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November 2021 Surgeries

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2

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  • labmama56
    labmama56 Member Posts: 21
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    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the updates on how things are going, good to hear from people.

    @TXLorelei, so sorry to hear you have to wait so long to get the second drain out, that truly rots IMO. I think 🤞 I will get both of my drains out tomorrow at my PS appointment. They are a right royal pain I will be glad to have gone. I hope things get easier and you are drainless as soon as possible. How are you feeling a week out now?

    @BCInfoseeker, drive by boob removal had me snorting!! I’m glad things were easy enough that they felt confident in sending you home. That was an option for my BMX but it took me too long to clear enough anesthesia side effects and I had to stay 1 night. I didn’t feel well enough to come home that night, so I was glad. But I certainly have gotten a lot more sleep since I’ve been home. How are you feeling today?

    @SondraF, the waiting was really hard, feeling for you. Do you have things to keep you occupied during your quarantining time?

    I’m hoping that @TazMom, @LoverofJesus, and @GalleySlave, you are all doing well and recovering nicely. Let us know how you are if you have a chance.

    @Deborra67, I hope your surgery today went well. When you’re up for it, let us know how things are going.

    I met my oncologist for the first time today and thankfully click with her. She’s sending my tumors out for Oncotype DX just to make sure there’s no likely benefit from chemo, then we’ll meet in December to decide when to start endocrine therapy. Feeling a lot of gratitude for top notch medical team and the support of a lot of loving friends and family. My kids (24 and 21) come home on Saturday for Thanksgiving & my birthday, hooray! I will have a lot to say thanks for this year

    Sending love, light and strength for the journey.

  • loverofjesus
    loverofjesus Member Posts: 174
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    I go back to the plastic surgeon today. Hopefully I'll get some answers. I'm have been struggling this week with depression. I think mainly because I have been stuck at home, can't do anything because of surgery, and hubby had to go back to work so it's just me and the dogs all day.

    That all coupled with the skin issues that my skin is not healing properly. Is just depressing! I have never been a depressed person. Anxious sometimes, yes. But never depressed until now. I want to be happy because they got all the cancer during surgery and technically I'm cancer free. And while I'm super thankful for that. I'm just sad that this skin isn't healing and I have not seen my grandchildren in almost three weeks. Everyone else's life gets to move on and I'm sitting here at a standstill!

    My DMX went well except for the skin issues. And I still have two tubes. Ugh. My dr said he wanted them “spitting dust” before they are pulled. Most will pull when they are 20ml or under. But mine have been at 25 for the beginning of the week and now are at 20. Yesterday and the day before.

    Sorry if I had a pity party on here. I’m just frustrated.

    I truly pray you all are doing well! I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    I’ll update after my appointment

    Hugs

    LoverofJesus

  • labmama56
    labmama56 Member Posts: 21
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    Oh, so sorry about the skin issues, LoverofJesus, I can imagine how hard that must b. And being on your own, even if dogs are wonderful, probably just adds to the frustration and depression. A wise mentor once told me that when facing negative emotions, there’s no way out but through. I try to imagine them as the weather, they blow through and move on. Will you be able to see your grandchildren sometime soon? Or maybe even set a date for when you can so you have something on the horizon? Sending prayers.

    I just got home from the plastic surgeon. Feeling very lucky they pulled my drains (I hope you get them pulled soon, LoJ!!). They said I could probably try sleeping in bed on my back with pillows, but knowing how much of a toss and turner I am when sleeping, I’ll stick to the recliner + pillows for awhile. Sounds like I won’t be scheduled for DIEP reconstruction until about March-April, which is both comforting and frustrating at the same time. I think the break from surgery will be nice and Christmas is likely going to be a lot easier this way. But I want to be done with all this surgery too, at least the initial procedures, I understand the DIEP often needs further adjustments. Our youngest graduates from college in May and I want to be fully able to participate in celebrating him.

    Both kids come home tomorrow for a week, it’s giving me a lot of smiles looking forward to seeing them.

    Sending love and prayers for healing for everyone!

  • loverofjesus
    loverofjesus Member Posts: 174
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    Labmomma- thank you for the kind words. Yes it’s frustrating.

    I went to the PS and my last two tubes are gone! Hallelujah! But I have to still be good with my arms as if the skin doesn’t heal I could lose my expanders. My skin is trying to heal he said so I go back after thanksgiving and we will know for sure by then. I’m praying he is right and they are trying to heal. And that they will heal.

    Praying everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving



  • labmama56
    labmama56 Member Posts: 21
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    Yay, LoJ!! Glad you have those drains out!! And yes, take it easy, rest, rest, rest. Sending prayers for your skin to heal.

    I went to the grocery store with Dear Husband and even trying to be good, I was totally exhausted when I came home. Did too much, I think.

    Do you, or any of you ladies, have hyper-sensitive skin around the expanders? As soon as I touch above where I’m numb, it’s like sandpaper on my skin and it’s pretty sensitive 24/7. PS said it’s nerves just really reactive and to lightly brush across that area several times a day to get them to readjust. 🤞 that does the job. I’ve also had some chest spasms and today after my grocery store jaunt, I had some on the way home. ☹️ Took the muscle relaxer and laid back in the recliner for awhile and things calmed down.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all in the US! And happy weekend to everyone everywhere

  • MariaMonserate
    MariaMonserate Member Posts: 1
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    Magandang araw. Hello im from Puerto Princesa City Palawan, Philippines. Iam her husband my name is Cornelio my wife name is Maria. She doesnt know how to use internet and i have small knowledge to use the internet. We have 4 children 3 adults and 1 child. She is diagnosted with fibroadenoma r/o Ca. And to be remove her left breast by operation. The doctor a general surgery suggested us that as soon as possible the operation take place. We are having financial crisis as today he tell us (doctor) the amount will be 200,000 pesos. Today Nov 20, 2021 we have only 2000 pesos. We are so poor here. Cant afford the cancer that for my wife. Help us. My family. Anything will be great. Thank you.

  • BCinfoseeker
    BCinfoseeker Member Posts: 31
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    Hello ladies - still posting on my phone so I’ll be brief. First of all I’m glad to see us getting through this phase without a whole lot of really bad issues. LoJ - I’m sorry to read you’re having problems with your skin. All you can do is follow the instructions and breathe deep a lot to stay calm and think healing thoughts and pray. Thankfully your drains are out! I’m sending you vibes. Like Labmama said, when I’m feeling blue about having cancer, or anything really, I just try to remember that the feelings are temporary and then think of the things I love. And that it’s ok to feel them! I deserve to feel them and it’s better than not feeling them!

    Labmama glad you’re doing well overall - yes don’t over do it. I don’t have an expander but my skin is very sensitive where Righty used to live. I have a big padded bandage taped on that goes from below armpit to mid chest horizontally and from collarbone to below where my boob was vertically. I’ve grown quite attached to my mastectomy shirt and pillow. Otherwise the sensitivity is jarring as I’m off painkillers other than regular Tylenol.

    I’m very lucky that my husband has cleared his schedule and is really attentive. The fluid in my drain is much thinner and while still red, it's starting to clear so I know its all resolving correctly. I see my breast surgeon on 11/23 and she’ll check everything and I’ll get the final pathology report. Fingers crossed for not horrible news; our kids and spouses/SOs are coming for thanksgiving and regardless, we have A LOT to be thankful for. I’m going to get my hair washed and wear my good pearls over my mastectomy shirt and maybe put on some heels!

    Xoxo

  • sondraf
    sondraf Member Posts: 1,605
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    Got a bit of an insurance hiccup a week before here, though it will get ironed out in the end I imagine. The British are just universally bad at planning and scheduling, so am not surprised, especially as every month I need to adjust my MO/blood draw appt after scheduling mess it up. Still, it doesn't really help and I am so so ready to get this thing out of me that I will be more than a little annoyed if there is a delay.

    Last visit with breast surgeon on Thursday and she is so calm and calming, her last words of advice were to just go with the flow with everything. So Im taking her advice and not worrying about the paperwork in the background.

    Hope all continue to heal well (and LoJ your situation calms down!) and have a great Thanksgiving.


  • labmama56
    labmama56 Member Posts: 21
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    Sorry to hear about insurance issues, SondraF. Like that’s the thing any of us need when we’re already facing so much!! I’m glad you are able to go with the flow—good advice. Sending you lots of love and light in this waiting time.

  • BCinfoseeker
    BCinfoseeker Member Posts: 31
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    Hi Sondra - I hope your scheduling woes are solved soon and I hope everyone is recovering well. X

  • BCinfoseeker
    BCinfoseeker Member Posts: 31
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    Ok so got the pathology report from my unilateral mastectomy. News is good with sentinel node negative for metastatic tumor and negative for lymphovascular invasion. I’m very happy about this news.

    There was more cancer though; 2 smaller IDC lesions of .6 and .5cm. Both grade 1. Neither were tested for hormone receptors as my BS said that because they were smaller than the initial three that were found in July (ER/PR+ HER2-). I will ask my MO when I meet with him in two weeks if they should be tested. She thinks they were part of the initial lesion family and just not detected in the ultrasounds/scans because they are small. This does validate her pushing for me to remove the right breast even after clean margins with my lumpectomy. I’m so glad I did it.

    She’s concerned about my left breast. I’m going to talk to my MO about how often we scan and what kind. Last scan was a PET scan in September with no issues detected in lefty.

    Radiation is not indicated as of now, but will discuss with my MO. I’m also meeting with a new plastic surgeon that does flap surgery.

    Anyway, exhale. I was really dreading this because of the September pathology report with a cancer dx after a negative biopsy.

    Have a safe, happy and grateful Thanksgiving everyone. Xo

  • labmama56
    labmama56 Member Posts: 21
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    Hi BCInfoseeker! So glad to hear about the sentinel node being clear but sorry to hear there were more lesions. I bet it was a relief that you had the mastectomy, I know I felt that way too.

    My IDC/DCIS was multicentric rather than multifocal, which may make a difference. My MO is sending both tumors for Oncotype DX. Both were tested at biopsy and shown to be ER/PR+ and HER2-, low Ki-67, so we’re expecting low Oncotype scores, but checking to make sure. Given sentinel node biopsy was negative for me, no radiation recommended. I will start an aromatase inhibitor in another month or so. Before my surgery, I found an article showing increased contralateral BC with multicentric BC, and I just had this gut feeling there was something brewing in my lefty, so I asked for BMX. When the pathology came back on that breast, turned out I had 3 different areas of concern for future cancer: lobular atypical hyperplasia, radial scarring, and sclerotic stroma. None of that had been noted in other imaging (mammogram, US, MRI but no PET). My BS remarked about how I was right in choosing BMX given what they found in lefty. I don’t know if my experience is helpful or not and if anything, I’ve learned that every person’s journey is different! If this is helpful to you, I’m happy to DM on any questions.

    Are you going to plan on DIEP flap reconstruction? My PS said it will likely be Feb-April for my flap surgery because things are so bad with COVID here. ☹️ I hope yours can be done sooner if you want.

    Enjoy Thanksgiving and rest, rest, rest. Breathe, breathe, breathe. xoxox

  • txlorelei
    txlorelei Member Posts: 68
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    Got my pathology report and luckily no surprises this time around - still just LCIS. Now just wishing I didn't have to wait until next week to get the last drain out.

    I met with the radiation oncologist today and my mapping is scheduled for December 7. The results of those scans will determine how much she wants to treat the right side lymph nodes in my neck area. So she didn't commit to a number of sessions yet. It would lovely if I could finish by New Year's.

  • labmama56
    labmama56 Member Posts: 21
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    Glad to hear there were no surprises TXLorelei!! And best wishes for completing rads before New Year’s. I’ll be thinking about you Dec 7. Wishing you the best for a good Thanksgiving. xox

  • BCinfoseeker
    BCinfoseeker Member Posts: 31
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    Hi everyone - Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

    Labmama - Thanks for your story - we have a lot in common with our cases but yes we are all different. I decided to keep the left - the decision was mine - and I don't regret it. One thing that was found with the new pathology (and not in my lumpectomy pathology) is focal atypical ductal hyperplasia. I don't know if it's common to just have that in one breast vs both. Also is there a test for it? The total sum of my five lesions is 3.5cm so I plan to ask my MO if it was a single tumor, would my treatment plan for no rads/chemo be the same?

    I do think that the loss of breast is less devastating than I thought it would be - so if lefty is borderline, I will not hesitate to remove. I am thinking flap surgery but as a horseback rider, core is everything. I'm meeting with a new PS that does flap surgeries as the one I met with prior to surgery doesn't do them. I'll know more in early Dec after I meet first with my MO and then with my PS.

    TXLorelei - yay to no surprises in pathology! I've found that getting these results are more stressful than test results. I've had a false biopsy, but my PET scan noted likely node metastases that ended up being false - enlargement was likely due to the lumpectomy I'd had about 4 weeks earlier (though I am going to ask my MO if the 0/1 node finding surprised him based on the PET scan "likely metastases"). One hand giveth and the other hand taketh away (or vice-versa).

    I hope you are able to complete or largely complete rads prior to New Year's. Everyone hates new deductibles :(

  • sondraf
    sondraf Member Posts: 1,605
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    Had a last minute blood draw today to check neutrophil numbers and it was a nailbiting half hour waiting for the lab, but they are where they need to be so we are ready to roll tomorrow. PS took the opportunity between his morning and afternoon surgical roster to mark me up and I dropped off my consent forms. Insurance was ironed out Thursday evening. This feels like both the longest five weeks since I found out I needed surgery and also the shortest time ever.

    Shall report post surgery!

  • dancemom
    dancemom Member Posts: 404
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    sondraf, im so glad to hear things are moving along. Thinking of you

  • sondraf
    sondraf Member Posts: 1,605
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    Awake in the icu after an interminable evening though I did get some rest in the end. I've been cleardd for toast and juice this morning and sitting up and walking later. New boob looks fantastic and I am just thrilled with it, its so similar to my old one I actually blurted out if he was sure he did anything. Oh and added bonus that I now have a flat stomach again as he used thr menopausal fat roll.


  • dancemom
    dancemom Member Posts: 404
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    sondraf, yay!

  • BCinfoseeker
    BCinfoseeker Member Posts: 31
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    Great news Sondra!

    I got my drain and stitches out today - yay!

  • sondraf
    sondraf Member Posts: 1,605
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    I bet the freedom is wonderful BC :) mine are still clipped to the hospital gown but nurse tonight just said one of them hasn't had anything today and the others are minimal. Hoping at least two of three come out tomorrow

    Finally got off icu and into my own room for the next three nights. Getting tired of the hospital smell.

  • txlorelei
    txlorelei Member Posts: 68
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    I called the doctors office and was able to see the nurse and get my last drain removed yesterday. Yay!

    I'm still a little sore but I'm trying to do my arm exercises. Driving with a protective pillow is sort of awkward too. I guess now it's time for me to move over to the radiation threads.

    Hope everyone heals quickly!

  • sondraf
    sondraf Member Posts: 1,605
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    I should be getting out of here today and can't wait, so tired of the poking, prodding, and that damn doppler checking the flap. Last night between having probably eaten too much during the day and dehydration from the central heating I had high heartbeat and had to drink a few liters of water to bring it down. Needless to say I didn't get the best sleep!

    Yesterday I did encounter the dreaded supercharged underarm bo on operated side. It was like I was smuggling a garlicy salami in an army surplus duffle bag. Hooo-weee! Hoping this isn't permanent but just more drugs coming out of my system as I move around more.


  • BCinfoseeker
    BCinfoseeker Member Posts: 31
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    So I hope the November 2021 surgery class is doing well and recovering. Me, I’ve seen the PT, and have some new exercises. I have appointments this week with MO, prosthetic fitter and PS. Waiting to get final word on whether rads is required and what to do about lefty in the near term. I feel like I stuck my big toe in the cancer treatment pool and wondering if I should just dive in….

  • labmama56
    labmama56 Member Posts: 21
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    Hi Everyone! It’s good to hear how people are doing. Are you home, Sondra? TXLorelei, I’m wishing you the best as you head into rads. How did the mapping go yesterday? BCInfoseeker, what kind of exercises were you given? I hope you get some clarity re whether you need rads and what to do about lefty. Hard decisions.

    I meet with my oncologist tomorrow about starting Arimidex. Bone density scan was normal yesterday. I’ll also have my first PT session tomorrow and am looking forward to some exercises. Friday is next PS appointment with a TE fill, hopefully close to enough on that. My biggest concern these days is managing my DIEP reconstruction scheduling. COVID patients have caused “elective” surgeries to push to at least Jan 1, so new deductible coming. :( I have an event in Feb we run and our youngest graduates in early May, so my windows of opportunity are slim to allow for enough healing time. Fingers crossed I can get something scheduled sooner than later…

    Wishing everyone a good Wednesday and strength and grace for the journey

  • sondraf
    sondraf Member Posts: 1,605
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    I made it home last Friday and have been recovering since. Had my dressings changed yesterday and the surgeon did such a masterful job it's amazing. So happy I went with the recommended Diep. Brief moment of panic out of the shower this evening as I couldn't find where a few drops of blood were coming from until I checked my left outer thigh. The darn heparin injection from this morning must have hit prior bruising or something. An easy fix with a large compress, but a real moment of panic worrying about all the other sutures!

    Monday I have oncology and another dressing change and next Thursday is breast surgeon chat with the pathology results. I imagine if there is anything considerable requiring discussion she will have already spoken to my MO, so I could get a sneak preview on monday.

  • BCinfoseeker
    BCinfoseeker Member Posts: 31
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    Labmama - bummer about the surgery delay. I just want to scream at people that think that they won't get COVID and then clog up the hospitals. So selfish. Hopefully you can get it done early enough so you will feel comfortable at your Feb event.

    The PT exercises are for recovering mobility and strength in my right arm and chest area. My incision is healing well and these are things like shoulder shrugs, wall and table slides and also manipulating the lymph and massaging the scar to ensure it doesn't stick to tissue or bone below. Fortunately I work at home so I can do them while I'm working. Regarding rads, the BS said I was clean when she did the surgery and didn't see anything of concern - which is why she only took one node. My MO also agrees but wants me to meet with the RO just to verify so I have an appointment on 12/20. I'd be happy not to, though a nagging part of me says that with FIVE lesions, isn't it better to overtreat and knock the F-er out completely now rather than wait and hope it doesn't come back? I'm not overly worried; I'm on Anastrozole but it's not a miracle pill. Decisions decisions.

    Sondra - that must have been terrifying. I'm glad it wasn't the incision though. Just continue to heal!

  • labmama56
    labmama56 Member Posts: 21
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    Sondra—I’m so glad your DIEP has given you great results, that’s wonderful! But yikes, I bet that was scary to see some blood without knowing exactly where it was coming from! Sending best wishes for continued recovery and healing!

    BCInfoseeker—I think the PT exercises you’re doing are similar to what I’ll go over tomorrow. Tomorrow will be 4 weeks since my DMX and I’m ready to be able to move my arms more than “T Rex” and “chicken wings”! 😜🦖🐥

    I can imagine how hard it is to decide where to draw the line with treatment—5 lesions is no joke, but then if your nodes were clear…where is that crystal ball when we need one?! My best advice is listen to the experts and listen to that little voice / gut / inner wisdom. How has the Arimidex been for you? My MO appointment for tomorrow got rescheduled as she’s still waiting for my Oncotype DX results. I think once we have those, assuming it’s a low score, she’ll start me on Arimidex. A little nervous about how much worse hot flashes might be and hoping I won’t also fight weight gain. What a journey we’re all on!

    Hugs to all

  • BCinfoseeker
    BCinfoseeker Member Posts: 31
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    Labmama - I just saw the PS today and he said that if I decide to reconstruct, he needs to wait 6 months after the end of radiation. If I decide to go DIEP, I will do a left mastectomy first and then do them both as that surgery can only be performed once. I'd end up with a couple nice B cups lol. The other option is to do an implant on the right with fat grafting and then a reduction on the left (I'm a C cup now).

    My Mammaprint was low probability of return with a very low effectiveness of chemo noted... I'll wait to see what the RO says on 12/20. My first baseline bloodwork came back with a normal breast cancer marker so.... more decisions!

    Anyway, the Anastrozole has been easy for me - I started about 2 months ago. I am on the Accord brand 1mg that I take before bed. Minimal if any SEs. I am hoping that it stays that way! I have osteopenia but it's an early early case so I'm just taking a lot of calcium at the moment. There are so many AIs now that from what I understand, you might tolerate one brand but not another, or one type and not another. Don't needlessly suffer! I think that's why they gave me a 14 day supply initially, then a 90 day supply when I refilled it. You should know if it's awful/not tolerable right away.

    xo

  • labmama56
    labmama56 Member Posts: 21
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    BCInfoseeker, good to hear how the Anastrozole has been for you—hoping it’s similar for me. And thank you, I will watch my SEs and ask for a switch if they’re dramatic. When I was waiting to know whether I need radiation or not, my PS had the same recommendation about waiting 6 months before trying reconstruction. Hoping you don’t need any rads or if you do, things will go as smoothly as possible.

    This whole thing is such a multi-stage process. But I’m willing to take the various steps, at least at this point, to try to get to a place where I’m not sad or afraid when I look in the mirror. I don’t regret the DMX at all but I will look forward to something that looks less like two loaves of bread on my chest (my current scars are long and horizontal, so they distort my shape) and are more comfortable than TEs and are my own tissue. My PT appointment today was really good, she gave me some good exercises and a lot of hope. She’s also giving me some core exercises that don’t engage my pecs to help me get to my best before DIEP.

    Sondra, any advice for those of us waiting for reconstruction? I hope all is going well for you.

    Sending everyone my best