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Topic: Still Uncomfortable with Implants

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Mar 27, 2011 08:36PM

Rburke1 wrote:

I had a double mastectomy in 09 followed with immediate reconstruction. I have never been comfortable with my implants, I have to always wear a bra. They are heavy, Don't get me wrong I love the finished product and am willing to deal with the light pain but does anybody else deal with this? I recently lost 20 lbs and they seem to be bothering me even more. Thanks Laughing
Dx 1/12/2009, IDC, 2cm, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 27, 2011 09:43PM Delilahbear wrote:

What kind of implants do you have and what size. This may make a difference. If they are too big, maybe whippetmom can help you to figure out a new size and have the PS exchange them.

Congratulations on losing the 20lbs. I need to lose about 50, but PS doesn't want me to lose that much or the pockets will be a problem and I have 960cc implants.

Hope you can get some relief. What does your PS say?

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Mar 27, 2011 09:49PM spar2 wrote:

Mine were placed in 2007 and still bother me and still causes pain.  With time it does get better though, I sure hope you get better soon and can live pain free.  So wonderful to lose the 20 lbs.  Mine are 500cc and I haven't found any bras that fit me except sports bras which is ok cause they are comfortable but not sexy. Lets help make each other's life better
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Mar 27, 2011 09:51PM - edited Mar 27, 2011 09:52PM by digger

I absolutely detest mine, and there's not a day that goes by that I second guess myself about doing reconstruction. Honestly, I'd like to rip these things out, particularly the side that has a gummy (it's still hard as a rock). The PS did a beautiful job and they're a perfect round C cup, but I would have preferred keeping my small As!

It seems that most women on BCO are thrilled with their implants, so I must be in the minority, but I really hate mine.

I had mine done 2 years ago.
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Mar 27, 2011 10:08PM kriserts wrote:

Digger, I feel exactly the same way. I've had mine since 2008. (It's small, I think I'm a 34b.) The implant hurts itself, and then a section under my arm hurts, which may be nerve damage. The implant itself is soft, it's sort of slipped down my chest and sits lower than my right breast, and it moves around. all that is not painful, just the thing being here in my chest hurts me, sometimes it feels like a big dog has its teeth in my chest. Tomorrow I'm going to go see a pain doctor. I'll deal with the nerve stuff first, hopefully he can give me some sort of block for the pain, and then if that doesn't work I'm thinking about getting it taken out. The docs at first didn't really acknowledge that implants cause pain, but I've been complaining about this for so long, now they're starting to say that it's not uncommon. And I went to a support group on reconstruction options and others were complaining about their implants, too.

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Mar 29, 2011 12:14PM pinkie48 wrote:

I am so sorry to hear others are having pain and discomfort with the implants but I too have the same feeling of wanting to rip mine out. So I guess I am not crazy after all! They itch from the inside out, they give me sharp pains, they have a crawling feeling and like a pulling dull ache. It is the last thing I feel at night and first thing in morn!

I have only had them for three months. I went to PS when the left side swelled and got so painful he said I should see a pain Dr. which I was offended by because I should not be in this kind of pain and I will not medicate to mask what my body is saying is wrong.He ordered a MRI and it showed nothing wrong so they urged me again that  I really needed to be medicated!

It has been at last six weeks since it all started. Last week the right side became terribly infected and tomorrow they are being REMOVED!!!! I have mixed feeligs about this because this was such a long road of surgery and pain to get here that I am disappointed greatly that I am now de-constructing!I feel depressed by this whole thing and I have to embrace the grief of this loss now once and for all!

But I can't live in a cloud of stupor from pain meds and I have been feeling sicker everyday. There is a line I will draw in order to keep bumps on my chest and that is my quality of life. Last time I saw the PS he wanted to save them with IV antibiotics and I said NO, I want them out. If you won't take them-I'll find another PS who will. I don't blame the Dr. he has done okay by me but I know my body and I am  basically rejecting these things because they aren't real and my body knows it. I had to try this to see if I could do this but I aways wondered if they would take. My body rejects root canals and I think the whole process was too invasive!!!

I wish everyone well in this and I will post again when the implants are out and even the nurse told me -I will feel so much better wen they are out!

Dx 7/10/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 29, 2011 06:21PM kaitsmom wrote:

Just chiming in . . .  after 3 1/2 years of implants - 4 years if you include the expanders, I am fed up and am having them removed.  I am having DIEP done in May in New Orleans.  It has been 4 years of anything ranging from disconfort to downright pain, and it has gotten worse the last few months.  I am not sure why.  Maybe it is muscular, as I have a lot of muscular pain in general.  Anyway, I am terrified of more surgery, and discouraged that my poor body has to go through something so major again, but the thought of living with these implants for the rest of my life (and I hope it is a long one), is just too depressing.  I only wish I had been better informed of my options previously, including to travel to a top notch surgeon, since now I feel like I "settled", and had I done the DIEP in the first place, the whole experience would have been long behind me.  I feel like I would have moved on better than I did. PTSD is no joke.  

 I am not wanting to discourage anyone who is thinking of any particular type of reconstruction, just wanted to share my experience, and what didn't work out for me.  But I'm hoping this time around it will.  I am certainly trying to make myself better informed than I was at the time of my diagnosis, when I feel like I was in a state of shock as I made life- and body-altering decisions.  Prayers and good wishes for a successful surgery in May would be greatly appreciated.  Best wishes to all you ladies.

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Mar 29, 2011 07:24PM o2bhealthy wrote:


I had my BMX in June 09 and the implants still bother me. I also had alot of pain issues, dx'd as CRPS (Complex Reflective Pain Syndrome), I found a pain management doc in Aug of 2010 and she was able to rx the right combination to calm my over stimulated nerves.  The pain issue is almost completely resolved and there are days when I don't even think about my implants.  I am now slowly weaning off the pain med's.  My implants also feel heavy and I 'have' to wear a bra just to be comfortable (unless lying down or sleeping).  Right now my implant are in proportion to my body shape and size, but I do have about 40 lbs to lose and if that happens I will be VERY top heavy and voluptuous. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone...

Michelle ~ DCIS and IDC - Thyroid Cancer dx 10-27-10, partial thyroidectomy 11-23-10 Dx 5/15/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 6/23/2009 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Targeted Therapy 7/19/2009 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 7/19/2009 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/12/2009 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 12/1/2009
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Mar 29, 2011 07:41PM Lynkoura wrote:


Could you please share what pain medications worked for you? I'm currently reviewing all my meds.



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Mar 29, 2011 07:52PM Snobird wrote:

My first PS wouldn't do implants due to my needing RADS. She wanted to do TRAM FLAP but I wouldn't do it because using the abdominal muscle. I finally had DIEP in Dec 2010 and I couldn't be happier. They feel like a part of me. I can go braless if I want (I went from a D to a C, my choice) I have no pain. I would seriously think about removing my implants if they were that painful.

Dx 10/2006, Paget's, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 12/19/2006 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 2/14/2007 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/6/2007 Surgery 12/5/2010 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 11/16/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Mar 29, 2011 07:56PM LuvRVing wrote:

I am glad to hear people are happy with the DIEP.  Looks like I'll be having that done within a month.  I think I'm making the right choice.


Michelle - read my blog at - Be kind to one another! Dx 6/15/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 3/29/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/21 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 5/11/2012, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 30, 2011 08:17AM Rburke1 wrote:

Just want to Thank all of you !! I'm not alone! I have an appointment with the doctor today..

Dx 1/12/2009, IDC, 2cm, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 30, 2011 10:29PM Tina337 wrote:

Suffered through a painful expansion (2008), and after the exchange I had only six months before developing capsular contracture and what seems to be a corner of the implant poking through the muscle. Oh, and truncal lymphedema, too. I tried myofascial release to help with the scarring, which did work to some extent, but not enough to make keeping my implants bearable. I'm scheduled to have them removed on April 5. Will come back and let you all know what it's like on the other side. I can only echo Pinkie's comment about quality of life being the most important, yet I am sad to have to give up on what has been such a long haul. Takes me back to the initial mastectomy phase. However, I survived first time around, and knowing that I will feel a lot better keeps me feeling positive about deconstructing.

So sorry all of you gals have been having such problems, but I have to admit it feels good to know I'm not alone. The ongoing pain and sense of failure from the process has been somewhat isolating. No one close to me really understands the pain and disappointment.   

"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 31, 2011 12:50PM lauralu wrote:

Sorry to hear this. I too am very disappointed with my reconstruction implants. Have suffered emotionally and phyically for four years. This really has taken a large toll on my life. My aunder arms have muscle atrophy not sure why. Just know that my implants have been so thight all these years.

Not sure how the choice to remove will effect my life at this point I am just plain tired. I think there is a lot of muscle damage in there. No one really understands. I think most people just think that because we have breasts there that everything is OK. I guess sometimes we all forget the reason they are there in the first place. Have not had a good time explaining alll this to my Dr. I go to see him As far as a Plastic surgeon goes ?.

I am scared to death about this all..

t even know if they will agree to take them out of have the knowledge to do so. here. I live in Canada and our health Care will not cover the expenses out of my province.

Please repost Tina in April after you have your implants removed.

I wish you all the best


Dx 8/8/2006, DCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes, HER2-
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Mar 31, 2011 11:50PM - edited Mar 31, 2011 11:50PM by lauralu

This Post was deleted by lauralu.
Dx 8/8/2006, DCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes, HER2-
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Mar 31, 2011 11:52PM lauralu wrote:

It is Official I will be seeing a plastic surgeon about having my implants removed.

Do not know what to expect I will not be having any other type of reconstruction done.

Just need support


Dx 8/8/2006, DCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes, HER2-
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Apr 2, 2011 12:11PM Tina337 wrote:

Laura, you've got our support. I see you have posted over in the Prosthetics and Recon Alternative Forum as well. Those ladies are great. Lots of good info and a thoughtful bunch. Sounds like a few of us will be adjusting to our deconstructions at the same time - we will help each other get through this!  
"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 2, 2011 12:51PM lauralu wrote:

Thanks Tina,

It is great to know that there are Ladies that have gone through this as well.

We all need to keep up our strength. It is so mentally and physically challenging



Dx 8/8/2006, DCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes, HER2-
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Apr 7, 2011 10:00PM kriserts wrote:

Those who are having the implants out, when it happens will you please share how you feel? I'm wondering if any joint aches and pains go away.

 I've been seeing a pain doc since my last post. He gave me lidocaine patches, and while I was skeptical at first, they've been helping. I put them over the painful spots and wear them 12 hrs on, 12 off. That and a tight sports bra helps.

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Apr 7, 2011 11:23PM Tina337 wrote:

Well, the implants are out, and I feel so much better! can take a deep breath for the first time in a couple of years, and my chest muscles are no longer real tight or spasm. I also feel like I can stand up straight. My lymphedema feels better, too. I don't know how that's even possible after surgery in the immediate area. Now my body can finally heal, and I can begin to move on. I haven't even felt like crying because the relief is so amazing. Having had a bilateral mastectomy and no fills for a month, I kind of knew what to expect visually, and this doesn't look much different. I think it's actually going to look much better as it heals and the swelling goes down and the skin shrinks a bit.

"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 8, 2011 12:39PM Erica wrote:

Hi Tina,

I just saw this post -- I'm so glad that you're feeling good after your implant removal. I'm sure it was a hard decision to make, since you must have worried that removing the implants might not alleviate your discomfort. I hope the skin shrinks so that you won't need a second surgery. And that's great about the lymphedema.

I hope all the good news continues and that you have a quick and enjoyable recovery.

Barbara (; BreastFree Blog (; Twitter @BreastFree
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Apr 8, 2011 03:08PM Linda54 wrote:


I am so happy that the decision to remove the implants was a good one that gave you the relief you needed.  I am sorry you had to do this but at least you can feel good about it.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.

I hate Cancer... Dx 3/7/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 8, 2011 07:08PM Faithroad wrote:

I had reconstruction done immediately after the double mastectomy.  My doctor recommended it be done during the same surgery.  I didn't know what I was getting myself into.  I had a horrible plastic surgeon. He wouldn't talk to me or communicate anything.  Grumpy, one word answers.  I'm in an HMO and didn't have a choice at the time.  I always felt hesitant about doing it, I didn't trust the plastic surgeon. I heard he was good even though he was grumpy.  I should have listened to my gut.

He made me a whole cup larger than I wanted.  two different sizes.  And when I tried talking to him about it this week.  He just got angry and told me any woman would love these. That I won't be happy with anything.  I left the office crying.  I don't like the feeling of these implants.  Silocone gel.  They are heavy and tight. my chest muscles are always achy and sore.  I hate sleeping with them, I can't roll onto them, or the pressure is uncomfortable. I often want to rip them out.  I wish I could go back in time.  I'd just say "no" to reconstruction.  I just didn't know any better at the time. I just wanted my breasts off and the cancer gone.  The doctor never told me I that not all women do reconstruction.  He just said "Here is what I recommend" so I trusted him and did it.  Live and learn.  My insurance won't cover taking them out. Why do they cover putting them in, but not taking them out?  They say it falls into the "cosmetic" catagory.  Cosmetic, you've got to be kidding me.  What's cosmetic about it?  My HMO just hired another plastic surgeon. Just out of school, not yet Board Certified.  But she is very nice and listens.  I'll see what can be done.  Are there a lot more scars after doing deconstruction?  I'd like to be semetrical and flat so I can wear a prosthetic.  I just want them out so I can move on in my life and put all this behind me.

Bilateral BC, Ductoal & Lobular, Stage I and II. Dx 9/2010, Stage IIB, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 9, 2011 03:36PM Tina337 wrote:

Barbara and Linda, thank you both for your good wishes and for thinking of me. Dr. Massey confirmed that my right implant was indeed poking through the muscle. Both implants had thick capsules that she removed as well. 

faithroad, in order to get my insurance to cover the explantation, I had to provide notes from my therapists and dr. reporting that I had capsular contracture and was in constant pain. They really fought the whole thing but eventually authorized. They talked about whether my situation was cosmetic, too, when obviously it wasn't. I had been treated over a year with PT/myofascial release to help deal with back, neck, shoulder, and pectoral tension caused by the implants.

As far as scarring, in my case the PS cut two inch incisions and removed everything through them. She left more skin than I had originally wanted, but it was best to avoid any scarring near the side of my chest where I do my manual lymphatic drainage exercises to manage my truncal lymphedema. She was thinking proactively and was right. So, no big scars, but I have to wait and see how everything settles down over the next few months. Trying to take this one step at a time and practice patience.  

"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 9, 2011 07:21PM Faithroad wrote:


 Thank you for your reply.  My situation is not as bad as yours sounds. I hope everything settles down ok for you.  And that your body will heal quickly.  I am praying it will. 

Thank you for the info on how to work with the insurance company.  I've just had the final implants in for a few months, and they are not what I was expecting at all.  The doctor that put them in said he would take them out in a 30 minute office visit, leaving me with lots of loose skin.  I may just do that and save up the cash to have the skin taken off later.  But, since I left his office in tears I hate to have to subject myself to his temper again.  But I will if there is no other way.  I'll see this new PS and see if there is enough discomfort to have insurance pay.  I think things are just finally hitting me.  I feel like I've just woke up from a bad dream. I was so uninformed and niave. I desparately want to get them out of my body.  Thanks again for sharing your information. I really appreciate talking to someone with experience in this area.

Bilateral BC, Ductoal & Lobular, Stage I and II. Dx 9/2010, Stage IIB, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 9, 2011 07:58PM mrsnjband wrote:

I just wanted to comment that I had a biltateral mastectomy with no reconstruction in 2008.  It was a process but decided to not do reconstruction at all and I am happy being flat.  NJ

Norma June, Bi-lateral MX 2008, Bi-lateral DIEP 2011 Dx 1/10/2008, IBC, <1cm, Stage IIIB, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/24/2008 AC Chemotherapy 3/9/2008 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 5/28/2008 Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/9/2008 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/10/2008 Surgery 8/14/2011 Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 8/14/2011 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Surgery 12/11/2011 Reconstruction (left)
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Apr 9, 2011 08:21PM raeinnz wrote:

I had bmx with immediate recon with inflatable permanent silicon walled, saline filled 600cc implants in Feb 09.  Had them slowly filled over 3 months to around 300cc and that was all I could stand - chest muscles just too tight to expand anymore.  BS was not impressed when I said no more but in no uncertain terms I let him know it was my body and this is what is going to happen!  They will NEVER be comfortable, they pull if I stretch to any extent, I can't sleep on my front anymore, they are different shapes mainly because they are under inflated and do not look anything like 'real' ones but I can do everything I could do prior to bc (including tennis) and they make shape under clothes, which is what I was after, so I will stick with them for now and overall I am still glad I had recon.  BS however said they will have to be replaced in 10 - 15 years but I will go flat then - am over foobs!

PILC, LCIS. BMX with immed recon Feb 09. No chemo. No rads. Femara. Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow. Dx 1/20/2009, ILC, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 10, 2011 02:40PM lauralu wrote:

Hello Ladies,

Faith  I Really can relate to your problems with the PS you had ..Mine was very hard to communicate with  through the whole process. I too was not told all that much about the surgery and what was involved; I felt stupid  and naive through the whole process I too should have gone with my first instinct and not had the reconstruction surgery done at all. I often wonder why these guys are willing to do reconstruction. Being grumpy does not help us deal with the diagnosis let alone all the surgery and then be left to deal with the consequences when things do not go well,

 Had I know that implant reconstruction does not have a great track record.I would have rejected the idea..I am not having my original surgeon deal with the explant at all . I hope the new surgeon has more empathy. I am feeling very awkward about going to see him as most of these guys including my own Dr seem to think it is the way they look is what my problem is.. Yes they do look awful. Fortunately my implants are only 250cc so I hope that will make a difference when it comes to the loose skin. My muscles are all messed up in there I know that for a fact. I am scared that I will look like I had a radical mastectomy as there was a lot more tissue removed on the side where there was no cancer.I still cannot figure that one out. I feel like i was a guiney pig.

Tina I am so happy to hear that Dr Massey was so understanding..I did not have a choice when it came to my reconstruction as to who would do the surgery. I pretty much know that if I am not happy with the way things are with the expantation I will be left again to deal with the issues myself. I often second guess myself and think that I am crazy and then I tighness and pain starts and I know I am doing the right thing.

Blessings to you all

All the Best for a speedy recovery Tina.


Dx 8/8/2006, DCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes, HER2-
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Apr 10, 2011 07:07PM Tina337 wrote:

Laura, my head's a liitle loopy in the last few days, so it's hard to recall on which threads I posted what. Anyway, I just wanted to mention that Dr. Massey did not do my implant reconstruction. I had a Local PS who inserted expanders at time of mastectomy, did fills and then exchange surgery. I first complained two years ago about the development of implant pain and distortion and tried to have my original PS remedy. That never worked out, so I looked elsewhere when it came time to deconstruct. I no longer trusted my original PS or his staff.

"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 10, 2011 10:12PM Faithroad wrote:


I'm so glad to have found this website and resource.  I don't feel quite so alone. Some people have had the same experiences/feelings I have had with reconstuction and PSs.  So maybe I'm not "totally" crazy.  Others of you have had better experiences and I'm very happy for you.  It's all very individual isn't it. Thank you for your input and taking the time to to converse with me. 

-- Faith

Bilateral BC, Ductoal & Lobular, Stage I and II. Dx 9/2010, Stage IIB, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 11, 2011 09:47PM Kate33 wrote:

Just finding this thread made me want to cry to know that I am not alone.  I could relate to just about everyone's posts in one way or another.  I had my exchange last June and have been miserable ever since.  I no longer feel comfortable in my own skin and are constantly aware of these foreign objects that feel like they are super glued onto my chest. They don't look so bad.  I was lucky in that I was able to have a NSM and the incisions are below the fold.  It's just the way they feel.  I think so many times we are made to feel guilty for being unhappy.  (We should be happy we're alive and cancer free, we should be lucky we were able to have reconstruction, blah, blah, blah.)  But I felt better when I was walking around with cancer inside of me than now when I'm walking around cancer free.  I just really thought recon was going to be no big deal.  Heck, look at all the women getting boob jobs out there.  Wonder how many of them regret it afterwards?  Thanks for starting this thread.  I was starting to think I was the only one who wanted to pitch her implants into a bonfire.

Kate33 "Yes, they're fake. (@)(@) The real ones tried to kill me." Dx 12/27/2009, DCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes

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