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Who else has been diagnosed with BC multiple times?

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mavericksmom
mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,200
edited September 2022 in Just Diagnosed

I am not sure how many of us there are, but for anyone who reads this, to me it feels like HAVING IT AGAIN, FOR THE FIRST TIME!

What I mean is, that I had IDC in 2003 treated with two lumpectomies, removal of 24 lymph nodes, chemo and radiation. In December of 2018 I had ILC, in the same breast, treated with mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction and letrozole, which I took for 6 months and stopped. I was diagnosed in early August, and I have high grade DCIS with microinvasion in the only real breast I have. While there are some similarities, each Dx came with a different treatment.

This time I am looking at a mastectomy with implant reconstruction. So, while I understand breast cancer and treatments very well, it still feels like I am going through this for the first time!

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  • gh11
    gh11 Member Posts: 27
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    I am so sorry to hear you have more than one diagnosis of cancer. It is so hard to have this forced on us. I appreciate you putting information out like this, and sharing your story as it helps people who are new to this new reality.

    Do you mind me asking if you regret having a DIEP only on one side in December of 2018? What made you keep the other breast and did you need to have lots of breast lifts on the natural breast to keep the symmetry with the newly constructed DIEP flap?

  • mkirkwood
    mkirkwood Member Posts: 6
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    I have been diagnosed 4 times since 2009. I understand what you mean. Each time it's a shock but once I have a plan I get through it.


  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,200
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    mkirkwood, sorry you had this four times! As you stated, each time comes as a shock. I too will get through this!

    I don't have any fear this time, because I had an appointment with my new breast surgeon prior to diagnosis. I am having a mastectomy with reconstruction via implant. Not ideal but sounds like the best option moving forward. Trusting my breast surgeon and my plastic surgeon gives me confidence that I will have a good outcome. It just feels strange, going through new procedures, not really knowing what to expect!


  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,200
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    gh11, no I don't mind answering you question at all! That is what this website is for, sharing information to help others!

    I wanted a bilateral mastectomy but was refused by my breast surgeon, who said it was hospital policy not to remove a healthy breast. Understand that I went to a well-known cancer hospital in Philadelphia and my surgeon was very well respected. I was in shock at the time, because I NEVER thought I would get breast cancer again after 16 years in spite of having it in my family. I am BRCA negative!

    So, that is why I had the DIEP on one side. Would I have had DIEP on both sides? If I could have had a bilateral mastectomy, YES!

    I will say, I wasn't prepared for all the swelling and how awful I looked after the DIEP surgery, but with time, the surgery areas "calmed down" and I couldn't be happier with the results!

    I opted not to have further surgery on my other breast because while not exactly symmetrical, they are close enough to satisfy me. Of course, now all that is out the window, because I now need a mastectomy with Implants, so any adjustments I would have had, would have been for nothing! I might add, that I am in my late 60's, and age matters for many reasons, but mine are mostly medical. I have very bad veins in my right arm, my left arm has lymphedema so can't be used for blood draws. I try to avoid all needless surgery because of that. Again, ironically, I will need nodes removed on my right side now, so if I get lymphedema in that arm too, it will be even more of a nightmare getting blood taken as well as IVs. I am not even sure where they will place the IV for my upcoming mastectomy. I have a wonderful team of doctors who are very aware, so I know I will be in good hands.

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605
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    I have lymphedema in one arm and I do blood draws on that side all the time with no issues! Something to consider if the veins in your other arm are a mess. It's infections we have to worry about and infections from blood draws are pretty rare.
  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,200
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    Parakeetsrule, thanks for the comments! I agree, once I forgot and had an injection in my lymphedema arm and nothing happened. Unfortunately my arm probably won’t be much help, too swollen to feel veins, but perhaps my hand could be used