• Will be seeing an oncologist on Tues. What do i need to expect?

    Asked by momoolio on Saturday, September 8, 2012

    Will be seeing an oncologist on Tues. What do i need to expect?

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I cant speak to breast cancer specifically, but I have had to make that first visit to an Oncologist 3 times. Each time it was an examination, maybe xrays depending on where cancer was. A plan was layed out for treatment. In each time, a surgery was scheduled to take out the offending lymph nodes. Now is the time to have your list of questions ready. Write them down, I can't remember to ask things when in front of them. I start thinking about the answer to the first question, then forget to ask the rest. Don't be scared, they will take good care of you and try to make you feel comfortable. Dont let the doctor leave until all your questions are answered, sometimes they are in a hurry and will slip out of the exam room before your done.
      Hope it goes well for you, and welcome to the whatnext site.

      over 8 years ago
    • ruthieq's Avatar

      Take someone with you and have them write down the answers to questions. Write down the questions you want to ask and make sure you get the chance to ask them. What you hear may be different from what your companion hears so compare notes! Most of the time I took my husband because he remembered everything and I was shell shocked at first. Your onc will go through what type of cancer and what stage, prognosis, and treatment he/she thinks you will need. Be sure you get copies of all reports! This is important in case you would like to get a second opinion. If you have the important stuff with you, the second opinion doc won't have to wait to get them.(nor will you have to wait! )
      DOn't be afraid that your onc will be offended if you want second or even third or fourth opinions. You need to be confident that this is the way you wish to go. AND you must be confident and comfortable with your oncologist. SO opinion away if you want to. If they are offended then its a good thing to seek someone else out. If you have a particular type of BC (Inflammatory, lobular rare) seek out the specialist for that particular cancer. Or at least make sure your onc consults them regularly to be sure you get the right treatment for your type. Write to me anytime. 6 years NED with Inflammatory breast cancer! hugs and good luck!

      over 8 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      The first visit is overwhelming - you definitely need someone with you. Your sense of denial blocks some of the details of the massive amount of information that is given to you. I was somewhat shell shocked and could not even ask the many questions that I thought of later. It was much later that I finally asked for a copy of my Pathology Report. I found that the original phone call put me into another dimension -- like a Twilight Zone -- where I remained throughout treatment. I am now coming back -- and I cannot believe that I went through all that -- it is like a bad dream. I detailed (and I mean "detailed') my Journey on my wall -- if you take time to read it, it might give you some insight to each step including first oncologist visit, first chemo, etc. Good Luck!

      over 8 years ago
    • Christiana3's Avatar

      You can probably expect and overwhelming amount of information. It might be a good idea to take someone with you that can hear things you might miss in the conversation or ask questions you may not think of. On that track, bring a list of questions you might want to ask and even a journal to write the answers in so that you can reference them. I always ask for copies of all my blood work and cat scans or pet scans to keep a record also. I remember I didnt know what to expect and came out of there with too much to process at that time, but they are there for you if you have any other questions. Just keep a positive attitude and remember everyone is different and not just a statistic no matter what they say. They have to give you the average statistics and not all of us are average so just remember we are as strong as we want to be. Good luck and if there is anything I can do, please let me know. I hope things go well and god bless. Please keep me posted if you would like, Chris

      over 8 years ago
    • Moonflay's Avatar

      Wow..all the above answers are terrific and very little could be added. The #1 suggestion is to take someone with you! Keep your list handy till the day of the appointment and add anything you think of to it. Don't hesitate to ask questions, the oncology team is there to take care of you and your questions. You will most likely find the cancer team to be very helpful with sweet nurses that will go out their way to make you feel special and comfortable. If your oncology appointment is at the center where you will be treated, take the time to get acquainted with the center. Ask them to show you where your treatments will be done etc..they may do this anyway. It's a great way to see them interacting with patients and get a feel for what your future experience may be like there.

      over 8 years ago
    • Moonflay's Avatar

      I would also suggest to purchase a small calendar book just for your cancer treatments. I keep mine in my purse and note all appointments as they are made into it. It's a handy tool for noting your symptoms (nausea, temperature, unusual bm's, etc..) when you begin treatments, for jotting down questions as your treatments progress, and for keeping phone numbers associated with your cancer all in one place.

      Good luck and keep up the good fight!

      over 8 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar

      On my first visit to the oncologist she showed me the pet scan and explained what it showed. she told me where the cancer was and at what stage I was. she did explain to me that she could not cure me. I was stage 4 when I had my first visit. My oncologist was very honest with me and told me everything. At no time did I feel she was holding back. She went through what I could expect in the treatment and where to go for help with counceling, hair loss etc.
      Do not go in expecting a bomb to drop. If you have been scheduled to see an oncologist then you already know you have cancer. Keep your brain focused on what she/he is saying and what questions you have. Any thing you don't understand ask the doctor ot explain. When you get home or with a good friend, then you can cry, screem or whatever you feel like. I always need to write questions down that I have. Even now after several visits, I still write everything down for my next visit.
      Good luck. I hope your friends and family are as supportive as mine have been. It has helped me so much.

      over 8 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Lot's of excellent answers. Defiantly take at least one other person with you, it is an overwhelming experience. Make sure you get contact information an e-mail and/or phone number so you can call with follow up questions, and you will have many of them. Your doctor will talk about your diagnoses, and your treatment plan. They will go over your pathology report(s), they will perform a breast exam. You haven't mentioned if you have had any other treatment - lumpectomy and/or radiation, but the two of you will go over your treatment to date. If your treatment is via infusion I would highly recommend you have a port inserted. Infusions are very rough on your veins, I start my infusions in May and need and finally had a port inserted in early of Aug. By that point my arms were all black and blue and my inserting the PIC line was very painful.

      over 8 years ago

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