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Stage 3b Colon Cancer - First Oncology Appointment Post Chemo
Steph79
44 Posts

Hi all,

I have my first follow up appointment tomorrow morning, this is 3 weeks Post end of Chemo cycle 4. Unfortunately it's just a phone call with my Medical Oncologist. Anyone who has followed my journey so far knows that I have only met with him once, before I started Chemo. Every follow up / blood work day before the next round was with a different Oncologist as he was either on call at the other hospital or on vacation.

I'm assuming this is just to discuss the monitoring stage as I have not yet been sent for a post Chemo CT scan or any blood work.

Just wondering what questions I should be asking other than when can I get my first scans and blood work done, so we have a new base line.

Thanks.

Steph

7 Replies
ACH2015
2484 Posts

@Steph79

Hi Steph,

I saw your post and may I suggest a couple of common questions to ask.

1 - As you stated - When will I have a CT scan to determine how well the chemo worked. If the tumors shrunk (what size are they pre and post chemo)

2 - what are the next steps in monitoring and treatment(s)

There is also a good resource I used from the Canadian Cancer I'd like to share with you to help keep track of questions and suggest some to ask now or in the future:

https://cdn.cancer.ca/-/media/files/cancer-information/resources/publications/questions-to-ask/32099-questions-to-ask-en.pdf?rev=26f3c4a6d167438ca6180bab12fb0e91&hash=39C84E258A87131132C7205055DF449F&_gl=1*1aomssd*_ga*Mzg4OTIyNzY0LjE2NTk5NjkxOTM.*_ga_23YMKBE2C3*MTY1OTk4NjUwMy4yLjEuMTY1OTk4NjYyNC4xMA..

Have a look through the pamphlet and see what you may want to know about. Everyone prioritizes questions in different ways. Lots of space to write down current and future information as you move through treatment.

Hope this helps

ACH2015

Steph79
44 Posts

@ACH2015 Thanks for the reply, and the link.

Call was pretty quick since it was just to review how I felt the Chemo went, and to discuss the monitoring schedule, which seems to be a fairly standard one:

Blood work and CT scan every 6 months for the first 3 years. Then if all is well, once a year for the next 2 years.

Follow up colonoscopy 1 YR from surgery date. Will follow up with the Gastroenterologist who did my first one. I believe after that it would be another one after year 3 and then after year 5, unless anything pops up.

So CT and blood work will be early October as that is 6 months after my last scans.

ACH2015
2484 Posts

Hi @Steph79

Good to hear you received a comprehensive monitoring plan moving forward. Thank you for the update and I wish you all the best.

Keep well

ACH2015

MilesG
35 Posts

@Steph79 So you are done chemo, congrats! I am in the last two days of my last treatment. So I will be asking the same questions at my last exam on Aug 31. My understanding is similar: CT Scan and colonoscopy at surgery anniversary date, followed by annual colonoscopies for three years. If still clean, then every three years.
I am pretty sure it is going to take a while for the chemo to clear out of my system as well… But the end of chemo is nigh!

I know they have stressed physical fitness many times. If you aren't already on a fitness journey, get on one. The better shape your body is in, the better off you will be.

Best,

Miles

Whitelilies
2656 Posts
Steph79‍ Hi Steph.....you did it! Chemo is "behind" ya' !! (please enter some laughter HERE )
MilesG‍ Hi Miles.....you are only a couple of weeks lagging after the "above mentioned Steph!".......it is OK to laugh now too!
You both did it.....
Time to get fit/more fit/run/walk/swim/breathe out too......
You deserve it, and more....
Whitelilies
Steph79
44 Posts

Thanks @MilesG !!

Congrats on being 2 days away from the finish line! Woohoo!

I literally rang the cancer bell at my last Chemo session at the hospital on June 30th, I still had to finish 14 days of pills, but it was pretty amazing. I technically am now 3 weeks out from my last cycle, 4 weeks out since I finished my last horse pill! Feels a bit surreal for sure.

I'm definitely ready to get back to my normal fitness routine and eating habits … I missed working out and missed having my protein smoothies in the morning. Frozen spinach and berries don't go well with CAPOX and the cold sensitivity! I think that was one of the worst things, not tolerating anything cold for so long … and the appetite loss.
I used to weight train 3 days a week, but I think it'll be a little while before I go back to that same schedule. I think having been pretty healthy going in helped me get through the Chemo fairly unscathed. I hope it was the same for you.

Glad the end is in sight! Congrats again!!

Steph

Steph79
44 Posts

Thank you @Whitelilies !

And ha ha … yup behind me is right. I was fortunate to have a cottage to go up to at the end of every pill cycle. It was a great way to relax and have a mini celebration of getting through another IV drip and 14 days of pills.

I've been trying to plan a vacation for next month, need a real getaway!

Hope all is well with you.

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