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July 2021 Surgeries

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  • barbojoy
    barbojoy Member Posts: 47
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    Great news, @NatureYogi. I just got home last night from DMX surgery 07/28. I stayed one night. They offered a nerve blocker pre-surgery to help with post-operative pains. It really worked. I had zero chest pain post-op and until about 6AM the next day. As the blocker wore off, the pains got worse and worse. I recommend that if offered, everyone take the nerve blocker shots/drugs. They inject them into your back- it was described to me as a kind of epidural but for breast surgery. I just wish he had lasted longer.

    Hope all July surgeries are recovering well!

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,097
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    Hi All, We know there is a lot of discussion on genetic testing. Has anyone done their genetic testing via "tele-genetics" (over zoom, other conference line) instead of in-person? If so, would you mind sharing your experience with us (send us a Private message)?! Thank you!

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
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    barbojoy- Glad you are doing well! I see you are from my favorite place, Colorado! My surgeon numbed me up fairly well, I didn't have a lot of pain. Yesterday I had one drain removed and it hurt a little bit, but ok now.

    Ester01- I think the lymphedema cuff device is called the Flexitouch. I have an appt next week to check this out at my post op physical therapy. I'll let you know what I think, I do have a compression sleeve and gloves.

    I hope everyone is recovering smoothly!



  • Dlphnsgl
    Dlphnsgl Member Posts: 11
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    Hello to everyone! I see quite a few of the July surgeries like myself have posted their updates so thought I'd do so as well. I had posted some updates about a week+ after my surgery on 7/6 but for some reason they didn't show up. Not sure if it was a network glitch. ?

    I had DMX w/DIEP flap recon with nipple sparing, with 3 sentinel nodes removed. I spent 3 days in the hospital post surgery. They wanted to boot me out in less then 48hours but I was dealing with some post surgery oxygen levels so was on it the whole time (concerns of getting pneumonia). I got nerve blocks during surgery as a couple of ladies have posted here for their surgeries and it worked like a charm the 1st 24-30 hours post surgery. When it wore of...wow! They had me on several meds including oxy but it caused heart palps, major anxiety and jitteriness. Not fun! I made them take me off of it and they were giving me Ibuprofen, antibiotics for a couple days, and a couple of other anti-inflammatory meds and pain reducers as well as shots to reduce risk of clots. My legs were in compressions pads that auto-inflated every couple mins. Plus I had probes on both breasts to monitor oxygen and blood flow to ensure they maintained healthy results. I had a total of 3 drains as well as IV and blood pressure monitor on constantly. They wanted to let me go less then 48hrs but I fought back b/c I wasn't ready as I didn't have anyone at home to help me. Yes, they had me up and walking the same night of my surgery but I was able to do so b/c of the nerve block. By the next day I was hurting all over. There was no part of me that didn't hurt. The good thing is though the pain was monitored constantly so it never got above around 6-7, and that was only a couple of times. The most pain I had (and still experience) is my breast bone (sternum) which I found out is normal due to the ribs have to be cut to get the veins from the DIEP flap recon to be connected. Had no idea until a week ago that they cracked my ribs...no wonder they hurt like.....!! My experience in the hospital wasn't the greatest due to a shortage of staff but overall I'm glad I stayed the extra day. Ladies, if you can do it on this type of surgery...do it. Your body feels so foreign post surgery you're not always sure what's normal or not so just the extra day there to recover at least for peace of mind is worth it. At least it was for me.

    Tomorrow marks 4 weeks post surgery and I'm feeling much better! Oncotype score was 11 which means no chemo and due to DMX showing negative margins and 0/3 nodes clear of cancer means no radiation as well! I'll be starting Tamoxifen in about 2 weeks. Onc wants to give me couple more weeks of recovery. I started PT last week and it's, well...not fun, but I know it'll help long term. I'm healing well with minor issues but happy overall with my decision for DIEP flap. If anyone needs/wants more info on this type of surgery just shoot me DM.

    I wish you all continued the best in your recoveries and treatments!! August upcoming surgeries...wishing you all excellent results and speedy recoveries!! Here's to kicking C's A$$!!!! Medicating

    So glad I found you all because you've all been very helpful and inspirational.

    Best to you all!!!

    ~Teri


  • emotionalpond
    emotionalpond Member Posts: 31
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    Hi All,

    My second surgery went well. I had a much better time waking up from it this time but gained a numb tip of my tongue (from the tube for breathing while in surgery) I'm just waiting to find out my pathology report on the glands they took. I'm confidently they will be clear.

    I also had a meeting with my Oncologist. No more chemo needed!!!! I guess because my cancer is slow growing (grade 1) that the chemo didn't work on it. My Oncologist said I have lazy cancer!! Well I guess that's good news! She also confirmed that I will not need the shot to shut down my ovaries, just the hormone blocker for 10 years. So on to Radiation!!!

    :)

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
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    Emotionalpond-Glad to hear all went well and no more chemo! Please keep us updated on your path report.

  • Oxbury
    Oxbury Member Posts: 9
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    Bilateral skin sparing mastectomy with reconstruction (tissue expanders) on 30 July, and they took out 3 nodes which were all negative (yay!). I'm still in hospital as it took a few days to get my blood pressure up to normal and they're also keen to keep me here until the drains can be removed. I'm able to shower and dress myself without assistance, although brushing my hair is a bit more of a challenge. Pain is fairly minimal as they're pretty good at keeping up the painkillers. Just feeling a bit stiff and sore, really.

    For anyone reading this who has surgery coming up, highly recommend a 3m phone charger. The plugs are in weird spots so having a long cable for my phone really helps.

    Thank goodness for the Australian public health system. Our taxes are definitely on the high end, but it's worth it. I'm in a 4 person room which has been surprisingly nice as I can't help but overhear the experiences and conditions of other patients, several of whom have seemed a lot more worse off, which makes me feel better. I think if I had a private room I would have thought about myself too much. I also can't believe they send you home within 24-48 hours in the US! That seems insane! I was busy passing out and throwing up for the first two days, and also had a catheter in (that was a new experience). About ready to go home now (day 6) but also keen to get these drains removed if at all possible before I leave, so definitely don't mind staying longer. The staff are so nice here.

    What has everyone's advice been on getting back to exercise? I'm quite keen to try indoor cycling at the gym when I can, and just walking. I have to wait to see the surgeon on 13 August to confirm and get the results back, etc, but any tips or advice you might have on exercise would be great.

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
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    Glad to hear you are recovering well Oxbury! Don't over do it with exercise, just start with walking and stretching. Sloan Kettering cancer center has some videos on post mastectomy exercises to help, they are on Youtube. I'm two weeks out from surgery and I've been walking around house since it is so hot here! I'm ready to get out and take a good walk. We have stairs, so I go up and down several times a day. It was slow going at first, but start off easy, your body needs to heal and you want to make sure you have your balance. I felt kind of "off" from the medications. Keep us updated on your progress!

  • barbojoy
    barbojoy Member Posts: 47
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    Thanks, NatureYogi!

  • barbojoy
    barbojoy Member Posts: 47
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    @Oxbury It is great that they are allowing you to stay and continue care at hospital. You are correct about USA. My surgery was 07/28 and I was discharged 07/29. I have so many meds and 2 drains. If not for my husband, I would not have been able to keep up with my recovery. It would have been nice to have the meds and drains handled by hospital staff for a few days. I still don't have the results of my pathology yet and have my first post-op surgical follow-up tomorrow. I think all is going as planned. It sounds like you are recovering quite well. I will follow your posts/progress as our surgeries are just days apart. Be well!

  • barbojoy
    barbojoy Member Posts: 47
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    Dlphnsql- Thank you for positing your update. Sometimes I struggle to find updates on this site. Glad to hear that no chemo/radiation is necessary! I am planning for DIEP. I had no idea that they needed to break/cut ribs for that procedure either. Pre-op, my team told me that I will have chemo for sure and maybe radiation (pending pathology), so they wouldn't do my reconstruction at same time of MX. I'll have it after chemo. I will do more research on DIEP now. Hang in there with PT! Be well.

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
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    Hello all, had my last drain taken out this morning. I go back for follow up in a month, so I get a little break before radiation!

    Hope everyone is having a smooth recovery!

  • Oxbury
    Oxbury Member Posts: 9
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    Got 1 drain taken out on 5 August and it leaked basically everywhere, so they left the other one to the following morning on 6 August just before I was discharged. Have been recovering remarkably swiftly! I'm able to do basically everything myself, except the obvious like lift anything heavier than about 2kg nor open heavy doors like car doors. Trying to be as careful and gentle as I can, but I'm really appreciating the level of independence I've managed to achieve. My mum kindly stayed for a few days and has now gone home again as I'm just fine by myself.

    I've got an appointment tomorrow with plastics for them to check the dressings, and then with the breast clinic surgeon on Friday where presumably they'll give me the results from any additional pathology they've done. I'm keen to hear what if anything they found from the breast tissue itself - I was fascinated to read they took over 2kg of breast tissue out, and apparently have already injected 300 cc of saline in the tissue expanders.

    Tissue expanders themselves look a little odd, but seem to be improving with each passing day. I've heard it described as folded Ziploc bags, which is about right - there's a few dents here and there and the shape isn't exactly rounded, but I'm not fussed. They've done a spectacular job with the incisions, and were able to retrieve the sentinel nodes from the same incisions so I've only got those two plus the little ones underneath from the drains.

    Overall, I'd call it a massive success. I spent months being absolutely terrified out of my wits about the whole prospect, expecting the worst of the worst, and it turned out to be actually quite a pleasant and relaxing experience overall. I think that's in large part due to the standard of care at that particular hospital, but also the whole process has been far easier than I expected it to be, and because my family have all handled it infinitely better than I expected they would.

    Now it's just waiting for Friday. I was lucky enough to get a free mastectomy bra in hospital, and have since purchased two more as I'll be wearing them for 5 more weeks and then again for six weeks once the implants go in. Hope everyone else with July surgeries is travelling well!
  • Oxbury
    Oxbury Member Posts: 9
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    No more cancer!! 🎉😁

    Went and got an ultrasound and two seromas drained, and then I saw the surgeon who gave me my pathology results. Actually saw another surgeon on the way past who said she was really glad I had the surgery - and then when I got the pathology results the surgeon discussing them with me also said it was great that I had the surgery.

    In short, they got all the DCIS out and it has not become invasive so I don't need any more treatment! No chemo, radiation, no drugs, nothing. I am beyond relieved. I was far more worried about having to take time off work than I realised, so when I got the news and came out to tell my mum I cried. I had my first fibroadenoma removal operation when I was 14, then 15, then 16 years old - and more ultrasounds, MRIs, mammograms and biopsies than I can count since, especially in the last year. But it's all over. I'm going to be celebrating today's date every year from now on.

    Aside from the 9mm DCIS I had taken out in April, they found 60mm of intermediate grade DCIS in that same breast and so much ADH (that was turning into and very nearly DCIS) in both breasts, plus UDH, intraductal papillomas and fibroadenomas everywhere. The DCIS was ER+/PR+ (don't really know what that means).

    I'm so phenomally, fundamentally relieved. Aside from plastic surgeon appointments and saline fills etc, everything else is done with. I go back to see the breast clinic in 12 months. 😃🎉

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
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    Oxbury, great news! So happy for you and I know you are relieved. Continue to take care and nurture yourself!

  • emotionalpond
    emotionalpond Member Posts: 31
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    Dang I thought I posted in here!

    My pathology report on my axillary dissection was 1 positive node out of 8 or 10 nodes taken. So all in all I had 14-16 nodes take and 3 were positive. All had a larger deposits (macro). I start radiation on Sept. 08th and am still considered stage 2A!


  • Dlphnsgl
    Dlphnsgl Member Posts: 11
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    Oxbury - That's excellent news!!!! Congrats to you!! So happy for you!! Smile

    emotionalpond - I'm so sorry you're going to have to continue through more treatment. :( To go thru so much already and to hear you're not quite there must be so scary and every other emotion! We're here for you. Hug

    barbojoy - You are most welcome. Happy to help any way I can. Feel free to DM me if you want any info.