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August 2020 Surgery Group

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24

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  • Ekojio
    Ekojio Member Posts: 20
    edited August 2020
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    hello all...

    Wondering how those who had surgery since are doing?

    Im still on for this friday.. I have a covid test on Wednesday, seeing plastics to sign my life away on Thursday, and the double mastectomy of course Friday. I was told I would stay over for oberservations which is better than having someone stay overnight with me because I really don't have anyone.. so leave Saturday, Sunday another covid test and somewhere in between blood work to make sure im still o- blood type lol and diep surgery on Tuesday the 25th.

    Way more nervous now for sure.. only few days left.

  • rbc
    rbc Member Posts: 16
    edited August 2020
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    Good vibes, thoughts, and prayers your way, Ekojio.

  • rbc
    rbc Member Posts: 16
    edited August 2020
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    ladyc2020- good advice for sure. The next day met a friend and let her know about my dx, & she was great to help me pull it together. She basically gave me the advice I would give other people - gotta take it one step at a time & theres no.use freaking out over something u dont know yet. So that was a deep breath.

    So this weekend I pulled out the folder the Breast Health Center had given me and reached out to my assigned Nurse Navigator, the Cancer Buddy Program, my Leave Coordinator in HR, & started contacting other friends. This morning (Monday) everyone got back to me first thing.

    Spoke w my amazing surgeon today to talk about options, outcomes, recovery times, recommendations.

    I'm an acute care bedside RN & have spent the last 7 months caring for Covid patients, dealing with all that for other people. This is the first time I've been on the other side except for the birth of my son.

    Thankful for the support here and knowing I'm not alone.



  • karainla
    karainla Member Posts: 10
    edited August 2020
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    Here I am joining the group. I’m on for Friday, mastectomy and stacked reconstruction. They are saying 4 days in hospital because of concerns of other medical issues unrelated to the cancer. The great news is no infusion chemo (I was in and out of hospital last time because of the chemo, and ultimately had to stop treatment early because of the side effects). My biggest worry is the isolation in the hospital, I don’t tend toward depression, but I’m worried that it will sneak in

  • Ekojio
    Ekojio Member Posts: 20
    edited August 2020
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    KaraInLA,

    You join the August 21st surgery buddy group. What is stacked reconstruction? I never heard of. Can you have visitors while in hospital? We can have one at a time, that one can only visit once a day though, but several can visit during visitation hours but again only once. I dont have anyone really so I feel thats putting me into depression alone.. but we will all be fine. Are you having surgery to get rid of the cancer entirely in hopes to not have to do anymore chemo? Thats what it sounds like when I read it anyways.

  • Ekojio
    Ekojio Member Posts: 20
    edited August 2020
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    Rbc,

    Im a certified nursing assistant and this will be my first time being taken care of too outside of giving birth (vaginally, 2 c sections) and it just feels weird. I know with child birth I always felt like I didn't want to call for help because of something silly because I know how hard my nurse or cna is and doesn't need to cater to my every need. But with these two surgeries I need to try to not let that take over my thinking because I will definitely need help and I need to ask and not just brush it off..

  • karainla
    karainla Member Posts: 10
    edited August 2020
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    I see that I won’t be alone on Friday...I remember how helpful this site was to me last time. My oncologist strongly suggested a mastectomy even when she thought it was just DCIS and not the invasive cancer it turned out to be...mastectomy because I have a Chek2 mutation and the cancer is the same breast as last time. No chemo because my oncotype score was 12...it was the first good news I had on this summer’s cancer journey.


    stacked reconstruction is an autologous reconstruction but taking tissue from different areas...I’m hoping mostly my back. I’ve had multiple abdominal surgeries so I am not a good candidate for DIEP flap.


    sadly, it sounds like no visitors, but I’m going to try...I have a gym bag packed, a little bit of clothes and lots of knitting, so if I’m going to be alone for 5 days hopefully I’ll have a sweater at the end of it...one gift at least is that it will be hot here This weekendand I don’t have AC at home, but the hospital will!

  • Ekojio
    Ekojio Member Posts: 20
    edited August 2020
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    It is officially the day before and im so nervous. Im going to make some food to freeze today, I have my plastics appointment before surgery on the 25th, and going to get my sleep area and clothes out on my bed all ready tonight. They sent me antibacterial soap to use tonight and tomorrow morning and then my ride will be here 615 am tomorrow morning and im off for the double mastectomy part. It doesn't feel real... i had my brca 2 diagnosis 2 years ago and couldn't go along with surgery then and now I'm here having it done tomorrow and im nervous but feel ready and prepared. How are my other 21st surgery friends doing? I dont think ill get much sleep tonight..

  • Ekojio
    Ekojio Member Posts: 20
    edited August 2020
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    Just got back from appointment with plastic surgeon..

    Found out next Tuesday for diep it will take between 10 and 14 hours. An all day surgery he said but he's going to be there, his boss, other doctor, and another doctor I saw today as well. They went over complications.. they want to see if breast surgeon will make my incision going down instead of out to the side toward armpit to try to hide the scars for any revisions in future. So they marked me and going to show surgeon tomorrow morning. Im having my lunch now then going to prepare my dinners and relax a little, take a walk, get my shower done and eventually bed.


    Good luck all tomorrow.

  • karainla
    karainla Member Posts: 10
    edited August 2020
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    I’m also anxious. I have one more work task before I’m done, working has helped a lot in getting out of my head...I just set my alarm for 4am, after no alarm since I started working from home in March...quick shower with the hibiclens and I have to be at hospital at 5, surgery at 7. I’m all marked up by the plastics guys...as my SIL says, someone should have told them we don’t write on our bodies or on the walls...it is all jus so surreal.


    good luck...hopefully we’ll all come through stronger than ever.

  • arabiansrock
    arabiansrock Member Posts: 40
    edited August 2020
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    Hi Ladies

    Well I had my bi-lateral lumpectomy yesterday. Sorry I didn't post earlier, but what ever they knocked me out with, stuck around for awhile. Everyone at the surgery center was really nice and gentle. The literally tossed me out tho as soon as I was awake. Then to add insult to injury, my hubby showed up before they even had a chance to start getting me dressed!

    For those of you who have only had minor discomfort, you were blessed. My pain is not crazy, but it is def more than minor. I would say a 6 before I take pain pill, then goes down to 3. I am hoping tomorrow will be much better. I asked dr for some codeine because tylenol doesn't work for me. She gave me a lecture on how tylenol DOES work. Well not for me. Then she said I will give you 10 tabs. Ok great thats more than enough. But when my hubby went to pick it up, they sent a box of NARCAN home with him? WTH? I feel like I should find a policeman or ambulance to give it to, so it can be used where its really needed.

    Also I have never been so happy to put on a bra as I was this am. They wrapped up my chest in an ace bandage, and the darn thing kept falling down below my boobs, and constantly pulling it back up really hurt. Its much better with a bra on.

    Good Luck to everyone who has surgery tomorrow, I think Robinorbit is tomorrow and Ekojio.

    Take care and I will be thinking of you all.

    hugs

  • rbc
    rbc Member Posts: 16
    edited August 2020
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    Good luck today

  • Ekojio
    Ekojio Member Posts: 20
    edited August 2020
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    well had my double mastectomy.. went well to my knowledge. Took a shorter time than she told me. About 4 hours I think instead of 5 or 6.. no blood transfusions. And woke up from general right away. Only had minor sore throat. Been drinking juice for that.. im in a shared room but room mate just left. Im here til tomorrow unless something comes up. Pain more so in the middle of where the two breasts were. They have me on 10 mg perc because 5 wasn't working and Tylenol. About to call my kiddos at 430.. then supper will be here around 5 my room mate told me. And then hopefully I can take a nap. Room is real warm. I took covers off.. but still warm. Asked to have temp lowered but they must have forgot... but ya ill update on diep surgery on Tues. Hope everyone else's surgery went well.

  • rbc
    rbc Member Posts: 16
    edited August 2020
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    So weird to be a patient! Weird to be in the hospital and for it to feel CALM cuz we KNOW all the stress that's going on behind the nurses station! haha! Glad to say my surgery yesterday went well. I honestly didnt know until the night before surgery if.I would be having a double mastectomy or a double lumpectomy so that was stressful. They were wtg on an mri biopsy result. The surgeon gave me the option to have the MRI biopsy- if it came out bad she was recommending mastectomies, if it came out good lumpectomies. She also said some people just want to be done with it and have a double mastectomy. Right now I'm glad I had the MRI biopsy, though a possible mastectomy is always in my future.

    Will find out about margins next week. Sentinel nodes were clear. My pee is still the color of Windex by the way from the dye. Hoping that resolves today! Both breasts seem to be about the same size (definitely smaller than my 32Ds- maybe 32Bs now) and seem to both be pointing in the right direction.

  • clarrn
    clarrn Member Posts: 160
    edited August 2020
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    Anxiously waiting to hear how it all goes for everyone! My DEIP is Monday. Check in for 5 am also. So nervous and snuggling my 2 year old extra today. Don't know how he'll do with me gone for a week and then the drains and not being able to pick him up. Good thing my parents are coming tomorrow and staying for 2 weeks!

  • Ekojio
    Ekojio Member Posts: 20
    edited August 2020
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    Clarrn,

    That's neatish we are having diep only days apart. I may of said that already but if i did I apologize. And yes hugs because afterwards you will need a new way to hug. Thank you to "my mommy is having a mastectomy " book I read with my boys, elbow hugs, feet hugs, etc. My 6 year old thought it was funny. He likes elbow and feet hugs. So when I see the boys after mine they will be doing new hugs til old hugs can come back. It's great your parents are coming to help for 2 weeks. That would be impossible for you and him after if no help. My kids are staying with my dad right now for all this but hopefully week after surgery they can visit me.. or if the two oldest want to see me in hospital they can come one at a time. The 3 year old loves me to death but he doesn't understand everything and so I think it's best he stay home. But good luck on Monday. I'll be praying for you. Im in your shoes on tues and will update more then.

  • robinorbit
    robinorbit Member Posts: 23
    edited August 2020
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    Hi arabiansroc,

    I’m glad your lumpectomies went well. Mine was yesterday, and they definitely booted me out as soon as I awoke. I never saw the doctor after surgery, nor did he call me or my ride home, so I don’t even know what he took out—how many lymph nodes or whether he removed the biopsy hematoma. During wire localization they told me my chart said “no nuclear meds” (radioactive tracer) and I questioned that since I was scheduled for sentinel node biopsy. The tech said sometimes surgeons don’t do the injections of tracer for that. I protested again, saying my surgeon had described the whole process. The tech called up to surgery and found they had forgotten to order the tracer injections. So they had to squeeze those in (literally) before surgery.

    My pain is not bad. They gave me 8 hydrocodone w/Tylenol—no NARCAN (how insulting!). I took one yesterday but none since. I can’t believe you would have to beg for real pain meds after bilateral lumpectomies especially!

    Ekojio and rbc — I’m glad your mastectomies went smoothly and wishing you good luck with upcoming DIEP flap surgeries

  • Ekojio
    Ekojio Member Posts: 20
    edited August 2020
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    That is ridiculous with the narcan. After my double mastectomy they only wanted to give me 5 mg of perc. I asked for more because I was in so much pain and they said i would have to see an addict counselor who then may or may not prescribe me more so I settled with 5 mg and nurse went into computer and the doctor she asked to change to 10 mg agreed after she had her little talk with me like wow... you made her waste time talking to me about having to talk to an addict counselor even tho I dont even do drugs when you could of easily just have agreed when she first asked on my behalf. Smh.. I had to ask for pain meds every 4 to 6 hours or they wouldn't give to me. It is as needed.. thats crazy too. So I set timer on my phone because I refuse to be in any pain if I don't have to. Sent me home with 5 mg tabs but enough to take 2 to equal 10 mg if i had to til Tuesdays surgery. This world is crazy.

  • dani444
    dani444 Member Posts: 215
    edited August 2020
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    hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well today. I am now 5 days post op UMX with direct to implant. I stayed all night with my first MX but this time I went home the same day. I was so dizzy and nauseous the entire day. This time around feels much different than my surgery for my cancer. I am a lot more uncomfortable and getting in and out of bed really is painful. I do feel like I am getting range of motion back quicker. Might be because I didn’t have to have SNB this time. I am anxious for the swelling to settle so I can get an idea of how even ( or uneven) they are going to be.

    Clarrn and Ekojio - I hope you are both doing well after your DIEP.

    Robinorbit- So glad you advocate for yourself on the tracer for the SNB! We’re you awake for that? That’s really frustrating about the pain meds! I was given RX I ubuprofen and 15 oxycodone 5mg. I hope you are still doing well with the pain control. Have you heard from your doctor yet?

    Rbc - I agree being the patient is so odd when you are a healthcare worker! I work as a tech in an ER and I pushed my call light one time when I was in the hospital for my first surgery and felt so guilty! I also recorded my own output for them😁 I hope you are resting and recovering well.

    Arabiansrock- I hope your pain control is getting better. It is so different for everyone I had good pain control with just Tylenol after my first surgery, but it is so different with this one. I am sorry you had to go through that to get pain medicine.

    KaralnLA- thinking of you and hope you are doing well.

  • arabiansrock
    arabiansrock Member Posts: 40
    edited August 2020
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    Dani that is crazy they sent you home same day. That is a huge procedure, you would think it would warrant a night in hospital with anti nauseau meds. Not being able to get out of bed easily must be hard. Can you change sides of the bed so you can push up with your good arm?

    Clarm and Ekojio - hope your DIEP recovery is going well. The more I read about it, the more intimidated I get. But what a great way to get new boobs, they are "real you" AND you get a tummy tuck. It seems like win win until you stop and think about how major the surgery is. I really hope you have great healing and a wonderful cosmetic outcome.

    Robin its a good thing you remembered about the tracer. Did yours hurt? I was terrified when they did mine, but surprisingly it did not hurt much at all. two locations I didn't feel anthing, the other 2 just a bit of a sting.

    rbc it must be hard not to be in control when you work in the field and now you have to be a patient. Wishing you a quick recovery.

    I'm doing better everyday, no pain meds needed now, but HATE wearing a bra 24/7! And its very hard not being able to do things like carry my laptop from room a to room b. Hubby keeps yelling at me,lol.

  • robinorbit
    robinorbit Member Posts: 23
    edited August 2020
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    Dani444 and Arabiansroc,

    I’m glad you both are recovering well!

    Tracer injection and wire localization were fine—both done while awake and no pain whatsoever. I had local anaesthesia for the wire localization and none for the tracer injections—which use a tiny needle. The most painful procedure was inserting the IV.

    I honestly had much more pain after my vacuum-assisted biopsies than I’m having now with these incisions. A few twinges now and again, but hardly noticeable. I’m having trouble getting good compression. Continue to use ace bandage atop my bra.

    Post-op appt is not until Sept 8, so I guess I’ll get details then about pathology. Do you both have follow-up appts scheduled?

  • arabiansrock
    arabiansrock Member Posts: 40
    edited August 2020
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    Hi Robin

    I HATED that ace bandage, but then mine kept falling below the boobs, would not stay on top. Was so happy to get it off and just put a bra on. I have my post op visit on Aug 31. Hopefully they will have my pathology by then. Sep 8 seems a long time to wait. Did your dr tell you 3 weeks no lifting after surgery? I'm having trouble with that. Just can't do nothing. its hard!

  • robinorbit
    robinorbit Member Posts: 23
    edited August 2020
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    Hi Arabiansroc,

    My doctor didn’t tell me anything except wear a sports bra, but I inferred that I shouldn’t be lifting with my left arm. I still have my right arm free, though, so I’m able to do almost everything with it. Haven’t tried mowing the lawn yet though. It must be frustrating to not be able to lift anything! I’m glad you have your husband there to help.

    Everything has gone slowly for me, so it’s no surprise post-op would, too. It took a month after abnormal mammogram (mid-May) to get biopsy/diagnosis, and two more months plus for surgery. So what’s another few weeks for post-op?

  • arabiansrock
    arabiansrock Member Posts: 40
    edited August 2020
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    Wow its funny how 2 doctors in the same office, doing the same procedure, can have vastly different recommendations for aftercare. And honestly, I kind of wish hubby would go back to work. He has a very limited amount of empathy. He does care, which is why he wanted to stay home and help, but he just isn't truly capable of it. I asked him for breakfast this am and got major pissy angry face and angry voice "fine what do you want". Made me feel like dirt for asking. Maybe I should have had your dr, at least then I would feel good about just taking care of myself, lol.

    Please don't try and mow your lawn, you really don't want to get lymphedema on your node biopsy side. OH, maybe thats why the recommendation is different, I got cut on both sides, you didn't.

    take care, let yourself heal, don't rush anything.

  • marcs1234
    marcs1234 Member Posts: 3
    edited August 2020
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    Hi, I had my double mastectomy with tissue expander placement (prophylactically - BRCA+)on August 11th (so I'm just about 2 weeks post op). I'm taking mainly extra strength Tylenol at this point. Honestly it's not so much pain I'm feeling than discomfort. My back feels so so tight, my chest only feels tight during sleep and just after I've woken up but then that loosens. I'm finding I'm having a ton of pain that feels like skin irritation where the tape was holding the drains and around the incisions (just under the breasts). I've been putting neosproin on the areas I feel are safe to (not near any open wounds obviously). Is anyone else experiencing this? These skin irritations are pretty painful and the back pain is just really uncomfortable ☹️ I'm starting PT next week.Anyone have any tips or light at the end of the tunnel type advice?

  • dani444
    dani444 Member Posts: 215
    edited August 2020
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    robinorbit- I am glad you had little pain with the wire localization and tracer. I had mine just after they put me under for my first mastectomy. I have my first follow up appointment Friday and that’s with my plastic surgeon. Seems soon but maybe I will get my drain out! I would check with your doctor before doing anything too strenuous like mowing.
    marcs1234- I am not sure if this is what you are describing but after my first mastectomy I hade areas of skin that felt hypersensitive. It was a really odd pain and I could barely stand to have anything touch the area. Is it a deeper pain than what I am describing



  • clarrn
    clarrn Member Posts: 160
    edited August 2020
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    Well waking up from DIEP was so much than I expected, apparently I was pretty smiley, ha aka: high as a kite . Yesterday was pretty great. I ate meals in a chair. Today is rough. I remember how much I hate drains. I went from no BMs to 6 loose ones today. And I walked 3 times. It's a huge process, but it's all progress they sent way a cyst and internal mammary lymph node that looked reactive. So we'll find out in a week probably , but I am not worried. Sorry I haven't checked in much, it's a process!

  • marcs1234
    marcs1234 Member Posts: 3
    edited August 2020
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    Dani444- it is definitely a surface pain! When looking at the ski it looks like there’s nothing there but to the touch the skin is rough and is pretty painful. I’m just assuming it’s where the tapes were but I’ve had the drains out about a week now so I’m just surprised to still be feeling such pain/irritation there.

    Another question for those with tissue expanders, anyone notice they sort of point out and away from each other? I know these are temporary but just curious if anyone’s else look like that?

  • skryppie
    skryppie Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2020
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    Hello fellow August friends. I had my bilateral mastectomy on Aug 19. I stayed 1 night at the surgical ctr. My main issue was blurry vision when I looked at my phone. The motion sickness patch, scapolomine, in addition to anesthesia meds was the cause. I had an On-Q pain pump. It automatically gave me bupivicaine into the breast areas. So for 3 days my pain was minimal!! 2-3/10. Once it came out I felt more, but tylenol and motrin take care if it. Once I got home my goal was to have a BM. My mom a fellow nurse and a previous hip replacement patient had me taking colace, miralax, and tons of blueberries. ;)

    What bothered me was my sore throat. I was grumpy for 2-3 days bc of it. Finally I tried some mucinex, nasal decongestant and it was the cure. Post nasal drip burns.

    I'm feeling achy around the perimeter of my chest especially with position changes-reclined to standing and vice versa.

    I'm not sure the road ahead, I might need chemo or radiation. Reconstruction may be implants or a DIEP flap. That huge surgery is intimidating but I like the idea of no implants.

    Happy healing ladies!!


  • dani444
    dani444 Member Posts: 215
    edited August 2020
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    https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/91/topics/860079?page=3#post_5347324marcs1234 I Hope this link works. I am not sure if this is what you are experiencing but if so maybe this thread will be helpful.

    Skryppie- The pain block sounds like a dream. The one I got this time didn’t last as long as my first time around. Also if your combo doesn’t work for the BM try mirilax in warm prune juice ( I know, sounds super yummy 🤣)wishing you the best as you move forward with treatment.

    Clarrn- You are a champ! 3 walks after that major surgery 💪🏻 . I hope you are getting good pain control. I am sending you all the best thoughts in your waiting for your path reports.

    I heard back from my breast surgeon today and thank goodness no surprises on my pathology. Everything looked good and I am so thankful.

    Hang in there ladies