Are you getting cancer treatments during COVID-19?

Posted by Colleen Young, Connect Director @colleenyoung, Thu, Mar 26 4:46pm

Are you getting cancer treatments at the moment? What about diagnostic tests, like blood tests, CT scans, mammography, PET scans etc? Is your surgery going ahead as planned or postponed?

I’d like to hear from you. What is like being in treatment during the COVID-19 crisis? How are you doing?

@colleenyoung

I'm relieved to hear that most cancer procedures, testing and treatments are going ahead as planned or with some accommodations. As @pameladstone said, "cancer is not going to wait for the virus to pass."

Several of you mentioned tele-visits and phone follow-ups. Do they make you feel comforted that you don't have to travel to the hospital for care or concerned whether they will be sufficient or thorough enough?

For those of you who have had some procedures postponed, what concerns might you have?

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Colleen, I will have my first tele-visit next Monday with a non Mayo provider, so I will have to let you know how that goes, especially since I have some coming up with Mayo. You asked about our concerns. I think that the visits may be shorter since the provider patient virtual visit will not take into count body language. Rather the provide will rely on a question for example “do you understand”? We as patients, may not be as truthful and admitting confusion, ergo it could make one uncomfortable. I plan to have a list of question handy as I do with most visits. My final thought is if I am coming into Mayo for labs and procedures and I was scheduled that same day to see the dr, they are still asking for Tele-Med visit. Since I am local I can make it home in time, but it doesn’t make that much sense, unless we are still under the Pandemic, as my appointment is in mid-May. Thanks

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@shortshot80

Colleen this is Nancy (shortshot) Nothing to do with the virus…. wanted to let you know I will be having another surgery on April 7. They are putting in a filter so catch any blood clots that may travel. I will be off of blood thinner then. Couple weeks ago the doc removed a liter of fluid off my left lung. Then they went in with a camera on my right Lung and found spots where I've been bleeding and marked them for radiation. Tomorrow will be the 5th session of radiation and then I also have to go to the hospital for seven days to get the medicine in my port to supposedly kill the UTI . So far as many times as I've had the medicine it has not permanently killed the bug. Keeps coming back about every month or so. I'm really tired of it all. just wanted to keep you and Teresa updated. By the way my book is done. Proof copy coming in couple days. Then I will order. Thanks For listening Colleen. Nancy (shortshot)

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@shortshot80 .
Hi Nancy,
So good to hear from you again. The filter to catch the blood clots has been quite helpful for many. I wish you good success with that. I hope the medicine via the port is able to take care of that stubborn UTI. I'm sure you will be glad to get rid of it too!
I'm looking forward to hearing about your book! You've put a lot of work into it.
Take care and God bless you my friend!

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I had my monthly labs and Onc visit last Thursday, as scheduled. I had just returned from 7 days of vacation in CO and New Mexico. They did stop us at the entrance, asked questions, took temperature and then ok to proceed (patient and 1 caregiver over age 18, if applicable). I was to have had Mohs surgery for skin cancer on my chest today but they called to cancel last week as they aren't doing any non-essential surgeries. Rescheduled to June. Next appt. and labs are April 15th so we'll see if they call to make any changes there. Hope everyone is doing fine.

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I have been doing tele-med appointments with my nephrologist for 5 years because of distance. I have recently been diagnosed with a recurrence of my pancreatic cancer. Radiation treatments began last Thursday. I have 5 treatments a week. My wife came with me Tuesday because I met with my doctor after radiation. I heard today that she will no longer be allowed to enter the hospital as a visitor. Only patients will be allowed in.

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@colleenyoung

I'm relieved to hear that most cancer procedures, testing and treatments are going ahead as planned or with some accommodations. As @pameladstone said, "cancer is not going to wait for the virus to pass."

Several of you mentioned tele-visits and phone follow-ups. Do they make you feel comforted that you don't have to travel to the hospital for care or concerned whether they will be sufficient or thorough enough?

For those of you who have had some procedures postponed, what concerns might you have?

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Colleen,
I have mixed feeling on tele-visit.

Seeing my upcoming visit is a 1 year recheck it may not be as important to see dr in person. But he usually listen to heart, lungs and does a breast exam. Of course that will not happen. As someone else suggested, I will have my questions prepared ahead of time. I might even send them to dr via portal prior to appointment. Make sure check to see if any of your prescriptions need refill prior to appointment.

What I do not understand is why it is OK to come into clinic and have techs to do EKG and blood work, but to risky to see dr.

I did call my insurance company to make sure they will pay for tele-visit. They just recently changed their rules to allow.

I figure if tele-visit does not meet my expectations. I will request a follow up visit in person when they become available.

Laurie

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@alamogal635

@colleenyoung A week ago Thursday, I went for my CT scan to check on any lung cancer present. I am at one year post-surgery. There was a table at the entrance and we were requied to answer an empoyees questions before b eing admitted further into the place. It was the standard stuff: id you travel outside the US int he last two weeks, do you have a dry cough, etc. I was allowed in, had the CT scan and left. Results were negative for any cancer. It was not unpleasant. My city–San Antonio, TX is now under complete lockdown. It wasn't when I went for the CT scan. Oh, my oncologist's office called and the doctor is only seeing people that need from certain cancer issues to be seen personally. Got a call from the doctor to report the results. That is how he's running his practice. Don't know about my PCP.

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@alamogal635– Good morning. Your CT results are great! I have one scheduled for the middle of June. I have an appointment with a new PCP next week. I'm hoping that the appointment will still be on. I have a bit of a cough but no other symptoms. Stay well my friend.

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@marvinjsturing

I have been doing tele-med appointments with my nephrologist for 5 years because of distance. I have recently been diagnosed with a recurrence of my pancreatic cancer. Radiation treatments began last Thursday. I have 5 treatments a week. My wife came with me Tuesday because I met with my doctor after radiation. I heard today that she will no longer be allowed to enter the hospital as a visitor. Only patients will be allowed in.

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@marvinjsturing Marvin, that must be frustrating for both you and your wife. Not having a support team by your side at procedures can sometimes make the situation feel lonely. Are you up to having some quality time with her later in the day, then?
Ginger

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@mom23boys

I had my monthly labs and Onc visit last Thursday, as scheduled. I had just returned from 7 days of vacation in CO and New Mexico. They did stop us at the entrance, asked questions, took temperature and then ok to proceed (patient and 1 caregiver over age 18, if applicable). I was to have had Mohs surgery for skin cancer on my chest today but they called to cancel last week as they aren't doing any non-essential surgeries. Rescheduled to June. Next appt. and labs are April 15th so we'll see if they call to make any changes there. Hope everyone is doing fine.

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@mom23boys I have a MOHS procedure scheduled on 4/3 at my dermatologist's office. Twice I have checked with them, and it is still moving forward as scheduled. Perhaps because I also have a history of melanoma, they are keeping it.
Ginger

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@merpreb Thank you. It was a relief. There will be another year of every 6 months CT scan provided all is well. That is provided all stays as it is. I have to thank my new PCP for having been so thorough in her requests for all sorts of tests. I resented those tests at the time. Ha! She knew what she was doing. I will be thinking of and praying for you that you and your new PCP get along great as well as doing the same for your coming CT. scan in June. That cough could be allergies, or something else much less scary than the Corona VIrus. Keep me posted as to what all is going on my dear friend.

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@gingerw

@marvinjsturing Marvin, that must be frustrating for both you and your wife. Not having a support team by your side at procedures can sometimes make the situation feel lonely. Are you up to having some quality time with her later in the day, then?
Ginger

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@gingerw Yes, we are able to have quality time when I get home. Starting to notice fatigue and nausea from treatments but I have meds for the nausea. I am hoping to include my wife in the appointments with the doctor through a Messenger call or at least on speaker phone.

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@marvinjsturing

@gingerw Yes, we are able to have quality time when I get home. Starting to notice fatigue and nausea from treatments but I have meds for the nausea. I am hoping to include my wife in the appointments with the doctor through a Messenger call or at least on speaker phone.

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Hello- @marvinjsturing. When I had my treatments I took anti-nausea meds before, during and after my treatments and before bed until I didn't feel ill anymore. I'm hoping that you can ask for more help with feeling ill. That must be miserable?

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@merpreb I take the meds an hour before my treatment and as needed after my treatment. I am so thankful for the small blessings like feeling good when you wake up in the morning.

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@marvinjsturing

@merpreb I take the meds an hour before my treatment and as needed after my treatment. I am so thankful for the small blessings like feeling good when you wake up in the morning.

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@marvinjsturing– Indeed small blessings are the bomb! I took them even if I didn't feel ill- I wanted to keep up on them because I hate being sick to my stomach! lol. Hopefully, as your treatments proceed you will feel less ill. Unfortunately, fatigue is the main side effect. But I'd much rather feel fatigued!

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@merpreb It's nice to be "confined" to home. I can take a nap at anytime I want to!

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@gingerw

@mom23boys I have a MOHS procedure scheduled on 4/3 at my dermatologist's office. Twice I have checked with them, and it is still moving forward as scheduled. Perhaps because I also have a history of melanoma, they are keeping it.
Ginger

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I hope it goes well. i have a fairly large area by my collar bone that I'm not looking forward to having removed. It's been there for a few years but getting bigger. Took breast cancer for me to start taking care of all of the other "little" things, as I call these annoyances. I'd rather put it off a bit until all of this virus stuff has passed. Too much risk for infection due to low white blood cell counts from my other treatment. Again, I hope all goes well with your Mohs.

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