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...

August 2021 Surgeries

Options
1235789

Comments

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
    edited August 2021
    Options

    BCO123-That sounds painful, I'm sorry you have to go through that. I hope drains come out soon, take ibuprofen or 1/2 pain pill when they remove. My first one hurt, second one I didn't even feel it.

    Hang in there LW422, I was relieved to get that cancerous breast gone. I am having challenges with my breast gone as far as clothing and bras being uncomfortable right now. I have knitted knocker on the way, so hopefully that will help. I go back into the office next week, so I got prepared by trying on clothes and finding items that will work for now. I know it will change over time.


  • EminGA2018
    EminGA2018 Member Posts: 21
    edited August 2021
    Options

    BCO123 - I am so sorry to hear about your pain! I think the Docs should have to try treatments out so they can fully know what they're talking about and doing to others!!! I hope you get those drains out sooner than later and the rest of your experience with him is more patient centered!!! Keep us posted.

    LW422 - I am dreading it too! I feel like the pressure is building everyday and things are getting more and more real with every phone call from the hospital.. I'll be thinking of you on Monday and wishing you well before going in for mine on Tuesday!!

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
    Options

    Hey there NatureYogi. I remember when I was first diagnosed last January; I couldn't wait to get rid of my traitorous breast and her innocent twin as well... I wanted them both GONE since one had betrayed me and I didn't trust the other one. After months of chemo and all the associated hell I have had several mindset changes and came to accept that with IBC they'd only take the cancerous breast. Now that surgery is looming I sit in the bathtub, look at my breasts, and cry. I don't want to be this depressed, sick, bald, mutilated person and it makes me so sad. Plus I'm filled with dread, imagining the horrors of radiation to come and my mind is filled with "what ifs."

    Ugh, sorry to be such a downer, but that's my reality these days.

    I'm glad you are healing well and getting used to being one-sided. I have a knitted knocker and a couple of inexpensive breast forms than I will try to use when I have healed from the mastectomy. I'm retired so I can lounge around the house in my robe until things have healed. I hope you continue to do well. Take care.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,059
    edited August 2021
    Options

    Oh, BCO123, we're so sorry to hear about terrible discomfort. Have you shared this discomfort with your PS or BS? How long do they expect the drains to be in?

  • HummingbirdAZ
    HummingbirdAZ Member Posts: 93
    edited August 2021
    Options

    LW422-- Good luck to you next week! Hoping you get through the emotions and feel good to get the cancer out of your body, and the body changes become a symbol of forward progress. We are all here for you!

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
    edited August 2021
    Options

    LW422-I totally understand! I thought I was getting DMX, then BS tells me because I have IBC only one being removed. Well, I already had my mind made up and was ready for both to be gone. I felt it would be easier going forward. So when he told me, I cried like a baby in his office, asking him what would I wear and that I would be worried about cancer in the other breast. So here I am, one breast and bald. Waiting for radiation.

    Take care of yourself and I'll be thinking of you!

  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 260
    edited August 2021
    Options

    ***Surgery completed today***

    The sentinel node dye injection - I had a new doctor who likes to give lidocaine to his patients before the injection, making the dye injection painless. Glad that I had him. The nurse said not all doctors agree to give the lidocaine. That doesn't make sense to me why lidocaine is not offered to all patients to make that part of the experience painless.

    I fought all the way to surgery this morning and received the nipple-sparing mastectomy that I wanted. The nurse was a huge help getting the doctors in the room to get everyone on the same path to go conservative as the first choice, all in with total mastectomy as the second choice. If the surgeon could not do the nipple-sparing, he assured me he would not do the total mastectomy until he could see everything inside the breast, which would provide the best view of the breast to make that decision. The breast implant placed in November did not need to get removed (cartwheel). One drain. I should get it out next Wednesday. Glad to have my husband here to manage that part. He is amazing at it. The surgeon said I had two active nodes he removed and two he wasn't sure about, so he removed those also. Glad he was conservative and stopped there. We had hoped to stop at one sentinel node and no drain.

    At home resting. Surgeon gave me pain meds (thank goodness). The boob doesn't hurt. The underarm is much more painful than I expected. Wowza!

    Oncotype score 8 on 08/17/2021.

    @Bookpusher - Glad you are doing okay and had the surgery you wanted.

    @HummingbirdAZ - My thoughts are with you during your next steps. It must be challenging to get that change to your diagnosis. I hope for the best for you during your chemo. Please keep us updated.

    @LW422 - Best of luck to you next week. I hope all goes well for you and speedy recovery without a lot of discomfort or pain. Yeah, I agree with that "uni-boob" statement.

    @1982M - I hope your recovery is going well for you.

    @PamEP- Love reading you had no pain. That is great to see!

    @all of you guys - Wishing all of you speedy and not so painful recoveries. Sorry, all of you guys are here. Glad all of you are here to support others. We all need a melting pot of support.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
    Options

    Wondering44--glad you're done with the surgery and it went well. I hope your recovery is fast and relatively painless; take good care of yourself.

    Everyone--thanks so much for the support. It's so nice to have a group of supportive "friends" who understand exactly every feeling we have about this shit sandwich we all got served. (Sorry for the language.)

  • janewhite
    janewhite Member Posts: 49
    edited August 2021
    Options

    My second surgery will be next Tuesday! I talked to the breast cancer surgeon and the plastic surgeon this week, and I'm going to do a flat mastectomy.

    The breast surgeon wants it done as quickly as possible, since the first surgery cut through the extra surprise DCIS site and possibly smeared it around while closing up, which makes it more likely to spread. 3 weeks is a good turnaround time, and I'm looking forward to getting rid of this breast which is apparently full of DCIS all over the place.

    Now, I just have to endure another surgery. I feel like I just don't have the emotional energy to prep all over again, you know? And work is... work.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
    Options

    JaneWhite--sorry to hear that you're having to face a second surgery. All this crap just seems so unfair. My very best to you, and plenty of hugs.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
    Options

    Tomorrow I have to go have my final "stuff" before surgery on Monday... chest x-ray, covid test, blood work, and the "seed" implanted. Ugh. My anxiety is really ramping up; I dread all this so much. I do a lot of crying lately, looking down at my breasts and knowing there will only be one after Monday. I didn't expect to be this emotional, but I suppose this whole cancer thing has been one emotional bomb after another.

    For those who have had your surgery... how did you cope with the dread and anxiety? I really didn't think I'd have all these feelings over losing my breast and in many ways I think it would have been easier to deal with if I'd had the mastectomy first. When I was first diagnosed I was in "GET IT OFF ME!" mode.

    OK, enough whining. I'll do this like the rest of the crap... because I effing have to do it. Cancer blows.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
    Options

    EminGA--I thought I had responded to you, but I don't see the post, sorry! I'm thinking of you and hoping your surgery goes well on Tuesday! I hope you're more calm than I am... but we can do this. Take care and hugs to you... I'll be looking for your updates next week.

  • bco123
    bco123 Member Posts: 3
    edited August 2021
    Options

    th

    Thank you all for the commiseration, I think my drains should be able to come out in 3-4 days - I stopped any exercise to make sure the output diminishes quickly. Yes, I shared my frustration with non-diminishing hook-like pain on one side and a large poking corner wrinkle of the TE on the other with both my BS and PS, and the only response I got from the latter was “well, I must have put in a tight stitch deeper than usual, it happens, and it will probably keep hurting you more on that side for few months…”. The BS was more sympathetic, but did not offer a solution other than removing the reconstruction and sowing me flat if still feels too painful in a couple of weeks.

    Good luck to all ladies with forthcoming operations, let us know how it is going. I think my experience is on the bad side of the distribution, for most people it is smoother and things improve quickly from day to day.

  • elizabett
    elizabett Member Posts: 6
    edited August 2021
    Options

    From meeting surgeon on July 13 I had surgery right side mastectomy aug 6. I’d be surprised if you had to wait long. The mastectomy is healing well snd once the drain was taken out I have very little pain. I only used pain killer the day after and switched to Advil. Everyone is different. Depending on person I’d be sure to make sure you don’t get constipated after anesthesia and even Advil contributes to the problem. That has been far more miserable for me. I am sorry to hear your nodes came back positive. You’ll be in my prayers.

  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 260
    edited August 2021
    Options

    @LW422,

    I think I talked myself out of the realization of losing the boob before the surgery. It caught up to me the closer I got to the surgery date. It sucked the night before, knowing I'd lose the boob, and it would be numb and not the same. My best friend said I'm lucky to get to have it put back on later. I politely explained it is not the same thing. Half of me will be numb, and the other half I will feel. I had a tummy tuck last year. The tummy numbness is a very different feeling. I understood that I was accepting it with a tummy tuck. I would not personally choose to have that in my breast area if not for cancer. It is different and noticeable. I am not looking forward it.

    I'm glad to have a saline implant in rather than a flat chest on one side. I have a D cup and a B cup now. Bet those cup-size bras don't get sold at Victoria's Secret. It is not as bad as I thought it would be. I haven't left the house yet, though. I may feel different when I decide to get dressed to leave the house for something.

    I'd rather not have cancer and have both boobs. Keep whining. You are not wrong about it. It totally sucks!

  • Bookpusher
    Bookpusher Member Posts: 22
    edited August 2021
    Options

    Just checking back in to say I am 18 days out from BMX. Doing relatively well and getting stronger each day. My biggest complaint is how tight my chest feels. Whew. My steri strips are still firmly attached! I shower each day but they don’t seem to be loosening up. Maybe once that happens the tightness will ease up. Thoughts?

    Hope everyone continues to improve.


  • pamep
    pamep Member Posts: 66
    edited August 2021
    Options

    LW422,

    Thank you for starting this thread. I consider you a leader here.

    While I did not have a mastectomy, I did have a second breast surgery. I felt the same as you, upset over the repeat, down and weeping on the pre-op table for the loss of everything with the knowledge of what was coming. My second surgery did not go off as easily as the first, but, now, two weeks later, it is becoming part of the rear view. The path was good and I am in recovery. This is just something you need to do to become healthy again. Remember, the one step ahead of the other--you can do it. You are strong, I can tell from your posts. This is a sh*t sandwich or sh*t show, whatever, but it is what it is and we all on these threads have had to confront it.

    Be well. Be strong. Good thoughts for Monday and wishing you the best for a good recovery.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
    Options

    BCO123--I hope you get those drains out and feel better soon. I'm so sorry you had to endure such pain and frustration.

    Wondering44--I know it's hard for all of us. I suppose that's the comforting thing about a group like this; we all get it. Even our well-meaning friends and loved ones can't understand unless they have experienced it themselves. I have tried to imagine having a lop-sided body but I suppose I should just be grateful for having more time to live. Hugs to you.

    Bookpusher--wow, 18 days already! I know what you mean about steri-strips. When I got my port installed they told me the strips would "fall off." Um...no. Those suckers stayed solidly in place for weeks until I finally decided to pull them off. I hope the tightness in your chest will be better soon.

    PamEP--how sweet you are, but I'm definitely not a leader. I just wanted company on this scary time and here you all are! I'm glad the worst is in your rearview now and I hope you continue to heal and feel better. I appreciate the good wishes; I know this has to be done so I might as well get it together.

  • EminGA2018
    EminGA2018 Member Posts: 21
    edited August 2021
    Options

    LW422- I’ve heard cancer described in many ways..a journey, a challenge, a test…but “sh*t sandwich” is by far my favorite…and it’s pretty flipping accurate. One big sh*t thing sandwiched in between other sh*t things. I think the fact that we are all here to help ourselves and others get through this is kind of amazing. I thought I’d be rocking in a corner;-) but you get up and do the things you need to do. You’re strong!!Best of luck on Monday!!! Keep us updated. ❤️

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
    Options

    Hey there, Em. I'm trying to keep busy this weekend, getting the house cleaned, sheets changed, etc. It's keeping my mind occupied plus I know I'll have limited use of my right arm for a while after surgery. My surgeon called me last night to see if I had any concerns or questions left unanswered, which was very reassuring. She still says that I will stay overnight in the hospital which I don't understand since the surgery is deemed "outpatient." So I suppose my biggest "concern" is that I'll be looking at a big unpaid bill if not handled correctly, lol.

    I'll have you in my thoughts on Tuesday and hoping that all goes well for you. Looking forward to having this part of the "sandwich" in our past. :biggrin:

  • HummingbirdAZ
    HummingbirdAZ Member Posts: 93
    edited August 2021
    Options

    Happy Saturday Everyone! A day with no tests, no doctor appointments, no treatments. :)

    My MRI's came back and no distant spread so my IIIB diagnosis update stands. They are pushing chemo fast so I'll start before Labor Day and feel totally unprepared but does anyone feel prepared? I believe it will run through until Christmas so I'm thinking of doing all my gift shopping and wrapping next week. Funny how some things suddenly become a priority. My adult kids keep wanting to fly out to be here but I feel like as we go on, the risk of one of them picking up a germ on the way becomes too great so will cut them off probably in October.

    Bookpusher-- our surgeries were the same week and I pulled off all those steri strips last weekend. It was scary but the incisions were fine. I feel so much better with them off. The only complaint is the underarm incision, which is pretty big (2-3") and irritates when I try to put a bra on. I end up wearing a tighter tank when I go out for appointments. I just slide it up and down since I cannot raise my arm over my head yet.

    LW422--thinking about you this weekend and next week. It's scary but I still think you'll feel a relief to have those cancer cells OUT of your body! My surgeon told me about half of her patients opt for some kind of "fix" after breast cancer surgery and it is covered by insurance, even years later. Once all is said and done and you might want to even things out, I think the plastic surgery will be NBD after this. Please let us know how you're doing, we will all be praying for you.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
    Options

    Hi Hummingbird! What wonderful news that the MRI results were good! Woohoo! I know you are dreading chemo and it is unpleasant, but you can do it. What will your regimen be? I had 12 Taxol and 4 AC treatments; the Taxol was easy for me but AC kicked my butt. I'm still recovering from my last AC that was 3 weeks ago. I suggest joining one of the monthly chemo threads to discuss side-effects, etc. with others going through it.

    I had an interesting experience yesterday. I was supposed to have a seed placement to guide the surgeon to the biopsy clip that was in my single swollen lymph node. The good news is that all my lymph nodes are now all normal size, but unfortunately that means that they have not been able to find the clip! Three different ultrasound techs and a radiologist have looked for that thing and they just can't find it. So no seed was implanted.

    My surgeon called me last night and I asked her exactly what will happen with that missing clip. She said they will x-ray all the tissue they remove from my body on Monday and find it that way. The clip itself isn't a big deal, but she wants to make sure she gets that one "special" lymph node that was cancerous. I remember that Melbo had to have a second surgery to remove a clip and I'm hoping that won't happen for me.

  • HummingbirdAZ
    HummingbirdAZ Member Posts: 93
    edited August 2021
    Options

    LW422-- I'm getting 4 AC infusions followed by 12 Taxol, in that order. Basically, from now until the end of the year. They also lost a clip during my surgery but she wasn't worried about it, so don't worry. Good luck, everything will be smooth and praying for good pathology!!

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
    edited August 2021
    Options

    I had a visit with the Gyno Surgeon and he said once my last chemo happens in late October, I get a coordinated double mastectomy by Dr. Polverini and he, Dr. Lee will do my ovary and fallopian tube removal in about 1 hour. 3-4 weeks for my body to recover. They do them as a team, so his which is easiest may just be first. I still need to talk with the breast surgeon, as we first talked July 8th, when she said due to the size of my mass, likely my left breast would have little left after margins. That was a month plus before i found out i have the BRCA-2 gene. All of you talking so honestly about pain, loss and the actual surgery gives me a picture of my journey ahead. Thank you.

  • Bookpusher
    Bookpusher Member Posts: 22
    edited August 2021
    Options

    Hummingbird—that is good news from the MRI! I know the chemo will be a really long, hard path and I pray you will tolerate it as well as possible. My chest and underarm are SO tight. I don’t know if the steri strips are adding to the pain or not. I am pretty miserable right now. I hope it’s normal and diminishes in the next couple of weeks. Plus the back of both arms are so sensitive. I hate to say it, but I really thought getting the drains out would result in my feeling better and it kinda hasn’t. Glad they are gone for sure, but man the tightness and sensitivity have gone into overtime. Ugh.

    K-Gobby, I hope your chemo is tolerable. You have some tough surgeries ahead. Bless your heart, sending hugs and prayers your way.

    LW422- Best of luck on your upcoming surgery. Prayers for a speedy recovery. You can and will get through it.

    Em - very apt description. Cancer sucks, and not just a little either.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
    Options

    Hummingbird--the chemo is tough; you'll probably have the worst hardest time with AC. Thankfully it's only 4 infusions!

    I don't worry about the lost clip so much as I want to make sure they get that cancerous node OUT. (I only had one swollen lymph node at biopsy.) Hopefully it will show up in the tissue they remove. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

    K-Gobby--wow, you'll have a lot to deal with in October/November. Hopefully everything will go well for you, and I hope your remaining chemo goes smoothly.

    Bookpusher--are you doing the gentle range-of-motion exercises? I'm so sorry you are suffering. Hugs to you. Thanks for the good wishes.

    CGLion--if you are still checking in, my thoughts will be with you on Monday. Hoping you have an easy surgery and a fast recovery. Good luck!

  • elizabett
    elizabett Member Posts: 6
    edited August 2021
    Options

    Find peace. That makes a difference. They actually forgot to put the compression mastectomy garment on after surgery to assist drainage. Make sure they have that in place. I came out alright but the surgeon asked my one week out where it was. Someone forgot. Cover the anesthesia part if you have any adverse problems such as constipation and get things on board and moving a few days before. My gastro Dr. had me start a stoolsoftener and have Dulcolax on hand just in case. Maybe have an electrolyte drink available at home. Costco has Liquid IV drink it's pretty good - comes in individual packets. Make sure who ever helps with meals makes things you can easily digest. Bless their hearts but I received more gasey foods and mexican spicy dishes that are hard to eat on a good day. My family enjoyed it but not I. That's not fun to have an unhappy gut after a mastectomy. If you like water melon or soup have it ready for later. I liked fruit best and soup in the beginning. You know you. It wasn't horribly painful - the drain is uncomfortable. Everyone is different. We happen to have a spare hospital bed we were given when my husband had some major surgery so it was helpful. Maybe get some pretty sheets or a pretty spread to make your bed a haven of rest. Get a wedge or something for propping up in bed. I had a single right sided mastectomy on Aug 6 and I'm super tired now probably from trying to do too much and not getting enough rest. AT the two week mark I figured I should be good to go.. not yet. Try little by little and giving yourself time. It's canning time and we have several peach trees and it was very hard to not do the fruit preparation myself. It was a good opportunity for my family to fill in for me and they did a great job and we shared our bounty with others. Basically, It's okay if everything doesn't get done. You are much more valuable than what you do - it's who you are! Give yourself lots of rest - it is major surgery. I did not get reconstuction and do not plan to. Less pain and less recovery - We laugh abit about uniboob because I'm not super busty a modest b. I'm still me.

    Make sure you have something to wear without a lot of trim and seams. It can rub the incision part but most of my things were fine. I did get a snap up robe that I like Slippery fabric is suppose to be very comfortable. or button up pajamas. I know it is a little bit of a downer buying things for the upcoming surgery. ALA alpha lipoic acid helps detox anesthesia after surgery.

    Take someone upbeat with you if you go shopping. Oddly that was the one part that would make me teary at first but I saw the surgeon Aug 13 th when I got the full news and found I needed a mastectomy. It's a lot to process and many decisions and emotions to go through in a short time. This is an amazing supportive website I have no regrets about my decision. I will definitely be praying for you. Best Wishes!

  • EminGA2018
    EminGA2018 Member Posts: 21
    edited August 2021
    Options

    My surgery is tomorrow. I am trying to focus on being cancer-free rather than boob-free. I think I am mostly at peace with that aspect. My experience from the very start a year ago...has been such a disorganized and disheartening experience. I was initially misdiagnosed...which will now cost me my breasts..I switched surgeons but..I have not been able to contact this one since our initial consultation. What kind of surgeon leaves for Alaska for weeks with no cell service? His nurse who is overworked has been really unpleasant and non-communicative to the point that I dread calling her. If I could be selfish and just ask for positive thoughts and prayers that from here on out..things get better and go more smoothly. I have found more compassion on this board and from my plastic surgeon's team than I have from my oncology team. Thank goodness my plastic surgeon's office will take over after my drains are out. They are organized, kind and very communicative people. I am really grateful for that!

    I'm just extra nervous based on my experience so far. I threw out my bras..didn't shed a tear..am ready to get these treacherous boobs off...just hoping and praying for a comfort for my kids..a compassionate nurse..good meds..good path report and coming home to my sweet kiddos. I don't even know my surgery plan but better to get it done now than have it postponed as COVID gets worse here. I'm lucky to be able to get surgery at all..

    I'm sorry to rant. I have kept it together all this time but admittedly..I put a positive face on this for my family and myself..but I am scared and for the first time in weeks..I am really tearful and freaking out.

  • pamep
    pamep Member Posts: 66
    edited August 2021
    Options

    EminGA2018,

    You sound so unnerved--I feel for you. We are all with you. Everyone on this thread has walked into a hospital and been put on that bed. I would bet that all of us were freaked out and weepy. We all do it for the same reason, to prolong our lives. The good thing is that you are asleep when the surgery is performed. In your case, you may come out pCR, which is far better than those of us still with our hazardous boobs who need continued preventative care.

    You live in a beautiful place. I traveled down the ICW with my parents and loved the Georgia Sea Islands.

    Thinking good thoughts for you tomorrow and hoping you will come out with smooth recovery and a freeing path report.


  • marvies
    marvies Member Posts: 21
    edited August 2021
    Options

    EminGA2018,

    I wish I could give you a big hug. I second everything that PamEP said. I'm sending lots of good thoughts for tomorrow and hope for a smooth recovery for you. I hope you can get some sleep tonight.