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September 2019 surgery support group

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JenInMass
JenInMass Member Posts: 15

Hi all! I'm still pretty new here but I just got the call yesterday with my next surgery date and thought I'd go ahead and start a thread for September as I'm sure I'm not the only one who has or is expecting a September date at this point.

I am having a nipple-sparing mastectomy of my left breast plus tissue expander placement on 9/10. This will be my 3rd surgery this year. I had an excisional biopsy in June (after 2 failed attempts at a core needle biopsy), followed by re-excision and sentinel lymph node biopsy in July since the first surgery had DCIS in all margins in addition to the small mass they were going after that turned out to be IDC. The second surgery was good news on the lymph node front but still did not have clean margins, and there was a second slightly larger IDC mass that hadn't shown up on any of the imaging (multiple mammograms, ultrasound, and MRI). So, mastectomy it is.

Anyone else getting ready for a September surgery? I like that the August group has a list of everyone's surgery dates updated in the first post; I can do that here as well if people would like that.

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Comments

  • Trying2staypositive
    Trying2staypositive Member Posts: 32
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    I am! I just posted asking anyone else for Sept surgery and then I saw your thread! I am getting a bmx/w immediate tissue expander reconstruction on 9/10. God willing. Having some blood pressure control issues Im trying to fix (due to the stress my original meds not working so well now) but I believe I got surgery clearance. Surgeon will also check my nodes and if necessary do an axillary lymph node dissection during bmx. I am told surgery will be around 5 hours. Ive never been out that long....scared of the whole thing!

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    I met my surgeon today and got the surgery date, it will be Sept 10, lumpectomy.

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    I was told the similar info, 5 hours, general anesthesia, however the surgery itself will only last 1 hour to 1.5 hours.

  • JenInMass
    JenInMass Member Posts: 15
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    Wow, 3 of us on September 10th! Nice to "meet" you both, trying2staypositive and cathy67!

    I was under local + sedation for my excisional biopsy and general for my re-excision + SLN biopsy, both were about 2-2.5 hours, I think. They told me for this one the mastectomy portion with the BS will be 1.5-2 hours and then 2-2.5 for the PS's portion (tissue expanders plus drains/closure, I guess?). I am nervous about being out that long! I'm also very apprehensive about dealing with the drains, which is something new to me.

    And I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly how limited in daily activities I'll be and what supplies I should have on hand since so much of what I've found about mastectomies is from women with bilaterals. For example, I've seen people talk about getting a small pillow to put between the seat belt and the chest, but since I'm only getting the left side done and I'll be sitting in the right side of the car when my husband drives me home, the setbelt will just be going across my right shoulder and chest, so I think probably I don't need to worry about that? I don't know. I don't want to buy a lot of unnecessary stuff.

    I don't have any further pre-op with my BS but am expecting a call from the PS office as the BS's scheduler said the PS did want me to have some lab work beforehand.

  • Trying2staypositive
    Trying2staypositive Member Posts: 32
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    Hi JenInMass and cathy67! Wow we all have surgery on 9/10-thats amazing. JenInMass sent you a pm re pillow etc then forgot to attach the photo-whoops. So i will send in a separate msg. Lol

    Cathy67 thats great if actual surgery will be shorter. Im nervous about the 5+ hours under general

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    Hi,

    My surgeon said, no drainage tube for me. Yes, I also have something to do the day before surgery, that is for lymph node under armpit.

    By the way, I may put a wrong diagnosis date here, that is the date I received my biopsy report. Actually I shall put my biopsy date as diagnosis date?


  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    I joined this community seven years ago, when I was first called back, ... then I have been in the six months follow-up group all the time. Now, it comes finally, I found my previous account is still working, seven years passed, this community is still here to support us!

  • bkscott7-
    bkscott7- Member Posts: 1
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    Hi. I'm getting a bilateral mastectomy 8/22. I am also going to be under about 5 hrs. They want to do paravertebral block prior. Have you heard of that and if yes, how do you feel about getting a block?

    Nervous

  • Trying2staypositive
    Trying2staypositive Member Posts: 32
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    So you guys wont believe this but may not be having surgery 9/10 after all-they are denying my reconstruction bc Im using an out of network ps even though I have those benefits. It might just be faster and easier to start over w someone else than fight it and end up w giant bills anyway.

  • halezma
    halezma Member Posts: 13
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    I'm scheduled for BMX on 9/19 for ILC in the right. So far lymph nodes have been clear on imaging but we doing a sentinel node bx during surgery to make sure. The plan right now is surgery and Tamoxifen.

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    I have not met oncologist now, should be after surgery. Mine will be partial mastectomy with lymph node biopsy. Lymph nodes are now clear on imaging. Oh, I have to wait for almost four weeks for a surgery, I wonder if it will expand during the waiting!

    Please post here the updates and lets support each other!

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    Dear halezma,

    Welcome to the BCO community. We are sorry about your diagnosis and upcoming surgery and glad that you reached out to our members. We hope that you will find support and information here that will help you along the way. Keep us posted on how things go for you. Don't hesitate to let us know how we can be of help in your navigation around the boards.

    The Mods


  • JenInMass
    JenInMass Member Posts: 15
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    Trying2staypositive - oh my gosh, I would be going insane if my surgery date potentially had to be changed - and with possibly a switch of surgeon on top of it! Insurance is so frustrating. I'm trying to straighten out a network issue regarding my oncologist (she is in network but the referral didn't get processed and I wasn't as on top of that as I should have been). I hope everything gets settled for you soon without too much hassle.

    bkscott7 - It sounds like such a long time, doesn't it? I keep reminding myself that it will still be less time than I spend asleep at night usually.

    I don't know much about the blocks versus other forms of anesthesia (or really much about anesthesia period...I know I had an epidural block for childbirth but that's about it...)

    cathy67 - makes sense that you wouldn't have a drain for the lumpectomy; I think my surgical biopsy and re-excision were comparable to lumpectomies and I didn't need one. Is the thing to do the day before for the lymph node where they inject the tracer? I had that for my re-excision but they had me show up extra early the day of the surgery. I'm guessing it may depend on how early in the day the surgery itself is scheduled, plus all the other variables that come into play at different hospitals.

    halezma - nice to meet you! My current plan is surgery followed by tamoxifen as well. I go back and forth between feeling like I'm getting away with something if I don't have to have chemo or radiation, and feeling like a mastectomy is an awfully big sacrifice to avoid those procedures.

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    JeninMass,

    Yes, the assistant said, the hospital will call me when it is close to surgery date, for the detailed instructions.

    By the way, what is your diagnosis? It sounds that you've already met the oncologist, and already known the after surgery treatment will be tamoxifen.


  • Jlimo
    Jlimo Member Posts: 2
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    9/13/19 Right-sided lumpectomy scheduled with sentinel node biopsy.

    However, MRI showed other concerns bilaterally--so I'm back for another ultrasound this coming Friday. BS advised surgery plans may change with further assessment :-(

    Also scheduled for cardiac eval--stress test with echo--on the 10th (first available date) as cardiologist states EKG shows evidence of previous heart attack. News to me--62yo, active, no cardiac symptoms or history ever, nonsmoker, average weight, and textbook perfect lipids. High blood pressure in cardiologist's office-also a brand new finding. I asked them to try taking it with another cuff, but they wouldn't. I'm very good at faking that I'm doing well with all of this--maybe my blood pressure reflects the stress catching up with me :-(

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    Jlimo,

    My surgeon did not arrange any further checkups for me, then I back to my family doctor. he arranged left side diagnostic mammography for me, which is August 28. I hope it will turn out clear, I did it last July.

  • chaclarey
    chaclarey Member Posts: 62
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    Hello,

    I’m new as well. I had routine breast screening on July 6, additional mammogram and ultrasound on August 1, core biopsy on August 6th, surgical oncologist appointment on August 19th and am scheduled for lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy on September 18th. I am still in a daze


  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    Hi ChaClarey,

    Your situation is quite similar to mine. But mine is a routine six months followup, and then I met surgeon but not oncologist on August 14th. My surgery is scheduled on September 10th, lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy, general anesthesia, five hours hospital stay.

    What kind of diagnosis your biopsy report says? Did oncologist mention something to you?

    Catherine


  • chaclarey
    chaclarey Member Posts: 62
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    Hi Catherine,

    I met with surgeon who was called a surgical oncologist to discuss lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy.

    Biopsy- surgical pathology report

    - invasive ductal carcinoma - associated ductal carcinoma in Situ (s is)

    Lesion measures 2.0 x 1.7 x 1.4

    Intermediate nuclear grade with estimated Nottingham histologic grade 2/3

    Surgical oncologist described as stage 2

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    Hi ChaClarey,

    The biopsy report does not say which stage it is, this is my understanding. Also, today's stage system includes a few more items, I think you can find it someplace. What surprises me is, it is already 2cm, can we trust the routine? Mine is 8mm in biopsy report and ultrasound report, but mammography says 2cm, I have not met oncologist, but I think the final pathology report after surgery determines everything. Mine is also IDC, the most common breast cancer.

    And it sounds our waiting time is almost the same, 4 weeks after meeting with surgeon, too bad.

    Catherine


  • chaclarey
    chaclarey Member Posts: 62
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    Hi Catherine,

    It was surgical oncologist who described stage 2 to me not biopsy report.

    2cm was also told to me by surgical oncologist.

    Sorry I wasn’t very clear.

    They are also doing other tests from biopsy sample that I will receive post op with the rest of the pathology.

    I see you are from Canada, so am I. :

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    Hi ChaClarey,

    Yes, I am from BC. It sounds they have different ways to handle it. I wish the waiting won't make situation worse.

    Try to arrange something for you these weeks, I went to my fitness club today, went for a one-day tour with my family last weekend. ..hopefully you also have some activities to make you busy.

  • chaclarey
    chaclarey Member Posts: 62
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    Hi Catherine,

    Thanks for advice. I planned to spend this weekend with my 22 year old daughter shopping and going to spa. I was originally planning to go to Quebec City on September 27th to celebrate my 51st, but I will now be otherwise engaged :), so we decided to go on long weekend. I think you are right about trying to keep busy.

    Patricia



  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    Hi Patricia,

    I guess you can travel to Quebec as your birthday celebration, with the help from family, already 9 days after lumpectomy then.

    I am also planned to celebrate my b-day, I will be 52 years old, it will be the end of this month, then go for surgery. Lets pray the post-op pathology report won't have additional findings. I will also go shopping with my 14 years today. I hope I can find a front zip bra, new balance online store has the one, but you have to try. Any ideas for the bra?


    Catherine


  • Trying2staypositive
    Trying2staypositive Member Posts: 32
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    JenInMass, thank you-me too! Surgeon trying to get insurance mess straightened out. Insurance messes can be awful at a time like this.

    Assuming my surgery goes off on time on 9/10 I will have waited 2 months for surgery, but this was first seen early May so longer. (Took a bunch of time for mammos, us, two biopsies and an MRI etc.) so I know how others feel re possible spread even though my nodes “look" clear and area looks small on MRI. Also I know ILC is sneaky on imaging and can spread when small...or be bilateral and not seen (thus my bmx) but hoping for the best.

    Jlimo I had pre op heart tests too-Ecg and echocardiogram. I do have a heart condition though. (Pretty benign Rhythm issues) They also like a baseline as well sometimes to compare post treatment as those can negatively effect the heart. Stress test is usually done to be sure your heart can withstand the strain and stress of surgery.

    Whomever mentioned high bp, I had a genetic case that became uncontrolled after diagnosis. I am on two bp meds now-its working so far.

  • Belinda977
    Belinda977 Member Posts: 150
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    Just purchased a front sports bra from Kohls. Kind of stressful though since I don't know if I will wake up with implants or expanders....

    How many days before you could put your arms over your head to put on a non-button up shirt? I have 3...so hope that will work.

    At the time gets closer....the anxiety increases. Wow....can't I fast forward 30 days?

  • Askmissa
    Askmissa Member Posts: 32
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    I had Bilateral Nipple Sparing Mastectomy on Monday, August 19th and can put on a regular shirt. I did not expect this. My surgeon removed sentinel lymph node through the incision under my breast so he don’t have a painful incision by my arm put. Also my implants were placed Prepectorally so that makes things much easier on your chest muscles

  • sdsgw2
    sdsgw2 Member Posts: 1
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    I should get my surgery date today or Monday but it will be in September. Bmx with reconstruction. Petrified but taking it one step at a time. DCIS (so far). 2.8 cm. It's in the upper right quadrant of my right breast so in a somewhat awkward area. Bmx seems a bit extreme based on current diagnosis but knowing that can change and that I'd like to avoid radiation and Tamoxifen if the diagnosis remains DCIS is appealing. I'd also like to avoid the uncertainty of recurrence. This is all so overwhelming. I wish I could fast forward the surgery to tomorrow just to get past it.

  • chaclarey
    chaclarey Member Posts: 62
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    Hi Catherine,

    I’m actually go to Quebec on August long weekend instead of September 27th, I will take 3 weeks off work after my surgery on Sept 18th. and stay home and focus on my recovery.

    As for bras, I found some zip front closure ones at Hudson’s bay. The brand is Jockey.

    Patrici

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    Patrici,

    Thanks. I just found a zip front bra in walmart.

    Long waiting. Though my lesion area is not big, the biopsy shows 8mm in maximum length, the surgeon told me the tissue to be removed around 3.5 cm * 2.5 cm, she drew this on a paper. My friend just told me, her boyfriend's sister was diagnosed last Wednesday, very rare type, need surgery immediately, don't know details yet, will have surgery next week.

    My surgeon office called me yesterday, to notify me that they got to put something into my body the day before surgery date. Also, there will be visit before surgery, hospital will call me then. So sounds that, two visits before surgery date.

    By the way, any additional test the surgeon ordered for you? For me, no tests. Then I back to my family doctor to ask how to handle the other side, he said, the screening policy for the other side is yearly diagnosed program, if one side is diagnosed as cancer. So I got an appointment next Wednesday for my the other side, it will be diagnosed mammography. Have you ever arranged this for yourself? If not, I would suggest you ask your family doctor.

    Catherine