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NOLA in September?

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  • jacee
    jacee Member Posts: 219
    edited April 2015
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    Mags...Dr M wanted me in compression 6 months after each surgery. I think I made it 4 months at the longest. I came to really like the compression garment. It just made me feel secure and truly think it helped immensely with fluid buildup.

    I haven't been on the site in ages, but I was wondering if any one had heard from Cherrie? She posted last November she had found a spot in her recon breast and had an excisional biopsy and was waiting on pathology. I didn't see any posts after that. Anyone know??


  • lastar
    lastar Member Posts: 553
    edited April 2015
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    Jacee, I hadn't heard from Cherrie since November so I sent her a note on FB. The lump was benign! Yay! She bought a house in Florida and spent the winter there, so she is doing well. She has a sore spot on her spine that she is hoping is just an indicator that she needs more core exercise. She is getting it checked out. It's nice when people disappear from these boards because life got normal and nice again.

  • jacee
    jacee Member Posts: 219
    edited April 2015
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    LAStar....Thanks so much! I'm very glad to hear she is living life!! I also dropped off the boards for maybe a year. But, when her last post was "waiting on pathology", then nothing afterward, I was concerned! It seems there is so much less conversation here now. Has everyone moved on to fb? Or just moving on? Either is a good thing I suppose. We all know this site is here when we need it!

  • tigsun
    tigsun Member Posts: 162
    edited May 2015
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    I just remembered today that may 11th was my 4 year surgi-versary! All is well. I am back in the swing of life! I had a problem remembering my password! Although I don't get here much I think of Nola often

  • MartyJ
    MartyJ Member Posts: 819
    edited May 2015
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    Happy cancerversary, Tigsun! I don't get here much either.

  • Sydgrace
    Sydgrace Member Posts: 29
    edited May 2015
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    Hi Ladies. Well, it's been awhile since I've been on here. I had my last surgery at NOLA with Dr. D October of last year - we added an implant to my hip flap and things are looking good, no issues.

    My reason for this post is that sadly, my dear sister was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma Invasive last week. The docs at Nola were phenomenal in getting her in to see them asap - we met with Dr. D (my hero) and Dr. Ordoyne. My breast oncologist was Dr. Stolier (also my hero).

    2 questions for you all:

    1) Having no experience with Dr. Ordoyne, has anyone had him as their breast oncologist? He seems great, just curious about any feedback you all might have.

    2) My sister's case is different than mine was (I had DCIS and didn't need chemo). They are telling her she needs chemo before surgery based on the HER2+ nature of her breast cancer. For those of you who had chemo before surgery, how long did you have between chemo treatments and the surgery? We are trying to put together a timeline and any info would be appreciated!

    Thanks as always for being such a source of support and information.

  • Stix
    Stix Member Posts: 610
    edited May 2015
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    can someone give me the website to the picture forum?  It got erased when i got a new computer. thanks

  • Zenful
    Zenful Member Posts: 394
    edited May 2015
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    sydgrace, I had chemo first, and surgery with Dr. D and Dr. Stolier (I also love them both!) about 5 weeks after chemo was finished.  My oncologist recommended four weeks, but I had to do a bit of searching to find the good doctors!  The only issue it caused was I had to talk my local BS into doing a sentinel lymph node biopsy to determine if I needed radiation.  Thankfully, I did not.  Dr. Stolier removed my port at the time he did my bilateral mastectomy, followed by Dr. D's artful work.

  • Sydgrace
    Sydgrace Member Posts: 29
    edited May 2015
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    Thanks, Zenful - that helps. So the sentinel node biopsy determined whether radiation was needed. I will pass this along to my sister. We are listening to the doctors but then investigating on our own to make sure it all makes sense. I felt when I was going through this that I needed to be my own advocate and trust the treatment plan. She needs to do the same. Thank you again for the response! And I am so happy you found the good doctors :)

  • Zenful
    Zenful Member Posts: 394
    edited May 2015
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    Sydgrace, that was just my situation based upon my triple negative Breast cancer. There just isn't ang evidence (according to my oncologist) that radiation improves the outcome in the case of negative nodes for a triple negative patient. Your sister's case may be very different with HER2+. She will need to discuss it with her MO and make a decision she is comfortable with. Best of luck to her. She is lucky to have you holding her hand through this journey. Hugs.

  • Springtime
    Springtime Member Posts: 3,372
    edited May 2015
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    Hi All,

    I just added Heather's stuff in the listing above. Stix, don't be scared, this one is a big stage 2! haha. Go Heather!

    June 10 - Hhayes91 - Stage 2, Dr. D., NOLA. (Remove necrosis in both breasts, rotate flaps, and breast lift/reduction, butt lift, hernia repair with a collagen matrix. Lipo in multiple areas & micro fat injections into breasts (hoping for some fullness/projection).

  • Springtime
    Springtime Member Posts: 3,372
    edited May 2015
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    Just reporting in on my Tattoo redo with Vinnie in MD on Friday. They look great so far. They had faded a lot from Dec 2010, and I had those done with Donn at the Center, Vinnie wasn't "discovered" yet.

    I know most women don't feel the tattoos, but I always do. it is a very unpleasant thing while it's happening! They even used Lidocane numbing creame on the "spared" side, but still. But, he's very good and very fast and I am glad this is behind me!

    Vinnie is really a lovely guy. He's very knowledgable about BC in general, and in particular how it relates to tattooing. For instance, I didn't know this, but BC skin is thinned and already sort of traumatized. They have to treat it differently than "normal" skin you would tattoo. How it takes ink is different, etc.

    Anyway, for those of you with appointments upcoming with Vinnie, it will be great!

  • Gramof2boys
    Gramof2boys Member Posts: 60
    edited June 2015
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    Checking in!! I had a follow up appointment at the center recently and discussed the possibility of doing a slight tweaking of my breasts. Dr T would do a lift on my right recon non cancer side and some lipo/ recon on cancer side. I had 4 surgeries last year with the last one in December and I just can't decide if I'm ready to do this again. Have any of you felt this way? What was your decision?

  • lastar
    lastar Member Posts: 553
    edited June 2015
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    Gram, I had a similar situation as you in that my left SGAP breast failed and I had DIEP in Jan to replace it. I was planning Stage 2 for fall, but after 6 surgeries in 3 years, I'm over it! I talked with my PS's office last week and said that my results look fine and I just cannot do another surgery at this point. If I lose 30 lbs and am really unbalanced, I'll consider it. There are little things that could be done, but I don't want to risk any more complications. I already have nipples from my 2012 Stage 2. For now, my results look really nice -- my PS did a fantastic job matching the new breast to the other SGAP breast. Good luck with your decision!

  • Springtime
    Springtime Member Posts: 3,372
    edited June 2015
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    Hi Gram,

    I had the body lift so a lot of donor areas were involved. After stage 2, there were still a few things that bothered me. However, I waited 11 months to see if it was important to me, I just couldn't decide if I wanted another surgery. It turns out it was, and at that point, I was ready to go at it again. I think it just depends on how important / bothersome those things are to you.

  • trvler
    trvler Member Posts: 931
    edited June 2015
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    Springtime: Can you tell me more about the body lift? Does it just involve more donor sites? I am concerned because I have lost weight since I have been on chemo. It might just be water because I think I might be on a diuretic but I don't know if I will gain it back once chemo is over. I wasn't crazy about having more than one donor site.

  • MerrellGirl
    MerrellGirl Member Posts: 21
    edited June 2015
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    Allison,

    Like Springtime, I had the body lift at NOLA - Stage 1 in Nov 2014 and Stage 2 last April.  With the body lift, both your abdominal and upper rear hip area are the donor sites.  With my build, this meant Dr. D cut down into my upper buttocks on each side.  There is one continuous incision all around the front and the back, ending pretty much where the butt cheeks meet.  After Stage 1, I had what I called "shark bites" on each buttock - large, diagonal incisions.  After Stage 2 Dr. D actually "reshaped" these scars so they are no longer diagonal and are hidden beneath underwear for the most part.  So, as with a DIEP, there are the front donor sites, and then there are the back donor sites, too.  Just a continuous, single-line scar though.  One helluva rodeo ride, that's for sure!

    Oh yeah, I had lost quite a bit of weight by the time I had Stage 1.  Yet, Dr. D took all extra fat I had and made a set of full B cups - arguably a C.  The weight loss wasn't intentional: it was from nerves, but I was also getting into shape for the surgery - eating lots of protein, very little carbs, and exercising so my heart would be strong.  Hope this helps.  MerrellGirl

  • trvler
    trvler Member Posts: 931
    edited June 2015
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    VERY helpful, Merrell. Thanks!

  • SurfaGrl
    SurfaGrl Member Posts: 107
    edited June 2015
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    Hi everyone,

    I haven't posted in 3 or so years but still need to finish my tattoos with Vinnie. So I am hoping to get an appointment next year. I am also contemplating prophylactic on my left breast which I should have done the first time around. Does anyone know if the prophylactic is an easier surgery? I had delayed recon to the right breast and had to take skin from my lower ab. Quite uncomfortable for several months but so happy with the results. I am ready to do the finishing touch of the tattoo but my recon nipple has gone flat but decided not to redo. I was thinking of getting a tattoo right above recon breast as I have a one inch scar due to a previous/old diagnostic test but I don't have fat there so I'm thinking it will be painful and not sure if a scar can be covered.

  • dbdaze
    dbdaze Member Posts: 139
    edited July 2015
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    My last reconstruction surgery was at the Center in December 2011. I'm just wondering if there is a cut-off time for having some “tweaking" done -- one breast is squishier and slightly less full than the other and I have had a buldge under one of my breasts that has been there since my last surgery. Has anyone returned to the Center for “touch-ups" after an extended time. Does insurance still cover?



  • besa
    besa Member Posts: 289
    edited July 2015
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    SurfaGrl- I also haven't posted on this thread in a while. I went to the Center for a contralateral prophylactic ns GAP about 4 years after having a (problematic) skin sparing DIEP done locally in MD. I felt the GAP was a physically much easier surgery than DIEP. I was dealing with much less pain (almost no pain in my case) though of course the drains are in for a much longer time. Part of this was comparing good care at the Center with clearly not as good care at my local hospital -- but even taking that into account I felt that GAP: surgery was physically easier. I am not sure if you will be having GAP surgery after a previous DIEP.

    Also I the prophylactic surgery was much less stressful- the anxiety associated with an active cancer diagnosis is not there and I had already experienced a big surgery so generally knew what to expect. I knew how to handle drains, what meds tended to work best for me etc. Also at NOLA (after doing research and taking to woman who had gone to the Center before me) I had much more confidence in the skill of the docs and the quality of the nursing care which also made for a much calmer experience.

  • Stix
    Stix Member Posts: 610
    edited July 2015
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    Has anyone gone on a leave of absence from their job before they were there for a year? I may get a job offer coming up- but i know I have to have another surgery (revision) and I of course won't divulge this to a new place of employment. Please let me know your experiences.

  • besa
    besa Member Posts: 289
    edited July 2015
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    Just saw the above article written by Dr. Wise:

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/HematologyOncology/Bre...

    And an abstract of a paper just published by Dr. Dellacroce and gang:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26111328


  • Jane123
    Jane123 Member Posts: 198
    edited July 2015
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    Yes, besa, keeping my "natural landscape" worked for me! I am 2 1/2 years out from prophylactic double mastectomy, body lift procedure. Thank you for posting.

  • lastar
    lastar Member Posts: 553
    edited July 2015
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    Stix, I took a new job then scheduled a revision surgery less than a year later. I did not tell them prior to hiring me, and I waited a few months before mentioning that I would need to have surgery. No one said anything and they made me feel that I should take care of my health first. It sure was nice to have sick leave after going through several surgeries as a contractor. I'm not sure what the laws are in this case. Ignorance is bliss. Best wishes on the new job!

  • peacestrength
    peacestrength Member Posts: 236
    edited August 2015
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    Question: for those of you taking an AI, how long did you have to stop taking this before and after surgery? Thanks!

  • Stix
    Stix Member Posts: 610
    edited July 2015
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    Hi LAStar,

    thanks for replying. You waited how long to tell your place of employment. A few months b4 the surgery? thanks


  • SurfaGrl
    SurfaGrl Member Posts: 107
    edited July 2015
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    Hi Besa,

    Thank you for the encouragement. I have an appointment to see Dr. Sullivan next March in 2016 to discuss my options for prophylactic. Worried if there will be any mobility or strength changes if I have another surgery.

    Has anyone had any changes after DIEP surgery? I had delayed reconstruction so I had to take skin from the abdominal area but notice that my lower back has pressure time to time and is uncomfortable at times. My abdominal muscles are a lot stronger now but at times it cramps up and actually gets stuck? I'm very active and workout doing Zumba, body pump, cycle, etc. my job also requires me to be active. Any advice/comments

  • SurfaGrl
    SurfaGrl Member Posts: 107
    edited July 2015
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    Hi DBdaze,

    I had surgery a couple of years ago and going back next year for tattoos. Insurance should still cover but I had to pay a little more from original fee. Call the Center and Liz will help you.

  • Springtime
    Springtime Member Posts: 3,372
    edited July 2015
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    Hi SurfaGrl,

    I added your tattoo and consult date to the list ing above. I was not sure if you're seeing Dr. D or Dr. S for the consult? In the PM it says Dr. D, but above I see Dr. S. They're both fabulous! :)