set at ease after the visit to the Onc. I am in the the same position as yourself., although not the same d Dx. One suggestion ; I asked my surgeon if I could record our conversation ,. I knew I had to ask but he was quite willing. I have had a terrible memory all my life and knew that it would be blank if I didn't.
      I plan to do this again when I meet with Onc. again , especially if I don't have a person with me. Also, if you do record have the phone or speaker very near the DR> or it becomes hard to hear..

      over 3 years ago
    • pulley's Avatar

      Hi. I hope and pray that you are relieved and at ease after your visit to the Onc and team . I am in the same situation( waiting) To me waiting is worse than knowing what I have to face! I have had a terrible memory all my life. So when I was going to the Surgeon I asked him if I could record our conversation. He never hesitated, "By all means", was his answer.It helps a lot and I plan to do it again if the Onc. doesn't mind.
      I think they are glad that you will understand. Only one tip if you do that , make sure the speaker is very close to the Dr. explaining. most phones have the ability to record but a small recorder that you are familiar with would be better. Whatever you decide , we are all wanting the best for you.

      over 3 years ago
    • SMT4's Avatar

      In the blog GregP_wn posted this I thought is was really helpful here is the link. I printed it out to take with me. https://www.whatnext.com/blog_posts/19921/feed_item

      over 3 years ago
    • lady1's Avatar

      Whoever recommended the book Destination Cancer Free- thank you! Very helpful and wish we had found it sooner. There is a list of questions to ask your physicians and treatment team.

      Agree with everyone who says bring someone along- a ton of information- take notes! And list your questions out before hand. Don't leave until every single one gets answered.

      over 3 years ago
    • kimreid45's Avatar

      Expect more information than you can process. The best advice I can give anyone is to take a friend or family member with you and take notes. Ask any questions you have, no question is a stupid question. I'm glad I took my brother with me and he remembered some questions I forgot to ask and he was able to help me later when I was able to process all the info the doc had given me. Never be afraid to ask questions and expect answers

      over 3 years ago

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