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Topic: Scuba diving post BC

Forum: Humor and Games — Breast cancer is no laughing matter, but sometimes a good joke or a game is the best medicine.

Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 07:15PM - edited Jan 27, 2012 03:48PM by Scuba_duchess

Scuba_duchess wrote:

Am currently recovering from BMX with LAT reconstruction. Diver for a long time, hoping to find and learn from any other divers. I know I can't dive until permanent implants are in and healed (and LAT muscles rebuilt), would like to chat with any other divers as to experiences and insights. My first dive trip is going to get my a$$ to the gym more faithfully than any motivator I know of!
Update, there is a Duke University study following women with BC who dive. You can find it at www.pink tank.org. Happy Diving.
Cheers to all, thanks.

BMx/Lat Dorsi Recon 8/8/11. Exchange 1/9/12. Oopherectomy 1/18/12. Scuba Diving 4/21/12. Just Do It! Dx 5/17/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 7, 2011 06:25AM geewhiz wrote:

Well, I am not a diver ...YET!! I am currently shopping for a certification class. I have always been a serious snorkeler...all around the world. Diving used to scare me...my son is a shark expert, lol. But, We are planning a trip and I would love to be diving by then.
I have had bmx and don't have any problems in the water. I just started adding laps to my exercise routine. Doing the breast stroke, used to feel SO strange...the muscles pulled weird. Now, only a few months into it, it seems to be really loosening up the muscles that were shot by surgery and rads.
So, HELLO!!, from a diver-to-be!!

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Sep 7, 2011 06:45AM Scuba_duchess wrote:

That is great, from all of the research I have done, there are no contraindications to diving at all. In reality, other than shouldering the tanks and getting back on the boat, you mostly use your legs anyway. There are a couple options, depending on where you live. I live in Philadelphia and opted tom do all the class and pool stuff here, then went and did the certification dives in Key Largo, FL (had a free place to stay). You could do a resort course on vacation, limits you to 45 feet deep but you do it all on vacation. Finally they have snooba where you have an air hose to the surface and stay tethered to a surface based air supply.
I am currently finishing my dive master certification and would love to help in anyway with any questions. Have travelled a lot, am bumming I have to wait until February with the permanent implants. There is a woman in FL who I read about helping women fighting BC get certified - my older sister was diagnosed in 2008 with IDC and I tried to get her certified, alas, she is just not a water girl!
Please let me know if I can help in anyway. Am currently dealing with some pretty sore issues with drains from surgery, so am on line fairly often! This site works for me.
Cheers and happy bubbles!
Lisa

BMx/Lat Dorsi Recon 8/8/11. Exchange 1/9/12. Oopherectomy 1/18/12. Scuba Diving 4/21/12. Just Do It! Dx 5/17/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 7, 2011 10:38AM barbe1958 wrote:

One thing I would say, actually a couple, from a sister diver myself:

Be careful balancing tank weight so you don't develop lymphadema!!!!

You'll probably have to re-check your weight needs if you get implants!! hehehehehe Your personal flotation device just got built in!

Make sure you don't have a seroma going on as you may hurt yourself as you go 2 or 3 atmospheres down! I'd worried it would burst!

I haven't dove since my double mast, kinda sad as I've been some neat places including Bonaire which used to be known as a diver's paradise. The year we went the temps were so high that the shore reefs were dying off. It was great short diving anyway, but then they had a hurricane so I don't know what's left.

Dx 12/10/2008, IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/16/2008 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 2/4/2016, IDC: Papillary, Left, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/11/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 2/17/2016 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Sep 7, 2011 01:09PM geewhiz wrote:

Thanks for the tips Barbe. Will definitely keep in mind. Dear Lord..never thought of what pressure could do to implants. geez.

I got the bug to scuba after one of the tethering snuba tries in the Bahamas. It was so incredibly beautiful. My kids did it too.

I am in the southeast, so we have lots of scuba facilities. Some are running ads on groupon etc, so Im trying to find a good clean facility closeby for a decent price.

My sis lives in South FL right on the beach and scubas a lot...so I can always stay with her for the exam.

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Sep 7, 2011 03:04PM Scuba_duchess wrote:

Barbe1958

Thanks for the input. I have already connected with Divers Alert Network, plan to work with them throughout. Am hoping for a shallow initial trip either Bonaire or G Cayman as I am familiar and can dive shallow without feeling ripped off. The LAT rebuilding is my big goal, have already discussed with my PT what I need to work on, want to get as much pool time as I can.

As far as flotation, I ended up with a reduction in the mix and apparently the silicone implants are very slightly negatively buoyant, so who knows. I have a quarry about 1 hour 15 mins from my home with a platform at 20 feet, plan to do some testing first.

Will keep you posted if interested, found 1 women who wants to learn. Either way, Cheers to life- above and below sea level!

Lisa

BMx/Lat Dorsi Recon 8/8/11. Exchange 1/9/12. Oopherectomy 1/18/12. Scuba Diving 4/21/12. Just Do It! Dx 5/17/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 7, 2011 03:12PM Scuba_duchess wrote:

Gee whiz, there are NO issues with permanent implants and diving. I have dive insurance through Divers Alert Network (DAN), you can google it. As a member, I can get to data you can't. I will down load and forward it. They are the world leader in dive data and research,and insurance which I recommend.

They did say not to dive with the TE's.

I will send you a PM with my email, feel free to send yours and I will send what I got. You still have to be physically fit, but that's true for most stuff. South FL is great, plenty of shallow dives (although I love the deeper wrecks off of Key Largo!). If your docs okay it, go for it!
Lisa

BMx/Lat Dorsi Recon 8/8/11. Exchange 1/9/12. Oopherectomy 1/18/12. Scuba Diving 4/21/12. Just Do It! Dx 5/17/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 8, 2011 07:34AM barbe1958 wrote:

I ended up having my certification dive at 125 feet trying to get below hurricane turmoil 32 miles out in the Gulf Stream! Not fun!!

Dx 12/10/2008, IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/16/2008 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 2/4/2016, IDC: Papillary, Left, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/11/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 2/17/2016 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jan 27, 2012 10:31AM Scuba_duchess wrote:

Just wanted to update this in case any fellow diver comes looking. I completed my exchange for permanent implants on 1/9/12. I resumed PT the next week (did PT for 3 months following placement of TE's in August).

Am allowing for 3 months of recovery and rehab (also had oopherectomy on 1/18/12), so being conservative. Am diving Grand Cayman, East End week of 4/22/12. Planning to dive 60-80' max. If all goes well, planning to dive deep in Key Largo (Duane, Bibb, Speigel Grove) in May.

Happy Bubbles! Lisa

BMx/Lat Dorsi Recon 8/8/11. Exchange 1/9/12. Oopherectomy 1/18/12. Scuba Diving 4/21/12. Just Do It! Dx 5/17/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 16, 2012 01:52PM Scuba_duchess wrote:

Just an update - back to diving - Grand Cayman (60 - 80') in April, 2012.  Key Largo (80 - 100') in May, 2012.  No issues!

BMx/Lat Dorsi Recon 8/8/11. Exchange 1/9/12. Oopherectomy 1/18/12. Scuba Diving 4/21/12. Just Do It! Dx 5/17/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 16, 2012 02:04PM Angelfalls wrote:

Sounds wonderful! I only took up scuba diving after my 2nd BC diagnosis and, even though I don't go often, I really enjoy it - the peace, the beauty, the weightlessness. Just hoping that I'll be able to go back to it some time in the future, as I had a 3rd diagnosis back in October... :o( But I got to NED before, so fingers crossed I can do it again!

Angelfalls

Dx 3/2003, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/31/2003 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap Chemotherapy 4/29/2003 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 11/14/2003 Hormonal Therapy 1/4/2004 Dx 9/15/2006, 5cm, Stage IV Radiation Therapy 10/31/2006 Surgery 1/30/2007 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/27/2007 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 10/5/2011, Stage IV, mets Chemotherapy 1/4/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 3/19/2012 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 10/23/2012 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 5/6/2013 Afinitor (everolimus) Hormonal Therapy 1/6/2014 Femara (letrozole) Chemotherapy 1/30/2014 Navelbine (vinorelbine)
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May 16, 2012 02:24PM Scuba_duchess wrote:

I missed it like crazy (been diving my whole life) - was just nice to do something just for fun.  Here is a picture from Grand Cayman - hope you get back to NED and diving soon! Best Wishes to you!  Just glad the foobs they put in in January 2012 were not an issue...  Cheers, Lisa

Photobucket"

BMx/Lat Dorsi Recon 8/8/11. Exchange 1/9/12. Oopherectomy 1/18/12. Scuba Diving 4/21/12. Just Do It! Dx 5/17/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 17, 2012 07:23AM Angelfalls wrote:

Great photo! Thanks for the well wishes and happy bubble-making!!! ;o) xx

Dx 3/2003, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/31/2003 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap Chemotherapy 4/29/2003 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 11/14/2003 Hormonal Therapy 1/4/2004 Dx 9/15/2006, 5cm, Stage IV Radiation Therapy 10/31/2006 Surgery 1/30/2007 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/27/2007 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 10/5/2011, Stage IV, mets Chemotherapy 1/4/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 3/19/2012 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 10/23/2012 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 5/6/2013 Afinitor (everolimus) Hormonal Therapy 1/6/2014 Femara (letrozole) Chemotherapy 1/30/2014 Navelbine (vinorelbine)
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May 17, 2012 07:41AM Meece wrote:

Hey, Barbe! Didn't know you were a diver,too!  I have been diving with implants for years and have had no issues.  I will blame my extra floatation on them (rather than the extra lbs I have put on, and unfortunately they aren't muscle!)

Sure it's tough, but so are you! Dx 11/23/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/5/2004 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/1/2004
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May 18, 2012 09:41AM Scuba_duchess wrote:

Meece - glad to hear it!  I hated not diving when I had the TE's!  The folks from Divers Alert Network were knolwedgeable, etc.  Just got back from Key Largo, FL.  Will be diving in Delaware all summer.  Never dove on West Coast - Delaware in the summer is cold enough for me!

 Actually, I had a reduction when I did the BMX, so used a couple pounds less lead than previously...


Cheers.

BMx/Lat Dorsi Recon 8/8/11. Exchange 1/9/12. Oopherectomy 1/18/12. Scuba Diving 4/21/12. Just Do It! Dx 5/17/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 19, 2012 09:01AM Meece wrote:

I certified off of Anacapa and yes, the water is pretty cold.  There had been storms that week and the bottom was churned up pretty good.  We all had to used the anchor chain to get there and then linked arms  to stay together as the current was rough.  We could hardly see two feet in front of us. 

Sure it's tough, but so are you! Dx 11/23/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/5/2004 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/1/2004
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May 20, 2012 09:53AM barbe1958 wrote:

Meece, that isn't diving!! That's just breathing under water!! LOL  I've never dove in Canada, as there are no reefs, just wrecks. Wreck diving in clear water could be nice, but there's no colour or wild-life. That's what I dive for. I have a friend who dives so much he gets bored and he and his buddy drink beer sitting on the bottom of the lakes up here!! Apparently you get drunk much faster! I'd worry about the extra oxygen in the bubbles....

I HATE when there has been rough weather stirring up the bottom. I dive to see the fish and reefs, not just to be under water.

I wonder about the area that had my seroma. If there is still extra fluid there, would the area swell up? I just dreamed about diving last night. I must miss it. But just can't affor to travel right now.

Dx 12/10/2008, IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/16/2008 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 2/4/2016, IDC: Papillary, Left, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/11/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 2/17/2016 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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May 20, 2012 10:04AM Meece wrote:

The best color and wildlife I ever saw was in Guantanamo Bay, just off Fisherman Point.  Actually there is a lot of life in the reefs around the Channel Islands here in CA.

The day after we certified we went to some different islands and the water was calmer.  I didn't want to get out of the water I felt like Mr. Limpett.  I certified only because ExDH wanted a dive partner.  He ended up not liking it nearly as much as I do.  Now my dive buddy in my DS1.

Sure it's tough, but so are you! Dx 11/23/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/5/2004 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/1/2004
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May 22, 2012 07:50AM Scuba_duchess wrote:

Meece - I have a friend who had a similar experience - DH was all excited but she ended up loving it.  We don't have kids, but have helped get a number of nieces and nephews certified.

Did some quarry based training and been silted up pretty good, plus cold water.

Have looked at Cuba, but still have other destinations in the Carribean we want to get to - Dominica being one.  Being on the east coast, we can usually get decent flights.  Best diving we had (so far) was Little Cayman, we hit a perfect week of weather and a small dive boat.

Was working on my DiveMaster cert when BC screwed things up for a bit.  Now that all is okay, want to get back to it.  Not sure I would do anything professionally or not, but it has made me a better diver...

Cheers.

BMx/Lat Dorsi Recon 8/8/11. Exchange 1/9/12. Oopherectomy 1/18/12. Scuba Diving 4/21/12. Just Do It! Dx 5/17/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 22, 2012 08:00AM Meece wrote:

The most southern island I have been to is St.Thomas US VI.  I would love to take DH to the Carribean some day.  He said he might like to certify, and that would be cool.

Sure it's tough, but so are you! Dx 11/23/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/5/2004 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/1/2004

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