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Calling all Massachusetts Sisters

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  • alto
    alto Member Posts: 82
    edited March 2020
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    I can check off my checkup - done for another 6 months! I made use of the Purell, and tried not to breathe much in the hallways or elevators. :P

  • purple32
    purple32 Member Posts: 1,767
    edited March 2020
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    alto I was just at MGH a few days ago.

    You will still be okay to go.

    Good Luck to you,

    Laurie

  • muska
    muska Member Posts: 224
    edited April 2020
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    I have labs and a routine follow-up with MO scheduled next week at MGH Boston. Does anybody know whether they continue doing labs and seeing follow-up patients in Boston for non-urgent visits?

  • 32B
    32B Member Posts: 186
    edited May 2020
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    muska I got a call on Friday bumping my MRI to July...

  • muska
    muska Member Posts: 224
    edited May 2020
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    I had labs done in Boston last week (they did offer to do it closer to home) two days before the appointment, the appt was by phone.

  • lifegoeson
    lifegoeson Member Posts: 57
    edited June 2020
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    Hello all,

    I had bmx with reconstruction with silicone implants in 2009 in New York. I lived in NY at the time, I now live in MA. I am having my implants removed at MGH with Dr. Amy Colwell. The surgery was delayed due to covid, but it is now scheduled for 6/25. I will not be getting new implants, I'm going flat. I'm just hoping Dr. Colwell will give me the best possible aesthetic outcome under the circumstances.

    Anyway, it seems like MGH is getting up and running again and scheduling surgeries that were postponed and cancelled.

    I have to be covid tested 3 days prior to the surgery and I am not looking forward to that part at all!!

  • 32B
    32B Member Posts: 186
    edited June 2020
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    Good luck lifegoeson, and welcome to Massachusetts!

  • muska
    muska Member Posts: 224
    edited June 2020
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    Lifegoeson,

    Good luck with your surgery. I am sure Dr. Amy Colwell will take good care of you. She did my reconstruction seven years ago, I had no serious issues although the expansion was going in parallel with chemo. I am sure she and her office staff will take good care of you.

    All the best to you.


  • lifegoeson
    lifegoeson Member Posts: 57
    edited June 2020
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    Thank you 32B and muska!

    The waiting is the hardest part as usual. I wish the surgery was tomorrow. Once it is over and behind me, I’ll be fine.

  • lifegoeson
    lifegoeson Member Posts: 57
    edited June 2020
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    Hello all,

    My surgery went well. The pain is manageable. I hate opioid pain killers and I’m going to switch to just Tylenol today. Unfortunately, the pandemic means that friends can’t really visit me. :( Of course, as usual, the most annoying part is the drains. I’m resting and trying not to do too much.

    I have bandages so I can’t see the results yet...postop visit is July 1 so I’ll have to wait until then.

    Judy

  • muska
    muska Member Posts: 224
    edited June 2020
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    Lifegoeson, best wishes of a quick recovery!

  • alto
    alto Member Posts: 82
    edited April 2021
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    Anyone understand the latest Mass COVID guidelines, and whether 'history of cancer' is included as a eligible medical condition?

  • lifegoeson
    lifegoeson Member Posts: 57
    edited April 2021
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    Alto,

    Yes, any cancer is considered a pre-existing condition and qualifies you for the vaccine in MA. They had previously required 2 conditions but now you only need 1 condition to qualify, so you are eligible now.

  • sarahnh
    sarahnh Member Posts: 105
    edited August 2022
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    Is this thread still active? Or is there a newer place for MA-specific posts?

  • CTLMom
    CTLMom Member Posts: 15
    edited August 2022
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    Sarahnh,

    As far as I've seen it is still active. I haven't posted in a while but I was treated at MGH and continue to follow up there. Are you still being treated?

    CTLmom

  • sarahnh
    sarahnh Member Posts: 105
    edited August 2022
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    Aha thanks ctlmom !

    Yes - I'm sort of splitting my treatment between Dana Farber and MGH. Next step is likely mastectomy.

    Trying to figure out whether there is anyone around who's had a mastectomy (without reconstruction) with either Michelle Specht at MGH, or Tari King at Dana Farber.

    I'd love to hear any input and thoughts from anyone willing to share!


  • CTLMom
    CTLMom Member Posts: 15
    edited August 2022
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    Sarahnh,

    Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with either of those docs. Both for my initial mastectomy and my local recurrence 5 years later I had Barbara Smith as my surgeon. She was fantastic through everything both times. Now I see her nurse practitioner every year the same day I have my one sided mammogram. If I hear of anyone that knows either doc I will definitely reach out.

    l will say that the first time I had cancer I did have the mastectomy (followed by A/C chemo) with reconstruction and never had any problems. It wasn't until after the second cancer at which point I went through radiation. That changed everything to say the least! After re-reconstruction I finally deconstructed in 2018. Still have an ongoing nightmare from radiation fibrosis and as yet undiagnosed nerve damage/issues.

    I hope you can find some input on the 2 surgeons you mentioned!

    CTLmom



  • sarahnh
    sarahnh Member Posts: 105
    edited September 2022
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    Thanks ctlmom! I guess I will just go with Specht, as she did my lumpectomy. I just hate making these decisions without adequate info. I wish surgeons had photos of their work, especially for patients who are "going flat". We are just expected to close our eyes and jump in, blind! It's really just a shot in the dark whether we get a good result, or a horrible one.

    I'm sorry about the fibrosis and nerve damage. I know this happens to a lot of people -- either after mastectomy, or radiation, or reconstruction, or a combo of these things. I am constantly surprised that there is no understanding of how/why it happens, and no good treatment for it.

    What did you think about your experience with radiation therapy at MGH? I'm considering having radiation there, if it turns out I really need it.


  • CTLMom
    CTLMom Member Posts: 15
    edited September 2022
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    Sarahnh,

    My radiation experience at MGH was good except for the issues it caused. However that is more with the consequence of radiation itself rather than where it was done. I had Dr. Taghian as my RO. He is very nice and informative about the process. He also had me start PT while I was having the treatment to make it as comfortable as possible as the burns, tightness, etc. were getting worse. I know treatments have changed since then as far as the amount of time and dosage so I hope that makes a difference in the horrific side effects. Also, while I was in treatment I went to the clinic at MGH for acupuncture. I never got any of the very common tiredness side effect that most people deal with. I would highly recommend that as well. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

    CTLmom

    P.s. The other pain was the drive to Boston 5 days a week!!

  • momwriter
    momwriter Member Posts: 276
    edited September 2022
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    I went to Beth Israel. My breast surgeon was Dr.Sharma and my Plastic Surgeon Dr. Lin.My fabulous MO is Dr. Wulf. I had a single MX. had radiation so mine never looked good. I did have an implant for reconstruction and I didn't have complications.However, i was diagnosed 10 years ago, and I haven't visited the PS in years.I soon have to decide whether to replace it or go flat. It's so easy with a bra right now, even thought it's not perfect.I'm worried going flat will be such a pain. On the other hand, I think being flat my be more comfortable in the long run.

    I came from the western part of the state to go to BIMDC. It was hard to come for chemo- especially taxol every week for 12 weeks but it was important to me. I did my radiation out here with someone they recommended. Radiation is easy and I think anywhere you go for it will be fine- I'm sure MGH would be great as would DF and BI. All these places are Harvard with amazing techs.

    As I think about going flat, I will have to find a new PS I think, so it's good to hear some good recommendations here.

    Good luck!


  • brinkofeternity
    brinkofeternity Member Posts: 181
    edited September 2022
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    momwriter - I had 2 plastic surgeons from BWH as I was getting DIEP flap done, Dr. Indrahil Sinha and Dr. Bohdan Pomahac. Dr. Pomahac was the main surgeon but he has moved to lead plastic surgery in Yale now. I think he did a phenomenal job as I still get comments from nurses and radiologists on how good it looks. Dr. Sinha is still at BWH and he has been quite good as well.

    A friend of mine has gone flat and honestly I wouldn’t have known. The only thing about implant is the textured kinds are known to cause lymphoma in some women. Hope this helps.

  • momwriter
    momwriter Member Posts: 276
    edited October 2022
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    Thank you, brink!

  • chloecat2
    chloecat2 Member Posts: 2
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    Looks like it has been quite some time since this thread was active…but I'll give it a shot. Checking in from Western Mass but currently working with Dana Farber in Boston. Trying to find a surgeon that does amazing aesthetic flat closure work but didn't feel confident in the surgeon they assigned me at DFCI…she told me flat closure is "an internet thing" and doesn't really exist, then insisted I meet with a plastics surgeon who only does implants. I'm BRCA2+ and the surgery is prophylactic (hopefully). I've gotten some names from FB support that I am looking into and have reached out to but wanted to see about getting a few other opinions so that I have a well researched list of surgeons to interview. Thanks so much.

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 1,077
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    I go to MGH in Boston for treatment. While I didn't have an aesthetic flat closure Michelle Specht and Barbara Smith have good reputations for this. Dr. Smith was my doctor (she is an oncoplastic surgeon) and she did an amazing job removing a 3.2 cm tumor in a lumpectomy which left me with good looking symmetrical breasts.

  • legalpretzel
    legalpretzel Member Posts: 2
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    Resurrecting an older thread to see if anyone in MA has recs for oncologists and surgeons. I’m in Worcester but happy to travel to Boston or other towns (Newton, Milford)