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August 2017 Surgery Group

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  • kmb4
    kmb4 Member Posts: 20
    edited October 2017
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    Hi Ladies,

    Well I am now 6 wks out of surgery. to refresh I had a bilateral with breast reconstruction. I am almost done with the expansion part of this journey! This has proven to be more painful than I thought. At my last fill I was really in a lot pain afterwards. I had to go for a dress fitting for my sons wedding and I could hardly get out of the car. my poor hubby had to get me undressed and put me into my dress I was in so much pain. My PS left me alone the week of the wedding so I would not be in pain for the wedding. The day of the wedding I felt the best I have in a long time, but Sunday I was really tired and sore. Today at my visit he showed me two types of implants. the "old" standard type and a newer natural teardrop looking type. I have to decide which kind I want. guess I will be doing research on these. I also saw the oncologist and he is running the oncotype dx test on my tumor. That will show whether I need chemo or not. I too am getting tired of the "looks" and people asking "how are you doing" I know they are just concerned but sometimes I just want to go back to the time when I didn't have cancer. I can also relate to the painful car rides. I'm actually better when I'm driving then when I'm in the car as a passenger. Maybe I'm more careful with the turns and bumps. I would love to take my dog for a walk too but I know that will not happen for a while. I'm going to go catch up on some of the threads in here. I've been MIA lately with the wedding and stuff around here

  • Sweet_Pea
    Sweet_Pea Member Posts: 90
    edited October 2017
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    I hear you, kmb4! Those fills are hard for me, too! But you're through with it! How many did you have, in total? Let me know what you find out about the implants, though I don't know that I'll get a choice presented to me when the time comes. Mine was a single mastectomy.

    Still can't wash my own hair and dry it for fear of pulling a muscle again (boy did that set me back). I do have a lot of really long hair, I guess. It's a drag for this. People say "cut it" but I say I'm already undergoing a lot of changes as is! Today is another fill. let's hope for minimal discomfort.

  • MarilynIllinois
    MarilynIllinois Member Posts: 50
    edited October 2017
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    kmb4, Congratulations on your son's wedding! Best wishes to the happy couple

  • cyclegal
    cyclegal Member Posts: 49
    edited October 2017
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    Hi everyone, it's been a while but just checking in. After 6 weeks, I finally can honestly say that I finally feel like myself following surgery and even have some periods during the day when I don't think about this. Going back to spinning classes (at a reduced intensity) has really helped mentally. I even slept on my side last night, and it was heaven! My expanders are fully inflated, so now it's just a waiting period until my exchange surgery in November, as long as no other complications arise. I will look forward to wearing more of my clothes after that...right now, I feel I am limited to looser clothing to hide my "torpedos" as I call them. I still have numbness under my right arm that extends around my back, and while I don't expect to get feeling back in my breasts, I am hoping to get some nerve regeneration in this area. It feels like I am shaving someone else's armpit.

    I've been thinking a lot about all you ladies who have progressed in your treatment, and I pray that each day brings you closer to completing your current goal. I have learned a lot from reading about your experiences, and please know you each have a cheerleader in virtual corner :)

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited October 2017
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    Cyclegal, glad you're getting back in full swing. I have the weird sensation still in my right armpit while my left has gone back to normal. Ive been doing my little 8lb weights at home for my arms and walking as much as possible. Trying to watch what I eat. Usually one cheat day a week then I feel like poop after. Guess it means that eating better is better for me 🙂

    I hope everyone else is doing well

  • mommyerin
    mommyerin Member Posts: 99
    edited October 2017
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    cyclegal- Glad you're feeling better! The numbness under my arm definitely weirds me out too!

    My PT told my not to shave under the arm where lymph nodes were removed. Anyone else? I'm hoping radiation takes care of all the hair there (silver lining ;-P), but we'll see I guess. Hope everyone is doing well! X

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited October 2017
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    MommyErin, did the PT say why no shaving? I've been shaving, though my scars there are pretty low. I never even asked if I should or shouldn't I just did.

  • kmb4
    kmb4 Member Posts: 20
    edited October 2017
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    Sweet_Pea - I have had 3 fills and am not done yet. I'm thinking Wednesdays fill might be my last one or maybe one more after that. not sure.

    Cyclegal - I also have the numbness in my left arm pit. That is the side they removed the lymph nodes. I also have had some prickly feeling in my upper arm area on that side. everytime I moved my arm it felt like it was rubbing against sandpaper. PS said that since I had some feeling that meant the nerve was probably stretched and I will regain feeling there.

    beach2beach - I think the reasoning behind not shaving is so you do not nic yourself and cause an infection. with the lymph nodes removed you will have to be careful of that so you do not get lymphodema .

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited October 2017
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    Hi Everybody

    kmb4 - the 'Sandpaper' feeling -Yes! its driving me crazy, its under my arm -not the pit area.  It got so bad I had to bandage it. 

    Today is 7 weeks post op. and instead of 2x4's in my chest they are down to 1x4's. I can almost get my 'bad' arm up behind my head, but the incisions still hurt, and have a few nasty lumps along the incision line that really hurt especially when I massage them. OUCH.  Walnut size knot in armpit instead of tennis ball. 

    Its the little things in life.

    I have decided to 'try one treatment of chemo' and see how it goes.  Yeah Me. I havn't told my MO yet.  Guess I had better get on the schedule for a port. They told me to call them when I'm ready - they got tired of my indecisions.  I might have mentioned this before - I think I still have surgery/cancer fog brain. Just wait till chemo is added to the mix. Ha. 

    I guess I will join the Oct Chemo group or Nov Group - hope they are as fun and crazy and unique and helpful as you all are. 

  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited October 2017
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    knots under pits yep. Under both. I massage them both trying to break things up. After xmas when chemo is done may take advantage of some massage.

    i couldn't shave for 3 weeks was in my surgical instructions.. And i used electric shaver cause I couldnt get into my pits lol stopped shaving now beacuse i said fkit lol about to loose my hair soon anyway. Come on over to October chemo group rljess.. Chemo starts for me tomorrow. Holding breath today. Making soup with left over turkey hopping there will be left overs lol. Bahumbug... Is how Im feeling today.

  • Sweet_Pea
    Sweet_Pea Member Posts: 90
    edited October 2017
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    Is anyone else still having trouble washing her own hair? I tried again and hurt something AGAIN. Not as bad as last time but the morning after I felt llke I had used a ton of muscles I never knew I had and WAY TOO MUCH. Think I'll be going back to the cheapie hair place again tomorrow. :(

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited October 2017
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    Hi Sweet_Pea, I've been going to PT and doing exercises, so I'm able to wash my own hair, and do just about anything.  Having said that - I havn't went thru chemo as you are and I didn't have reconstruction.  But if your unable to move 7 weeks post op, Have you tried PT?

    Hi Winnie, isn't it gross to massage our armpits especially when there is no feeling? I massage my incisions - still hurts.  In Hindsite, I wish I would have had a plastic surgeon sew me up.  I stopped shaving armpits years ago - nothing grows there.. Lucky me. I will be anxiously waiting for your post this week re: your Chemo.  I'm wishing you the best and no Side Effects! (well, that's asking too much, so lets go for Min SE's) :) Will be thinking of you.  

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited October 2017
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    MrsWinnie, I try to massage the incisions,,,creeps me out though so I don't do it often. Such a wimp I am lol. Good luck tomorrow with chemo, hope it is better than doable for you.

    Rljessu, it's a tough choice to make. Screw the docs. We are entitled to change our minds, drag our feet etc. It's our bodies and minds that is going through this crap, not theirs. Did they tell you what drugs they would use? MrsWinnie will keep that group hopping with her humorHappy


  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited October 2017
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    massage is very creepy indeed. But i find the more i creep myself out my feeling starting to come back and less electrical shocks. Chemo info is up in chemo thread for october... But didnt go well... Was there 12 hours. Has allergic reaction made all the nurses jump into action lol with in seconds they had the machine off and had shots into me.. Steriods and benadryl. Reaction slowed down and after my panic attack came down they started up again at slower rate. All went well. Then got the second drug that one went well now home and so tired but wired for sound cause of all the steriods. Sigh.

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited October 2017
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    Sorry MrsWinnie. My sis had that reaction during one of her treatments. Benadryl,,hospital stay etc. Wound up being able to do the drug again but had to have a much slower rate of infusion. Hope you feel better.

  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited October 2017
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    doing fine other then lack of rest from all the steroids. im off them today so maybe will be able to rest. Tomorrow off to emergency for a needle i have to take called filagram its to rebuild immune system. Need to do first needle under doctors care incase I react again. If it goes good I can do at home. VON will come sunday to teach me and hubby to do ourselves. Bleck!!! Take them for 7 to 10 days. Take care ladies. Hugs

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited October 2017
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    Hi Beach2Beach - I will be on : Taxotere/Carboplatin/Herceptin/   and to prevent SE : Dexamethasone (I already take Steroids on a daily basis) Neulasta, Zofran & Compazine and Claritin.  They said they would give me IV Bendadryl first (and maybe some IV Activan? - I can always ask) Then slowly introduce each Chemo one at a time.  Sounds like a LONG day. 

    I have an appointment with my MO on Oct 24 and I will let them know then - I want to get my Port on Mon Nov 6th and start treatment on Nov Mon 13th.  Not Before! Too much shopping to do to stock up. Got to get some Hats. 

    My PT tells me I need to CALM down and Meditate. I am exhausted and have severe fatigue, but my mind is going 100 mph, so sleep is hard to come by, even taking Ambien. 

    I'm so sorry Winnie your having a rough time - I am afraid I will have the same reaction, since I seem to have similar metabolism as you.  But I shall remain Positive! Power of Positive thinking type thing.  Ha.

    Please keep us posted.  Take care and be well.

  • rokel
    rokel Member Posts: 26
    edited October 2017
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    Hi all- I am almost 8 weeks out. I returned to work this week and also decided to go back to band practice (I play drums). So far so good! I am very tired when I get home from work but otherwise fine. I started tamoxifen this week and so far no side effects (knock on wood).

    Regarding massage, I have been told to massage my implant (I had direct-to-implant reconstruction) but it really creeps me out. I try to do it a couple times a day for a minute or two. My PS said it is to get circulation back to the breast, but it doesn't feel like it's doing much.

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited October 2017
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    rokel,

    I know right. I was direct to implant too. Feels weird lol. Glad you're back in the game again.

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited October 2017
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    Now I know something is wrong with my incisions. I am too 8 weeks Post Op and have 2 large lumps that are very painful and my left drain site is giving me stabbing pains. Too painful to massage. But everyone says "Your Fine".  Time for a second opinion I guess. 

  • rokel
    rokel Member Posts: 26
    edited October 2017
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    beach2beach- how often/how long are you doing massage? I'm not quite sure how much I should be doing.

  • rokel
    rokel Member Posts: 26
    edited October 2017
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    rljessu- could your body be "spitting a stich"? This happened to me. I developed a couple lumps at my incision lines that were getting red and sore. Apparently my body was rejecting some of the sutures. I have a ton of autoimmune issues and allergies so it was not a surprise at all. It was a quick fix at my surgeon's office- did not hurt at all to remove them.

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited October 2017
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    Rokel,

    It freaks me to touch it, but I try to force myself to every other day or so at the least. It has gone down on its own a lot since surgery in August. I was actually driving today and while driving I was feeling under my armpit and got scared for a minute because i felt a thickening, then I realized it was the scar from the node removal lol.

    I'm just not sure how much pressure to put on it. I'm rather bony so any pressure feels like I'm rubbing it into my ribs.

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited October 2017
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    Rokel  - splitting a stitch - I will ask my PT about that tomorrow. Thanks.  we had surgery the same date, but I went flat, so I'm not sure if 'massaging the incisions would be the same. 

    I try to remember to massage, stretch skin, and really rub with conviction (says my PT) everyday.  Its disgusting and weird to touch.  I have to really watch my fingernails for hangnails, since I have no feeling under my armpits and afraid I'll scratch and not know it. 

    Beachtobeach - My PT said I couldn't hurt my incisions at this point with hard massaging - she was wrong.  I really 'went for it' one day and could hardly move the next day. It was sore, swollen and bruised. But I do put some pressure, rubbing, massaging everyday.  I'm determined to get those 1x4's out of me!   I'm rubbing with Aquaphor & Vit E. 

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited October 2017
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    I got queasy just reading that rljessu!! lol I'm a few weeks before you surgery wise and it did go down in thickness but ewe,ewe,ewe. Then I get nervous that maybe I'm going to irritate other nodes around it. I'm looking for any excuse to not massage it. :)

  • mommyerin
    mommyerin Member Posts: 99
    edited October 2017
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    rljessu- I did 6 cycles of TCH plus perjeta. In addition to the SE medications you listed, I also took metoclopramide. Between the pre meds and 4 infusions, I was typically there about 6 hours (closer to 8 for the first because they gave everything more slowly). Knock an hour off since you're getting one less drug, but still a long day. I would highly recommend getting the port. I didn't have one yet for my first infusion, and the pain from one of the chemos (T or C...can't remember which one now) was awful (like fire ants biting and crawling up my vein)! That vein in my arm is still visibly bruised and the infusion was in March! Consecutive infusions with the port were pain free! Hang in there! You'll get through it!

    Hope everyone else is doing well! I have 3 radiation treatments to go and then I'm done with major cancer treatments. Just continuing my herceptin and perjeta forever. I feel like my life has revolved around cancer treatment for the last 6 months, so it's going to be weird going back to "normal". I'm sure it'll be a huge relief (and great for my kiddos and hubby) but a big shift none the less.

  • kmb4
    kmb4 Member Posts: 20
    edited October 2017
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    Hi L:adies,

    Well I feel kind of funny asking but what you are messaging?? I am 9 wks out and no ever told me to message anything!! I think I'm done with my fills. I had my last one about a week or so ago. I see the oncologist Thursday to see what he has to say. I just found out I have osteoporosis so not sure how that is going to affect things. I will also find out the result of the onotype dx test too. PS said if I do need chemo they will not put implants in till I am done with that. sigh I really want these tissue expandera out. I'm feeling pretty good still sore at times but able to only be on Tylenol.

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited October 2017
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    MommyErin, Glad to hear this is starting to be in the rear view mirror now for you. This summer went quick didn't it with all that was going on.

    I hope everyone else is doing well and that's why its quiet on this threadHappy

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited October 2017
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    Topic: Hot FLashes.  When I was Dx - I was told to stop my estrogen pills,  I immediately started having severe hot flashes. (Hysterectomy 20 years ago)  Is there anything to ease this?  Is anybody taking anything to keep from waking up every other hour drenched in sweat? ueeeoooouuu -yuke! 

    Kmb4 - Somebody else who has expanders will have to answer - I went flat (no reconstruction) - I'm massaging my scar tissue from my double mastectomy.

  • MarilynIllinois
    MarilynIllinois Member Posts: 50
    edited October 2017
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    Hi August friends, I hope those of you who are going through chemo or radiation get through itsuccessfully and that your outcomes are good. Well wishes!

    I'm now 12 weeks out! Still have a 1x4! Kind of feels like a cutting board. It's getting smaller but improving. I'm still going to PT and doing the ROM and lymph exercises. ROM is good. I am massaging the scar tissue.

    Has anyone started Anastrozole? I'm ok so far, but watching for SE.

    I was fitted for a prosthesis this week. Kind of fun picking one out. It's not heavy, pretty comfortable.

    Sending healing wishes to all!