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March/April 2024 Surgery Support Thread

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moderators
moderators Posts: 8,096

Please gather here to get and give support. Feel free to share your type of surgery, date, and let us know how you're preparing and how you're doing post-surgery. We're all here for you!

Comments

  • shaz101
    shaz101 Member Posts: 51
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    hi my surgery is on the 3rd of April, I’m having a bilateral masectomy without recon after getting diagnosed with my second breast cancer.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,096
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    @shaz101 - Thank you for being the first to start the conversation and sharing your upcoming surgery with us. If you want, you can read this article about Mastectomy on our site, including what should be expected, risks, and questions. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have as your surgery approaches.

    Sincerely,

    The Mods

  • shaz101
    shaz101 Member Posts: 51
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    @moderators thank you.

  • momur62
    momur62 Member Posts: 3
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    I had my mastectomy on the 1st of March. Surgery and recovery hasn't been easy so far. I had my post-op visit yesterday to remove my drains and learned I will have to do another surgery because the tumor margins weren't clear.

    I'm trying to process going under the knife again, feeling kinda angry and anxious that the mastectomy wasn't done right the first time. I can't even think about future treatments of chemo or radiation or bras or reconstruction yet. I'm really struggling with the news of going through another surgery.

    About me: I'm 62, with heart disease and COPD. My cancer was in the right breast, Lobular invasive stage 2 and two ductals in situ, only sentinel lymph node positive. Estrogen, Progesterone, and HER2 positive.

  • atlantacatmama43
    atlantacatmama43 Member Posts: 2
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    Hello March ladies! I have surgery scheduled for March 27. I think I have everything I need to hopefully have a smooth recovery all lined up. So now is the waiting, which is quite honestly making me super anxious. It's funny how having the tasks and making the plan keeps me occupied, but the sitting and waiting is the worst. I am scheduled for bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction using silicone implants. After surgery, I will have chemo, likely 4 rounds of TC chemo, and then after that 6 weeks of radiation. Finally hormone therapy as my tumor is ER/PR +, HER 2-.

    I do feel positive about the outcome, but super nervous about the treatments and how I will feel during them. It's nice to "meet" everyone and read up on others experiences, good and bad. Best of luck to everyone with March surgeries!

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,096
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    Understandable to feel nervous/anxious during the waiting period, @atlantacatmama43! Living in limbo is tiring, but we're glad to hear that you're finding ways to keep busy. If you'd like, some BreastCancer.org members have found relief during the waiting period by joining our free weekly Zoom meet-ups! You would be a good fit for our In Treatment for Breast Cancer groups that meet on Tuesdays at 1pm ET and Thursdays at 6pm ET. There are others are different parts of their journey, and it can be a helpful relief to hear those that have gone through it, and also for those that are in the same waiting period as yourself.

    Here's the link with the registration information:

    Please keep us posted on how it goes! ❤️

  • tmsbrega
    tmsbrega Member Posts: 1
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    Hi and new to this group and site. Just recently diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma of left breast. Mastectomy scheduled for March 28 and I am filled with anxiety and questions. Trying to remain positive but it’s hard. Not sure what questions to be asking and the unknown as to what’s next and what kind of treatments I will need are making me even more anxious.

    I like to be in control and so this is very foreign to me.

    Tina 69 yo, otherwise in decent health and newly retired. This wasn’t what I was expecting in my “retirement years”.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,096
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    Hello, @tmsbrega!

    Welcome to BreastCancer.org, though we are sorry for the nature of what brings you here. It's normal to be anxious leading up to surgery. We're glad that you found us, and hope you find the information here, and support from our members to be a significant and meaningful part of your experience through this process. You may find benefit in additionally joining one (or both) of our free weekly meet-ups over Zoom for women with an early stage breast cancer; they occur on Tuesdays at 1pm ET and Thursdays at 6pm ET. It's especially helpful when you're at the beginning of active treatment because you can hear what other folks are going through, and questions they've asked, or people often provide insight from their own experiences of going through a mastectomy, and other types of treatments.

    You can find information to register here:

    Please let us know if you have any questions! 🤗

  • needs.a.nap
    needs.a.nap Member Posts: 188
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    Hello all. I had my implant exchange surgery last Wednesday along with a pretty drastic reduction on my other side and fat grafting around the implant (fat taken from my “love handles”). Everything seems to be healing well.

    I was less anxious this time around since I knew how things went and felt after the mastectomy, but still anxious because I didn’t know what a reduction or fat grafting would feel like. I don’t feel much of anything, just the snug compression binder around my belly.

    Random thoughts … with this surgery, I’m lounging around more, giving myself permission to relax and watch movies, instead of constantly communicating with family and friends and making sure I was dressed and the house was tidy in case anyone came to visit. I’m living in my cozy pj’s this time, happily staring at dusty surfaces. And we’re about to get our biggest snowstorm of the year! I’ll just stare at the snow falling. I don’t have to be productive.

    I’m also trying to eat and drink way more … I didn’t realize how much our bodies need to heal (I understood that I needed good nourishment and hydration but didn’t grasp how much!) Looking back on the weeks and months after my mastectomy, and how easily I got tired while taking walks (abnormally so, I couldn’t understand it) … I can see that I just wasn’t getting nearly enough calories or protein to fuel my healing body!

    Best wishes to all for successful surgeries! Take good care of yourselves!!

  • needs.a.nap
    needs.a.nap Member Posts: 188
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    Hello @tmsbrega. I’m so glad you joined us here. It’s a lot to process and go through. If you do have the opportunity to join one of the Zoom group sessions, I found it to be exactly what I needed just before my mastectomy … seeing women of all ages in various stages of treatment gave me a lot of encouragement!

    I also struggled with not even knowing the questions I should’ve been asking, and feeling like my future was a great big question mark. It is very unsettling! I’m sorry. They are familiar emotions. I hope your surgery goes smoothly and you can focus on healing.

  • needs.a.nap
    needs.a.nap Member Posts: 188
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    Hello @biz.kenney2. Welcome! It’s a bit overwhelming to plan for such a major surgery but it sounds like you have great support lined up!! It takes a little creativity to figure out how to not use our arms the way we normally would. I needed a bottle of Advil that was too high up in my cabinet and I didn’t want to ask my husband for help (he would have happily come to help, I just get tired of asking for his help) so I grabbed a wooden spoon and carefully nudged it until it fell onto the counter … that worked!

  • herb
    herb Member Posts: 65
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    Hi all. I had my BMX post 8 years my breast cancer. Found out in October 22 I was brca2, gad the hysterectomy in January 23 and screening for melanoma and pancreatic. Much to my surprise they found a cancerous pulp in my stomach stage 1a in April 23 Luck the could remove the area with out removing my stomach. That surgery was July 2nd 2023. I had to get clear of stomach cancer to proceed with my masectomy. On December 2nd 2023 I had a clear endoscopy. In January 24 I saw the surgeon to set my BMX. I am filled to 500cc. And may have 1 or 2 more fills before I am done. The exchange surgery will be aprx 3 months after my last fill. Feel free to ask me questions I have been through it all. Chemo rads 5 years targeted therapy. 2 cancers and a BMX.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,096
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    Just stopping by to say Hi and Welcome to our newbies. Sending you all lots of gentle hugs!!

    Your Mods

  • shaz101
    shaz101 Member Posts: 51
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    hi, I had my bilateral mastectomy a few days ago. 3 lymph nodes removed from right. Now I’m just waiting for the results. Hoping to avoid chemo and radiation this time around.

  • needs.a.nap
    needs.a.nap Member Posts: 188
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    Hi @shaz101. How are you feeling? It’s such a big surgery. I hope you heal rapidly. And I hope it’s good news for you!! Take care!

  • shaz101
    shaz101 Member Posts: 51
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    thanks @needs.a.nap . I’m doing ok, I have had one drain out and will get the other drain out tomorrow when I see the surgeon. My fingers are crossed for a good outcome.

  • needs.a.nap
    needs.a.nap Member Posts: 188
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    Hi @shaz101. Wow! That seems quick on the drains but that’s great! As uncomfortable as they are, they serve a good purpose.

    I’m presently on my way to the plastic surgeon because my incision on my reduction side has opened and looks like it’s a little infected and it started oozing again. Ugh! I knew I was overdoing it on Saturday and was reaching down and out without really thinking and felt a pull in my armpit. Not sure if that’s the cause but that night it started oozing so now I’ll have to confess my sins to the surgeon. I’m almost at 4 weeks and everything seemed to be healing totally fine. He wanted me to really take it easy for 4-6 weeks and I mostly am but clearly not enough!! I’m so glad it’s not my implant side because infection there could risk my implant!

    Keep taking it easy and resting. A lot of internal healing is happening.

  • shaz101
    shaz101 Member Posts: 51
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    @needs.a.nap I’m thinking of you! It’s so hard to remember sometimes.

    I live 600km away from the hospital and have bee staying nearby for a couple of weeks. I’m going home on Friday and I can’t wait to see my fur family. I hope all went ok. Thank you

  • miriam70
    miriam70 Member Posts: 1
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    Am new to this website. Just had lumpectomy on Monday April 15th. Sore. Now, waiting for results.

    Meanwhile, trying to learn about breast cancer and also nutrition.

    This is first time that I post, so I want to see how this works. Best wishes to all with scheduled surgeries.

  • jack512
    jack512 Member Posts: 5
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    @miriam70 I hope your soreness goes away soon and good results! I will have oncoplasty lumpectomy on 24th.
    My surgeons handed me a nutrition guide for healing. It’s high protein, avoid red meat.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,096
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    @miriam70 and @jack512, welcome to the April Surgery Support Group! Since you mentioned you're interested in learning about nutrition, we'd like to recommend these articles from our main site:

    https://www.breastcancer.org/managing-life/diet-nutrition/healthy-eating-during-treatment

    https://www.breastcancer.org/managing-life/diet-nutrition/healthy-eating-after-treatment

    https://www.breastcancer.org/managing-life/diet-nutrition/resources

    Hope this helps! Wishing you good luck with surgeries and results, and a smooth recovery. Please, come back to share your experiences and tips.

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

    The Mods

  • trickykitty
    trickykitty Member Posts: 1
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    I'm also new, diagnosed Mar 1, and just had a second/third biopsy on two spots Apr 15 after the satellite lesions were seen on the MRI. I'm currently waiting to hear back from two reconstruction surgeons for appointments to discuss my options and make my decision between oncoplasty lumpectomy or single mastectomy. So far, having to make this decision has been the hardest part, even over hearing the diagnosis. The diagnosis is what it is, and my grandmother had breast cancer, so I've know since my 20s that there was a possibility. I'm 47 and heavily leaning lumpectomy, and at this point we're hoping the surgery will be within the next 3-4 weeks. I just hate the waiting game and that my crystal ball is so cloudy regarding what the future holds.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,096
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    @trickykitty, we welcome you to the group too! Wishing you good luck with next appointments and results. If there is anything we can do for you, please let us know. We're here for you!

    The Mods

  • jack512
    jack512 Member Posts: 5
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    @trickykitty I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’m new too and struggled with the plastic surgery decision as well. I was surprised when my surgeon said it was a personal decision and she doesn’t give personal advice. I thought she was cold at the time since I expected her to tell me what was best, but she said for me anyway, a lumpectomy with radiation has same odds of left expectancy & recurrence as mastectomy. So she was right, it was entirely my decision. I have a sister diagnosed dcis at age 42. I had genetic testing which all came back negative. I chose oncoplasty lumpectomy which is this Wednesday. I’m 60, which my surgeons still consider young! I have 38C breasts so there’s extra to spare after reduction & lift.

    Best to you! ♥️

  • herb
    herb Member Posts: 65
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    Update. I just had my last fill to 600cc. I am set for my exchange surgery on August 6th. Said a 5 hrs surgery and I will have drains. I'm going smooth saline implants. No need for MRIs with saline to check implants. Happy to be done with. Breasts, cancer and brca prophylactic surgeries. Had my hysterectomy last year.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,096
    edited April 23
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    Hi all! Come join us today at 1pm ET to support one another through treatment via our Treatment Zoom Meetup! See you soon! Register here.