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Chemo Prep Questions?
Alisia
17 Posts

Hi Everyone! I've been in the background keeping updated on the posts and such. And thanks for everyone checking in on me! Apologies for not being very quick to respond - just a bit overwhelmed getting through 25 round of Chemo-Radiation and the side effects during and after that (wow - that was a new level of pooping pain I've never experienced) - but I'm on the other side and would say am 90% back to myself and learning to deal with the longer term effects (like radiation induced menopause, and needing to use a vaginal dilator everyday….sigh.)

I had my post Chemo-Radiation MRI on Monday and am meeting with the Oncologist on the 16th to finalize my Chemo treatment plan. I've been trying to look at some of the forums here and on ColonTown about things I could expect (At my last MedOnc appt they gave me all the information on the Capox regime - as that is what is expected I will be on) but again, it's just so much information - that I don't know where to start or what my “need to ask's" should be? What would be your top 1-3 questions you would ask?

5 Replies
Runner Girl
3137 Posts

@Alisia
I have a list of questions for the oncologist for breast cancer. I'm going to provide you with that list but I'll remove the ones that are directly for breast cancer.

Questions for Oncologist
• Has the cancer spread to my lymph nodes or other organs?
• What’s the stage of the cancer? What does that mean?
• Will I need any other tests before we can decide on treatment?
• Do I need to see any other doctors or health professionals?
• What are my chances of survival, based on my cancer as you see it?
• How do I get a copy of my pathology report?
• If I’m concerned about the costs and insurance coverage for my diagnosis and treatment, who can help me?
• What are my treatment choices?
• What treatment do you recommend and why?
• Should I think about taking part in a clinical trial?
• What would the goal of the treatment be?
• How soon do I need to start treatment?
• How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
• What should I do to get ready for treatment?
• What risks or side effects are there to the treatments you suggest? Are there things I can do to reduce these side effects?
• How will treatment affect my daily activities? Can I still work fulltime?
• Will I lose my hair? If so, what can I do about it?
• What are the chances the cancer will come back (recur) after this treatment?
• What would we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer comes back?
• What if I have transportation problems getting to and from treatment?
• How will we know if the treatment is working?
• Is there anything I can do to help manage side effects?
• What symptoms or side effects should I tell you about right away?
• How can I reach you on nights, holidays, or weekends?
• Will I need to change what I eat during treatment?
• Are there any limits on what I can do?
• Can I exercise during treatment? If so, what kind of exercise should I do, and how often?
• Can you suggest a mental health professional I can see if I start to feel overwhelmed, depressed, or distressed?
• Will I need special tests, such as imaging scans or blood tests? How often?

Steph79
44 Posts

@Alisia hope the meeting with your Oncologist went well yesterday and you got your Chemo treatment plan sorted out!!

Alisia
17 Posts

@Steph79

Good news! My post-radiation MRI showed a significant decrease in the size of the tumor and the affected Lymph nodes! Yay!

As for chemo, I start next week - with my first round of 6 rounds of CAPOX. I'm trying to freak out; I'm not a fan of the unknown and of course getting the “these could be all of the side effects” talk is overwhelming. I managed ok on the Capecitabine dose I was on during radiation with minimal side effects, so hopeful that with the minimal increase during this round, side effects will again be minimal.

It's the whole “cold sensitivity" thing that's freaking me out a bit; especially the mouth/throat effects…gah…. well we'll see - I will try to keep everyone up to date

Runner Girl
3137 Posts

@Alisia
I recommend sipping cool/cold water to help mitigate the mouth/throat side effects of chemo.

Steph79
44 Posts

@Alisia You got through all the radiation … and you'll get through this! 💪 As best you can, just take it one round at a time.

Reach out whenever you need to chat … I'm here.

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