You have follow up appointments to check how you are and whether you have any problems or worries. The appointments are also your chance to raise any concerns you have about your progress.
You have check ups because it is possible that the leukaemia could come back. And if you had chemotherapy or other intensive treatment, your doctors need to check for any side effects or complications.
Your doctor or nurse specialist examines you at each appointment. They ask how you are feeling, whether you have had any symptoms or side effects, and if anything is worrying you. You might also have tests at some visits.
You usually have a blood test and sometimes you might have bone marrow tests.
You might also see physiotherapists and dietitians during the check ups. Your doctor or nurse can arrange for you to see them at the outpatient clinic.
Let your team know straight away if you are worried or if you notice any new symptoms between appointments. You don't have to wait until the next appointment.
How often you have check ups
Your check ups continue for several years. At first they are every few weeks.
If all is well you have check up appointments less and less often.
You might have follow up appointments:
- 3 monthly for 2 years
- 4 monthly for another 2 years
- then 6 monthly for 1 year
Many people find their check ups quite worrying. A hospital appointment can bring back any anxiety you had about your leukaemia.
Some people find it quite reassuring to go back for check ups. Treatment for AML can be very difficult and you might be in hospital for months. Being away from hospital can make you feel quite nervous at first. So you might feel reassured seeing your treatment team.
It can help to tell someone close to you how you’re feeling. Sharing your worries can mean they don’t seem so overwhelming. Many people find it helpful to have counselling after cancer treatment.