First oncology appointment what to expect? Help?

Hey I just turned 37 at weekend, got my breast cancer diagnosis in August, had surgery end of September. I was hoping I could avoid chemo but my oncotype test has come back as 31 so my surgeon has told me the oncologist will be recommending chemo.

I have been waiting a month for oncology appointment and we all know the limbo is the worst bit. I am a planner so struggling with the limited information you get. Trying to get my head round things and hoping someone is able to talk me through the first oncology appointment which is now looming and on Wednesday. Will you get a plan at that point? How long after first appointment will it be before first treatment starts? What to expect? 

Any help and advice welcome.

  • Hi there.  I can only speak for myself but at my first oncologist appointment he started by offering to give me my survival stats and how much difference the chemo would make.  I declined because I knew I wanted to take the chemo regardless. He told me which chemo meds he wanted to give me and for how many sessions, and spent a LOT of time outlining possible side effects.  He then asked me to confirm I wanted to go ahead, and when I said yes he said the hospital would be in touch to schedule appointments.  

    For me it was only about a week before the hospital rang to schedule my pre-chemo appointment.  When they rang they also told me I would be getting a picc line inserted in my arm at the same time.  The pre-chemo appointment was good for understanding all the practicalities.  I probably started chemo just over a fortnight after seeing the oncologist, which gave me enough time to do my chemo shopping!  Best of luck! x

  • yes, at the appt they will tell you the recommended regime, how many and what type for how long on which days, also like Jomor they go through side effects, and give u numbers to call if you need help, they will also tell u that radio will be about a monthish after chemo. For starting times, I saw mine the 17 july and started aug 2 

  • Thanks both that's really helpful.  Hoping once I have a plan I can wrap my head around it all.  Might seem less overwhelming then. 

  • Hi huni I noticed your age on here and been looking for someone the same age as myself I have stage 3 in left breast and starting chemo Friday for 12 weeks then the breast is being removed and then radio therapy 

    The oncology goes through what treatment your haveing and all the side effects I was given an appoinemtn a week after to start the chemo before that I met the chemo nurses who where lovely

    Good luck with everything do you have children? 

  • Hey! Sorry to hear about your diagnosis aswell. Glad it seems to move quick after this appointment as all the waiting I find the hardest part! I have 2 children. Girl whose 8 and struggling most with concept I'll have no hair and boy 6 who is going with the flow but has the odd time you can see its had an affect. What about yourself?

  • Hi Aea and k36 I am also 36 and was diagnosed with grade 2 triple negative at the end of September. I started my chemo in October and I am on 12 weeks of weekly nab pax and carbaplaton. I am also on pembro immunotherapy every 3rd week. I really struggled with the age and felt so angry as i feel so young to be going through this. I have 2 children a girl at 15 with ASD and a boy aged 8.

  • Hey really sorry about your diagnosis. My boy has just been referred for ASD and my girl also has ASD. I saw my oncologist today nice man lot of info. Looking at 4-6 rounds of docetaxel and cyclosphamide. Should start within the next 3 weeks which sees the 2nd lot being Christmas week. I'm 4th generation to get breast cancer in my family so had a feeling it would get me at some point but I'm youngest so definitely feel your anger. I'm waiting on brca coming back as if it's positive I'll need more surgery. The gift that keeps giving!

  • I agree they will tell you which treatment they recommend and over which period. They will ask you to make some decisions eg cold cap. 

    In Lancashire you then have a pre chemo appt where they give you a book to record treatment and side effects. They talk to you about what to expect, give you a parking badge etc. Give you the telephone numbers for advice when you are concerned

    I found that really helpful.

    Chemo is nasty but it is doable. 

    Good luck xxxx