Come join others currently navigating treatment in our weekly Zoom Meetup! Register here: Tuesdays, 1pm ET.
Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

August 2017 Surgery Group

Options
13468919

Comments

  • tanya1white
    tanya1white Member Posts: 5
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Hello Everyone!

    It's abut that time. BMX on Monday, with expanders. I'm pretty scared to be completely honest. I've read so many different things about drains and expanders, etc., that the only thing I can truly come up with is that this process is different for everyone. I can relate to that part where you are expected to be Positive Polly all the time. I'm trying. My husband lost his dad to stomach cancer (ugly) less than two years ago, so he's trying his best. Son started college today, daughter is a sophomore. Her best friend lost her mom to cancer when they were 8th graders, and my daughter says nothing bad will happen to me because of what happened to her best friend's mom. Kinda hard to tell her she's wrong...I guess that's how she's coping?

    I just can't imagine how I'm going to do a BMX with expanders and go home the same day. It's outpatient! Really? Is this normal?

    I just have to remember to breath.

    Oh, so I have a nuclear medicine lymph node biopsy before my bmx? Why can't they just do it after when they remove it? Confused about that. I'm not feeling like my surgeon and my onc are explaining things very well...but that could be that I just don't really know what questions to ask.

    :) Tanya

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,067
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Hi everyone and welcome to the newbies! Sorry for jumping in a little late in the month, but we wanted to share some good information for you and future posters to help prepare for your surgeries:

    Check out some good info from the main Breastcancer.org site on Surgery, including:

    Also, the Treatment Side Effects section is a great resource for tips to help manage any side effects you may experience.

    Lots of practical advice here on helping to prepare for surgery:Shopping/packing/to-do list for surgery + recovery....

    Also, you may find it helpful to chat with ladies from past months' surgery threads to get first-hand stories of their experience; see Last Month's Surgery thread.

    Hope this helps and good luck with all of your surgeries!

    --Your Mods

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Hi Remali,

    I'm just new to all this myself but perhaps tho margins were close, they had got it all at the time of the last lumpectomy?

    I'm a week and few days post bilateral mastectomy. I get some burning pain , stabbing and ooh does it sting and catch me off guard, and I attribute it to the nerves. Armpit pain to the sentinel node biopsy.,

    Glad you have been able to take care of youself. I'm surprised they had you go home. I only stayed overnight but just to keep an eye on us you would think it would be the norm.

    Feel well! Glad there was no cancer found too

  • Remali
    Remali Member Posts: 9
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Thank you beach2beach.... very good point, perhaps they did get it all when they did the lumpectomies.  I may have misunderstood them, too.  I had thought that they were unable to get all of the cancer during the last lumpectomy, but as I am learning with this cancer thing, nothing is ever 100 % certain in the beginning, at least with me, lol.  Hope your burning pain gets better, sure does get your attention, doesn't it.  Yikes.  It comes and goes, I am trying to sit more and do less, in the hopes that that will help.  My surgeon did tell me that I could stay overnight if I wanted to, but I really wanted to go home, I have lumbar spine troubles and the beds at the hospital are so uncomfortable, and I have a dog at home that I was missing very badly, so I opted to go home.  I was feeling quite good on that day, so going home worked out well for me.

    tanya1white...  Perhaps if your surgeon knows you would rather stay overnight he would be OK with that?  Since you are having expanders, I think it would be pretty reasonable for you to stay overnight.  And with the nuclear med lymph node biopsy, they need to do that previous to the surgery so the dye has time to reach the sentinal node (takes the dye awhile to get there).  At least that was how my surgeon explained it to me.  I know it really is hard to not get scared and worry, I was the same way, but I have to say in the end, it was not as bad as I had thought it would be, for me my imagination was worse than the actual surgery, although I did not have any reconstruction done so I cannot comment on that.  I hope all goes well for you.

    ~Renee

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Hi Tanya,

    I was in overnight. I had implant at time of surgery. I was small to begin with and not enough skin to stretch to get anything bigger than what I had lol so he put in the smallest implant he had. Figures ha. Hated the drains to drag them around and "milk" them. They were out in 7days. I'd ask if you could stay overnight. I'm pretty sure insurance would cover, all in general I'd hope.

    You'll do great

  • MarilynIllinois
    MarilynIllinois Member Posts: 50
    edited August 2017
    Options

    hello August friends and welcome to newcomers. Continued wishes for healing for those who have had surgery and I wish calm and courage to those who are scheduled for next week!

    My surgeon removed my drain today! It didn't hurt at all. She asked me to take a big breath and before I could even let the breath fully out, the drain was out! She also did some more work cleaning up a blister on my incision. That did not hurt either.

    I can totally relate to those of you who are anxious about general anesthesia and surgery. I was too. Especially after a bad experience with conscious sedation during a previous biopsy. For me, asking lots of questions helped me calm down. I also bought a guided imagery relaxation cd and listened to it in the pre-op room and also in my hospital room.

    I found my doctors and nurses so compassionate and caring that it really helped me stay focused. Also my pre-op room was so busy with the sentinel node injection, pec block injection, and good conversations from the nurses, and support from my DH, that time flew and it was time for surgery before I knew it. For me, I appreciated being awake when entering the operating room. I looked around a little, saw my surgeon and anesthesiologist and felt safe.

    Good luck, everyone, let us know how you are after next week! Hugs

  • Lsunshine
    Lsunshine Member Posts: 24
    edited August 2017
    Options


    Cyclegal that is the best part about being part of this group. Getting a giggle out of the little things. I told my husband the same thing he is not in charge of the volume.

  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Update on me... Working hard at staying busy. With surgery just days away getting anxious. The feeling just wont go away but staying busy helps. So last night hubby and myself held an open house "come say goodbyes to they *girls*" my closest friends came over and we just visited. Good food some drinks and felt great to feel supported. I have ordered my knitted knockers so they arrive when I am healed enough to wear them If I feel i need them. Even tho at this time Im still feeling ill be flat and proud to be a survivor.

    Thinking of you all.. Postive vibes coming your way.

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited August 2017
    Options

    MrsWinnie,

    I like that party! You will do great, I'm sure. Happy

  • pinkvictory
    pinkvictory Member Posts: 24
    edited August 2017
    Options

    so, it's been 11 days since my surgery. I have not looked at my body. I wasn't sure I was emotionally prepared and thought I should focus on healing first. Today, I finally felt ready to take a peak at the new me in progress. I am so relieved....I thought I would burst into tears and I didn't want to mourne my loss. I still have my bandages on where my nipples used to be, and I can't see the full effect of the inscision yet, but I have to say I am so relieved that it was not upsetting! I am feeling kinda proud that I made this very tough decision, followed thru with it, even though I was scared...and that the marks on my body represent the story of my life and how I will survive. In my pathology report they did find some invasive cancer cells that did not show on previous screening and thankfully my nodes were clear. I am so glad I listened to my gut. Prior to my surgery, my oncologist said she would "strongly argue against a bilateral mastectomy". As you all know, This whole thing is such an emotional roller coaster, but, for this one moment, it feels good to feel a little strong and empowered. I really would love it if this feeling could last, but I know there will still be plenty of ups and downs. When we all get through all of this, I hope for all of us that we will forever feel stronger, happier, healthier, more empowered, more fulfilled and more self assured than ever before! Best wishes for all of you who are recovering and for those of you leading up to surgery

  • Beachmama
    Beachmama Member Posts: 28
    edited August 2017
    Options

    So happy for you pinkvictory! There is something empowering about this whole process - realizing we are stronger than we thought!

  • MarilynIllinois
    MarilynIllinois Member Posts: 50
    edited August 2017
    Options

    pink victory, thank you for your inspiring post!

    Best wishes to all as we heal

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited August 2017
    Options

    PinkVictory,

    So great to read, and yes, I second that we all move forward in a positive, healthy direction!

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited August 2017
    Options

    MommyErin,,,Hope you have been doing well..let us know.

    To Everyone who is going in this week, best of luck, you'll do great, and keep us posted.

    xo

  • Remali
    Remali Member Posts: 9
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Wonderful post pinkvictory!

    I had my drain out yesterday (there was only one), I had it out a little early as it was getting beyond sore and painful, and there was not much output any more, so the surgeon on call was nice and removed it for me.  Otherwise I am feeling pretty good, just 5 days out from my mastectomy.  The sharp burning jabs I was getting in the shoulder blade area, near the lymph node site, have let up, so maybe they will continue to go away and not be a bother.  Doing better than I had thought I would, but still taking it easy and still take the pain meds on a regular basis (without the pain meds I am still a bit too uncomortable).

    Glad you are doing well marilynllli, your doctors and team of nurses sound wonderful, that makes such a huge difference.

    MrsWinnie, your party sounds fabulous, staying busy helped me too.

    I have so many questions for the surgeon... I am obviously very relieved no cancer was found after my mastectomy... but I find it very odd that after two previous lumpectomies just a few months ago, both which showed extensive cancer at the margins, and the first surgeon I had was very pushy and real rude and was very aggressive about me having this mastectomy "as soon as possible" and even got mad at me when I was too sick to have the mastectomy and had to cancel.... I then switched surgeons....  And, now, after the mastectomy I am told no cancer was found, at all, anywere.... How can that be with the last lumpectomy showing extensive cancer, a "larger tumor than we thought" and cancer well into the margins...  I expected some cancer to be found, due to the extensive cancer that they said I had after the last lumpectomy. I have so many questions for my upcoming appointment next week...

    Sending healing vibes to everyone who has sugery coming up.  

    ~Renee

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Hi Everyone, Its my turn tomorrow. BMX and Sentinel Node Biopsy.  Absolutely Terrified, of what I'm not sure.  Question Please - How in the world is everyone sleeping on their back? I'm practicing,  I've tried and either wake up on my side, or wake up because I'm dreaming I'm falling.  Plus sleeping (trying) on my back hurts my  lower/upper back and my elbows.  I have about 10 pillows.  No way I can get a recliner, so I'm asking any helpful hints? Even sleeping pills don't knock me out enough to stay on my back.  Best of luck to those coming up on Wed/Thur.  

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited August 2017
    Options

    rljessu,

    Believe me, you'll sleep on your back lol. Your body wont let you turn on the side until your ready. First few days I slept off and on, hour or two here or there, getting up a million times to use the bathroom from all the saline they pumped me with. More liquids than I ever take in. You'll crash from exhaustion but it gets better each day. I'm 13days out and over the last 3days I've been finally able to totally sleep on my side all night. Thank goodness because I have a cat that sleeps with me and he crawls over me and I had to sleep with my hands over my boobs to keep him from stepping on them at night or "fluffing" me up while I was on my back I slept with 3 pillows. One was one of my kids, the kind that supports while they play video games,,,no breast cancer body pillows but they design them for kids who play video games..ha. Anyway that and 2 other pillows worked for me.

    Good luck tomorrow, you'll do great and be fine. Happy

  • Sweet_Pea
    Sweet_Pea Member Posts: 90
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Good luck, BeachMama! We'll be sending good vibes your way tomorrow! xoxoxo

    P.S. My date JUST got confirmed today: next Tuesday, August 29th. Finally a date!

  • Lsunshine
    Lsunshine Member Posts: 24
    edited August 2017
    Options

    good luck to all of the girls having surgery this week. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  • DallasDuck
    DallasDuck Member Posts: 7
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Let us know how you did when you re-emerge. Hope all is well when you get across the surgery.

    Make sure that if any drain starts filling like once every 30 minutes you get the surgeon's office called immediately. I didn't and it really set me back with emergency surgery that night.

    Our good thoughts are with you!

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Wow DallasDuck it filled up that much and that quick? That must have been scary. Glad you're ok now.

  • DallasDuck
    DallasDuck Member Posts: 7
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Thought I was going to cash it in. Sat up in bed that first night and blood was pouring out of the incision.

    Nurse freaked

  • ladynicole
    ladynicole Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Day 15 update. Today's my 41st birthday. :)

    I'm just starting to get that tight feeling back across my chest and in my arms. My right side is still a lot more swollen than my left, funny because the SNB was done on the left side so I figured that would cause me more grief. It's just tight and swollen above and below the incision just in front of my armpit. I do notice now after my BMX that arm movements in an upward direction actually pulls on the lower rib cage, I never noticed that when I had boobs. :O

    Otherwise I'm absolutely fine. Now sleeping a little on my side so not just my back (my bum is thanking me for this one). Still napping during the day for 2-4 hours. I worked all day Sunday photographing and lifting that 6.5kg camera up and down several thousand times. Thankfully my body tolerated it though I slept like the proverbial dead that night.

    Goodluck ladies with your upcoming surgery dates. <3

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Yikes DallasDuck, thank goodness you were ok.

    HappyBirthday Ladynicole and many, many, many more healthy ones to come!!! Here's to another 41 Happy. One of the best feelings was being able to sleep on my side, finally was able to get some good sleep.

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
    edited August 2017
    Options

    question for those of you who already had your mastectomy (I am scheduled for Sept): How difficult was it to use the restroom the first week after surgery? Could you pull up and down your undies ok? Clean yourself after voiding ok?

    Sorry to take the conversation to the bathroom level but those are my concerns this morning as I start mentally preparing for my surgery

    Thanks!!

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Personally, no problems at all. I walked to the bathroom in recovery and never needed assistance. I'm sure you'll be ok. ROM wasnt bad for me, mostly tightness right away.



  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited August 2017
    Options

    Thinking of all of ya. I go in tomorrow arrive at 7 needles for nodes at 8 surgery at 1130. Todays goal is to just breath. Hugs to everyone.

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
    edited August 2017
    Options

    beach2beach- thank yo

  • Beachmama
    Beachmama Member Posts: 28
    edited August 2017
    Options

    dodgersgirl - I think it depends on your health and abilities pre-surgery. Some people do struggle the first week. If you are fit and active, you should be fine. I could do just about everything - even washing my hair. But, then you have a different problem like I do of trying to not overdo it.

    Mrswinnie - prayers are with you tomorrow!

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
    edited August 2017
    Options

    beachmama- thanks. My concern was due to range of motion after surgery how difficult it might be to pull down undies and pull up undies the first few days after surgery. I tend to drink a lot of water and will do so after surgery, if I can, to flush out all the surgery meds which will mean a few trips to the restroom!