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Positive Care Expereince

dogmomx4 Member Posts: 4

I found this forum when I was looking for info on ovarian suppression (MO brought it up at 2nd appt, between surgery & radiation) and found useful info but also some scary info. I realize this forum is a place to share when you're having problems & issues, find out what has worked for other survivors, what others have experienced - it can be overwhelming & almost terrifying when you are at the beginning of the breast cancer journey.

I thought I would share my experience so other newbies would know things can go smoothly.

My tumor was found on a normal, annual screening mammogram - no symptoms, no suspicions, no family history. It was 10 days from mammogram to receiving the diagnosis of breast cancer from a biopsy. I had the consult with my surgeon the next morning; surgery was scheduled in 2.5 weeks. I only met with my surgeon 3 times - consult, day of surgery, & 1 post-op appt. - each time he spent as much time with me as needed, answered all of my questions, looked for my input on lumpectomy vs. mastectomy & made me feel comfortable; his nurse was really great also. The surgeon is the one who made the referral to my MO and nurse navigator.

There were several appointments the surgeon scheduled between the consult & surgery day - pre-op physical, mri, marker chip placement, 1st appt. with MO, & covid-test. It was a whirlwind of appointments.

My surgery was out-patient - lumpectomy with sentinel lymph node biopsy & no reconstruction; from check in until I was headed home was about 6 hours. My surgeon used glue instead of stitches - went home with absolutely no dressing/bandages. This was my first surgery as the patient - have been the caregiver thru knee & sinus surgeries for my husband.

The breast incision was no big deal unless you actually put pressure directly on it. The incision from the lymph nodes was a bigger deal - sore, irritated, had a raised ridge along it for 5 weeks - didn't wear a bra just tank tops & camisoles until 4 weeks after surgery because of the rubbing in that area. I only took the prescription pain med on the day of the surgery - once on the way home & again at bedtime. Over the next few days, it was tylenol & ice packs. The next day I was doing normal chores around the house as I felt I could - just a slower pace with an afternoon nap. Each day got better. Surgery was on a Wednesday and I returned to work on Monday. The only restriction I had was no excessive movement of my right arm for 2 weeks (mainly lifting).

The only down points of my surgery (other than needing it) was no one told me the dye they used to locate my lymph nodes would have me peeing smurf blue for 24 hours; and not having their cleanser prep product cleaned off - my husband helped me dress instead of a nurse, possible if the nurse would have helped, it would have gotten wiped off -don't know for sure. I went home with their orange cleanser still on me from my chin to my waist. It would not have as big of a deal except I had an allergic reaction to it - had a rash for 10 days that kept spreading, inching closer to my incisions. The rash moved up my post-op appointment with the surgeon from 2 weeks to 1 week.

It sucks that we're all on this journey - it is helpful to know not all experiences are terrible - your care team (I lucked into mine - blind referral from my PCP), family & friends can make it tolerable.