Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Calling all Massachusetts Sisters

Options
12357

Comments

  • Tappermom383
    Tappermom383 Member Posts: 401
    edited April 2017
    Options

    Thanks, sjacobs. It was caught early, which is a good thing and says a lot for those annual mammos!


    MJ




  • Lindason
    Lindason Member Posts: 3
    edited October 2017
    Options

    I'm new to the MA forum and as a first foray, searched for other patients who have had surgery with the MGH Boston team of Dr. Specht for mastectomy and Dr. Liao for reconstructive.  I had a lumpectomy for DCIS in mid-September at MGH but pathology showed margins not favorable so I am scheduled for an early November mastectomy/reconstructive.  I have my meeting with Dr. Liao later this week.  I am considering a DIEP flap.  I am comforted to see there are those here who have had a favorable experience with Dr Liao and Dr Specht.  I have great admiration for Dr. Specht based on my prior surgery.  Any feedback is welcomed to prepare me with questions to ask about reconstructive in my meeting with Dr. Liao.

  • lovlilynne
    lovlilynne Member Posts: 35
    edited October 2017
    Options

    Hi Lindason, sorry that you have to be here.

    I'm curious - did the pathology change from DCIS after your lumpectomy? Because mastectomy seems very radical for DCIS. I had IDC and had to have a re-excision, but they got the clear margins, and Specht did an amazing job - everyone marvels at my scar (or lack thereof). Based on what I had read here on the boards and my other research, I didn't want to have a mastectomy if I could avoid it. I wanted to keep sensation in my chest. And not have major surgery.

    I'm sure you'll get more answers from those who have had the surgery, but based on my discussions with those in my group that had a mastectomy, here are some questions I'd ask:

    1. How long will I be in the hospital, how long will I not be able to drive, how long will I not be able to shower, how long will I not be able to raise my arms?

    2. How many drains will I have?

    3. Where will the scars be and how long/big?

    4. Do you typically need follow up surgery to obtain the best cosmetic result?

    5. Do you suggest the DIEP over TRAM and why? (assuming that you are choosing DIEP to have natural tissue vs. implants)

    6. What size will I be after surgery?

    But, you are in some of the best hands.


    Lynne

  • Lindason
    Lindason Member Posts: 3
    edited October 2017
    Options

    Thank you so much for your quick response and the recommendations for questions.  Yes, the pathology did change.  I have to admit I was not expecting the call with the news, which she delivered to me on a Saturday morning, though I was very impressed that she contacted me on the weekend since the MGH pathology report had extended to 12 working business days.  To say I was stressed would be an understatement and Dr. Specht and her wonderful assistant Jen and nurse practitioners were caring and comforting as we awaited the report.  We spend part of our year on Nantucket island and other half in California where our son and daughter-in-law live.  We were to head back to CA two days before the unexpected surgery date but alas, it's not to be.  We are hoping to get back to SoCal before Christmas and in time for our first grandchild's birth in early January.  So lots of moving parts in our lives right now!  

  • lovlilynne
    lovlilynne Member Posts: 35
    edited October 2017
    Options

    Oh, wow, congrats on the soon-to-be grandchild!

    Yes, they stressed to me multiple times that it would take up to 2 weeks to get pathology, and it was almost that before I got the report. She also called me. The pathology after the 2nd surgery was much quicker - about 3 days, and two of those were Saturday and Sunday.

    Sounds like you have some good motivation to recover after your surgery, I hope you will have lots of help. My understanding is that you could return to "normal activities" in 3-4 months. Not sure it that includes cuddling infants :-) I'm pretty sure you'd be able to get on a plane by mid-December.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
    edited October 2017
    Options

    Lindason, welcome to Breastcancer.org! We're so sorry you joined us here and decided to post. As you can already see, our Community is a wonderful source of information, support, and advice.

    In addition to the helpful responses you've received, we wanted to share this page with you from the main Breastcancer.org site: Questions to Ask Your Surgeon About Breast Reconstruction.

    Also, there's a very active thread here called DIEP Flap 2017, where you can get lots of answers to your questions and talk with others considering this surgery or who have already navigated it. Feel free to drop in and introduce yourself there, too!

    We hope this helps and wish you the best in your surgery!

    --The Mods

  • Lindason
    Lindason Member Posts: 3
    edited October 2017
    Options

    Thank you, moderators!  I am so grateful to have this resource available so that I can be prepared for what lies ahead and also to realize I am not alone in this battle against breast cancer.

  • 32B
    32B Member Posts: 186
    edited January 2018
    Options

    Hi Lindason and Massachusetts Sisters,

    Thank you for posting. I was diagnosed with DCIS early this month at Mount Auburn, but got a second opinion from Michelle Sprecht at MGH. I am still weighing my options, Mount Auburn vs. MGH, lumpectomy with radiation vs. MX.

    Dr. Sprecht seems to have overwhelming endorsement on this forum. Are you happy with your results?

  • lovlilynne
    lovlilynne Member Posts: 35
    edited January 2018
    Options

    Hi 32B, Sorry to hear about your diagnosis.

    I am very happy. Hardley a scar at all.

    If you can get away with a lumpectomy, I would suggest you go for it.

    If you are thinking MX for some reason, make sure you read lots of posts/results from the forum. I don't know what they tell you before your surgery because I never considered one, but I have since learned what a huge undertaking it is. I have online buddies that are still dealing with issues from their MX and reconstruction 3 years after diagnosis. I haven't heard from anyone that is 100% loving her results.

    Lynne

  • muska
    muska Member Posts: 224
    edited January 2018
    Options

    Hi Lovilynne, I had BMX with reconstruction at MGH and I am pretty happy with the results. Of course it is not your natural breast but it looks great when I am dressed and fine when I am undressed. It would be better to have healthy breasts to begin with and not have to go through this surgery but if you have to the results can be very good. Not perfect but very good.

  • 32B
    32B Member Posts: 186
    edited January 2018
    Options

    Thanks, Muska. I am scheduled for SMX at MGH next Friday and nervous but hopeful.

  • Rjmjt120
    Rjmjt120 Member Posts: 12
    edited April 2018
    Options

    musk, I am havign MBX and recon at MGH on May 9th. Can I ask who your PS and OS surgeons were?

    Thanks

  • muska
    muska Member Posts: 224
    edited April 2018
    Options

    Dr. Michele A. Gadd was my OS and Dr. Amy S. Colwell was my PS. I have only great words to say about both.

    Good luck with your surgeries, ladies!

  • 32B
    32B Member Posts: 186
    edited April 2018
    Options

    I have Michelle Specht for OS and Eric Liao for PS. Also both very good. I wish you the best!

  • Bostoniangal25
    Bostoniangal25 Member Posts: 177
    edited June 2018
    Options

    Hello ladies, I m from the north shore! Anyone local close by? I m 41 ,3 kids, just recently been diagnosed first mammogram and Shazam!!😡hormonal positive ducal carcinoma her2 negative, about 4-5 cm.left breast.

    Going for mastectomy on July 3 .2018 and gel implants on both sides!!!

    Anyone else went to Salem mass general? Any inputs? Thank you and nice to meet you all!!!

  • 32B
    32B Member Posts: 186
    edited June 2018
    Options

    Hi Bostoniangal. I'm sorry you find yourself here. We had a similar diagnosis. Do you know what stage you are?

    I definitely recommend joining the July surgery support group if you haven't already. Mine was and continues to be very helpful.

    Have you gotten a drain pouch yet? That will be really helpful. I used a sweatshirt with inside pockets for mine, but it was February. You probably won't want that much layering on.

  • Tresjoli2
    Tresjoli2 Member Posts: 579
    edited June 2018
    Options

    hi bostonion! I was 40...diagnosed off my first mammo with two small kids. Glad you found us. This board will be invaluable.2 u...hugs!

  • Bostoniangal25
    Bostoniangal25 Member Posts: 177
    edited June 2018
    Options

    Thsnk you so much for responding!!! For me - it’s still feels unreal even registering here !

    I did write in July 2018 surgeries, thsnk ypu for pointing out .

    For some reason I don’t know stage yet, I have similar diagnosis as you, but not stage . Will ask for my next surgeon appointment.

    How many appointments did you have before surgery? Me - had 3 second opinions and going for second appointment with doc I choose and had 1 app. with a plastic surgeon!

    No one mentioned drain pouches yet, I will ask about bra and camisoles.

    I also will go for pre op app at the Salem hospital . I m glad the girls here soo helpful !!!❤️❤️

  • Bostoniangal25
    Bostoniangal25 Member Posts: 177
    edited June 2018
    Options

    Tresjoli2, thsnk you so much!!! I really appreciate your kind words ! ❤️❤️❤️ How do you feel now? I m so glad everything is in the past for ypu!!!. It’s not fair to be so young and with that diagnosis!!!!!!

  • Tresjoli2
    Tresjoli2 Member Posts: 579
    edited June 2018
    Options

    I am three years out, and I feel great. You are in the hardest part.of the process. You know you have cancer, but no idea what the treatment will be. You will feel much better once you have a treatment plan in place. Then you can focus your energy and figure what/how/if to tell your kids. The social worker at the hospital can help you with that. And if your doc offers you ativan... take it. It will help with the anxiety and help u til you have a plan...hugs!

  • 32B
    32B Member Posts: 186
    edited June 2018
    Options

    I don't remember how many appointments I had. I got a second opinion and saw medical oncologist, surgical oncologist, plastic surgeon, I felt like I was showing a different stranger my boobs every other day.

    Tresjoli is right. This is the worst of it. Once you have a plan it'll start to feel better. Let us know your updates when you have them! Do you have a good support system? DM me if you need meals or anything dropped off since we're not too far away.

  • Bostoniangal25
    Bostoniangal25 Member Posts: 177
    edited July 2018
    Options

    32B, thsnk you so much! I have hubby taking week off, teen kids and my mom. Where do you live? We are from Topsfield.. thsnk you for you offer though, my family promised to take care of me!!!

  • Bostoniangal25
    Bostoniangal25 Member Posts: 177
    edited July 2018
    Options

    Tresjoli2, thsnk you so much!!! I love to see us healthy and cancer- free!!!

  • 32B
    32B Member Posts: 186
    edited July 2018
    Options

    I'm in Waltham. That's great that you have a good support system. Take it easy on yourself, especially the first week. Best of luck to you!

  • Bostoniangal25
    Bostoniangal25 Member Posts: 177
    edited July 2018
    Options

    32B, Thsnk you very much!! Hopefully I will get it through smoothly!!!!

  • 32B
    32B Member Posts: 186
    edited July 2018
    Options

    Hi Bostoniangal, how are you feeling?

  • Bostoniangal25
    Bostoniangal25 Member Posts: 177
    edited July 2018
    Options

    hi 32B!!! I m home now had a mastectomy and immediate recon on both breasts and doing good!!! Thank you for asking!!!

    I think I overdone with my Odin meds and on the nite of coming home from hospital ended up at er😅😅😅before going to bed I took pain meds and suddenly felt tight in my chest and couldn’t breeze and heart start beating Ike crazy I freaked out and I would die from a heart stack . My mom and hubby called 911. Ended up at the hospital. They like thought I had a clot in my lung wanted to open surgical bra and do pet scan and did a ekg. Do the whole adventure. At the end we figured it was panick attack and overdose if meds!!!😬😬

  • 32B
    32B Member Posts: 186
    edited July 2018
    Options

    Bostoniangal, I'm so glad they figured out what it was before doing more surgery. Yikes! Rest up and best of luck with the rest of your recovery

  • Bostoniangal25
    Bostoniangal25 Member Posts: 177
    edited July 2018
    Options

    32B, thsnk you very much!!!❤️❤️❤️Lesson learned- taking half of tablet only!!!

    Monday is my plastic surgeon appointment, hoping to get drain out!!!

    I hope we can meet one day!!!

  • CreatureKeeper
    CreatureKeeper Member Posts: 18
    edited March 2019
    Options

    Good evening ladies,

    I'm 58 and was diagnosed on February 26th with IDC, grade 2, clinical stage 1, ER+/PR+, HER2+, right breast. It was discovered with a mammogram and then biopsies. No lump can be felt by anyone. A lumpectomy is scheduled for this Friday, March 15th at Winchester Hospital. 

    Today I met with a Radiation Oncologist and have already met with a Hem/Onc doctor and my surgeon. I'm getting a second opinion on post surgical treatment at DFCI at the end of March. 

    So far all the staff at Winchester have been wonderful and very supportive. This has been a great help to get through this.