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Lumpectomy Lounge....let's talk!

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  • encyclias
    encyclias Member Posts: 61
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    I was so glad to find the Lumpectomy lounge.  It came just in time for when I was preparing for my surgery last Monday. I noticed right away that breast cancer treatments can vary tremendously depending on the patient.  So far, I hope I have done right with mine.  I am 64, no family history of cancer.

    It all started with the sudden appearance of two big hard lumps back in Oct, one 2.5cm the other 2.0cm+.   At first I thought that they were deep bruises since I was doing a lot of yard work and caring for an SO who was in a wheelchair at the time.  But as soon as my doctor saw them, off for a mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy, PET scan, and cath-port installation (have to be the ugliest things in the world, looks like a huge boil on my chest, tho necessary).

    I was promised no nausea, and my onc made good on that.  So except for the horrible fatigue, I have no chemo complaints.  Everyone was great.  By the last chemo cycle, one lump had disappeared and the other was just a ghost of itself and a palpable lymph node was no longer felt.  So as far as I know, my lumpectomy was basically just a clean-up job.  The surgeon did do a dissection of the SL as well.  Surgery was easy, no real pain afterward, itchy stitches.

    Now I am sitting on pins and needles waiting for the pathology report.  I see my surgeon tomorrow and am, to say the least, a bit anxious about the results.

    I'd like to add my prayers to all for successful treatment.  I learned that it's not always as bad as we think it is going to me. 

    (Forgot to check off 'public')

    DX: 10/5/2012, IDC, 5.0cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-
    Chemo:  10/16/2012 Adriamycin, Cytoxan
    Surgery:  4/08/2013 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
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    Encyclias - Welcome! so glad you have found us and we can share in this journey! Yea, chemo reduced your T sizes and lx went well:)

    Will keep fingers&toes crossed for clear nodes&margins! Yes it is important to stay focus on today and gratefulness for today. It is hard not to run out ahead of ourselves, but I pray you will be able to just linger here today with us and trust that you will receive the best.

    Sending calming peaceful thoughts to you (((hugs))) we'll be appt buds in your pocket:)

    Cindy

  • encyclias
    encyclias Member Posts: 61
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    Thank you so much, Cindy.  I need all the support I can get.  Yesterday's apointment got cancelled since my surgeon had a trauma call.  So, I am still waiting until this afternoon to get the word.  All I seem to do since the cancer was discovered in Oct is wait and wait.  It gets discouraging.

    Again, thank you for standing by. 

    Carol

  • nyama
    nyama Member Posts: 38
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    Thanks everyone for all your kind words of support.  I actually had a great stay at the hosptial--everyone was so, so nice.  Surgery was Monday and I got to come home yesterday.   Despite the fact that they did the bilateral oncoplasty/reduction in addition to the lumpectomy, I'm not feeling too bad.  Already off the pain pills and just taking tylenol.    Everything was easier than I'd expected and both the wire localization and node injection before surgery were a breeze--I'd anticipated it being much worse.    

    While I don't know yet what the final path report is, of the frozen sections they did of the sentinel nodes in the OR, there was no cancer.   (Yay!) So.  Waiting on the final report plus the outcome of the oncotype dx test to figure out if I have to do chemo, but so far things are looking good.

    I'm so extremely happy to have this part of the journey behind me.   Waiting to get the cancer out is beyond stressful--now it's gone (forever, I hope!)

    Good luck with your appointment, encyclias!  Hope the word is good!

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
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    Nyama - yippee! Glad all went well and you are home recouping and healing. Yes, there is this major relief after surgery...thankful c is gone:). Will keep finger&toes crossed for clear margins & nodes. Speedy healing (((hugs)))



    Encyclias - sending calming thoughts as you wait for your path results! Waiting is te scourge of BC:(. Thankful for today & trusting you will have your answers soon :))



    It's hump day! Hope y'all are planning weekend fun!

    Cindy

  • elkatho
    elkatho Member Posts: 68
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    Encylias.....the delays are tough...I am with you waiting and hoping for the best results for you. So much of the journey completed.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with chemo.



    Nyama...glad to hear you are doing so well!! Keep up the good work:))

  • encyclias
    encyclias Member Posts: 61
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    Thanks so much for all the support Cindy, elkatho and nyama.

    I walked into the surgeon's office with dread, took my blouse off and waited.  He told me everything he did during the surgery and then started to read from the pathologist's report on my two former lumps and lymph nodes.  Finally got to the punch line:

    "EVERYTHING WAS NEGATIVE" !!!  I am still in shock, good shock, still will need radiation just to be sure.

    The first lump ("Thelma") revealed no residual lump at all (it had been 2.5cm), just some fat necrosis where the lump had been and a bit of fibrosis.  The second lump ("louise") which had been 2cm, was found to have about 3mm of dead cancer sludge and was 8mm from the nearest margin.  The two axillary lymph nodes which had been positive before were now negative for metatastic cancer.

    Three cheers for A/C chemo!

    What I find interesting is that I am not bouncing around with joy.  My emotions still have the same dullness which I have been riding with since my diagnosis in early Oct.  Maybe this has been prayed for for so long that I can't believe it's true.  Maybe I am afraid to believe it is true.  I guess I am going to have to get used to this new outlook.  Strange.  Any ideas? 

    Thanks all.  I really needed that extra boost to get over the top.  Hope it lasts.

    Carol 

  • elkatho
    elkatho Member Posts: 68
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    Encylias...Well I m jumping around for you!!!! Great news. You have been through a lot .... savor the moment(s) to take it all in.



  • LaurieParr
    LaurieParr Member Posts: 214
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    Hello ladies,

    My name is Laurie and I found out today that I am having a Lumpectomy ( my cancer is in the top of the breast in line with the armpit) with sentinal lymph node dis at the end of May. My BS said that I would be receiving three shots of radiation in the nipple area on the day of the surgery. He also said something about a nuclear test and a wire that will be inserted? Also, he said I may go on Arimidex or Tamoxifen after.

    I am of course new to all of this and felt that I had educated myself pretty well, but I am not sure of the above things. I would be so appreciative to any of you that can give me some feedback or advice.  Also, I am a hairstylist and so the biopsy alone bothered me for over two weeks.  I worked, but it was very uncomfortable and I developed a 6 cm hemotoma that will be removed as well.  I am concerned about my recovery time due to the use of my arms.  Again, anyone that can share their experience with me would be great.

    I am so happy to have found this thread.

    Love and light,

    Laurie

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
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    Yippee Encylias! Happy Dancing for you:))

    It has been a long haul for you ...understand how waiting for results disappointments waiting all the tx you've been through body and mind are on overload and self protection mode.

    Understand...I cried for a day when I got the all clear..it was such a relief...I was overwhelmed that I finall had good news.

    Yippe Thelma and Lousie have bit the dust! You've have a great medical team guided by your prayers. TYG:)

    (((Hugs)))

    Cindy

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
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    Welcome LaurieParr - glad that you have found our lounge, but so sorry that you must join us. Breastcancer.org is the best site...stay here for your info. Great lists of questions to ask your BS and excellent step by step of each procedure.

    My lumpie is from 10:30 to 2:30 across the top of my breast. Tumor was 9cm behind nipple near chest wall so rads needed. I think one of the best books I read prior to lx was the breast cancer husband it's on this sites recommended book list...even if no spouse great info and good to help appointment buddies know how to support.

    Prior to lx:

    Walmart Danskin Now front zip sports bra 2X larger to wear after lx

    2-3 front zip or button tops 1-2X larger for comfort

    Front button or very easy on pjs

    1-2 100% cotton cami no shelf to wear later...won't rub on incisions

    Stool softener Pain med beware...you will only need the first 24-36 hours if that

    Party or family time day or days before lx so you are full love and laughter

    Lx day wire localization will be a breeze. Sitting in a chair. Compression like mammo and dr will place guide wire to tumor chip to help surgeon...will use a dye to color tissue so wear pants you don't care about if stained. Then they will numb your nipple with cream and send you on to nuclear med where you will receive 3-4 shots of blue dye that are like tiny fast bee stings then on to surgery center for your day surgery...if you need ask for a hit of something to take the edge off and something for nausea if you aren't sure how you respond to anesthesia ...next you know you are going home...very little discomfort...you will feel good very quickly and the pressure and tension will be gone and you will realize you've gone over 24 hours without thinking about cancer! Yeah :)

    Make sure that you discuss with BS when and how you will receive info on margins and nodes...some have you call 4 days later and others have you come into office a week after surgery...so ask so you are not worried. Path report comes in parts so don't panic...if its not all there ...it is part of the waiting that is cancer.

    Discuss with BS use of your arms. I babied my left arm for at least 2 weeks no over head...ask!

    Again so sorry about your dx, but inform yourself...select a great team... And stay focus on today! Sending calming confident thoughts (((hugs)))

    Cindy



  • LaurieParr
    LaurieParr Member Posts: 214
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    Dear Cindy,

    Oh my gosh..I just read your reply to my post. I am SO touched that you would respond in detail. It was EXACTLY what I was needing. I am such planner and knowing the details will enable me to sleep so much better tonight.

    I am so glad to have found fellow Lumpies. Finding breastcancer.org has been such a Godsend to me. I feel supported and cared for. It is so amazing to connect with women who are going through the same thing.  People mean well, but typically they don't know what to say or do. BC women KNOW instinctively what each other needs.  I am so grateful.

    I will take your advice on the book. I am really looking forward to reading it. I can tell you that my husband (although I know the book doesn't mean "husband" literally) has had a very hard time with my dx.  He went into total denial (even though I told him I knew it wasn't a death sentence) and he kind of shut down. He is better now, but seems to downplay everything. It hurts and annoys me.  He will be great AFTER the surgery because he will feel useful and relieved.

    Thank you again for your love and support. I hope I can be a help to someone in the future.

    XOXOXOX

    Laurie

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
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    Laurie - the book is great! Read and mark what is important to you...then give to your hubby. Mine felt helpless and it was hard to explain just what I needed. He couldn't just fix me.

    I earmarked the pages and gave him a job...he is the official appointment buddy...he reviews all my questions and writes down Drs answers...it helps to have his ears...because my head just goes.......

    Lol your hubby will lol over and over watching everyone check out the girls bs feeling her over and over...love to watch his face.

    Good Night Warrior you will be fine.

    Cindy

  • brooksidevt
    brooksidevt Member Posts: 1,432
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    Hi, Laurie.  I'm sorry to hear you'll be joining us, but as you already know, this is a wonderful resource and guide. 

    Your surgeon, or maybe his nurse, should be able to give you a pretty good idea of how long you will be out; other hairdressers on this site might finetune their opinion.  For me, four days after my lumpectomy, I was very briefly outside chopping ice.  The lumpectomies (I had a second one for a benign lesion), on the same side as the shovel I was using, bothered me not at all.  The sentinel node incision site bothered me a lot, as it had done since day one, and continued to do so for weeks. The issue was that I could not find a garment that did not have a seam somewhere that irritated the incision.  Should this be an issue for you, perhaps you might be smarter than I was and ask for a dressing you can use just while you're working to protect that area.

    The presurgical injections and wires help your surgeon identify your sentinel nodes and your tumor (you can read more about these procedures on the main site, or through some of these threads).  Lots of us here found them to be no big deal.  Most (but not all) radiologists use lidocaine as a matter of course, so I'd just suggest that you let them know (as I did) that you would like that injection.

    Oh, and as you use your arm a lot, you probably want your surgeon to refer you right away to a lymphodema therapist who can give you guidance as to how to avoid any problems through overuse.

  • debbiema
    debbiema Member Posts: 8
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    Had my lumpectomy on 4/18 and I feel amazingly well. I keep waiting for the worst pain, but it hasn't come yet!  I guess that's a good thing!  Doctor seemed optimistic and said he took 5 nodes with the sentinel biopsy and he thinks they will be negative, but we have to wait for final pathology.  I can only hope and pray for no nodes and clear margins!!  Sometimes when I move it sounds like water is in there.  Has anyone else experienced that?  Thanks in advance for anyone's comments!

  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
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    Debbiema, congrats on getting through your lumpectomy and will be keeping fingers crossed for clear margins and node negative! As for the "water" thing, you most likely have a seroma (I have one too) which gets reabsorbed by your body over time. It is just lots of fluid filled with white cells which rush to injury in some people. If it gets really big or uncomfortable, they can drain it, but mine has stayed stable and has even shrunk some and I had my last surgery on 3/11. Best to you moving forward!

  • nyama
    nyama Member Posts: 38
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    Hi everyone--

    Still feeling well after the lumpectomy and oncoplasty.  Almost no pain at all although this huge bandage wrapped around my chest is driving me crazy and itches sometimes.  I get it off Tuesday, thank goodness!  I can't wait to see what "the girls" look like now...smaller and lifted and ready for rads, lol.

    But in more important news--got the pathology reports back.  Clean margins and clear nodes.  Yippee!  Still waiting on the oncotype results for the final word on whether or not I have to have chemo but so far, so good!

    Hi LaurieParr!  As you already kinow, you came to the right place.  Hope all goes well for you.  I was scared to death to have the guided wire and pre-surgical nipple injections--I'd read a couple of bad stories. Honestly, though, it was a breeze.  I asked for a double dose of lidocaine for the wire insertion, and probably the lidocine injection hurt worse than the wire insertion, and that was nothing.  Barely felt the nipple injection at all.  Speaking from very recent experience, you'll feel SO good when this is behind you.  Just knowing that it's OUT!  What a relief!!

    So glad for your NEGATIVE, encyclias!  And glad to hear your lumpectomy went well, debbiema!  

  • LaurieParr
    LaurieParr Member Posts: 214
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    Thank you all so very much ladies! You have even answered questions I didn't even ask yet. You are all amazing. Thank you! I'm so glad to hear that the recent Lumpectomies went well! We are all cheering for you and each other.



    Thank you again for easing my mind on future procedures. :)



    Love and blessings,

    Laurie

  • LaurieParr
    LaurieParr Member Posts: 214
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    Brooksidevt, Nyama, Cindy, and RMlulu,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with me! What a relief to hear how it will go. Your input is priceless to me and my family.



    I downloaded "The Breast Cancer Husband" last night and it is wonderful! I asked my husband to read the first few pages. He did and then handed it back. I said, " Don't you want to read more?" He just looked at me. I said, " Honey, this affects you too and I want to make sure that your feelings are being understood and met. ". He got teary eyed and said, "This isn't about me. All I want is for you to get well. That's all." I hugged him and said that it WAS about him too.



    I decided that I am going to read the book for myself so maybe I can help him in some way. I want to be the best "Breast Cancer Wife" that I can.



    Thank you all for everything. I hope your day is as wonderful as all of you.



    God bless,

    Laurie

  • debbiema
    debbiema Member Posts: 8
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    Thanks April845!  appreciate your help! Keeping fingers and toes crossed for no nodes and clean margins!  Gonna be a long few days.

  • LaurieParr
    LaurieParr Member Posts: 214
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    Hi my friends,



    Well, it's been one month since my DX and absence of my HRT. I still have not gotten any answers about help for the symptoms of menopause. I have no ovaries and was told due to the ER+/PR+ I can never have any estrogen or progesterone in any form again.



    Do any of you Lumpies have any advice or experience with what might help with the hot flashes and depression?



    Blessings,



    Laurie

  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
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    LaurieParr, I have heard that some docs prescribe Effexor for this? I could be wrong. I am post meno and have been for 7 years so I already was used to this (not fun for sure) and never took HRT but I still have all of my pieces and parts in there so I would not know how you are feeling. I guess your Medical Onc is the only one who can tell you what you can do to help it. Call them first. Hugs and best to you.

  • auntienance
    auntienance Member Posts: 3,872
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    I am taking effexor for hot flashes. It has been a life saver for me.

  • LaurieParr
    LaurieParr Member Posts: 214
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    Thank you April and Auntienance,

    Yes, Effexor is what I have heard as well. I was put on it for depression years ago and hated it. I swore I would never take another anit-depressant ever again. Of course, now THIS is a different situation.  Hmmmm...I guess I will have to see just how much I can stand with the hot flashes sans meds.

    Your feedback is so helpful to me. Thank you my ladies.....

    Love and light to you all.

    XOXOXO

    Laurie

  • swim_girl
    swim_girl Member Posts: 10
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    LaurieParr, I have a friend who is on Tamoxifen and taking Gabapentin for hot flashes. I don't know much about it, but drugs.com says it is an anti-epileptic medication, so I'm guessing it's pretty strong.

    I wanted to avoid Effexor as well and have been going to acpuncture for side effects. I've also cut back significantly on alcohol and sugar and am trying to increase how much exercise I get.

  • slv58
    slv58 Member Posts: 486
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    I'm on gabapentin, but for SE with docetaxol-bad thigh bone pain. To be honest, it does nothing for pain, but makes me sleepy. I have noticed diminished hot flashes while on it, but they never really bothered me.

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
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    Good Morning Lumpies!



    Debbiema - congrats on your lx! Glad everything went well :). Keeping those fingers&toes crossed for clear margins and nodes! Savor the moments ...sending calm healing thoughts your way:)))



    LaurieParr - glad you are reading the book...it was very helpful for me. I'm very visual and kinetic so I took a ruler and marked out size of my T and then colored the required margins and then set it out where I could see it with 'my God is bigger than'. Really reinforced for me how small ... in perspective.

    I've found exercise, layers, de stressing, and setting priorities 'just say no' helped me with hot flashes...and laughter. Keep the house like an iceberg helps too! Nothing worst than everyone asking if you ok are the conference table as you flash...and can't get up because of the sweat imprint on the leather chair...oh my:(. Made it without meds and everyone is still alive...

    So ask your MO and keep asking until you have the right meds...

    Nyama - yippee your another day post lx and healing. Enjoy this time and be good to yourself. Have some fun and build up your strength. Make it a no c time. Then when the time comes for the next step you will be strong...best wishes on your path results warrior:)

    Encylias - hope you are resting and healing too! I'm pinching you((())) yes! All the journey has gotten you to this well deserve point:). Well done brave warrior! Yippee:)))

    April - girl your girl is up! You so got this:))) sending you calming soothing healing thoughts! You will race through your week of rads fierce warrior!

    Today is family day:). Excited it refills my tank and its so much fun to have all there...will help me get through the last 6 rads. Counting down. Once rads are done and RO & MO sign off I'm headed home to Horseshoe Bay! Yippee:)))

    (((Hugs)))

    Cindy

  • LaurieParr
    LaurieParr Member Posts: 214
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    Thank you ladies....gathering info!

    Hope your Sunday is wonderful!

    XOXOXO

    Laurie

  • schoolmom
    schoolmom Member Posts: 327
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    Hello to all.  I had my lumpectomy 9/28.  About 1 cm, clear margins and micro mets in one sentinel node.  Then had 4 treatments of chemo from Nov to Jan.  My onco type was 21 but I decided to go for it.  Had 33 sessions of rads from Jan to mid March.  Now I am on Arimidex, hormone blocker.

    Been through it all if anyone wants info.

  • rmlulu
    rmlulu Member Posts: 1,501
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    Hi Schoolmom - welcome and congrats on your fight brave warrior! You threw some mighty hard punches and kicks! How did your skin do during last rounds of rads? How is HT? Any SEs? Any pearls of wisdom for us we lumpies? ((( hugs)))

    Cindy