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Radiation recovery

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Comments

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited May 2019

    Happy Mother’s Day ladies!

    Diane


  • cassiecanada
    cassiecanada Member Posts: 101
    edited May 2019

    I’m in! good cal

  • josie123
    josie123 Member Posts: 1,749
    edited May 2019

    Thanks Dian

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited May 2019

    Hello everyone. I hope this finds you all having a good day. Congratulations to all who have finished rads, and I hope that you get through the afterwards with no complications. And all the best to use ours who are going through rads now or waiting to start.

    i saw my oncologist on Thursday last week and, to my surprise, she has terminated me from Cancer Care MB and I will see only my GP in future. She is sending his office a care plan about what she feels should be done over the next 3 to 5 years, but apparently he is under no obligation to follow her plan. So, after a year and a half under her care, with three series of scans and other tests, I am done. I am pleased to be considered cancer free, but still a little concerned about recurrence. If anything comes up, my doctor is send me directly to the surgeon. But now I feel that I can move forward and, not forgetting the last two years, be thankful for how things have gone.

    Spring is slow to come this year, and it has been very dry, so the farmers are out seeding and keeping their fingers crossed for rain. We have crocuses blooming in our flowerbeds, with tulips and lilies now between three to seven inches high. Hubby is planning to mow for the first time this year.

    Now must go but wishing you all the best and will be back soon. Hugs,

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited May 2019

    Nancy I’m a bit surprised your MO is referring you to your GP before you are 5 years from treatment. That’s the SOP here anyway. There is no set year where you are considered to be home free but IDK anyone who was released like you were after only a few years. Plus a GP regardless of what records he has is not an oncologist who specializes in cancer. Did she say why? I would be asking.

    Diane

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited May 2019

    Edwards570, .They said they would send my care plan to my doctor and the nurse said it may be two months. I think the oncologist is slowing down. She is well into her 70s, and the nurse commented that things are getting to be too much. I know it is suggested I have a physical exam of breasts and chest wall, check lymph nodes, lungs, bones, abdomen (takes all of five minutes) every 3-6 months for 1-3 years, 6 months for years 4 and 5, and yearly starting from 6th year. I will be in my 70s by then. I am to have a mammogram every year. A lot of things - like bone pain, cough, body changes - I will have to watch for, and then probably have to fight for checking further. At this point, I don't think my doctor would do a complete blood count even once a year, so I plan to look into finding an independent lab to do it.

    Health Care here is seeing lots of changes. I have noticed in the last year that some things that used to be routinely checked through blood work every three months are done only every 6 or 12 months now.

  • brooksidevt
    brooksidevt Member Posts: 1,432
    edited May 2019

    I'm surprised too! I ask, only half in jest, if it was your file she had in front of her. Someone I know saw a new primary care doc the other day and he insisted she had two conditions and one prescription that she absolutely did not. Afterwards, she realized he must have been looking at someone else's info.

    Things "getting to be too much" can be a gentle way of saying that, well, things are getting to be too much. I think if I were you, I'd contact my PCP right away to see if this is an appropriate move. I'm pretty sure my PCP would not find this appropriate and would refer me to another onc.

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited May 2019

    BrooksideVT, I will keep that in mind, but at this point, because all scans and tests showed no evidence of cancer and were clear, with the only concern being a slight rise in tumor markers, my GP would never consider another referral unless something goes wrong. I have changed my lifestyle considerably and am just taking things one day at a time. I want to save requesting another oncologist for when they decide to send me to the surgeon first! A lot of patients don't like him because he is so brusque but I asked him if I could see him again if needed, and he said any time. I think my oncologist knows that I felt very strongly about no chemo and that I am not likely to change my mind if there is recurrence. Only time will tell.

    I will be able to continue working with my nurse practitioner. The oncologist is considered to be the best in MB and I think it is a case of giving her time to thise who have more serious issues

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited May 2019

    Nancy - okay I get it she's farming out her patients but I still don't understand why she wouldn't refer you to another oncologist. GPs are not specialists and frankly waiting until something goes wrong is scary and IMO irresponsible. Their job is prevention and awareness.

    Of course it's your call but I would not have my care esp with breast cancer or cancer in general for that matter entrusted to a GP. I don't care how “good" he is he isn't a specialist. My MO said if I ever had a prolonged ache or pain for 2 weeks to come see her and under no circumstances go to my GP.

    Diane


  • brooksidevt
    brooksidevt Member Posts: 1,432
    edited May 2019

    Nancy, I'm beginning to think health care in Canada is very different from here in the US. Please excuse me for asking a lot of questions, but I am really surprised at the differences. First, I'm impressed that your tumor markers were checked. In this country, I don't believe oncologists offer this unless there is a specific concern/symptom For that matter, I don't imagine GP's do that testing at all. As you mention evidence of a slight rise in those numbers, I'm assuming you'll still be tested on a regular schedule. Will your GP be comfortable with managing those results?

    Also don't you see your surgeon regularly? For the first few years, I saw him a couple of times/year, then saw him annually immediately following my mammo. Now that I'm in my sixth year, I've "graduated" to seeing his nurse practitioner. The appointment still follows the mammo, which the radiologist will have already read. I have not asked, but I assume this will continue as long as I want.

    My oncologist promised to follow me for ten years. At this point, I see him only annually, six months after the surgeon visit, so, twice yearly, I have a breast exam by someone who sees, almost exclusively, breasts that are not, well, virgin. It would never occur to me to have my GP do a breast exam--I have so many lumps and bumps that I can't tell what's new and what's not. No doubt my GP would disagree with me, but I just can't imagine him doing anything but sending me right back to my onc for an evaluation of all the lumps.I


  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited May 2019

    Brookside, Manitoba is considered to have the poorest healthcare system in Canada; Ontario is considered to have the best, and I do believe that because that is where I lived most of my adult life until age 40. I see the nurse practitioner most of the time, and when she knew that my mammogram was abnormal, she would not do a physical breast exam because she considered it unnecessary.

    When I first saw the oncologist, she told me that I would be under her care for five years, and now I am turned back to my doctor just less than 18 months from the first time I saw her,

    Regarding differences in healthcare, we don't pay for it in Manitoba. I believe in the States that everyone does, and hopefully most people have good health insurance. I am amazed when I hear about people who get through treatment so quickly. I have a Niece in the US who was told on December 24, 2018 that her mammogram was abnormal and since then she has had a lumpectomy and completed radiation two days ago. That is about four and a half months. It tool me three months from mammogram to lumpectomy and another four before radiation started. I have not seen the surgeon since October 2017, but he did tell me if I ever wanted to talk to him to call.

    As far as tumour markers are concerned, my oncologist is the only one in Manitoba who checks for them. A lot of oncologists don't feel they are useful, and part of me wonders why she puts so much stress on it. Tumour markers are something that my GP wouldn't do, and I don't worry about it because they were never abnormally high and they were according to the oncologist own standards, which are set lower than the national standard. I was very surprised to be told I am not being followed for the five years, as I thought that was a national standard too, but I wonder if her age has anything to do with that and if she is looking at retirement and concentrating only on patients who are seriously ill and need careful follow up. She is supposed to send a letter to my doctor and in a week or two I will make an appointment and take a list of questions with me. Meanwhile, I didhave a cancer care nurse not far from where we live who hopefully will answer questions.I plan to do that soon.

    I would be more aggressive about seeking another oncologist but doubt if anyone would take me, as I am at this point “cancer-free", and my husband's health issues need to be considered first. And to be honest, I only care about not being the first to go, so that he will not be alone. He is ten years older than I am. Also, my faith plays a great part in my decisions; I believe that God brings hard experiences into our lives to prepare us for the future, whether it is to be prepared for the worst, or to be prepared to help someone else through their journey.

    Glad to chat anytime. Hugs, Nancy

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited May 2019

    Diane,it seems that here you cannot get into see ANY specialist without referral from a GP. Even my nurse practitioner can't make a referral ; it has to go out under the doctor's signature. In many places, there are people who do not have their own doctor. They see whoever is on call. This happened to us a lot when my husband needed heart surgery in 2011, and it took a year, three hospitalizations and five cancellations under five surgeons to get it done. When we moved to where we are now, my husband needed meds renewed and the clinic here told us the doctor was not seeing new patients. I called the local pharmacist, whom we had not yet met, and asked her to recommend a doctor in another town, but she called the clinic here and got us in. We are among the few newcomers who are lucky to have a doctor in town. I am going to use your guideline of two weeks when it comes to dealing with pain. Thanks, and take care

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited May 2019

    Keep us posted Nancy. Sorry your husband isn’t well. That has to be so hard on you dealing with your medical problems and his too. I know that’s what we do for someone we love but it’s still difficult.

    The “process” here does typically move quickly. I was DX in January 2011. I had a lumpectomy in March and 33 radiation treatments all done by July. I do have health insurance thankfully. We have a large deductible but we reached that in 2 months after my DX. Luckily because my radiation treatments were covered 100%.

    We are here to help you in any way we can. Keep the faith.

    Diane


  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited May 2019

    Diane, thanks for your kind words. They are encouraging. I am actually feeling more upbeat; I talked to my Cancer Care Patient Advocate this morning; she works at the hospital in a small town about thirty miles away and has said she will continue to be available to me. They have a doctor there who sees only cancer patients every Tuesday and Thursday; she is going to see if she can get me in to see him on a six month basis, is where I should be for the rest of the five year follow-up. She says he may have to go through Cancer Care, but is not sure of that. I know that just being checked every six months by someone who is more knowledgeable than GPs will make me feel so much better. She should be able to give me an answer by Tuesday, some am feeling quite hopeful.

    It is a coolish but beautiful day here, with the sun shining after a very much needed rain last night, and now some of the tulips are open. So pretty. Have a great day, and talk again soon.

    Nancy

  • brooksidevt
    brooksidevt Member Posts: 1,432
    edited May 2019

    So glad you contacted her! This sounds like a much better plan.

    My tulips opened this morning too.

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited May 2019

    I so glad for you too Nancy. Your oncologist is the go to doctor at least until you reach the 5 year milestone.

    I don’t have tulips but neighbors do. They are so gorgeous!

    Pics below of my twin grandsons with fun in the sun in the kiddie pool in our backyard. Our neighborhood has a pool too so they will be going there too!

    Have a great weekend!

    Diane

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited May 2019

    image

    image

    image

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited May 2019

    That water wasn’tdirty at the start. Haha! That pool was a great investment

    Diane

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited May 2019

    Diane, a bit cold here still for thinking of getting toes in water. :D Today is a lovely day and what few tulips that are blooming, are wide open to the sky. Red and yellow and so pretty and cheerful. And we have some news to share. Now that we have a bit of "reprieve" from the two years past, we have decided to adopt a cat from the Humane Society. She is a five year old tortoiseshell that has been there for over four years. It is almost two years since we lost our beloved 17 year old cat, also adopted from a Humane Society, and that was just before I got my diagnosis. Now we realize that we have been "repressing our depression" and how it has affected our lives. We have not been approved yet, but the paperwork has gone through, and we surely don't feel they would refuse us if they have been trying to adopt her out for so long.

    Now off to think about tonight's supper. Hubby is out in the yard picking up the dried out grass from last week's mowing, and hoping to get it done soon. As Winnie The Pooh would say, "Tut, tut, it looks like rain." Have a great week everyone. Hugs.

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited May 2019

    Nancy - good for you adopting a cat from the Humane Shelter. I’m sure you will get approved. Poor baby being there so long.

    I’m a big time animal rights advocate. Very proactive in the treatment of animals and contribute to a number of animal rights companies and relief efforts. I promise if I ever win the lottery I would give a lot to those causes. Btw we are dog people. Always had a dog in fact more than one on several occasions.

    It’s hot here. Typical weather in the South and where I live in Tennessee.

    Pic of our furbaby below.

    Diane


  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited May 2019

    image

  • cassiecanada
    cassiecanada Member Posts: 101
    edited May 2019

    is that a red bone coonhound

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited May 2019

    He is a lab/pit bull mix

    Diane

  • cassiecanada
    cassiecanada Member Posts: 101
    edited May 2019

    adorable om

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited May 2019

    Thank you he’s my precious furbaby!

    Diane

  • josie123
    josie123 Member Posts: 1,749
    edited May 2019

    Diane,

    Darling dog. What’s his name?

    Your grand babies are getting so big. Their not babies anymore.

    Nancy,

    I’m sorry your oncologist decided she was going to phase you out. That’s awful because you aren’t even 2 years out yet with two different types of BC and triple negative. I’m glad you reached out to your cancer care patients advocate. BTW I hope you get your cat. Keep us updated o n it and maybe post a picture.

    My grand babies enjoying their time outside imageimage


  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited May 2019

    His name is Boozer Josie and no I didn’t name him DS did. He is a sweetheart and so lovable. He’s my son’s dog but he lives with us. I take him on a ride every morning around Collierville where we live. There are roads/farms with lots of farm animals out. He just loves going.

    They are getting big - 4 in September. Your grand babies are precious too! Do you keep them a lot? We do. Love them but it’s exhausting!

    Have a great Memorial Day everyone

    Diane

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited May 2019

    Diane, your furbaby is so sweet. How do I upload a photo? I thought what I tried worked but it doesn't show photo. It is not the cat from the Humane Shelter, which fell through. We got her from a local animal rescue; we met her yesterday and brought her home yesterday. She is a 10 month old tortoiseshell named Frankie.

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited May 2019

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited May 2019

    image