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August 2021 Surgeries

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  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 260
    edited August 2021
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    Got the pathology today. I got upgraded from IB to IIB. Great news is no node involvement. I have to wait to meet with my medical oncologist and radiation oncologist due to the size of the tumor. It was 8.5 cm. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that it wasn't picked up on annual mammograms and the tumor was that big before it was found. Scary...

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
    edited August 2021
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    EminGa2018-Wasn't sure if you are still having surgery in Savannah. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow, best wishes for a smooth surgery and speedy recovery. We are all here for you!

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135
    edited August 2021
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    LW422- Hope your surgery went smooth today, blessings for a quick recovery!

    Wondering44-Sorry for the "upgrade", I'm glad there isn't node involvement. My tumor wasn't picked up on mammogram either, it was a group of swollen nodes and finally the MRI. It is scary!

    Hope everyone is doing well and continues to recover, get plenty of rest!

  • elle2
    elle2 Member Posts: 57
    edited August 2021
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    LW422 - Just wanted to offer some comfort to you regarding the radiation. I went through 10 weeks of it in 2008 after a DCIS diagnosis and it really was the easiest part of my treatment. Once they have pinpointed the area to radiate, they give you tiny tattoos that the laser will use to determine the area. You simply lie down on the table for 10-15 minutes and you are done. I used to take my radiation in the morning before work and get in those last few snoozes before the day. Sometimes I would just meditate and imagine the radiation crushing my cancer to bits. Sometimes I would just meditate on the positive. I didn't feel much in the way of pain. Your skin may feel sunburned after a few treatments. The worst part is the cumulative fatigue that you must learn to accept and manage. If you let it get away from you, as I did, there's a level of depression that sets in. Stay on top of it and get as much rest as you can, whenever you can. But rest assured, you WILL get through this and you WILL be stronger for it, in more ways than you can imagine.

  • elle2
    elle2 Member Posts: 57
    edited August 2021
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    Wondering44 - Yes, that was a large tumor and it is crazy that the mammogram did not pick it up. Are you doing digital mammograms? Digital mammograms are able to see inconsistencies that the naked eye cannot and will tell the doctor to look harder at a particular area. I can not imagine how it did not pick it up. But I am so thankful that it is now gone! Best wishes for a swift recovery! I will be thinking about you and sending positive thoughts your way.

  • sarahvancouverisland
    sarahvancouverisland Member Posts: 15
    edited August 2021
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    EminGa2018 - good luck tomorrow! The best part is that you'll sleep through it, when you wake up it's done. Think of somewhere beautiful and calm as they're sending you off to sleep, that really helped me. I had two different anaesthetists for my lumpectomy and then mastectomy 3 weeks later, and both said the same thing, I found it oddly comforting.

    Little update from me - I'm 10 days out from my mastectomy now, and had the drains removed after 5 days. The first 3 days were horrible, but this was mostly due to nausea from the narcotics, as soon as I stopped those I felt a hundred times better - if anyone's feeling rotten I'd recommend switching to OTC painkillers to see if that helps! The incision itself is already healing up fine, and honestly recovery was quicker than I expected although I'm still taking it very easy. Just a few days longer than lumpectomy recovery. I just got pathology which shows lymphovascular invasion which truly sucks, but clear nodes and, although the IDC had already spread to a second area, it was a rare mucinous type which sometimes gives a better prognosis, so I'm stuck in a limbo of not being sure if I'm lucky or not.. waiting to hear from an oncologist, my surgeon has just put in a referral.

    Hope everyone is doing okay.

    @bookpusher I found the steristrips stayed on more like 3 weeks last time, I ended up carefully peeling them off and the incision was fine underneath.

  • janewhite
    janewhite Member Posts: 49
    edited August 2021
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    My next surgery is tomorrow. I was in the middle of a freakout, but my son needed to be put to bed, so I put him to bed, and was talking to him about it a little bit. He's 7, old enough to understand that there's something yucky inside my body and the doctor is going to cut it out, but not much more.

    Then, just before I turned out the light, he said that his stuffed animals were going to come to life while he's sleeping and fight my cancer.

    So, you heard it right here. An army of two dinosaurs, a dragon and a fox, armed with little plastic lego weapons, are fighting cancer for us. With that on our side, how can we fail?

  • sarahvancouverisland
    sarahvancouverisland Member Posts: 15
    edited August 2021
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    @janewhite we can't lose! What a great kid you have there.

    Good luck for tomorrow. Big hugs.

  • Kentiana
    Kentiana Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2021
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    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post in these forums. I’m 5 days post op for a left mastectomy and sentinel node biopsy. I see my surgeon in two days to review the updated pathology. Is it common that things change? I’m trying my best not too worry.

    I’ve managed to get by with just over the counter drugs. At this point, the pain is sporadic and more of an inconvenience than anything else (e.g. drain discomfort with certain postures etc.).

    I’m starting to see part of my chest sink in a bit where the tumour was located (high on my upper chest gained my ribs). I’m hoping I can improve this by building my pec muscles once I’m all healed up.

    I hope everyone is healing well and best of luck to those having their surgeries at the end of the month.

  • HummingbirdAZ
    HummingbirdAZ Member Posts: 93
    edited August 2021
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    Good Morning!

    Kentiana--don't stress. I always plan for the worst then everything is at least a little better. Of course, I got a pretty stiff upgrade but most people don't and I keep thinking that at least they are still saying the word "curable".

    LW422--hope you are doing okay and home resting today. Keep your sights on getting the drain out and don't be afraid of the narcotics if you need them. I'm very (ironically) anti-pharma and oxy was my friend for a couple days while figuring out how to comfortably sleep.

    Bookpusher--movement can be rough. I've been doing my exercises religiously for 3 weeks now and still don't have full movement. The "pins and needles" are still there in the upper arm and zero feeling underarm, but for a while, it felt like I had no skin and that is now gone. Keep it up!

    Sarahvancouver--positive thoughts coming your way!

    Janewhite--we all could use a couple dinosaurs, a dragon and a fox!!

    Natureyogi--thanks for initiating the page and for all your great advice and support!!

    For me, I'm meeting with the surgeon tomorrow for my 3-week post op then scheduled for surgery again the next day to get the port. I'm having my two little grandboys (age 18 mos. and 3) for a long weekend since I'll likely not be able to see them again until 2022. Hoping the port placement doesn't affect my ability to snuggle! Chemo starts the next week. I'm stalking the chemo pages here and shopping for hats and scarves...

  • barbojoy
    barbojoy Member Posts: 47
    edited August 2021
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    Hi August surgeries. I wanted to check in & hope al of you are recovering well.

    I had my expanders removed yesterday (08/23) and a flat closure. Original DMX was 7/28. As I mentioned in prior posts - pain and discomfort was too much. Desire for the additional surgeries required for the reconstruction and the discomfort over the next 9 months during chemo/radiation just didn’t make sense to me.

    Even though surgery was yesterday and I have drains again, I can report that pain is must lower this time around. Also, the specific pains under left side & rib are completely gone. I can even bend over!!

    Thanks to everyone for feedback, support and encouragement along this journey.

    Get well / Be well.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
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    Hello all. I'm officially a uni-boob and I ended up staying overnight in the hospital. I got home a few hours ago to find I have NO CLOTHES to wear. All the things I bought to wear post-surgery have zipper fronts which seemed like a good idea until I found the reality of DRAINS...omg. How I hate those drains. I'm feeling pretty rotten this afternoon; I guess the surgical drugs are wearing off.

    EminGA--my thoughts are with you today and I hope that everything goes smoothly for you. Big hugs to you.

    I hope everyone who is in recovery is having an easy time of it.

  • harley07
    harley07 Member Posts: 288
    edited August 2021
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    @LW422 - thinking of you and sending healing thoughts

  • MEandJax
    MEandJax Member Posts: 15
    edited August 2021
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    Hummingbird, sorry about your nausea. I had that experience with my thyroid cancer surgery in 2027. I told the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and all nurses prior to my lumpectomy and fortunately they did what was needed to prevent it this time. I had my lumpectomy on the 12th, my sister came for a few days from CO. It was great having her here. I'm back alone again now. The pain actually started about a week after surgery, under arm mostly. I'm not sure what that's about. The nurse said that's normal.

    I see the surgeon this Friday for a follow up. The oncotype test results aren't back yet so I am not sure about chemo. I have an appointment with the oncologist on September 3rd so hopefully I'll know more then.


    Good luck and prayers for all of you ladies ❤️.



  • janewhite
    janewhite Member Posts: 49
    edited August 2021
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    Breast successfully yeeted, came home the same day, had to make 5 phone calls to get my pain medicine!!!! but now I have it.

    Just need to wait for the pathology results, get my hormonal IUD removed, get on tamoxifen, and then get on with my life.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
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    I had my surgery on Monday and I'm doing OK. Still very sore (especially the armpit) and having my first shower today. I believe the lymphovenous bypass was a huge success; the surgeon was able to connect FOUR lymph channels and he said they were "wide". He seemed quite pleased with himself so I'm hopeful about that. I'm feeling pretty raw and the drains are making me crazy, but hopefully things will get better soon.

  • pamep
    pamep Member Posts: 66
    edited August 2021
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    LW422: Good to hear you are doing OK. Your mastectomy surgery with the lymphovenous bypass sounds like it was complex. Hopefully this completes your surgeries. I just had SLNB and the underarm pain was bad. It is just now, after coming on three weeks, getting under control, so I can relate to the armpit being sore. Thankfully time is a healer for these types of onerous things. Sending you, and all August 2021 Surgeries "members", best wishes on recovery.

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256
    edited August 2021
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    Was thinking of you LW422, glad to hear that your surgery went well esp the bypass part. Hope you can get the drains out soon. Sending you healing thoughts!! {{{hugs}}}

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
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    Hey Mamacure! I'm feeling almost human today but sore and cranky. I did manage to take a shower by myself but couldn't quite get the surgical dressing back in place.

    Did anyone else have underarm swelling after surgery?? Seems like everything looks pretty good except my underarm; it hurts and seems quite swollen under there.

    Hope everyone in recovery is doing well!!

  • sarahvancouverisland
    sarahvancouverisland Member Posts: 15
    edited August 2021
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    Hey LW, well done on the shower!! Took me at least a week! I had (and still have) lots of swelling in my armpit and I'm 2 weeks post-mastectomy as of today. Weirdly enough some swelling went down, and other bits have swollen up, as if the fluid is moving. Lots of bruising. Drains were out after 6 days. My surgeon did take a look during our follow up appointment this week, and said my body would reabsorb it all eventually and not to worry. Obviously worth a call though if it seems excessive.


  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
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    Thanks Pam. I'm glad you're feeling better and I hope I will too soon

    Hi Sarah. Thanks I figured swelling is common. It's really not too bad considering. One of my drains only collects about a teaspoon of fluid a day and I wonder if that is unusual . The other drain is still producing a significant amount. Hope you continue to feel better.

    Barbojoy—woo hoo! I'm so glad you are doing better!

    Harley07–thanks so much Chickie!

    Kentiana—glad you could join us but sorry you have to be here. I hope your recovery continues to go well. I have not used anything other than otc meds either. So far so good!

    JaneWhite — glad you're on the other side now and I hope your recovery goes smoothly.

  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 260
    edited August 2021
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    @LW422 - Glad you are getting better after your surgery! Lots of lucking going your way for your path report. Crossing fingers for you. Getting the drains removed is great. I hope that comes quickly to you.

    Due to my Oncotype score 8 I will not do chemo. Docs say no benefit to me to do it. No complaints here. I feel truly blessed to not have anything in the nodes with all the cancer found. Got full report today from my MO. 8.5 cm non-invasive cancer. 8 cm invasive tumors inside of the non-invasive. The invasive tumors were surrounded by a lot of DCIS. I start radiation next month. I asked to have time to get a few road trips in before starting since I won't get to travel once I start. I want to make a little time to enjoy things I was too busy to do before. After radiation, lots of stopping my hormones and hormone therapy to stop a reoccurrence. Next year I will start reconstruction.

    I am glad to have joined this site. Lots of great women out here who give advice that is a blessing through the process. Today I move forward to find the "good" in the cancer diagnosis. Today was a 5.25-mile walk with my dogs to see the sunrise on the lake.

    To all of you who had surgery this month and to others who are scheduled to have upcoming surgeries - you are in my thoughts. I hope all of you have speedy and safe recoveries.

    #trulyblessed

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
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    Wondering44--congrats on no chemo! That's great. I had 16 rounds of chemo before surgery and it was a drag for sure. I'm just now getting peach fuzz back on my head and I have about 10 eyelashes, so combined with my new "uniboob" figure I'm a real pin-up girl!! I'll be having radiation in about a month, too... so we can commiserate about that. Take care.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
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    Well, this was goofy. I've had this little square thing with a "knob" in the center on the back of my right shoulder since surgery. I've showered three times and hadn't paid much attention to it, but today I was looking in the mirror and asked my husband if it was a bandage or what. We hadn't been putting any of the ointment on it and I was curious about what the heck it is. He took a picture of it with my phone and I called the triage nurse to ask about it, then sent him the photo.

    Turns out it was an EKG lead! Apparently they missed it when taking me out of surgery. :D (I hope the surgeon's tools are all accounted for!!) So my hubby peeled it off and used an alcohol wipe to clean the adhesive off.

  • janewhite
    janewhite Member Posts: 49
    edited August 2021
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    I got my pathology report, and it's good! No more sites, everything was resected with generous margins, and all 3 DCIS sites remain DICS. No infiltrations, clean lymph nodes. Still stage 0, no more treatment other than tamoxifen.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
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    Wonderful news, JaneWhite!! Congrats to you.

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256
    edited August 2021
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    Good to hear that you can take showers LW422. You had lots of work done under arm so not surprised swollen but keep close eye on it. Curious, how many drains do you have? Did you have a pre-op meeting before your surgery with the surgeons? Take care rest well!

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
    edited August 2021
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    Hey Mamacure. I have only 2 drains, thankfully. Yes, I met with the plastic surgeon before surgery as well as my regular surgeon who did the mastectomy. They made sure I knew what to expect, but of course reality is always different from what we imagine. I'm feeling pretty sore under the arm but the breast wound is numb; I can't feel it when my husband puts ointment on the stitches. I am not worried about the swelling under my arm; I understand that it is normal and should resolve itself as things heal.

  • aram
    aram Member Posts: 320
    edited August 2021
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    Hi everyone,

    LW congrats on being done with the surgery.

    I am seeing my breast surgeon tomorrow. I am planning on BMX. Any particular questions I should ask him? Was there anything you wished you have asked before?

  • EminGA2018
    EminGA2018 Member Posts: 21
    edited August 2021
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    LW - so glad surgery went well for you! You were in my thoughts

    I have been following everyone's updates! Wondering44- no chemo is such good news! Jane white- great path report

    my BMX went really well. I was able to go straight to implants. Most importantly..they got all the cancer! I had IDC, DCIS & apparently LCIS too..I can wash my own hair..very excited about that. The only issue I have is 2/4 drains are really painful. Overall ..feeling so so grateful to be done with surgery. I hope everyone continues to heal well❤️❤️