You have follow up appointments to check how you are and see whether you have any problems or worries. The appointments also give you the chance to ask any questions you have.
What happens at your appointment?
You are usually first seen by a nurse or healthcare assistant. They might check your:
- blood pressure
- heart and breathing rate
You have a blood test and may also have a bone marrow test.
Your doctor will usually examine you and ask how you're getting on. They'll ask about any side effects you might have.
Your doctor or nurse will give you some guidance about which symptoms to look out for if you are on treatment and who to contact if you have any problems.
How often you have check ups
Your check ups will continue for several years. You see your doctor every month while you're having maintenance treatment.
A typical follow up schedule after this would be:
- monthly for 3 months
- then 2 monthly for 6 months
- 3 monthly for up to 3 years after your treatment
- 6 monthly for years 4 and 5 after treatment
After 5 years you may be followed up in long term follow up clinics or late effects clinics.
Coping with worry
Many people worry about going for their check ups. If you are well and getting on with your life, it can bring back all the worry about your leukaemia. You may find it helpful to tell someone close to you how you feel. Sharing your concerns can help. It is common for people to have counselling after cancer treatment.
Don’t be surprised though if you find it quite reassuring to go back for check ups. Acute leukaemia treatment is tough. You are often in hospital for months. Being away from the hospital can make you feel quite nervous at first. So it can be reassuring to go back and make sure everything is still OK.