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laramin posted:
Hi, I just recently joined the community...I was diagnosed in March with BC and had left breast mastectomy with recon in May. I just finished chemo in Oct. I had another surgery to clear up margins in Nov. I am starting Rad this month - in couple of weeks. My tumor was large and multi focal and I had 2 positive lymph nodes. Chemo was not too bad and I was told rad will be a breeze.
My concern is that I was just told by my surgeon that I wont be seeing her anymore and PS told me I wont have to see him for months until I decide to do the recon and onc dr told me I wont have to see him for 3 mos. After all the DRs appt and treatment schedules that I have gotten use to, I am a little scared and worried that I am not seeing these Drs anymore. Also, I wanted to ask how soon did one get PET scans, MRI etc since finishing treatments? My DR told me after a year then he said maybe in 3 mos? So Im a little confused.
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judyfams responded:
laramin,
I am sorry you have bc - but am glad that you found us. The group of women here come back frequently and after a few posts you get to feel like they are your best friends and ones that you have known all your life!
And that becomes an important point when treatment stops and doctor appointments are spread out and you feel abandoned at first. Those feelings are very normal and the adjustment can sometimes be difficult.
Some doctors like to see their patients 3 months after treatment ends and then 6 months or a year after that.
The normal course of treatment is yearly mammograms on the remaining breast and possibly a yearly MRI too. Your MO will also probably start to see you every 6 months and then once a year and will do blood work. Your radiation oncologist will also see you shortly after you finish your radiation and I have heard that some RO's do not continue with follow up appointments. Your ps has said he will see you when you are ready for reconstruction.
PET scans are not part of routine follow up exams - so don't be upset if one is not scheduled for you.
Each doctor has their own follow up schedule - but the length of time between follow up visits increases until they stop completely. Since you had chemo chances are you will see your medical oncologist on a regular schedule for a few years.
Obviously if you experience any unusual aches or pains you should call your medical oncologist - unless it is related to the mastectomy incision - then you call your breast surgeon. Those are the two doctors who you should contact if yu have any questions or problems.
I am just out of treatment for a year and know how scary the transition is. Try to keep busy and get involved in lots of other things to do and that will help ease the transition for you.
Good luck and come back to let us know how you are doing as you begin you new life after breast cancer!
Judy
 
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jenna291 replied to judyfams's response:
Hi laramin,
Sorry you are joining us but this really is a great place for discussions.
Its amazing - you can speak to 100 different women and they will all have different follow up schedules.
I had stage II IDC and was diagnosed 5 years ago. I underwent 16 weeks of chemo, 2 biopsies, a lumpectomy and 36 radiation treatments. I still see my surgeon one more time, I see my oncologist twice a year for a physical and bloodwork and also to check vitamin D levels, radiologist oncologist once a year, mammogram and mri once a
year, 6 months apart. I also take Arimidex which is for another 10 months, making it to a total of 5 years for treatment/meds.
I am happy to go to the appointments, although I get nervous before each one, as they are a bit of insurance for me that I am being watched.
I would think you would be seeing your oncologist at least once a year for follow up post chemo.
Tell these docs how you feel and ask why they are not seeing you more often.
As I said, talk with 100 different women and they have 100 different treatment and follow up plans. Every situation is different.
I wish you luck with all of this and will be interested to know how you are doing. This is a wonderful place to chat, vent and get great info.
best wishes ~ Jenna
 
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brcansur responded:
Laramin,
Hello and welcome, sorry to have to meet this way but you have come to the right place. You will meet a lot of wwomen here that can answer your question and will listen when you need to chat or vent some. That is what this board is all about being able to chat vent cry if you need and we even laugh some on here. We are a shoulder to lean and ear to listen and a friend to laugh with. Now all of that said.
I am a 3 year ( will be 4 in Feb) stage 3 bilateral mastectomy survivor I had chemo no rad. I decided to have reconstruction but not until 2009 a year later.
After my chemo I seen my onc every 3 months for over a year do to a fast heart rate due to reaction from chemo. Then it went to every 4 months for about a year now I am at every six months because she feels since I am past my 3 year mark I should be fine going 6 months apart. If any problems I just call her and get right in.
My ps I see every 3 months due to having some issues and needed to have implants out and replaced with new ones. Left implant I needed a bigger one put in to be even with the right side. Then I got a infection on the right side just this past june had it removed and had to have an expander put in 3 weeks later went through fills and just had new implant put in 3 weeks ago.
I see my breast care doctor every 6 months and this will continue for a while from what he has told me. Also if any problems I just call and I go right in to see him. Plus my primary doctor sees me every 4 months to go over everything that is going on with all the other doctors and my health. So yes I see them all less often but it seams like someone is checking on me at least every few months so I don't feel to bad. Plus I know I can call any one of them if I have a question You should be able to do the same with your doctors.
I do know when I was first done with chemo it was a big change and I had to find other things to do to keep myself busy I would do crafts or run errand on the days that I would usually be going to chemo it got better after just a few weeks.
I really did enjoy not getting poked with needles though it was a great break and not having to smell all the medical smells that was great. You do get used to it, and the fact that you aren't seeing the doctor and worring that something is going to go wrong that gets better to it just takes time, and it is different for each of us. We all react in different ways to this but we all do get through it in our own ways so hang in there it does get better. Remember we are here when even you need to chat or vent even cry or if you need a good old laugh we are here for that also yes we laugh on here too. So please come back often just to chat plus let us know how you are doing from time to time. Have a great day angel hugs Roberta,
Roberta
 
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laramin replied to brcansur's response:
Thanks everyone!!
 
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rachael67 responded:
You've gotten good input.

I recall my experience on flying solo on this journey...It reminded me very much of feelings I had when I was riding a bike....For so long my mom or dad would run beside me, supporting me...just in case. But one day they gave me one big push and they stood back....I was terrified! However, they had been there for all the time I really needed them, and now it was time for me to be on my own.

The one thing they had been able to do before letting go was to reassure me that I really could do it! Those words must have played in my mind for at least a block and half when I suddently realized that indeed I WAS doing it...all alone!

Did I ever fall? Did I keep the band-aid company in business for several weeks or more? Did I use up several bottles of disinfectant and leave bloody drippings on the bathroom towel before riding a bike became second nature for me? YEP! BUT I DID DO IT!! That's what counted...and thats what you will also learn on this portion of your journey!

Do keep in mind, however, that this board is open 24/7 just for moments when you might forget!!

blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly!
Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!


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