Just diagnosed

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Cheryl
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 4:04 pm

Just diagnosed

Postby Cheryl » Tue May 02, 2017 4:12 pm

After a regular mammogram, a follow-up, an echography, an MRI and a biopsy, I've been diagnosed with breast cancer today. I was given the choice of La Roche sur Yon or Nantes for treatment, so have chosen Nantes. My GP has asked me to go back to see her on Thursday as she should by then have been able to make an appointment at the hospital. She's given me 100% cover and said she'll give me a bon de transport.
She said that first I'll have a scan of my chest and neck to look if it's spread, and if it has she thinks I'll be given chemotherapy then an operation. If it hasn't spread they may operate before chemo. I asked how long it'll be before my appointment and she said probably 1 - 2 weeks, maybe a month.
What do I do now? What do I ask at the hospital? I speak reasonable French, but is it likely that there will be English speakers there?
Any help or advice please!

pennycsf
Site Admin
Posts: 602
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:19 pm

Re: Just diagnosed

Postby pennycsf » Tue May 02, 2017 6:35 pm

Dear Cheryl,
I am so sorry that you find yourself in this position and we will do our best to give as much assistance and support as we can through this forum. Before replying, I have contacted the closest association to Nantes which is CSF Nord. Although they have people in Brittany and Normandy they do not reach down as far as Nantes and could not give you the personal support at the hospital that you seek.

I assume that you will be treated at the CHU Nantes which does have some information on its website in English and also about finding translators. You can find the link here:

http://www.chu-nantes.fr/information-in ... =LANGUAGES

I would suggest that you make sure that someone is with you when you go to your appointment, ideally someone who speaks some french. Even if your own language skills are good, it is well known that we all miss much of what is said (in our own language, twice as much in a foreign one) when faced with a difficult or emotional situation. We tend to latch on to one part of a sentence and miss the next bit. Someone else can make sure that everything is explained and that you understand.

CSF can offer telephone support through our trained members, some of whom have experienced breast cancer, and would be able to help you understand the procedures, give you an opportunity to talk through your situation and help you formulate suitable questions. If this would be useful to you then do drop me a PM or post a reply and I will get back to you straight away.

Cheryl
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 4:04 pm

Re: Just diagnosed

Postby Cheryl » Tue May 02, 2017 8:20 pm

Many thanks for your reply. We actually live in the Vendee, but my doctor offered me the choice of La Roche sur Yon or Nantes and told me that Nantes is the second best cancer hospital in France, so that's why I chose it! My original mammogram was 17.1.2017, then I had a recall letter and had the second mammogram and an echography on 28.3.2017, then an MRI on 14.4.2017 and a biopsy on 20.4.2017.

I'll try to get a French friend to accompany me. My husband will be with me, but his French is very limited.

Are there any questions I should ask at the hospital, or will everything be explained to me? Is hospitalisation just overnight or longer?

Thanks again.

KarenVM87
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 4:33 pm

Re: Just diagnosed

Postby KarenVM87 » Wed May 03, 2017 8:08 am

I too am sorry to hear about your situation. Just a thought spend some time beforehand compiling a list of questions to ask your consultant, both in french and english (with a copy to give to him/her). You may find your specialist speaks english which would be a huge bonus for you. Maybe have a look at the macmillan website, here is the link to the specific page http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information ... ast-cancer
Bon courage,
Karen

pennycsf
Site Admin
Posts: 602
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:19 pm

Re: Just diagnosed

Postby pennycsf » Wed May 03, 2017 8:22 am

Like Karen, I was going to suggest that you had a look at the Macmillan website. Although it relates to treatment in the UK, the basic information is the same for both countries with the same treatment options. There is a downloadable booklet on breast cancer which may help you to compose your questions. You will find it here:

https://be.macmillan.org.uk/be/p-237-un ... women.aspx

Unfortunately it is not possible to tell you about hospitalisation. This will depend on the treatment that is recommended, the type of operation and so on. Remember that you do not need to agree to anything when you have your consultation, you can take the time to think about what is said, find out more about what is suggested and then make a decision.

Penny

Cheryl
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 4:04 pm

Re: Just diagnosed

Postby Cheryl » Wed May 03, 2017 9:47 am

Thanks again for your help. I expect that I'll just go along with the doctor's suggestions - surely they know best? Don't they??

I've had a look at the Macmillan site - looks very informative.

Cheryl

pennycsf
Site Admin
Posts: 602
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:19 pm

Re: Just diagnosed

Postby pennycsf » Thu May 04, 2017 4:23 pm

Hi Cheryl,
You must, of course, listen to the advice of your doctors. What I meant was that there is sometimes a number of possible ways to be treated. Only your doctor with all your results can propose these to you and, if you have a choice, it might be wise to take a little time to talk it through with your husband and family.

An example is having a choice between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy which, if available, is a very personal decision.

Do let us know how you get on and post any queries or drop us a PM.

Penny

Cheryl
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 4:04 pm

Re: Just diagnosed

Postby Cheryl » Thu May 04, 2017 7:01 pm

Thanks for that! After the UK case of the doctor operating unneccesarily on thousands of women, it makes you a bit wary!

I've got an appointment with the surgeon for next Thursday, then I'll apparantly need one with the anaesthetist , and my GP is now saying it looks like surgury then radiation as the tumour is very small, so that's good.

pennycsf
Site Admin
Posts: 602
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:19 pm

Re: Just diagnosed

Postby pennycsf » Thu May 04, 2017 8:03 pm

Excellent news indeed! :)

And it is usual to see the anaesthetist after the surgeon, so nothing to worry about there, he/she has to check on any allergies etc. before an op.

We'll be thinking of you on Thursday,

Cheryl
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 4:04 pm

Re: Just diagnosed

Postby Cheryl » Mon May 08, 2017 11:32 am

I was tring to think of questions to ask on Thursday. Do these sound OK? Are there others I should ask?
Je comprends qu’une RDV avec anesthetist serai nécessaire. Ce serait quand?
Est-ce que ce serait une mastectomy ou partielle ou lumpectomy?
Combien de temps serai-je en hôpital?
Est-ce que du chemotherapie serait nécessaire? Avant ou après l’opération.
La radiothérapie - est-elle après l’opération? Ça commence combien de temps après l’opération? pour combien de temps par semaine? pour combien de semaines?
La reconstruction - est-ce que le D.I.E.P. possible? Ou recommandé?

Many thanks for any advice!


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