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I know I cant be the only lesbian out here?

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  • mutt1963
    mutt1963 Member Posts: 91
    edited August 2011
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    It was the middle of sumer so hoodies didnt even cross my mind but that is a good idea, the drains will keep you occupied. I had a friend come over a few days before the surgery and she took photos of me with my breast ( the left one was swollen still from the biopsy), some with my shirt off and some with my shirt on. I'm still wearing the lymphodema sleeves or I would be mowing my yard with my shirt off, uneven scars and all. I do walk around the house alot and sometimes go out into the backyard to see what the dogs are doing without putting a shirt on.

  • outfield
    outfield Member Posts: 235
    edited August 2011
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    I love the idea of mowing a lawn shirtless.  Alas, we have no grass (that's not a weird thing where we live).  I don't have any pics of my presurgery breasts.  I wish I had some from long enough ago that I wouldn't look at them and think ,"There I am with cancer."  I did have a plaster cast of them for a long time, but got rid of it sometime in the year before I was diagnosed.  If I think about it, I'm a little sad not to have it anymore.  We used to have our bust-casts hanging up on a wall, but they were getting kind of dusty in a permanent sort of way.  

    Most of my bras I have given away or thrown out, but I have one I was wearing a lot around the time I was diagnosed that I think I'm going to have a little ceremony and bury sometime.   

    Mutt, do you have lymphedema?  I do.  The forum on Lymphedema here was incredibly helpful to me when that problem popped up.   

  • MemphisJ
    MemphisJ Member Posts: 4
    edited August 2011
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    Thanks, chulita, mutt, golf, and outfield. The waiting is awful, but almost over now. I appreciate the kind words and advice I've found here. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm just waiting for this to be over and for pathology to give me the all-clear that there's nothing invasive going on.

    In the happy news department, my little sister went for her 9th chemo treatment Friday and received the news that her tumor continues to shrink.

  • bookart
    bookart Member Posts: 210
    edited August 2011
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    Hi everyone - I just got back from vacation and viola`, there are people on this board!  Yay!  I also elected for a BMX, and I've been sirred for years - when I had long hair at 17 I got "are you a boy or a girl?" from both children and the elderly.  It never really bothered me - kind of a private laugh at their expense - it's been harder since losing the girls - not so funny, now.  I'm a bit more self-conscious.  I hope that will fade with more time.  Of course, I also get sirred on the phone...

    My partner and I talked it over and couldn't see any benefit in doing reconstruction - and I think I would feel kind of like I feel if I wear a dress - like I'm in drag.  Sticking some foobs on there aren't going to make me more feminine, that's for sure.  I elected for the BMX because of family history, despite BRCA negative status. 

    I went shirtless some on vacation, and do at home when our oldest isn't around (it bugs him) - but do be careful of sunburn, especially if you have lymphedema - scars are particularly sensitive, as is radiated skin.

  • outfield
    outfield Member Posts: 235
    edited August 2011
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    Memphis,

    Are you staying overnight?  I didn't.  My surgeon told me I probably would, but then I just did everythig they told me I needed to do to go home.  Really wanted to be there at dinnertime for the kids.  So I walked and peed and ate somethig cardboard, and got taken home by the greatest team of four dykes: a couple to haul me car to bed, one to go get prescriptions, I don't even know for sure what the 4th did but I know she was there.  It's nice to know if there are any options for that beforehand.  That way,if you want to buck the trend, you can set up a team an have at it.

    Bookart:  I also would feel in drag with foobs.  There's just no way I'd feel they were mine so I can't imagine them filling any important role in my life.  I have considered getting some subtle piercings where the nipples would be if my flat chest had them.  I have to wait until I'm a little furrther out from radiation, but kind of want to try.  

  • mutt1963
    mutt1963 Member Posts: 91
    edited August 2011
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    Outfield, I do have lymphodema and have a really good physical therapist that is putting up with me well. I'm one of those people that you have to restrain from doing too much. Memphis glad to hear the good news about your sister, hope things continue to go well for her and I hope your pathology is speedy, thorough and no positive lymphnodes. Bookart, I actually grew up in Dallas. Family moved in 76. Ive got signs at the front door and the back door of my house because I don't remember I'm bald so thanks for the heads up on the sunburn. Outfield do you have any photos with the casts in the back ground? You might be able to crop and enlarge the photo so that it makes you feel as you did when you had the original casts. Don't take it to the one-hour-photo or drug store, find a camera shop in your area and ask their advice. Man, I'm glad you guys are on here, I haven't been able to go out much because of my white count so most of the people that Ive been around lately are straight women and its just not the same. Did any of you have a port put in? This thing is irritating the crud out of my pectoral muscle (whats left of it). I googled to see if I could workout with it in but I haven't even been able to walk fast on the treadmill without it aching afterwards.

  • MemphisJ
    MemphisJ Member Posts: 4
    edited August 2011
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    Yes, Outfield, I'm scheduled to stay overnight. I can't imagine going home right after a double mx! That's amazing! Our 7-year-old is looking forward to staying with her favorite (much older) cousin the night of my sugery, because my wife insists on staying in the hospital with me. My surgery isn't scheduled to begin until 1pm, so I wouldn't make it home before her bedtime, anyway. 

  • Lovegolf
    Lovegolf Member Posts: 75
    edited August 2011
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    I has in the room at 7:00pm the day of surgery and in my bed 11:00am next morning.  My Dr. was good if I felt ok with in.  I figured I knew what was at my house the hospital has germs I have never seen. I worn large mens undershirts(wife beaters, I have the name) and pined drains to the piping around the collar. They were cooler and I have a few really large botton down shirt to go over them when I went out.

  • outfield
    outfield Member Posts: 235
    edited August 2011
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    Memphis, I think it's great that your wife insists on staying with you.  I've had a few hospital stays for BC-related and not BC-related reasons in the past few years, and it is MUCH better with someone who loves you there.  My most recent time was for a neutropenic fever during chemo (I have my fingers crossed you have favorable pathology and don't need chemo) and my partner had to stay home to take care of our kids, who were 2 and 3 at the time.  I was so lonely.

    Nobody at either hospital I have stayed in even appeared to care at all about my partner being a woman.  When I had my daughter, which was a complicated birth and she ended up in the NICU, they didn't bat an eye about giving hmy partner the second parental bracelet (the bracelets were basically the key into the NICU to see the baby).  Now that I think about it, it does strike me as odd that the people who have made incorrect assumptions about me during my heath care have mainly been social workers.  Go figure.  But if there's any question in your state about how legal stuff would be handled (like who would make decisions if you can't for some reason), and if you want it to be your wife, it's good to get it on paper before any big medical stuff.  I did a living will and power of attorney on a website called LegalZoom while I was pregnant.

    Mutt, as somone who just gave myself a stress fracture in my knee trying to run on a recenty-torn meniscus, I can relate about being one who does too much.  I am so frustrated with myself that I did that.  I want to be hiking and biking with my kids, and playing sports, and now it looks like I'll be swimming for the next three months. 

  • bookart
    bookart Member Posts: 210
    edited August 2011
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    We also got the medical power of attorney, wills, etc done before surgeries so there would be no question.  I did get some questions, but they were pretty innocent ignoramus stuff.  Not meant to be mean or anything.  I shrug that stuff off and look on myself as an ambassador for the nation of lesbos.

    I stayed two nights, and I did need it.  I was wiped out for months - they over-anesthesized me because I wouldn't go under, so took a long time to come out of it and a long time for brain to come back online.  Like 9 months.  Can you spell befuddled?  I couldn't...

  • outfield
    outfield Member Posts: 235
    edited August 2011
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    I'm a shitty ambassador because I'm sometimes shy and despite working in a medical field, I get words all screwed up and can't talk straight when I'm a scared patient.  It's been great when my partner's there and really has my back,    

  • cooka
    cooka Member Posts: 62
    edited September 2011
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    Hi All,

    Just found this thread and identify a lot with what many of you are saying. I had my BMX on 2 Aug and start chemo on 16 Sep. For anyone looking for a cool drain solution- Homo Depot has cloth carpenter aprons for less than a dollar that hold at least 4 JP's. No frilly BS here;)  I thought about starting a Butch-tique after seeing all that garbage at the hospital boutiques and online. Can I please have something that is not pink? Anyway, there is a great article called Cancer Butch and if I can find the link later I'll post it. I have gotten used to the sir thing since I am 6 feet tall with short hair, but I never really have gotten used to women gasping when I walk in the women's room...maybe they are just stunned by my beauty? ;) 

  • outfield
    outfield Member Posts: 235
    edited September 2011
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    Cooka, definitely post it!  

  • cooka
    cooka Member Posts: 62
    edited September 2011
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  • mutt1963
    mutt1963 Member Posts: 91
    edited September 2011
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    cooka glad to meet you even though its not for the right reasons. Women gasp in the womens restroom but Ive noticed if need be and you have to go into the mens (lines way too long in the womens) they dont say a thing. Sign me up for the butch lymphedema sleeves, all I could tolerate were the black ones.

  • stillhere663
    stillhere663 Member Posts: 8
    edited January 2012
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     I have just signed up for this board. I am home from work today due to chemo fatigue. I just want to let you gals know that you give me hope. After 3 years my partner dumped me when I got cancer. She had never been faithful anyway... maybe she did me a favor. She was my first lesbian relationship and I wanted nothing more than to spend my life with her.

    It makes me feel like there is hope for my future and maybe someone to love. I love the accounts on this blog about commitment and monogamy.

    Keep up the good work

  • bookart
    bookart Member Posts: 210
    edited January 2012
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    Good article, cooka - I like the bit about shirtlessness - and pinkwashing

  • FeistyFemme
    FeistyFemme Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
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    Hi Ladies,

    I'm new to this forum and just wanted to introduce myself! I had a BMX with TRAM reconstruction on Dec.7. I still don't know if my treatment plan will entail chemo (waiting on my Oncotype DX to come back). I'm super freaked about undergoing chemo and SE from hormone therapyFrown I guess that's just part of the whole ordeal, but it still feels like I got hit by a truck emotionally and physically! I am very fortunate to have a loving and supporting partner who has been my rock, and for that I am extremely thankful!

    stillhere663: You need all the positive support you can get right now in order to heal! So, yes she did you a favor by not interfering with your healing process. Now is the time to focus on you! Hang in thereLaughing 

  • stillhere663
    stillhere663 Member Posts: 8
    edited January 2012
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    Dear FF,

    I empathise with your anxiety about chemo. It is different for everyone. On a base level we all fear the same things. Know that you are not alone and thank you for you response/support.

  • milliesmom
    milliesmom Member Posts: 4
    edited January 2012
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    You are not alone. I have been just been posting on other sites. I have recurrence. Yippee skippy. Having rads. Have only had 3 treatments and my arm and shoulder ache so bad I cant sleep. I hope its just coincidental and not brachial probs. I want to start a lesbian breast cancer support group and have been waiting because I dont know if I will have the energy but think I am going to go ahead with it. I went to one after the first diagnosis in 2003 in Portland OR and it was great. The ones at the hospital are geared to straights. I did not even consider that people might get harrased on this site. Very disconcerting. I will pop in and out and let you know when I start the group. I will get the word out through the LGBT center. Anyone else start a group?

  • ricia
    ricia Member Posts: 18
    edited January 2012
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    noticed very few groups under this forum category have recent posts...  was glad to see this thread.

    @milliesmom - 'tis is a good idea you have, via the LGBT center in your region. i'm involved in cancer groups in my city, but they are open to all. the topic of sexuality and relationships is a gambit for anyone whose not straight i think. perhaps i've just been too thoroughly conditioned, generationally-speaking? i suppose it's not really the sort of conversation i'd have with strangers, not knowing their own community affliations or orientation et al, even if we share in the circumstances of having BC...

     seems to me we're all in so vulnerable position as it is, and the risk of meeting with societal prejudices or homophobic biases is emphasized more than it would usually be, for me.... anyone else feel that way?

     

  • outfield
    outfield Member Posts: 235
    edited February 2012
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    The group I'm involved in isn't just not LGBT, it's not even all breast cancer.  Nevertheless has been helpful.   I don't hold back from anybody anymore.  Works.

  • Bunker2007
    Bunker2007 Member Posts: 62
    edited February 2012
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    Hello-

    I'm the partner of a woman who has cancer. My partner, Robin, was diagnosed in May of 2010 with stage 3b bc. She was later (2011) diagnosed with stage 4 with mets on the skin and lungs. She has has radiation & various chemo treatments. She is now on a new drug (Halaven) which is a newer drug and she seems to be doing better.



    I tell ya...it's been a roller coaster ride for sure. I have a daughter from a previous relationship. She is 14. It's been tough for her, too.



    I thought I would post here because there doesn't to be a lot of discussion boards geared to lesbian women. I'm glad I found this board.

  • Lovegolf
    Lovegolf Member Posts: 75
    edited February 2012
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    So sorry to hear what you are going through....so many

  • mutt1963
    mutt1963 Member Posts: 91
    edited February 2012
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     Bunker, Know what you mean about not being much out there for lesbians and not anything local for me at least. Hope your partner is still doing well and will continue to do well on her current treatment, that the side effects are minimal and it knocks down the mets. This stuff is hard enough for straight familys so I cant even imagine how tough it is on yours.

  • Bunker2007
    Bunker2007 Member Posts: 62
    edited February 2012
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    Mutt-- thanks for your support! I hope to get to know you guys better. I have found this site one of the best.



    Just checkin' . I'm god

  • outfield
    outfield Member Posts: 235
    edited February 2012
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    Bunker, I was diagnosed in 6/2010, have two little kids, it was a pretty long hell.  Couple nights ago I had a dream about throwing a tantrum about getting a new ID because I look so much older than I did before all this, and my partner remarked that she's gotten abruptly older too.  It's true.  It's been horrible for both of us, really all 4 of us.  I'm doing pretty well now, but still dealing with some scarring problems and irritability.  I never had a long fuse, but now it's a very, very short one that gets lit at pretty slight provocation.

    This site is good.  I'm out all over the place on it.  I'm pretty much out all over the place in general, but my city is culturally diverse and pretty accepting of a lot of things in general.  I lose a lot of my comfort level when we travel.  But I think it's safe here.  Sucky thing that brings us together, but Im glad it's here.

  • stillhere663
    stillhere663 Member Posts: 8
    edited February 2012
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    Outfield

    How ironic. I was just in putting on some make-up and thought, "CRAP!"  I am not even through with chemo and I have aged 10 years.  As if being bald,breast-less and a walking freak show of side  effects is not enough. I looked at an ID made in Sept of this year. I thought, "man, I was pretty good looking."   It can really get me down sometimes.

     Here is one for all the girls like me who got dumped during the BC process( I hope there are not too many)

    A couple of Sundays ago my ex called and offered to bring me lunch.  I said "sure." I had plenty of time to put on prosthetics and make-up. My inner voice told me not to. I had on a toboggan and sweats, with no make up.  It was my way of saying, "you should have seen the inner beauty. I am still the same person!" 

    Let's try and remember who we really are in times like these. I usually suck at it, but it does get better.

  • Bunker2007
    Bunker2007 Member Posts: 62
    edited February 2012
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    Outfield, I'm glad to see another gay family dealing with the crap I deal with daily. I understand the mood thing. I have never been on the long side of the fuse either, which makes this process even harder.



    My daughter was diagnosed in Aug of 2010 with Crohn's disease. This was shortly after Robin was diagnosed the first time. Robin in May with stage 3b bc and my daughter (Kaylyn) in Aug of 2010 with Crohn's. It was a rough year. To say that I'm anxiety ridden and deal with intermittent depression would be a great understatement.



    There is not a lot out there for young caregivers (I'm 44). Usually there is plenty of stuff for those caregiving for the elderly, but I don't see a lot for young women and even men who take care spouses with chronic diseases. And I am sure I'm not the only caregiver with children.



    Well, I'll talk to you soon.

  • outfield
    outfield Member Posts: 235
    edited February 2012
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    I agree there's not a lot for caregivers.  We have a little here.  One of the things I like about the support group I joined is that caregivers are more than welcome.  When it was originally formed, they tried to separate the caregivers and patients, and nobody wanted to be separated.  So it's been a place for caregivers, too.  Usually there are at least 3 of them there.  

    I have to say, my partner wasn't interested in talking with anybody other than her own friends about how difficult it was for her.  Someone I barely knew gave me the names of two lesbian couples that had been through breast cancer treatment and the caregivers had agreed to talk with her, but she didn't really want to do that.  I really wished she would at times, but we got through with her doing what she wanted, not what I wanted.  

    So much changes with severe illness.  Even though I'm mostly back to full-speed now, our roles changed in the family.  

    I am sorry your daughter is dealing with health issues too.  I hope her Crohn's is well-managed.