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Lumpectomy Lounge....let's talk!

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  • elkatho
    elkatho Member Posts: 68
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    My sleepy eyes are finally gone. I was home from my surgery at 1pm and slept most of the day (between snacking) I got light headed during the placements of the wire. Thought I was going to passed out but with my thoughts of everyone here along with my breast coordinator by my side I made it through. I have to say the actual placement of the wires was not bad...did not feel much past some pressure and a little stinging when they numbed the area. I guess everything just caught up with.....no food, stress, etc. No worries if you will have this procedure in the future it is very do able. Shots around the nipple stung but only for a few seconds each...plus they sprayed lidocaine first. BS removed 1 node and should have the results Tuesday.



    Bridethd...sending you thoughts of peace during your waiting.

  • Lgfoster
    Lgfoster Member Posts: 5
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    Having my lumpectomy on Tuesday. Also having lymph nodes removed in auxiliary area. Following mammogram had an ultrasound and biopsies of the lump and lymph nodes. Both showed cancer cells,Grade three. Will be having both chemo and radiation. Frightening time but trying to keep a positive frame of mind! Like everyone else hoping the margins will be cancer free. Just hoping to be strong enough to deal with it all.

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
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    Yeah, Elkatho!



    Congrats on your lx...rest and take good care of yourself. Stay on top of your pain meds the first 24-36 hours..most likely you will only need them for sleep and maybe a Tylenol will do the job. Watch out for constipation if you stay on pain meds...prunes.

    Keeping fingers&toes crossed waiting for results on nodes and margins! Sending healing thoughts your way (((hugs)))

    Cindy

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
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    Welcome lgfoster



    Glad you have a plan of attack in place! Try and enjoy these days before lx & snd Tuesday with family and friends...just live as normal as you can and laugh. It is best RX.

    By Friday next week you will realize the clouds have lifted :))). Make sure you have clearly communicated with your BS as to when and how you will receive your results. Some give node and margin results over phone others want you to come into office...know so you dont worry...and no path comes in all at same time so don't think something is wrong because you don't have all at once...waiting is ugh:(. But its part of this ride.

    Try and have an appointment buddy(s) they help take notes and hear for us!

    You are going to be fine and do great Warrior! Sending calming confident thoughts (((hugs)))

    Cindy

  • nyama
    nyama Member Posts: 38
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    Hi everyone --

    After researching and researching, I finally decided to go with a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy, so I guess the Lumpectomy Lounge is the place for me.  :-)

    The waiting has been the hardest part, but now I'm finally scheduled for surgery on April 15.  Can't WAIT to get this behind me!!!!  My SO offered me an option that I haven't seen discussed much (maybe not looking in the right places) and so don't know how many have this experience:  She suggested that I have oncoplastic surgery, a bilateral lift and reduction, at the same time as the lumpectomy and so I decided to do that, as well.  In fact, I saw the PS today so he could take pictures and we could decide on the final size/shape.  He's going to leave my left breast (the one with the cancer/future-lumpectomy) slightly larger so that when the radiation shrinks it down they should be pretty equal.   Or that's the plan, at least.  I'll be going down from about a D to about a B, possibly smallish C, cup size. 

    Has anyone here had any experience with this?  I'm happy to have it all over with at the same time, but was just wondering about recovery time, pain, etc.  I know about the aftercare instructions and so forth but sometimes real experiences differ.   I do know from reading everyone's experiences that it seems a lot harder to do this after the radiation has already happened, so in a way I guess it doesn't really matter if it's more difficult than just a normal lumpectomy--better to get it over with now.  I hope.

    I'm going in Monday morning for a Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging test (to try to make sure there are no other lurking lumps and bumps) and then that's pretty much the last thing I have to do other than waiting yet another week to get this thing out of me.   On the other hand, I think I should  make an effort to savor every moment of this next week since it'll be the last one I'm not dealing with either pain, radiation, or chemicals for a quite a while!

    Radiation will probably start mid-June and I'm hoping to have clear margins and no positive nodes so I can avoid chemotherapy and just have the Arimidex.    We'll see I guess.  That's the hardest part about the waiting, as I'm sure everyone here knows...the unknown future.

    I've learned so much from reading what everyone else has been through.  Thank you all for being here.

  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
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    Hi nyama, welcome to the "lumpies" and hoping someone can answer your question about the reduction at the time of you surgery. I can't answer that since a reduction for me would be about the same as a mastectomy since I am a small b00bed person..lol.

    Waiting is the worst part for sure. If my left shrinks after rads (mine begin on the 22nd) I am in trouble since I am a "barely C cup with padding" now. I guess it will be back to junior high school days stuffing the bra with socks to see how I would look one day when "they grew" which they really never did all  that much..lol

    Hugs and hoping it all goes well for you. It is a week from Monday and that will go fast. Best to you for an uneventful and successful surgery!

  • elkatho
    elkatho Member Posts: 68
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    Morning All 2 day post lx and feeling good. Spending the day crafting ...love it!!



    Lgfoster you will be in my thoughts on Tues.I am returning to work on Ties. Keep us posted. Do something nice for yourself...you deserve it.



    Nyama...I did a lot of soul searching and research before I decided on the lx...I felt so good once I made the decision. I have my follow up visit with my BS on the 15th to discuss my futures treatments. Will be thinking of you.

  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
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    So happy that you are doing well Elkatho! I know that our fear of the unknown is the worst part of this whole thing. Once we decide what to do and begin the process, it does get better! Feel well chica!

  • swim_girl
    swim_girl Member Posts: 10
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    Hi, lumpies! Thought I would jump in and introduce myself. For those of you just starting out, wading through the information, decisions, and waiting is the hardest part. I had my surgery 11 months ago and am happy with how things turned out. Okay, my preference would have been not to have breast cancer at all, but since that wasn't an option, I would make the same decisions again. Other than needing a re-excision to get clean margins, my surgery was fine. I got the green light to go back to swimming and weight lifting 6 weeks after surgery, so it didn't interfere with QOL tooooooo much. 

    april485, I'm barely a B cup, so I can empathize on size concerns. Between surgery and rads my right breast firmed up some and isn't as full on top, but it's only noticeable if I'm topless. I was concerned about being noticeably lopsided in a swim suit, and I don't really think it's an issue. (I also decided that if someone has the inclination to check out the girls when I'm swimming laps at 6 am, they need to find a hobby.)

    The upside of being a little more, ahem, aerodynamic is that it may make rads a little easier. Things are less likely to rub and chaff against each other.

    Elkatho, glad you're doing well.

    Lgfoster, welcome! Hope your surgery goes well.

  • elkatho
    elkatho Member Posts: 68
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    Lgfoster.....good luck tomorrow!!! When you up to it let us know how you are doing.



  • elkatho
    elkatho Member Posts: 68
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    Received results from lx....margins and lymph node negative. Will most likely still rcv chemo as my cancer is Her2 positive. See Dr on the 15th to discuss next treatment......breath and be patient.

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
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    Elkatho- Happy Dancing :)) yippee clear nodes and margins! Focus on healing...enjoy this moment...regain your strength and celebrate! Ya did good. (((Hugs)))





    Lgfoster - were all in your pocket tomorrow! Best Wishes for surgery. Tonight calm confident dreams...you will be fine:)))

    Cindy

  • nyama
    nyama Member Posts: 38
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    elkatho, so happy to hear about the clear lymph node and margins!  

    Sending positive thoughts for you for your surgery tomorrow, Lgfoster.  

  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
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    Elkatho, congrats on clear margins!

    Lgfoster, we are there with you tomorrow and you will do great!

    swimgirl. lol on more "aerodynamic" LOVE IT!

  • Pattysmiles
    Pattysmiles Member Posts: 147
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    Nayama,

    I had my lumpectomy last month (did you know it is also called a partial masectomy!-my primary scared the heck outed me when she used that term, then I looked into it!)



    Anyhow, my plastic surgeon came in after the breast surgeon and she did a reduction in my good breast and did a lift for both. It was a real plus after all this stuff. Yes, she was supposed to leave the "bad" breast bigger, to me it doesn't look bigger! But now my breast surgeon needs to go back for better margins, so I am now going to look into a masectomy on that side. I would feel more comfortable (took a lot of thought on that), so now I don't have to worry about the bad ones size as it will be redone. Additionally, my breast surgeon said the radiologist does NOT want to do radiation if I had a masectomy. Apparently some people are not offered that option and must do radiation.



    It sure is a roller coaster.



    For those having surgery for the SNB (sentinel node biopsy) my nurses gave me an ice pack to keep on my nipple/aureole prior to the needle stuff. No numbing agent as the ice pack did the trick. I think I was holding the ice on myself for 5-10 minutes.



    My prayers are with all of you.

    Pat

  • Mrs-T
    Mrs-T Member Posts: 1
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    This will be my second round of breast cancer. A new cancer in the other breast. The only difference is this one is her2 positive. After my lumpectomy I will need herceptin. Does anyone know the side effects?

  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
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    Mrs-T, my understanding is that Herceptin has been an important new drug (not so new anymore) in BC tx. So, since I am not having chemo as I am stage 0, I can't really expound on that. There are probably numerous threads on herceptin that you can join in on and find out more. Best of luck on your second surgery. So sorry you have a new primary. So unfair. You already had your share..dang, this crap is so nasty and mean.

    Hugs to all!

  • debbiema
    debbiema Member Posts: 8
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    Having my lumpectomy with sentinel lymph node biopsy too on Thursday 4/18!  I am scared and nervous.  Every ache and pain I feel, I fear it is spreading.  Had bloodwork and chest xray 2 weeks ago and all was okay, but I think the stress of this is causing me pains in my back.  Did anyone go through this?  Feeling pain that was completely unrelated to the breast cancer?  Also, any advice or suggestions on recovering from the lumpectomy?  How long was the recovery?

  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
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    Hi debbiema, the lumpectomy itself was not too bad. I had my last one on a Monday and went back to work on Thursday. I really could have gone back on Tuesday, but I gave it another day. It was only painful for about 24 hours or so and then just mildly uncomfortable. I iced it down a lot and that helped along with some percocet. Some people don't even need the drug and take tylenol or advil only, but I am not one of them.

    As for the aches and pains, that is normal too. Your senses are heightened due to the diagnosis and every ache and pain you never paid attention to is "mets" in our mind. Not the case generally! Best to you and will be thinking of you on the 18th!

  • rivercottagegal
    rivercottagegal Member Posts: 13
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    Mrs T- you might want to add to your profile so anyone wanting to help can see if diagnosis/treatment is similar to yours...sometimes that helps. There is a group on here named TRIPLE POSITIVE GROUP that may help with your Herceptin questions as they are all ER+ PR+ and HER2 positive. Definitely lots on there about maybe heart troubles being POSSIBLE down the road with Herceptin...but it's supposedly the best in the arsenal to fight HER2! Lots of reputable cancer sites have tons of info for you to Google too. Am so very sorry to hear this is your second BC! How long ago was first?? Hang in there...these boards can be VERY helpful and DEFINITELY supportive!



    Debbiema...I had similar experience with lumpectomy as did April...lots less painful than I expected! Don't stress out about SNB but do be aware that the mapping shot they will give you may sting for a few seconds...they should give you a numbing shot first. Ask about the procedure so you know what is going to happen in advance...best to be a girl scout...always prepared! You'll do GREAT! I see by your diagnosis that you may benefit from going to the TRIPLE POSITIVE GROUP also.

  • elkatho
    elkatho Member Posts: 68
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    Deblemma. I understand how you are feeling and I bet many others on this board do also. You become super sensitive to every ache and pain. My shoulders and back hurt....I sit at a desk with bad posture all day...of course after dx jumped to other conclusions. Met with primary dr reassured me it was stiff muscles. I started a journal and write down different pains along with the time of month I feel these. It helps...makes you take a moment to think about it and you also have a list to discuss with Dr.
    I had my lump with 1 node removed on Thursday April 4th and feel good. I slept most of the afternoon on Thursday, slept a fair amount on Friday. I was tired after surgery but part of that I think wad stress. I went back to work on Tuesday. I have a husband who does the cooking and do not have kids to take of so I can relax in the evening. If possible take some time to relax before surgery also...you deserve it. Keep us posted how you are doing.

  • elkatho
    elkatho Member Posts: 68
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    I also recommend the triple positive board..another one I have as my favorites. Tons of info on that board. I will also receive perception. Meet with VS Monday to discuss next treatment.

  • debbiema
    debbiema Member Posts: 8
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    Thanks April845!  Some good advice.  Now I need to heed it!  I'm doing some stretches and hope that will settle my nerves somehow!  Can't wait to get this out of me and see what the next steps are.

  • Lgfoster
    Lgfoster Member Posts: 5
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    Had my surgery and recovering quite well. Better then I thought. Have one drain but think it will come out this week as drainage is down. Will find out about margins and need for further surgery on the 24th. Hopefully not and that I can get on with the next step,chemo. Dreading that ; just hoping not to have too many side effects. Feels good to have the cancer cut out at least!

  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
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    Best of luck with your chemo LGFoster! Glad your lumpie went well. I did not have nodes out so no drains for me but hoping they take yours out soon!

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
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    Hi Lumpies



    Beautiful sunny day:)

    Lgfoster- yippee your lx is done and healing well. Isn't it amazing how just having lx done eases all that mind cloud you've been under for weeks! Drain out soon:) crossing fingers&toes for those clear margins. Will be in your pocket as you move forward in tx (((squeeze)))

    MrsT- sorry that you're other girl needs a lx and herceptin. Don't understand how one can be negative and the other positive opposite boobs attract:(. Lets us know when.

    Debbiema- waiting is the hardest:(( but once you have lx the cloud will lift. You will feel so much better ... May need pain meds the first24-36 hours after that maybe Tylenol at night. Find a good extra large sports bra...Walmart danskin now 2X larger front zip $10 good support then a genie bra soft wear after stitches come out. I still sleep in mine..my lx incision on top of chest does not like to sag at all so bra and boob sock for girl.
    You will do fine...until Thursday pamper yourself laugh and just focus on today! Spe d time with those that make your heart and soul smile:)))

    April- just love your wisdom and just the right words to make to help us in this crazy journey!



    Time to play & heal Lumpies (((hugs)))!

    Cindy

  • elkatho
    elkatho Member Posts: 68
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    Lgfoster..good to hear all went well with lx. Praying for clean margins. You and I'may start chemo around the same time.



    Nyama...peaceful wishes for your surgery. Keep us posted.

  • nyama
    nyama Member Posts: 38
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    Thanks for the good wishes, elkatho.  Surgery's tomorrow and I'm suddenly getting very nervous.  Ugh.  I'll be so happy to get it over with, though!  Like everyone, hoping for clean margins and a negative sentinel node.    

    Sending out good thoughts to everyone.  See you on the other side of this phase of the journey!

    Now back to finishing up all those chores I know I won't or can't do for the next couple of weeks!  Maybe it'll burn off this nervous, anxious energy.

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
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    Nayama - take a big breathe ...you will be fine.

    Sending calming confident thoughts for a peaceful nights sleep and a successful lx...clear nodes & clear margins. Tomorrow at this time the cancer will be gone and you feel relief!

    And we are all in your pockets ...breathe warrior!

    (((Hugs)))

    Cindy

  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
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    Hoping your surgery goes well today Nyama! We are in your pocket!