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August 2017 Surgery Group

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  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited January 2018
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    Hi Aug Surgery Group - Happy New Year.  I just ordered my pair of knitted knockers.  Going in for Round #3 of 6 on Tuesday.  

  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited January 2018
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    good luck rljes. I have tried to crochet knitted knockers... Lol with chemo brain didnt go so well haha will have to try again soon. I recieved a pair as well... Loving flat life still cant even imagine putting bra on yet

  • newnorm
    newnorm Member Posts: 54
    edited January 2018
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    Hi everyone, Happy New Year. I've just seen this thread and wanted to ask how anyone who had auxiliary dissection is going? I had surgery end of July and I've got bad cording. It's causing pain just above my wrist. Anyone else suffering? Any suggestions other than the constant stretching and massage. I stretch my arm so much my family think I'm nuts!

  • WellWishes
    WellWishes Member Posts: 15
    edited January 2018
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    Hi everyone. I hope that this finds you well and everyone had a great holiday season. I need to vent a little about mine.. even though, I honestly feel ashamed for even complaining at all considering that my issues are nothing in comparison to others. But... nonetheless, it will make me feel a bit better and maybe help someone else.

    I had a mastectomy (left) with tissue expander placement and reduction (right) on Aug. 25th. I only had one drain but it was a really long time (probably 4-5 weeks) before it was ready to be removed. The doc started doing my fills and got me to the point where I was at 400cc and had only 2 more fills to go!! I was scheduled for my exchange surgery on Dec. 19th when, all of a sudden, it just had a "blow out". *I was working and noticed that my shirt was ABSOLUTELY DRENCHED all the way down the front. When I went to the restroom to take a look... I couldn't even believe what I was seeing. It was oozing the nastiest stuff and I had a hole in my breast about the size of a quarter. *You could actually physically see the tissue expander.

    I called the doc and explained what was happening and he asked to see me the following Monday (this happened over the weekend). When I went to his office, he said that I had a failed tissue expander due to infection and needed to have emergency surgery the next day to have the expander removed. He still wanted to keep my exchange surgery date though since I was so close and was hoping to get the implant on Dec. 19th. However, when I had this surgery, he decided to put another tissue expander in (back @ 200cc.. ugghhhh!!) and another drain. Fast forward 3 weeks later and my drain is still WAY too high to be removed and I have already had another issue with redness (potential infection again) that he treated with antibiotics and steroids.

    I am just sad and disappointed. Will my body even allow this to happen? Has anyone else had any experiences with infection and/or tissue expander blow out? :( I am ready to give up and tell him to take it back out and just leave it empty.


  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited January 2018
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    hugs wellwishes Im so sorry to hear your troubles wish I could help you more. i would fine the rant forum and post there. Its very active and the ladies there have great advice and been around more. Thinking of you

    https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/102/topic...

    https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/102/topics/833446?page=85#idx_2549

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited January 2018
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    Hi Winnie - good to hear from  you -- I ordered my Knitting Knockers over the internet -  for free/ they came in 2 days.  best to you!

  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited January 2018
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    hai my cancer twin how r u?

    Chemo is done. Started Herceptin n tomixifin had fevers first night with Herceptin other then that doing pretty good. Just my nose being yucky. Still have muscle fatigue from chemo and troubles with my esophagus.. Still loosing hair lol waiting for it to start growing again.

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited January 2018
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    Well Wishes, sorry that you are going through all that. Mastectomy is a big deal I think even if they have us in and out like a drive through. Our bodies respond in different ways to the trauma. i could see why you'd want to just throw in the towel and be done. I went direct to implants so I don't know anything about expanders but is the infection what made it rupture?

    Hi Mrs.Winnie, Glad you are through the Chemo. Hope the Herceptin is easier on you. Just as a note I played around with when to take my Tamoxifen. If you notice side effects, sometimes changing up the time you take it can make it less noticeable. I notice the med peaks in me at about 5hours,,I'd get dizzy etc..and I was taking it at 8 am. Switched to evening and its better for me.

  • pinkvictory
    pinkvictory Member Posts: 24
    edited January 2018
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    hi ladies! It's been a very long time since I have been on here. I am scheduled to have my exchange surgery next week. I imagine this will be so much easier than the mastectomy. The timing for my exchange seems to be perfect. I am ready to get rid of these expanders. One side seems to be feeling like something isn't quite right. Not sure what that's about...maybe scar tissue? Guess it will be addressed next week. Maybe it's nothing, and just the way it is.

    Well wishes, I'm so sorry to hear about all that you are going through. I hope that everything goes smoothly for you from here on in.

    Best wishes to everyone, that 2018 brings us all good health and more smiles than challenges !

  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited January 2018
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    Hey Beach thanks. My pharmacist suggested taking at night so started it then. So far no new SE was having hot flashes with chemo. Gl Pink with next surgery.

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited January 2018
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    Wanted to bump this thread up. Hoping all my August surgery friends have been doing well this winter. I can't wait for spring. Have my oldest back home from college for good. One away at college and my youngest still in HS. Seems like just yesterday my oldest went away and now he's done. Now if he can get a job and start paying for himself!!! House seemed big enough when they were small with all their toys now they are adults and have as many sneakers/shoes as toys and house is too small!

    My right armpit seems to be the slowest in healing. Still feel the nerve pain. Only had sentinel node taken out on both sides but this side taking longer. Tamoxifen is killing my sinuses and any other tissues with moisture! I use chapstick constantly. Tamoxifen dries me out. Also makes me a cheap date. Seems now if I have a drink, one feels like two and so on. I can get tipsy cheaply. lol

    Would love to hear from you all!

  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited February 2018
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    Hey beach! Tomixifin or Herceptin is drying my nose out.. Yep im now a nose picker lol thankfully its just my nose😉. I had a terrible day... But saying that finally had a break down and good cry... Feels good.

    I have always had trouble with my teeth to the point that people are not allowed to talk about dentist or teeth issues around me. Anyway this morning broke a tooth.. Instant full out panic attack lucky for me its a snow day and hubby was home.. He was able to grounded me. Anyway my breakdown shortly afterwards was the thought.. At least the dentist will be easier then the DMX enter full heaving crying fit. In the end my dentist got me in and sealed the tooth. And i wait for her to book me with a a specialist that will put me out and fix all my teeth at one appointment. While im in lala land lol. Phew hugs to all xox

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited February 2018
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    Hi MrsWinnie and Beachtobeach - good to see you two on here.  I;m at Chemo #4 day 3 (4 of 6 Chemo) I just keep getting more tired.  I have an MRI tomorrow to rule out 'Femoral hip Necrosis' since I've been having severe left hip pain.  I can't even imagine what my MO will do with me regarding Anti- estrogen pills.  Still undecided about Radiation.  doubtful if i will do it. I will want to know the % of reocurrence with or without rads first before making my decision. 
       Ayres Nasel GEL is wonderful for the crusty nose.  its so soothing. (thx Paulette) 

    Sorry about your teeth problems MrsWinnie.  Yes being put under and out will be nice.  I grew up with crooked bad teeth and no money to have braces until I was 25 years old.  OUCH. I was very sensitive, always covering my mouth growing up. 

    My left incision under armpit still hurts too.   (where nodes were taken)  I just don't have the energy or motivation to stretch and do the exercises. 

    I drank a bottle of champagne for new years eve - the whole thing and didn't get a buzz. It was really good to.  And I've been craving beer - no buzz either.  bummer.  Guess I wouldn't be a cheap date!   All the best to everyone - rj

  • kmb4
    kmb4 Member Posts: 20
    edited February 2018
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    Hi Ladies,

    I am having a hard time. This may sound trivial and I know I should be happy that I am cancer free now and on the road to recovery. When I had my double mastectomy and decided on reconstruction I decided that I would go a little bigger in the boob area since now I had the choice on what size I could be. I was always a A and always felt self conscious about it. Well I went through the expansion and the boobs looked a little bigger than I had been so I told the plastic surgeon that I was expanded enough. Right after my expansion I had to get a new plastic surgeon because the one I had left our hospital. At my last expansion the plastic surgeon had to remove some of the fluid since my skin was not looking good. At my transfer from tissue expanders to implants last Thursday the new plastic surgeon asked if I was happy with my size. (before surgery) I told her I was but if she could go bigger I would not have a problem with it. Well surgery is now over and she said she could not get the bigger size to work. so now I am no bigger or maybe even smaller than before I started. I guess the implant size that fit was not as big as the tissue expander size as I am not that big. My emotions are all over the place and I know this is the only place I can post or talk about this. hubby just rolls his eyes at me. I can't stop crying about this and it all seems like it should not be that big a deal to me. I've been a rock during this whole thing and this is what is bringing me to tears!?? maybe it's all just starting to hit home I don't know. At 60 yrs old who needs bigger boobs right!!

  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited February 2018
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    kmb4 I am so sorry your going through all this its so not fair have a good cry it be good for you. I think that what ever we choose to do with our breasts... Is hard and when what you set your mind to that you be ok with isnt what you get it very hard. Im just rambling but your not alone hugs to you. Thinking about you. Wish I had more words of wisdom.

  • cyclegal
    cyclegal Member Posts: 49
    edited February 2018
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    kmb4, you are not being trivial at all. I had a bit of a roller coaster of emotions after exchange too - thinking that I wished the implants were bigger. I, too, was small before all of this and was looking forward to being bigger. I think we get used to the expander size, which for me was, in hindsight, too big, but right after exchange I was disappointed because I wanted the implants to be as big as the expanders. HOWEVER, let your body heal and swelling to go down, which takes a lot longer than you'd think. I had a lot of swelling in the sternum initially, and that made the implants look smaller (relative to my frame). Also, just like you got used to the expanders, you will get used to the implants. I am now three months after exchange and happy with the size. In fact, I wouldn't want them bigger - I want them to stay looking natural as I age. While they aren't huge, they are decent and at least fuller than my "sad" boobs I had before surgeries. I am actually going in for fat grafting tomorrow to add some softness around the implants...has your PS discussed fat grafting as a possibility for you down the road? That could add some fullness that you are looking for. I think it's hard too because our chest appearance until the exchange has been "temporary," but now we face with what our boobs will actually look like and compare them to how we imagined them to look...that's a little tough to digest. Hang in there and see how things look with time.

  • kmb4
    kmb4 Member Posts: 20
    edited February 2018
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    Hi ladies,

    Thanks for the response. I saw my PS today and was honest with her when she asked if I liked the outcome. I told her that I thought the tissue expanders were bigger and she said they were not. She said the reason she could not put any larger in was due to my chest wall not being big enough. She said I would have ended up with side boobs or a uniboob which I guess would have been worse. She took off the steri strips from the incision and when I got home that was another shock! Man this scar is a LOT worse then my mastectomy scar! It is raised and thick. my other scar although a lot bigger looked ten times better at this stage. At least its under by breasts. Not like anyone but me and hubby will see the scars anyway! LOL. I don't plan on walking around in the buff anytime soon!!

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited February 2018
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    Hi Kmb,

    I was about the same...somehwere in the A range prior to surgery. i'm 51 When I went to plastic surgeon after finding about the bc, I also found out that, I did not have enough fat from anywhere to take to use for reconstruction, and to use expanders, my skin was too tight!! WTH. I thought I'd get bigger boobs out of the deal...at least a B. My PS told me he would see how big of a direct implant he could put in at time of surgery. Well..my boobs are not bigger pe se than what I originally had, maybe its a small B-..but they are round..so the volume is there where I did not have that prior. I also have the ridges from the implant that you can see...now that's a turn on..lol. Oh and they have dropped..My scar is no longer under my boob it has risen! I give up. I still look in the mirror and would have liked to have seen a little bigger boobage just to say I had it but it was not meant to be. They don't look bad in a bikini top...better than what I had. Now if the scars would just go....... I'm with someone now, but I wonder if I wasn't if anyone would be completely turned off by what they say. I know we should say, then they are not genuine, or worth the trouble if they can't accept, but society has made it such front page stuff in magazines etc, that it's hard to not think about it.

    Yes we are beautiful the way we are, I guess that's the mantra we should try to keep saying.

  • Lsunshine
    Lsunshine Member Posts: 24
    edited February 2018
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    cyclegal I’m scheduled for fat grafting on March 5. Can you tell me what to expect? I have indentation between my collarbone and top of implant and some indentations on the middle and sides. I think they are taking fat from my flanks this round. Possibly a second fat grafting in 3 more months from my inner thighs. I’m anxious. I move my arms certain ways and look down and well I feel like a freak. Not sure if swimsuits are in my near future

  • Ceci-246
    Ceci-246 Member Posts: 17
    edited February 2018
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    Hi Lsunshine,


    I just had fat grafting with my initial exchange on 2/14. My PS did lipo from my flanks/ muffin top area. The holes were made at the front of my hips but I think the fat came from the higher part of my butt - just below my waist. Only my butt is bruised. My PS recommended Veronique surgical compression garments that I had to buy 2 sizes too large as they run super small. I initially bought only one size up but was told that I’d be swollen. 2 sizes up worked. They have no crotch so you can go to the bathroom without taking them off. I’ve needed to switch them with tight spanx, super high waisted briefs that are made to squeeze and smooth the torso, and sometimes sleep in an abdominal binder that I can adjust with Velcro as the other parts of my body get weary from being constricted. My donor sites really sting when not compressed, so I like having options.

    Not sure how much fat was taken or how well it is surviving. My boobs are so soft, but I’m waiting on some drop and fluff that my PS says I should expect. I’m just responding to your note because compression has been my biggest issue and I’ll be wearing some type for 6 weeks.

    Ceci
  • cyclegal
    cyclegal Member Posts: 49
    edited February 2018
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    Hi Lsunshine, I had fat grafted from my back (flanks) with the exchange surgery in November, and this time (February), she used my outer thighs, inner knees, and abdomen for the donor sites. My main issue is that I don't have a lot of fat, so that's why she's had to go to so many different sites. After the first surgery, my back was incredibly sore...probably the most sore I've been after all of my surgeries. I think she was aggressive in trying to get enough fat so that we wouldn't have to do a follow-up fat grafting, but obviously that didn't happen. She made two small incisions along the center of my back for the first grafting. For the second grafting, she made the small incisions in strategic places that are well hidden - for the outer thighs, the incisions are located along the fold between my legs and butt, for the inner knees, they are along one of the folds just above the knee, and for the abdomen, they are below where a bikini bottom would sit. The second grafting was far less painful than the first because I think she was careful not to mess up the other parts of my body. I have almost no pain in the chest - a nice side of effect of not having feeling there anymore! Another comment on location - the person who does my myofascial release massage warned me against using inner thighs - she said that for some people, the healing can be funky there and leave the skin looking strange, and my PS agreed. I've read here that some people have no problems with that area however, so it might be different for different people.

    As far as care after the fat grafting, I was instructed to wear a compression garment 24/7 for the first three weeks and then for 12 hours a day for the next three weeks. My PS ordered Marena garments for me - you can also get them online on the Marena website or amazon. Mine have the opening for going to the bathroom, but I have been afraid to use it for fear of splashing and just pull it on and off each time, which is a pain but doable. If I was just doing my back or abdomen as a donor site, I would get one that is a high waisted panty with a snap crotch opening. After three weeks, I started going to myofascial release, which helped a ton with breaking up scar tissue that forms in the donor sites, and she also worked on some scar tissue that had formed near one of my mastectomy incisions. Ask you doctor about activity restrictions...mine were different first vs. second time because the first time also involved the exchange, but I am being overly cautious this time because I want to do everything I can to make sure a good amount of the fat stays.

    Be on top of doing what you need to do to get your digestive system moving after the surgery. The bloating from being stopped up is not enjoyable, and it's even less enjoyable when your abdomen is being compressed!

    I'm happy I chose to do a second fat grafting. I had the indentation at the top of the implants and pretty significant rippling on the sides (my implants are over the muscle) because my skin is pretty thin. While I know I have some swelling still, and it's only been two weeks since the surgery, but the overall appearance is softer and fuller, and the indentation is gone. Keeping my fingers crossed because, as long as nothing goes wrong, I'm done with surgery - being under 4 times in less than a year is enough for me!

    There is a good thread on the boards about fat grafting - let me know if you can't find it, and I will send you the link.

  • Lsunshine
    Lsunshine Member Posts: 24
    edited February 2018
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    cyclegal, thank you for the response. I also do not have a lot of fat. So the ps is starting with my flanks. They have mentioned it would probably take 2 rounds to correct the areas that are indented and the ripples. They did mention my thighs so I’m glad you said not to do inner thighs I will have to talk to him about that. Lord knows I don’t want to trade one eye sore for another. I am wishful hoping all the corrections can be made in this surgery. If not I’m telling him he has until December 31 of 2018 to put me back together so I can feel confident again in a sports bra and swimsuit. Are there any other suggestions you would recommend with having all of this done? Also my surgery has benn moved a couple days because the ps isn’t going to be there on the 5th so it is now scheduled for March 7

  • cyclegal
    cyclegal Member Posts: 49
    edited February 2018
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    Lsunshine, the only other thing I can think of is that I use Biocorneum on my incision locations to help for scar reduction, and I also used Arnica to reduce bruising at the fat donor sites during the second week. I'm not sure if the Arnica helped, but it was worth a shot!

    While the results aren't perfect, it's much better than before the extra fat grafting. I might not be wearing a string bikini this summer, but I will definitely feel ok in a swimsuit with more coverage :) .

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited March 2018
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    Bumping up this thread. Hi my August 2017 surgery buds.... I hope this means all have been doing well and moving on with life. I can't wait for Spring to hit here. Enough of the Nor"easters...I'm so ready for Spring! Having some issues I thiink maybe related to the Tamox,,sounds strange, but teeth sensitivity. Was at dentist for checkup and all good 2mths ago. Now it's like every tooth is sensitive. I'm 6mths on Tamox.

    Hope you are all doing well. Hugs to all!

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited March 2018
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    Hi - Back at you Beach2beach- and all my Aug Surgery friends!  - I just finished my last chemo Tuesday, and the last 2 were a doozy.  Not sure what is next - My heart Eco declined by 13% so more Herceptin will be monitored.  And no mention of Radiation nor Hormonal Therapy - yet.  Hopefully they will give me a break. 

    I'll have to look over all the posts - havn't been on here lately.   I think I'm having Cording problems - something is going on - thankfully I see my BS Tuesday.  I've been slacking on my stretching. 

    Take care - All of you were a life savor, giving wonderful support and encouragement, and a space to vent.  Couldn't of done it without all of you!  Hope all is well,

    Rj

  • WellWishes
    WellWishes Member Posts: 15
    edited March 2018
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    Good evening to all. I hope that everyone is doing well. My reconstruction experience has been a nightmare and I am back to being flat again (2nd failed TE removed last Monday). *Honestly, I am leaning towards just staying flat at this point but doc is pushing me to keep trying.

    Original surgery Aug. 25th with immediate TE placement, got an infection in Nov. and had to have the first TE removed. The PS replaced the TE with a different kind on Dec. 19th and I had the drain until Tuesday, March 6th. PS decided he just needed to pull it due to infection risk; even though it was still slightly above the 20ML per day recommended. Within 2 days, I had redness and called PS who asked to see me first thing Monday, March 12th morning. Over the course of that weekend, it swelled up REALLY bad, was super red and just looked like it was going to explode at any minute. As soon as PS seen me on Monday, he pulled me into emergency surgery to remove the TE again.

    I have an appointment with him tomorrow and he is going to discuss the type of infection, next steps, etc. I am just over it. I am sick of surgery and just ready to give up!

  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited March 2018
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    wellwishes Im so sorry to hear of you surgery troubles. Thinking of you. Theres a huge community for flat on facebook called flat n fabulous. Theres 2 different ones same people one is for no cancer talk the other is allowing cancer stuff... I cant give you any advice... But i went with bmx and im staying that way... I been finding that people dont notice anyway.. Im bra free and loving it. People just dont notice unless you point it out. 6 months or so and im now finding i don't even think about being flat when im out and about. I hope that helps... Hugs

  • WellWishes
    WellWishes Member Posts: 15
    edited March 2018
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    Hi MrsWinnie. Thanks for the response, caring and hugs. :) I really appreciate it.

    I am just frustrated with all of the surgeries and nervous about my first upcoming mammogram on the right side since all of this started last June. *I almost wish I had just gone with a total MX instead of just left side and then left them alone. *No reconstruction.

    I don't think many people would notice either; they don't now and I am half-flat but I am pretty good with putting cushioning on one side of a bra (when needed) so they look even.

    I wonder if I can just leave it alone now? *Or, do I have to have more surgeries even if I decide not to do another TE and/or implant? Trying to get a straight answer from my doc but he just keeps saying that he doesn't want to give up.

  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited March 2018
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    hugs glad you have a doctor thats with you through this. Let us know what step is next for you. I said to fellow bc gf.. I just want off this roller coaster of emotions. Even tho our battle is different i totally get the emotions behind it. Prayers up and positive vibes everyones way.

    I had scare this week and waiting on ultrasound appointment my uterus is acting up and having spasms.. Totally freaked me out. Doctor examed me and said everything looks good not to stress what ever it is it isnt seroius.. Came home feeling better.. Did some research and i thinking its side effect to tomixifin... Sigh roller coaster.. Guess the next step for me is total hysterectomy and get in AI instead of tomixifin... Now to get my MO to get the ball moving on that.

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited March 2018
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    Hi everyone, 

    MrsWhinnie - I am with you about going flat.  I'm flat and loving it. I can now wear those cute little shirts,  bra straps don't hurt my shingles nerve pain, and the weight of my breasts don't kill my upper back.  I am a happy camper with my decision.   
      Havn't started on any Anti-Hormonal Therapy yet.  (hysterectomy 1994) Hoping they just kinda forget about it for awhile.  MrsWhinnie - Are you considering Radiation?  Me, Not so much.  I have been against it since the beginning, then last nite I looked under "Active Topics" and found a thread something about 'Radiation Nightmares' and Oh my, I should have known better than to read the posts. Scary, and exactly what I've been afraid of. 

    WellWishes, I hope you find the answers that will make you happy.  Best of luck.