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...

May 2021 Surgeries

Carlsoda
Carlsoda Member Posts: 120

Another new month is almost upon us and surgery for some of us is on the schedule. Mine is May 5th for a single mastectomy. I have recurrent breast cancer ER+, PR+, HER-. Last time around (which was May 4th 2016) was a lumpectomy and radiation (lots of radiation too!)

Busy getting prepared and reading lots. Borrowed a recliner and hope I only need it for a few days! I am optimistic that it won't be too bad since it's just one side. I also (for now) opted for no reconstruction. After radiation the surgery is just so much more extensive and just not worth it to me. Thank goodness insurance covers bras and prosthetics!

Anyone else scheduled for May?

Wishing the best outcome for all of you!!

«134567

Comments

  • historygeek
    historygeek Member Posts: 38
    edited April 2021

    Thank you for starting this month! My surgery is actually April 29th but most of my healing will be in May.

    I am having a skin sparing UMX with TE placement and sentinel node dissection. Hopefully, surgery will get rid of it all. We are still not sure whether I will have chemo after. I will be on hormone treatment after. Based on comments here, I'm not looking forward to the drain or the tissue expander.

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited April 2021

    Wishing you a successful surgery and a quick recovery!

    I guess we are lucky as we have the easiest to treat breast cancer there is! I hope you don’t need chemo!!

    I’ve already had 2 lumpectomies (pre-cancerous and cancer) and the only painful spot that was lymph node removal. A small pillow will help a lot under your arm!

    Good luck on Thursday - I will be thinking about you!!

  • historygeek
    historygeek Member Posts: 38
    edited April 2021

    I'll be thinking of you too. Good luck! I'll try to come back here before you go in for yours. I definitely have many pillows in various sizes.

  • Docy
    Docy Member Posts: 20
    edited April 2021

    I’m scheduled for lumpectomy , Sentinal node bx on 13th Mayand hoping not to have ALND .

    If end up having a lymph node dissection, a plastic surgeon will do the lympha procedure to reduce the chance of developing lymphedema. ( I had one lymph node positive on PET scan before neoadjuvent chemo and not showing up on MRI after chemo)

    Getting compression bra fitting next week.


  • btwnstars
    btwnstars Member Posts: 81
    edited April 2021

    I was just coming here to see if there were any other May surgeries, and here we are! I just officially scheduled mine for May 12th. It will be a lumpectomy, sentinel node dissection, and oncoplastic reduction.

    I have never had surgery before, so this is all new to me...I do really like my surgeons, they have been very informative and available and reassuring.

    I am also borrowing a recliner from my parents! I am nervous about recovery and am hoping I do ok. I bought some cheap cotton front closure bras off of Amazon. I am trying to figure out about pillows, I have different types, so I guess will just have them all around.

    It was nerve-racking getting to this point of having surgery planned, and now I feel like I will be anxious until pathology comes back. Just praying lymph nodes are clear.

    historygeek - good luck with your surgery tomorrow!

  • historygeek
    historygeek Member Posts: 38
    edited April 2021

    NoWarrior, hoping for sentinel for you!

    BtwnStars, thank you. I have a couple of small pillows that I can use kinda like those travel neck pillows. Recliner will definitely help.

    Thankfully, I have to be there at 7am so I don't have to wait all day. It'll be a nervous 30 minute ride to the hospital.


  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited April 2021

    historygeek - good luck tomorrow!! I will be thinking of you!!!!

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited April 2021

    Hi Warrior73! What ALND? Something to do with lymph nodes I guess! I have already had 2 sentinel lymph node removals so this time she just needs to go in and see what she can get. But I’ve already been to PT and had my arms measured and my post op exercises to start 1 week after surgery.

    Tomorrow I “get” to go pick out my surgery bras! They are so pretty - not 🤣

    So glad to hear your lymph node is not looking bad after chemo!!!!! Whew!! We’ll take anything positive right??!!

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited April 2021

    Hi btwnstars!

    I’ve had two lumpectomies in the past and not too too bad - sore of course and lymph node area pretty sore, but over all doable. However never had a reduction albeit never needed it!

    Definitely a pillow under your arm will become your friend - especially in the car and sleeping! And glad you borrowed a recliner! You will be comfy that way while you are healing!

    Surgery is pretty scary but just trust your team - they will be looking after you!!

    Hugs!!!

  • Luvsoonipi
    Luvsoonipi Member Posts: 3
    edited April 2021

    Hi All -

    Currently diagnosed with ADH, I'm scheduled to have a SAVI localized lumpectomy a week before Memorial Day on my right breast. I don't know much beyond this - meeting with the nurse next week to go over protocol. What questions should I be asking the nurse?

    As for work, my surgeon reiterated a few times that I should take 2 weeks to recover. Does this sound like a long time? A normal amount of time?

    I've read through the boards and it looks like most people seem to bounce back after a few days and its not a big deal....but I've also read that a lumpectomy is considered major surgery. I'm taking the time per my surgeons guidance (trusting the guide in a land I know nothing about) but I'm nervous as this feels like the start of a slightly longer process. Due to my COVID vaccine 2nd shot being scheduled in May, my surgeon did not want to wait the 6 weeks for the MRI (waiting so the shot doesn't interfere with the results). She said there's a chance I'll need more surgery after the MRI. She also noted that the lumpectomy is going to remove the ADH cells but will also act as another biopsy to test for upgrading. Should I be toughening up and trying to only take a week if there's a chance I might be back getting more?

    Lastly, what should I expect? From the savi scout placement day to the surgery day itself through the first week or two?

    I heard COVIDs locked down most hospitals and I'll be going through a lot of this solo without my husband waiting on location or going to appointments.

  • rjkissner
    rjkissner Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2021

    Hi everyone, I have my DMX scheduled May 14th. I was diagnosed with IDC in November, finished 4.5 months of chemo, and will have radiation after the surgery. I was also told that if there are any cancer cells found during surgery that I will need to continue chemo after radiation with Xeloda chemo pill. I opted to go ahead and remove other breast due to the fact I do not want to go through this again, one already trying to kill me so off with them both. I will not be doing any reconstruction, maybe down the road I will reconsider it but I am not sure I want to deal with any further surgeries. I am 54 and after the past 6 months I really want to keep my life as easy and simple as possible. I hate what this cancer has done to me.

    I am hoping for everyone here a speedy recovery and promising future.

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited April 2021

    Lovesoonipi: 2 weeks is a good time off. If you have some lymph nodes removed it will be ouchy for awhile! I have had two lumpectomies and only found lymph nodes sore. If you hear any sloshing in your breast it is just fluid and slowly goes away 😂


    rjkissner: so sorry you needed chemo first and hoping they don’t find anymore cancer cells! Wishing you the best on the 14th!!


    I picked up my surgery Cami’s today - insurance covered 2 of them. They are very ugly but will do!! 🤣 it suddenly feels more real like it’s going to happen - yikes!!

  • historygeek
    historygeek Member Posts: 38
    edited May 2021

    I am home. So much pain. Trying to stay on top of it. We ended up doing bilateral mastectomy with expanders. I already hate drains. But hopefully the cancer is all gone.

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited May 2021

    historygeek - I am so sorry about the pain. I haven’t been through it yet but from what I have read it will slowly get better. Make sure you keep up on your pain meds. Have a notebook and keep track when the next dose is due. Sending you super gentle hugs and prayers for a speedy recovery!!!!

  • historygeek
    historygeek Member Posts: 38
    edited May 2021

    Yes, definitely have a a notebook handy to write down meds. It is very helpful to see when my next dose is. It is a little better when I'm still. Worse when I'm up.

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited May 2021

    Glad you have the notebook! Just binge out on Netflix for the next few days and limited bathroom trips! I am off to have my pre-surgery covid test. Found a place that does an oral test! Whew! Was worried as I always have such bad sinus stuff all the time! Hope today feels better for you!

  • Jcamp1520
    Jcamp1520 Member Posts: 2
    edited May 2021

    Hi! I've been patiently waiting for this May group! I am 39 & diagnosed with IDC ++- in August. Had lumpectomy, 5 months of ACT chemo, now taking Tamoxifen & preparing for nipple sparing DMX w/ TE placement May 21st. I have the BRCA2 mutation & super high Oncotype score as breast cancer is very bad in my family. I've been making my lists and checking them twice for everything I feel like I'll need. I'm going to be staying at my mom's for a week following surgery, so she can give me the TLC I need since I live alone. If any of you need a mastectomy pillow or drain shirt you should contact Dawn Compton on Blessing Box FB page with your shirt size and surgery date and they will send you a box. I also just got box from BRCAStrong with a AnaOno drain robe, under arm mastectomy pillows, front zip Prairie bra & some other goodies. I'm going OTM with my implants, what are you all getting if your doing reconstruction? Good luck to everyone & just remember on your bad days that this too shall pass!! 💪🏽❤

  • dulcea
    dulcea Member Posts: 88
    edited May 2021

    I am scheduled May 11th for a nipple and skin sparing DMX. The intent is to place implants for now but I am so small that I may end up needing TEs. They won't know until they get in there. I may look into other reconstruction later but since this has dragged on so long, right now I am so mad at these boobs and I need to get rid of them ASAP and this seemed the fastest way to get things done.

    I didn't need chemo as my Oncotype was low and I had already been taking Arimidex for a month before my lumpectomy (for DCIS in the other breast) and it showed that between the biopsy and the lumpectomy, the Arimidex decreased the Ki-67 significantly. I did have one sentinel node positive so to avoid radiation, I will have more nodes removed. Based on only one positive node and the MRI not showing any more positive nodes, the BS thinks she can still do some sampling instead of a complete dissection.

    My understanding is that I will be in the hospital over night.

    Thank goodness all you wonderful helpful people are here because I don't feel like my team has prepared me properly for afterwards.

    If there are any DMX with implants or TE veterans out there I am curious as to what the typical hospital stay is and also, what are you actually able to do and/or not do the next day. Pee by yourself? Climb stairs? Walk? Dress yourself? What did they give you for pain meds at home? I have no idea what to expect even after reading as much as I can.

    Hugs and strength to everyone going through surgery this month.


    Carol

  • historygeek
    historygeek Member Posts: 38
    edited May 2021

    Dulcea, I just had skin sparing DMX with expanders on the 29th. I stayed in the hospital for one night. Because I do not have a recliner, I do have to have someone help me sit up but after that I am able to walking around slowly by myself.

  • dulcea
    dulcea Member Posts: 88
    edited May 2021

    Thanks for sharing historygeek. I wish you a speedy recovery.

  • historygeek
    historygeek Member Posts: 38
    edited May 2021

    I've been able to stand up on my own a few time today but it's definitely been helpful to have someone helping with pillows because I can't do too much with my left arm much without pain. That is the side they took lymph nodes.

  • btwnstars
    btwnstars Member Posts: 81
    edited May 2021

    historygeek - sorry to hear of your pain, but glad it's getting a little better. I was wondering if it's better to lay flat or recline? I don't know. I will be able to try both. I keep forgetting that the lymph node removal is really the more tender area.

    Hello to the new May surgery posters, sorry you are here, but glad we have each other.

    I thought of a few questions after meeting with surgeons, so I have to call the office, like about showering and lifting limits. I put in my time off for work today, which I have not told anyone the reason why. I'm not opposed to, it's just that even in telling family, I feel like it makes people feel so bad, and in some ways they don't know what to do/say. I also feel like people treat you different, not because they don't mean well, but they just don't know what to say/do. So I don't want to be treated differently at work, as long as I can do job (right now I work from home) I am going to just see how it goes.

    Working on building my watchlists on various streaming services. I have my pre-op stuff set up for this week and have to get a covid test Saturday.

    Carlsoda - good luck with your surgery...I was just looking at your signature, so is this considered a recurrence or a new primary for you? So sorry, that's def my (probably everyone's) biggest fear. Wish you a speedy recovery!

  • historygeek
    historygeek Member Posts: 38
    edited May 2021

    BtwnStars, the pain is better today. I am in a reclined position. I think most of my pain is from the expanders & drains. I'm worried with every sharp pain that it's my nipples but it's probably the Alloderm sling stitching. I have an appointment with the plastic surgeon on Wednesday for him to check everything out.

    Also, if you are prone to back muscles spasms ask for relaxers. They helped the pain I was having in my back a lot.

    Carlsoda, good luck with surgery!


  • dulcea
    dulcea Member Posts: 88
    edited May 2021

    BtwnStars I feel the same way about telling people at work. I have only told a few people that I am taking a leave for surgery but not what the surgery is. There have been a few nosy ones that have pushed for a reason, but most people understand not to ask when it hasn't been offered. I told only a few family members and I got some of their opinions which I didn't ask for so I stopped telling people. I also don't want pity and I don't want a million people showing up with food. I sound ungrateful but this is how I want to do it.

    historygeek thank you for sharing your experience. This is helpful for me as I really don't know what to expect. Now I do.

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited May 2021

    Btwnstars- mine is recurrent- same type of cancer in the same area. Had lumpectomy with great margins, radiation and tamoxifen so it shouldn’t have come back!

    Historygeek - glad you are feeling a tad better! No reconstruction for me so I am hoping the pain will be manageable. Keep healing girl!!

    Had preop today covid test last Saturday (oral one!) Tomorrow I’ll get the call when to arrive at the hospital on Wednesday. Just finished work for the next month or so and spent the last week making sure everything was as covered as could be.

    Starting to feel nervous but soon it will be over and I will be recovering!

    Sending hugs to all of you!!

  • historygeek
    historygeek Member Posts: 38
    edited May 2021

    I keep reminding myself that surgery recovery is a marathon not a sprint.

    Dulcea, I'm the same way because everyone & their mom has offered to bring food or asked what they can do. Or all of the people messaging asking if I'm ok, I really want to say "no, it hurts" lol.




  • CaNyInNjMi
    CaNyInNjMi Member Posts: 13
    edited May 2021

    Hi Luvsoonipi (hope I spelled that right),

    As far as taking less time if you're possibly having more surgery later, I'd say no, and specifically because of that possibility. If you don't give your body the time it needs to heal from one procedure, it may well just make it harder for you to recover from anything you need later, and/or make you seem to age faster. (My brother-in-law had surgery several year ago and thought he knew better than the surgeon, so went back to work, including a 1-hour commute each way, after only half the time the surgeon had suggested he stay home. He later commented he couldn't understand why he didn't bounce back from things like he used to. I said #1 age & #2 not giving his body the recovery time he needed.) . If anything, surgeons often tell patients they'll need *less* time off than actual, so I'd take at least what your surgeon says you'll need.

  • CaNyInNjMi
    CaNyInNjMi Member Posts: 13
    edited May 2021

    Hello,

    I just found out the date for my surgery is May 26. It will be a bilateral mastectomy, and at least as I'm thinking now, no reconstruction. i may or may not need chemo or radiation (not sure at all on the former, they're saying maybe not but I'm guessing yes on the latter).

    As far as telling others, we've told immediate family on both sides, our church, and a few others. I'm open to suggestions for how/if to tell Facebook "friends," as some are actual friends and others are people I "follow" that I've never met in person.

    If you haven't yet and have the time, I'd recommend looking at this thread here on the website:

    Breast Cancer Topic: Shopping/packing/to-do list for surgery + recovery....

    There's a similar one for getting through chemo. Haven't looked for one about radiation yet, and if I recall correctly someone said they didn't know of ones as well organized as these two for that topic.

  • monarchandthemilkweed
    monarchandthemilkweed Member Posts: 149
    edited May 2021

    I was diagnosed way back in March and finally my surgery is soon. I am so anxious. Not sure how I’m gonna get through these next few days. My daughter’s senior prom is Saturday and Mother’s Day is Sunday.


  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited May 2021

    CaNyInNjMi: thanks for the reminder on the surgery thread - couple of things I am missing!!

    Tomorrow is surgery and trying not to think of it too much as I get anxious 😂 started my medical leave today and just going to try and relax as much as I can. I am going to give myself a pedicure later today and get my chair set up for ultimate viewing pleasure of the tv with a table right beside it for all my stuff. I have a ton of shows on my list I want to watch, books lined up on my iPad and crocheting ready to go when I start to feel like I can move more. Lots of simple foods planned for the next week so that hubs can make. Everyone wants to bring us meals which is so nice unfortunately hubs has a ton of food allergies 😔 Hospital will call sometime today with instructions and time to arrive.

    Monarchandt - just focus on the upcoming events and nothing else! Give yourself permission to take a break from worry, stress and anxiety!