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When to do follow up? When to do follow up?

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Unread 07-13-2003, 06:35 AM
When to do follow up?

I hope this won't seem too trivial, but I can't seem to figure out when I should be going for my next follow-up appointment.

I should explain: I have to be seen each 3 months by oncologist at the oncology clinic and gyn. at a separate clinic in the same hospital. Both these clinics do follow-up type appointments on Mondays only - sounds easy right? I had got everything sorted out and was supposed to go back at the end of August. Then the hospital started calling just about every week to change things, because the doctors keep changing their vacation plans!

Now I have to choose between the 2 "sets" of appointments:
July 28th and August 4th, or September 1st and 8th.

I would rather wait, because I am scared of hearing bad news before we go on our family vacation in August. On the other hand, on the earlier dates I will be at the hospital anyways for meetings for "relaxation and guided imagery" so I am already taking off that time from work (I need to take off the whole morning to cover travel time). Then in Sept. I'll have to take off more time for the doctors.

So, is it okay to wait the extra few weeks? I also thought that the end of July was too soon for follow up, since the doctor said that you have to wait till 3 months after radiation.

I would like to hear anyone's opinion - or even better, have someone to decide for me Also, I've begun to think that whatever I decide, they will call me to change anyway!!

this is taking up too much of my brain power, and I have a real life to deal with, not just hospital appointments!

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Unread 07-13-2003, 12:21 PM
When to do follow up?

First, and especially if you've been doing relaxation and guided imagery, you have to stop fearing bad news. Think positive! Think that there is no cancer in your body! Focus that healing energy inward! Keep praying and keep your faith strong!

Second, I'd do it sooner, if for no other reason than "not knowing" makes me more upset than "knowing." Also, you won't have to take time off work, and you'll be at the hospital anyway. I'm all for ease of life and coordinated appointments that save time later. To my mind, it wouldn't ruin my vacation. It actually would ease my mind, since I wouldn't be worrying during the vacation. But that's just me. :-)

I can't make the decision for you, but that's my two cents. :-)
Unread 07-13-2003, 12:42 PM
When to do follow up?

I totally understand your thoughts about wanting to go on vacation first. For a long time after my hyst I avoided making any plans for the weeks after my pap thinking that if I got bad news I would be in no mood to enjoy myself. I never told anyone that because I knew it would sound so "negative".

But I have to agree with SirenSong. You have a number of good reasons to get it done before your vacation. I don't know though, about your concern about it being too soon after radiation.

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Unread 07-13-2003, 05:58 PM
I would go before vacation, do everything

at once. I agree with SirenSong about knowing vs. not knowing. Plus, this way you are already there!

Also, make the guided imagery work for you by imagining a GREAATTTTT appointment(s). Good luck on your decision.
Unread 07-13-2003, 07:19 PM
When to do follow up?

2 years ago, I went for a Pap the week before I went to Spain for a month. About two days after I got there, I called into my machine and there was a message from my GYN telling me that my pap was abnormal.

We are going back to the same place in Spain in August. I booked an appointment with my gyn/oncologist 2 weeks before I am leaving with the hope of leaving with peace of mind. I am not even due yet for an appointment but I want to hopefully really enjoy my trip!

Hope this is helpful.
Unread 07-15-2003, 11:26 AM
thanks for your replies

... but now I'm kinda sorry I asked! I thought there would be pros and cons to each idea, but you are all for going sooner, and I had already made up my mind to wait

I understand that PAP results take a really long time here, I don't know what it is like in the U.S. Because I am really sure the radiation zapped anything down there, I am really more concerned of finding that the cancer has spread to another part ot the body. I keep thinking about the line in the path. report that said "vascular involvement". I'm not even sure how they check for those things!

I was also told to do mammogram (first ever) and haven't scheduled that either, yet.

Thanks for all your input! Anyone vote for waiting till September?


P.S. What is that little picture doing in my first post? I don't know how to get that in, so I don't know how it got there!
Unread 07-15-2003, 12:15 PM
When to do follow up?

Dear Esther,

You should really do what you will make you most comfortable. If that's waiting until September, then wait! Just because my opinion is one way doesn't mean it's right. It just means it's proabbly what I'd do. You have to do what makes you happy. It's your body and your life. :-)

The one thing I worry about . . . is that is there is something that's spreading fast, it would be better to catch it now. I don't know how quickly some things grow. But putting something off for a month might not be in your best interest. I don't remember enough about your particular situation. You should definitely try to get your doctor to clarify what he means by possible vascular involvement.

You should also do a mammogram. When they found my tumor, they sent me downstairs IMMEDIATELY to do a mammogram. They wanted to see where the primary cancer had started. I was crying the entire time, but God in His infinite mercy kept my breasts clear. I can't imagine what it would have been like to have to do with both cancers. But you should definitely get that mammogram.

Those little "smilies" can be inserted by going to the "Forum Rules" section (just to the lower left of the box where you're posting), and then clicking on the underlined "smilies." You'll see a big list. For instance, if I put a colon-hug-colon, you will get !

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