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Mastectomy Sept 2011

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  • marie5890
    marie5890 Member Posts: 111
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    Mags!!!...

    Praying all goes smoothly tomorrow and is complication free!! God Bless 

  • Hi ladies - hope everyone had a good weekend. I've been getting more comfortable with the thought of surgery . . . even though anticipating it thru the summer had sorta sucked (no other treatment, so literally going thru the motions of everyday life w/this hanging over my head), it's also gotten me to a place where I'm just ready to take whatever comes and GET IT OVER WITH, ALREADY.

    Yesterday I tried on the clothes I've gotten and decided to take a few things back. I'm just going to wear and repeat and not worry too much about it. Today I'm going to call the boutique at the cancer center at my hospital and see what post-mast. camis they carry - I have a f/u w/my PS on Friday and I'll go try some out and see how they are.

    Otherwise, just getting ready to send my daughter (8 next week) off to third grade on 9/7 - next two weeks filled w/doctors appts. and back-to-school shopping, seeing buddies and hanging around doing nothing . . . all much more fun than a BMX!

    Hope everyone else is hanging in there. 

  • Silia
    Silia Member Posts: 265
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    mags - Will be thinking of you tomorrow.  Best of luck with your surgery.

    KatheW - are you saying that you're more afraid this time than the last time? I haven't gone through it yet but would have guessed that I'd be less scared after having gone through it once... 

    Tomorrow I should find out my surgery date.  I don't feel prepared mentally and physically but together we'll all get there.  This site consistently gives me much needed support.  Sending hugs to all.

  • Lady-di
    Lady-di Member Posts: 74
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    Hi, this is my first post. I'm having mx on my right breast on sept 6. I was originally suppose to get a lumpectomy but a MRI discovered 3 more tumors which have had a biopsy but no results yet. I just learn about these other spots on thurs so I'm still trying to get used to the idea of having a mx. I have a family history of breast cancer so it seems like the only thing to do. I'm going to probably have recon later after I've had a chance to heal. It has been very helpful to read your posts and they are helping me to be prepared.

  • KatheW
    KatheW Member Posts: 28
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    Silia - Where in S Jersey are you? I lived in Cherry Hill 24 years ago and got married in Haddonfield!

    To be honest, what is freaking me out the most about the next surgery is that I am still in pain from the last one and the one before that. I don't want to scare anyone; there is NO reason to assume you will have the same results as me.

    For me, the node removel was the most traumatic. I had 14 nodes removed; a T1 dissection, so not even half of them! After 5 weeks of PT, I felt a whole lot better and, by the time I was done with chemo, my arm didn't hurt at all. Then I had the mastectomy and TE. I think the sent my arm back into shock. More PT set things better, but then along came rads. Now my arm is really aching, and the TE is so tight in my chest it hurts to take a deep breath.

    I do need to keep things in perspective here. There is hope for pain relief after the TE is out. My fingers are crossed! But I am just not looking forward to having 2 aching arms, 5 or 6 drains, and a sore abdomen to boot.

    I am thinking about renting a recliner to sleep in. Anyone else doing this? I wish someone would start a BC recliner exchange!

    Kathe

  • Dukes_Up
    Dukes_Up Member Posts: 112
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    Good Evening Ladies~

    Sorry I haven't posted for a few days.  I've been trying to enjoy the very last bit of summer with my 11 year old son before sending him back to school on 9/7.  I found myself spending a bit too much time online so I'm trying to do the computer "moderation" thing now :)

    Update:  I'm meeting with my BS tomorrow morning.  Will post my surgery date asap! 

    Sarah~  Sorry I'm just now responding to your question about stress.  My outlet has always been physical exercise and well, just the thought of restricting exercise while recuperating has me very ummmm... STRESSED!   I really dislike the thought of becoming deconditioned.   It seems that recovery times are all over the board. 

    Kathe~ Hello and Welcome :)  You've been through so much already-- I have no doubt that you'll get through this next surgery as smoothly as possible. 

    Off to bed... good night All. 

     ~AJ 

       

  • Oh Kathe, sounds like you've been thru the wringer . . . so much for one body to take - it might take a while, but it does sound like you'll get relief - it's a good sign that you got some in between assaults - bodes well for the future! Hang in there. I have a friend who did bilateral DIEP and she is SO happy w/the results. It's just a lot.

    Re recliners - we don't have one and I'm going to tough it out with lots of pillows, but I read again and again that women LOVE the recliner post-surgery. I say if you can swing it, rent one! You sure do deserve it. 

  • momma_of_3
    momma_of_3 Member Posts: 6
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    Good luck to you all!! Waiting is the worst!!! I am from the May group and thought I would stop by :-) I had bmx w/ TE's. The surgery was not bad at all! Some days were worse than others. I totally tripped out before my injections for my SNB but with a little numbing cream for the boob and some numbing pills for my head I did just fine! I was given a cami for my drains...hated it!! Never wore it, I preferred Danskin jackets from walmart with the pockets on the inside! Cheaper too!!! Also bought button top jammies from Victoria's Secret. Washed my hair...by myself post op day 1. I had an ugly pony , but did it myself. Didn't raise my arms for 2 weeks. In the shower I took a hanger (put it on the curtain rod) and tied my drains to it with a ribbon... Hated them around my neck. One more thing, lots of pillows for the car ride home and the bed/ couch!! Good luck to you all!!

  • MargieC
    MargieC Member Posts: 302
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    diana123 --  welcome to the group...  sorry you have to join us, but we are all here for each other.

    KatheW --  sorry to hear what you have been going through...  I am sending good thoughts your way that it all get better from here.

    momma of 3 --  thanks for stopping by and letting us know your experience.  It helps to hear how others have done.  As you know you fear what you dont know.

    Have a good Tues everyone......

  • olgah34
    olgah34 Member Posts: 300
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    Hello, ladies!

    They scheduled me double mastectomy with reconsruction on September1. It will be my third operation since the diagnosis, no chemo yet. They did me 2 lumpectomies, but found DSIC and cancer cells in tissue, so they don't want to risk.I already have port in my chest, which is pretty annoying and sore.I am worrying about drains, my plastic surgeon told me it will hurt to remove it. I also always sick after , and nausea medicine does not work well...HER2 is very agressive,and I have no idea, is it too late for the operation and chemo? According to surgery coordinator, oncologist told her it is ok, but I stii worry...

  • MargieC
    MargieC Member Posts: 302
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    olhah34 --  sorry you have to join our group.  Wow you have already been through a lot.  I am also HER2+ my Dr decided to do chemo first - which I have completed 5 of 6.  Chemo 6 is Aug 29 and then I have Sept to rest up before surgery Oct 4.  My Dr has me on Herceptin every three weeks for a year.  Herceptn flights those loose HER2 cells.  I know when you hear HER2+ it is scary since it is a more aggressive type of cancer but Herceptin is a fantastic drug.  is your Dr going to start you on Herceptin?

  • olgah34
    olgah34 Member Posts: 300
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    Yes, Margie, he does, but together and after chemo... I have to get 6 heavy chemo and then herceptin for a year, and then hormones for a long, long time...Se, I am 53 , but still premenopausal, so my estrogens feed cancer cells...First they were talking about just lumpectomy and radiation, then everything changed...I am from NC as well, I live in Raleigh...

  • Lady-di
    Lady-di Member Posts: 74
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    Hi ladies and thanks Margie for the welcome. It brought tears to my eyes.

    Silia-did you get your date? It felt like I waited forever for it and now it's too soon.



    About the node removal-my bs never said how many he was going to remove. Is there a standard amount?

  • MargieC
    MargieC Member Posts: 302
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    olgah34 --  I have been getting my herceptin with my chemo (5 of 6 completed) and then will continue on herceptin alone for another 8 months.  UGH.  the going in every 3 weeks for an IV for a year is a pain, but I'll do it to get this stuff out of me :)

  • Hi Diana - if they're doing a sentinel node biopsy, they'll inject you with some radioactive tracer and then take out the sentinel node(s) - usually a small number, I had 3 removed. They'll send those right off to pathology to see if there are any cancerous cells in those, then if there aren't, they'll stop there and sew you up. If there are, they'll excise more - can be anywhere from a few more to the entire lot of them, depending on your specific situation. 

    Do you know for certain that you're going to have a SNB? My guys don't do them for DCIS - I had it for my first breast cancer, which was very aggressive and invasive. This time around I'm told I'll have none b/c it's DCIS. Different docs do different things - have seen women w/DCIS getting SNBs, for sure. 

  • Lady-di
    Lady-di Member Posts: 74
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    Hi Sarah,

    Sorry to hear that you are going thru this again. Thanks for your reply and yes I have to have SNB. I have to go to hospital at 8am to get injected then go back for a 130 surgery. Having an UMX When I was first diagnosed they said it was DCIS but since then an MRI has found 3more lumps. Have had biopsy but no results for the other lumps yet. Not sure if they will change my diagnosis once they test they cancer. If it's spread would that make it ICD?. Things can change to quickly, one day I'm having a lumpectomy and the next it's a mastectomy.

    The BS was going to do the snb even when we had the lump scheduled. I live in Canada- not sure if they treat dcis a little different or if it's just my situation.

  • KatheW
    KatheW Member Posts: 28
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    Sarah - Really sorry you are on a second round with BC, but good to know it was found while still DCIS. I applaud your radiologist! I have been anticipating my surgery all summer, too. The waiting has been stressful. Fortunately, my 16 yr old daughter wanted to see some colleges, and we did visit several. That was nicely distracting. School starts next week here, too, so no more pleasant distractions...just anxiety.

    Even though I am having a PMX, I am thinking of requesting an SNB. THis surgery is all about peace of mind after all. If the pathologist finds something unexpected, like he did after my last mastectomy, I would know the extent of the disease. If he finds nothing, then no harm done (or almost no harm!). Not sure if insurance will go along.

    Anyone have experience with this?

  • Dukes_Up
    Dukes_Up Member Posts: 112
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    Hi Kathe~

    RE: SNB--   I'm sure insurances vary, but mine does not cover SNB without a formal bc diagnosis.  My thinking was that I would rather know right away should there be any nodal involvement but apparently it is not deemed to be "medically necessary" and is not covered as a result.  Timely question as I just dealt with this issue yesterday at my BS appointment. 

    ~AJ

    PS- I was just informed that my surgery may be pushed out to October (perectly understandable as I have not yet been given a formal bc diagnosis.  I'd love to continue on with this group though as the date is not certain. 

  • MargieC
    MargieC Member Posts: 302
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    Hi AJ  --  my surgery was pushed back to Oct too.  I am going to stay on this thread as you should.

    All...  A friend put this link on my carring bridge site and it helped me get out of the down mood I was in (I am 5 days out from my last chemo treatment and I have that excited but scared feeling).

      http://www.cmt.com/videos/martina-mcbride/682633/im-gonna-love-you-through-it.jhtml  

    Have a good Wed everyone...

    Margie

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,286
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    Hi ladies,

    Popping in here to share some great info on the main Breastcancer.org site: Mastectomy: What to Expect.

    Hope you find this helpful!

    --The Mods

  • Dukes_Up
    Dukes_Up Member Posts: 112
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    Thank you so much, Moderators!  :)

  • odie16
    odie16 Member Posts: 1,415
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    Hi all...

    I am 40 yrs old, married to a man determined to keep me laughing through this process and new to the bc world. Diagnosed 06/27 and scheduled for BMX with T/E on 09/13... doing the sentinal lymph node testing the day before though my mri indicates normal lymph nodes. Would love to fast forward 6 months but guess i will just put on the big girl panties & deal....

    Have been using humor to get by and have not been overly emotional either. Funny how many people tell me i should be more upset but I really can't complain. Have great family, good friends, wonderful bs, short term disability & health insurance...And perky boobs soon :) Just hoping pathology doesn't throw any big curves..... 

  • dancetrancer
    dancetrancer Member Posts: 2,461
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    Hello all...joining the group...

    I am having a BMX on Sept 20th with immediate recon (microfat grafting).   Also having a SNB on the L side (R side MX is prophylactic).  My specialist for the fat grafting is in Miami, so my husband and I are flying down there and staying 11 days.  I'm busy working on preparing for the BMX but also adding travel planning on top of it.  It's all good, though - just feeling really lucky to be able to do this procedure.   

    I'm pretty scared about the BMX as well, but the posts on here from those who have been through it before are very comforting.  Thanks all.  

  • stjude10
    stjude10 Member Posts: 230
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    My MX is scheduled for Sept. 7th. I will have the TE inserted at that time as well as the SNB. My BRCA test was negative, so I've decided to only do the one side, but will need some work on the other to look even. Starting to get a bit nervous, and this sight is so helpful. Would not even know how to prepare on my own. My surgeon said I would meet w/oncologist after this to determine treatment. I know I will start on the tamox. Wondering if that's usual protocol to have surgery first.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 5,051
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    Hi Lori, My surgery is on 9/7 too. I am having a bmx with immediate implant reconstruction, although the right side is prophylactic. I don't know if it usual protocol as each woman is different with respect to her bc but many have surgery as the first step in their treatment. One thing that I have learned is that although we may all have bc, our treatments can be very different depending on any number of factors. I am getting a bit nervous too! Good luck to you. Caryn

  • stjude10
    stjude10 Member Posts: 230
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    Odie16

    I thought I was weird until I read your post. It's sooo much like me and my family. My daughter was DX with leukemia last year, and I feel as though we've been to hell and back and lived to talk about it. I tend to take things w/a grain of salt now. I get those looks from people that I'm not depressing enough for them, but I say whatever works for you! I was DX on my b-day (yay me) and when my husband and I came home one of my kids (the one who loves Larry the Cable Guy) was waiting at the door. I told him what was going on. He asked how I would look when they removed one side w/the other one being so big. As I told him I'd be getting a new one, I could see his wheels spinning. His response to me was "isn't that like puting a chandelier in a haunted house?" That sure eased the moment. My family then went to Hooters for dinner, as I told my kids I was boob shopping! BTW, they are all teenagers, and ornery!

  • stjude10
    stjude10 Member Posts: 230
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    Thanks Caryn, we'll be surgery sisters! Best of luck with yours as well!!

  • stjude10
    stjude10 Member Posts: 230
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    I am now wondering why nobody told me I could take my fat that I WANT to get rid of and use it for my new breast instead of an implant. I meet w/my surgeon tomorrow and am certainly gonna ask. I've got plenty!

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 5,051
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    odie16- Humor is what gets me through this too. I haven't had major depression, freak outs or anything like that. I do have to be careful about the humor because some people are shocked by my irreverance and can't believe I'm not discussing bc in serious whispers. I have had some boo hoo moments but for me, that's simply not helpful as a coping mechanism. -Caryn

  • odie16
    odie16 Member Posts: 1,415
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    st jude10/Lori,

    You crack me up! I had a mini moment when diagnosed but after my dh pointed out that I was getting a glorified boob job at the perfect age, I realized he was absolutely right!  Lost my mother to early Alzheimers two years ago so when they told me my bc was curable, I made the decision to kick butt & take names...lol  

    When I went to the PS, my DH went with me. I told the PS his job was to pick the replacements and he is a perfectionist so no pressure... Luckily my PS has a great sense of humor too and was fabulous with us..

    I too am a bit nervous as the surgery date approaches but really am mostly anxious about the treatment direction after. I know I will need Tamoxifen, no radiation but chemo is unknown...

    Will send positive thoughts your way for you and Caryn on 09/07.

    Karen