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Jan 13, 2012 10:00 AM 05survivor wrote:
After my cancer diagnosis in 2005, I opted for a left breast mastectomy w/TE and silicone implant. Over a few months of filling the TE turned 90 degrees and moved up into my armpit. The PS performed a reconstruction revision at four months post mastectomy to move the TE to proper placement. I continued with the fills and had the exchange about three months after the revision surgery. Besides some rippling on the top of the breast, I was happy with the reconstruction.
In November 2011, my PS replaced the left implant with a larger one to correct the rippling, and it now looks even better. At this surgery, I also had a right prophylactic mastectomy and once again the TE has turned 90 degrees and is migrating up into my armpit. This TE was different from the one used in 2005 in that it has three tabs the PS used to anchor it to the muscle. Despite the new technology, the TE still moved. My PS assured me that although this is rare, it sometimes happens, and there was nothing I did to cause it. Maybe just my body type. So I will have surgery to move the TE, continue filling, and then have the exchange surgery.
It's been seven years since my first mastectomy, and I rarely feel the effects of the breast and lymph node removal. I would say that by two years after initial dx (one year after reconstruction completion), the tingling and funky sensations were mostly gone, my range of motion was 100%, as was my activity level, and I was even able sleep on the left side. I do have a neuroma in the left armpit which causes some sharp but brief and random pain, and this is manageable with exercise, especially stretching and yoga.
My advice is to hang in there and time definitely does help as our bodies need that to heal. We have been through so much, so physically we will never feel quite the same. But as the years pass and you realize what you went through to survive this ugly disease, the physical issues just become part of a life you are grateful to be living.
Diagnosis: 3/3/2005, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-