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Topic: After Sentinel node biopsy and lumpectomy

Forum: Just Diagnosed — Discuss next steps, options, and resources.

Posted on: Apr 25, 2012 12:41PM

rgina wrote:

Had my node biopsy and lumpectomy 2 weeks ago today - doc took out a pretty good chunk to get clear margins as tumor was 3.1 centimeters. Removed the sentinel node which was positive and removed 2 other nodes which were negative.  Oncologist is going with the recent reports that it is not necessary to take out additional nodes? I also read the report on this site about ALND may not make sense for many women.  I hope so:)?? I really had little pain after surgery, actually I couldn't even say I had any pain but I did take 6 pain pills over 48 hours, more for  anti-inflammatory and so I could sleep and because my daughter was driving me crazy that I needed to take them!:)  I had swelling, bruised, discomfort but was back to work 2 days later.  However, this last week my breast/nipple area is sensitive.  Difficult to explain - like when you go to the dentist and after novacaine your mouth feels kinda numb/tingles/sensitive, the feeling is more in the areola area.  Any one else experienced this?

Dx 3/2012, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 4/10/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Targeted Therapy 5/23/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/23/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy
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Apr 25, 2012 12:45PM sagina wrote:

Not exactly like that for me, but nerve endings trying to repair themselves? That can make for some really strange sensations.  I didn't have any pain after my lumpectomy or snb either, but I started hurting later, I guess when the body figured out it was missing some tissue! Got a seroma in the emptiness too.

Gina Dx 10/13/2010, IDC, 4cm, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/2/2010 AT Surgery 3/15/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Radiation Therapy 4/19/2011
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Apr 25, 2012 01:05PM rgina wrote:

I was afraid that perhaps I over did - since I was cleaning horse stalls 8 days later and back pretty much to my regular routine, that I might have messed myself up in some way because I felt okay.  The doc did give me full clearance a week after, but I might not have made it clear about the type of things/physical labor stuff, that I do on a normal basis.  I didn't think about nerve endings and you are right that can make for some really strange sensations.  Thanks!

Dx 3/2012, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 4/10/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Targeted Therapy 5/23/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/23/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy
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Apr 25, 2012 11:41PM sweetpea23 wrote:

I had the SNB and LX 2 weeks ago, followed by a reexcision, and I have had some of the weirdest sensations---shooting nerve pain?, numbness, creepy crawlies. I just try to ignore it and go about my day but some days are worse than others. Glad to hear I am not the only one. Good luck.

Dx 3/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 28, 2012 04:06AM StayinAlive68 wrote:

I had my lumpectomy the end of March.  I too have wierd pains.  I call them healing pains.  I figure everything in there is adjusting and healing.  I hope all goes well for you.

Dx 3/8/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes
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Apr 28, 2012 08:33PM Fearlessfoot wrote:

Hi, I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy on 11April and felt pretty good afterwards (except for underarm and partial boob numbness and creepy crawlies) but about 10 days after developed painful "seroma" or swelling from lymphatic fluids in what became a hard ball near the site of the excision.  I finally went to my BS who drained out a few vials full of icky reddish yellowish gunk using this huge needle.  He said it was normal; no infection.  He said he could fill back up again and it has.  My double mastectomy is scheduled for 16May and I was just hoping that I could have normal breasts again for at least a short time before they get taken away forever.  But my breast feels swollen, bruised, wounded and I have read that seromas can take a month or more to get reaborbed into the body.  Should I ask my BS to drain again?  Will that help it heal?  Anyone know what to do to reduce seroma?  A PS told me not to massage, but apply cold pack. I want to get jogging again to increase stamina and fitness over next 3 weeks before operation. 

Dx 4/2/2012, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 5/29/2012
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Apr 29, 2012 07:02AM Cuddles wrote:

When I get chills the sensation runs all the thru my breast is this normal and my breast has alittle discomfort and my arm from lymph node removal still numbness and alot of soreness. Please help my husband thinks its in my head. havent started any treatment yet have a port put in on May 2nd. Im very scare about the treatment and how I will feel. Please help!!!!!!

Dx 3/29/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 29, 2012 07:11AM , edited Apr 29, 2012 07:12AM by Shirlann

No, Cuddles almost everyone has this and my oncologist says it is nerve endings "looking" for their other halves?  Kinda kookie, but so many of us have this, I think it is normal and scares the heck out of you!

Don't worry, Gentle hugs, Shirlann   (13 years post treatment and fine)

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Apr 29, 2012 08:33AM Cuddles wrote:

Thank you Shirlann you made me cry im emotional and it only got worse since being diagnosed. Im so glad youre doing so well  and I will be too its just going to be awhile!!!!! Im glad these boards are here it lets you know you are not alone!!!!

Dx 3/29/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 29, 2012 09:24PM Fearlessfoot wrote:

Cuddles: You not imagining it!   I had a lumpectomy on 11April and a Sentinal Node Biopsy on the cancer side and they took an additional 5 or 6 "satellite" nodes. The SNB was negative and so were the couple of satellite nodes that they thoroughly tested.  But I kept hearing from friends that the nodes should be read twice, so I kept pressing and now they are testing the remaining 4 or so thoroughly.  Results due Monday.  My arm (the upper underneath part) and underarm and closest part of breast have all been numb, and tingly and I keep hoping the nerves will grow back quickly because I hate the feeling.  After 2 weeks it is still pretty much the same. I have complete mobility, but the numbness and tingling have not diminished much. They say it can last 6 months or more! 

Dx 4/2/2012, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 5/29/2012
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May 1, 2012 02:14AM , edited May 1, 2012 02:15AM by Keepn-my-Faith

Omg ladies, I'm reading all of these things and hate not knowing what to expect. I had a lumpectomy April 16th and my original DCIS was on the border and they also found a new invasive cancer which was really small. Now I have another lumpectomy and removal of lymph nodes surgery this Wed. The first surgery went well, not much pain. I'm hoping this nxt one will be the same. Not knowing what to expect is the worst! Most days I'm fine, but other days i feel like its just too much! I have considered bilateral masectomies and have also spoken to a plastic surgeon. My drs think it best not to go so drastic. I just feel like I can't handle bad news after bad news too much longer. It's just the beginning for me. I was diagnosed Feb 16 so this is all new to me and thank God I have all you ladies here to talk!!! God bless us all...xoxo

Dx 2/16/2012, DCIS, 2cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+ Surgery 4/16/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/2/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Hormonal Therapy 5/25/2012 Radiation Therapy 5/29/2012 Breast
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May 2, 2012 12:31AM Fearlessfoot wrote:

FYI I just learned that the detailed examination of the rest of my satellite nodes were also clear, thank goddess!  So now my question is, when they do the BMX, should they do test the sentinel node of my non-cancer left breast?  Because if there are tiny ILC tumors lurking in there -- like the ones they found in the lumpectomy tissue, that were not visible in the mammograms and MRI -- who knows?  These invisible tumors could conceivably have gone to the node couldn't they?  Or is it just not possible since they hadn't in the right breast which had the cancer?  I will re-ask my BS and oncologist of course.  But just wondered if anyone else had experience?

Dx 4/2/2012, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 5/29/2012
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May 3, 2012 03:23AM , edited May 3, 2012 03:24AM by purple32

you said : " It's just the beginning for me...."

Maybe not  'keepnfaith!' This *could* be the end of your BC journey. We are all very different, as you know.  Each one of us wants to avoid some of the ' horror stories' and yet we seek them out sometimes, I think because we want to be prepared  - if there is such a thing.

 Not just one *day* at a  time, but one incident at a time. At the time you wrote this post, you were  pretty much ok and ' without incident'.  I hope and pray you still are.

HUGS

Lymphedema on LEFT. NO radiation. 2 clean nodes. purple32. Hope is our light ... in the night. Dx 3/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/1/2012 Lumpectomy: Left
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Jun 29, 2012 05:09AM Fearlessfoot wrote:

FYI, when they did my BMX 16May, they did not do the SNB of my non-cancer breast.  And the lab results of all the removed breast tissue showed no additional cancerous tumors.  So the left side was completely prophylatic, but that it fine with me.  They were able to save the skin and nipple areola complex, which means a lot to me.  On my cancer side, the NAC blood supply was compromised because of the lumpectomy and so they did not try to save the NAC, but instead tried a skin graft using excess breast tissue from my non-cancer side.  The areola survived but the nipple has not.  It was blackened from the get-go and proved to be necrosized.  (please note that some nipples get blackened but it is just the outer layer of skin and they can still survive!) 

Dx 4/2/2012, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 5/29/2012
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Jul 20, 2012 06:25AM Fearlessfoot wrote:

Has ANYONE had the nerves regrow and sensation return to the armpit and underarm from their sentinel node biopsy?  If so when and how did it happen???

Dx 4/2/2012, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 5/29/2012
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Jul 20, 2012 06:46AM CoolBreeze wrote:

I had a different treatment than you, I had a mx with sentinal node biopsy - they took three nodes.  Eventually, most of the feeling returned in my armpit but it took about 2 years.  I have no feeling in my chest and parts of my back though, and some itching that is "phantom" that I guess I'll have to live with.

Ann's cancer blog: www.butdoctorihatepink.com .....multicentric/multifocal IDC/ILC+DCIS/LCIS/ADH Official dx? "Your breast was a mess." ~UniMastectomy/Chemo/Herceptin/Tamoxifen/Recon Almost Done! Oh wait. mets to liver 5/21/11 Now Stage IV Dx 8/17/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jul 20, 2012 12:40PM christina0001 wrote:

I had an SNL and never lost sensation. I had seven nodes removed and it looks like you did too.  I hope you get feeling back.

Surgery 1/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 1/16/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 2/10/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Targeted Therapy 2/13/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/13/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/10/2012 Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 8/24/2012 Radiation Therapy 10/1/2012 Breast Surgery 7/30/2013 Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Aug 5, 2012 10:55PM Fearlessfoot wrote:

I had a lumpectomy on 11April and a Sentinal Node Biopsy on the cancer side and they took an additional 5 or 6 "satellite" nodes. The SNB was negative and so were the couple of satellite nodes that they thoroughly tested.  But I kept hearing from friends that the nodes should be read twice, so I kept pressing and now they are testing the remaining 4 or so thoroughly.  Results were clear.  However, the lumpectomy margins were not clear, and so on 16May, I had a BMX and immediate reconstruction with implants.  My arm (the upper underneath part) and underarm and closest part of breast have all been numb, and tingly for a few weeks and I kept hoping the nerves would grow back quickly because I hated the feeling.  I had 8 weeks of physiotherapeutic lymphatic drainage treatment which felt great but not sure it made any difference.  After 3 months the numbness is still pretty much the same. I have complete mobility, but the numbness is still there, but I keep thinking the feeling may be starting to come back.  The sensations are changing and sometimes I have little sharp needle-like feelings on the back of my arm.  The hardest thing is shaving the numb armpit without fear of cutting.  They say the nerve damage can last 6 months or more or even forever!  Plus there is always the risk looming overhead of possible lymphedema!  One must never have blood drawn or blood pressure taken from that side.  If anyone has regained nerves after SNB, please report when it happened and what were the signs of the return of sensation?

Dx 4/2/2012, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 5/29/2012
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Aug 24, 2012 09:54PM Fearlessfoot wrote:

Could my nerves be regenerating?  Can anyone point me to information about nerves coming back after SNB?  I think I am starting to feel my surface skin on the backs of my arm.   Although it is difficult to be sure since the sensations vary and it may be happening so gradually that I feel I can't be certain. Is there anyway to objectively test nerve status after SNB? 

It is 4 months right side post-SNB and lumpectomy, during which the nerves were cut.  (Due to multifocal tumors, once month later I had a double mastectomy and immediate reconstruction.) 

Dx 4/2/2012, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 5/29/2012
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Aug 24, 2012 11:25PM , edited Aug 24, 2012 11:26PM by corgi09

My BS told me that nerves grow about 1/2 in. a month and they may or may not grow to full sensation again.  I had my UMX at the end of Nov. and am slowly (finally!) getting some sensation back in SNB sight.  The swelling/dog ear has gone down too.  Related?  I think so.  I did have rads with heavy emphasis on the node sight because of micromets.  For me it starts with a weird annoying feeling, then brief pain spasms and finally normal feeling.  Hope this helps.  It just takes a while.

edited for spelling 

Dx 10/8/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 2/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 25, 2012 03:25AM KarenQ wrote:

My lumpectomy surgery was July 23, 2012.  Within a few days I started having the "pins and needles" feeling which the docs said were the nerves trying to re-fire.  It went from pins and needles mostly in my breast to a sharp throb in my armpit.  It felt like someone was shoving their thumb in my armpit.  But that only lasted a few days.  The docs said all of this was good news/normal healing.  I am familiar with your description of having no feeling at the top back part of your arm.  Mine still feels a little tingly, for sure, but it's so much better than when it began.  So I'm only one month out and I feel pretty good, but I only had the one sentinal node removed for biopsy.  My original diagnosis was DCIS but they found a 1mm microinvasion in the pathology.  What a (not fun) roller coaster ride this has been. 

Much love to everyone who is going through this! 

Dx 7/13/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/23/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 7/30/2012 Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/4/2012
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Aug 27, 2012 06:15AM Fearlessfoot wrote:

Thank you to corgi and KarenQ for describing your sensations.  I have this sensation of touching something icy cold when the back of my arm brushes against anything. 

Dx 4/2/2012, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 5/29/2012
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Oct 2, 2012 01:46AM Fearlessfoot wrote:

Now it is 5-6 months post-SNB  and I have pretty normal sensations on the back of my arm and gradually returning sensations under my arm in the armpit!!  such a relief!

Dx 4/2/2012, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 5/29/2012
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Oct 2, 2012 03:55AM 2FriedEggs wrote:

Fearless, im glad to hear that! My snb was in feb and most of the time it is pretty normal-sometimes I have some slight tingling or numbness on the back of my arm but I only seem to notice it if I am leaning on it or if I get a mosquito bite and scratch it. When it does act up it seems somewhat numbish but yet I can feel it- hard to describe . It's tons better than it was so that makes me really happy but I'll be even more happy if it all goes away and it gets back to the old normal for good. lol

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Oct 16, 2012 05:02AM traceydh wrote:

My breast sensations have been all the above. I have micromets and have recently had Axillary node dissection. I am really creepy crawly now. Have not been feeling right in my left breast - swollen, hard along the area of surgery along left side of breast. Recent episode of shallow breathing led to a hospital stay and many test. One of which was a CAT scan which showed a suspicious area on my left lung and sphenoid bone. A PET scan is being scheduled to further assess these areas. I pray to God this is nothing. I have forgone mastectomies 2x. I now wonder about those decisions and if it is too late to still do so.

Surgery 1/8/2008 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Dx 1/8/2008, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 3/1/2008 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/1/2009 Breast Surgery 10/10/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary, Left Dx 11/10/2011, DCIS, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/14/2011 AC Radiation Therapy 3/1/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Oct 16, 2012 05:23AM LScott63 wrote:

I had a lumpectomy and SND May of 2011.  My nurses at the cancer center told me the "zaps" after surgery are nerve endings healing.  I can take up to a year.  Mine did not can't really tell you when it just kept lessening until one day I just noticed that they weren't there anymore.  As for the seroma...now let me tell you the first time I felt and heard water in by breast I totally freaked!!! Nobody told me what to expect there.  When I called my nurse she told me to wear 2 sports bras for support and it went away in no time. 

Dx 4/19/2011, IDC, 2cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/11/2011 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 6/21/2011 Breast Hormonal Therapy 11/22/2011
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Oct 18, 2012 06:08AM schoolmom wrote:

I had my lumpectomy and SNB on 9/28.  1/3 nodes positive for borderline micromet.  I have gone to surgeon 2 times to drain the fluid from node removal.  It is better but still swollen.  Tingling upper arm and armpit....some phantom shooting pains.  I was using icepacks but I think it makes the fluid collect more so I stopped after the second draining.

saved my hair with cold caps with oncotype 21 Dx 9/12/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/28/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Surgery 9/28/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 11/5/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 11/26/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 12/17/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/28/2013 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Chemotherapy 1/7/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Oct 18, 2012 07:11AM Nancy44 wrote:

I had the lumpectomy and SNB on 9/26/12.  Took 5 nodes and all were clear.  Tumor was bigger than anticipated at 4.9 cm and did not get clear margins so I had a re-excision yesterday.

There is definitely less pain with just the lumpectomy this time around. I am finally feeling better with the lymph node area but the shooting pains and tingling remain.

In the breat itself, it is achey and sore today and sometimes feels like a really bad sunburn when the clothes rub.  As mentioned in the above posts there are many shooting pains.

Thank you to all who have posted their experience it really helps to relate to others who are dealing with the same things.  I am amazed at how little info the surgeon can give besides stats, percantages, etc. so this forum is truly helpfu.

Blessed Be, Nancy

Dx 8/29/2012, ILC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/27/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Surgery 10/16/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 11/28/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/30/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/20/2013
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Nov 22, 2012 04:49AM triplenegativebutpositive7 wrote:

Hi sagina,

   I noticed you are one of very few on this site with triple negative results. I was just dx'd with this and am awaiting visit with oncologist. Did you have chemo and radiation tx's? Any feedback from other triple negative women would be great as I'm learning it is much harder to treat. Thanks!

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Nov 30, 2012 09:01PM Fearlessfoot wrote:

Dear triplenegativebutpositive, Glad you found this forum!  There are other places wher you can find more triple negative women to share info and support with on the breastcancer.org site.  For example,

All Topics → Forum: Triple Negative

http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/72

Dx 4/2/2012, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 5/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 5/29/2012
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Dec 13, 2012 10:12AM Survivor31 wrote:

Hello Ladies,

I was diganosed with Metaplastic Carcinoma (A rare fast spreading cancer) in Sept 2012. In Oct 2012 I had a single mastectomy with SNB and a lift on the other side. I originally had to have chemotherapy because they were afraid it had spreaded. After the surgery and testing of the lump and the nodes it was determined that the lump was surrounded in binine tissue and did not spread. As a result I did not have to do any chemotherapy. I have recently gone back to work but scheduled to be out again for reconstruction in late January early Febuary of 2013. Currently I have a muscle expander in stretching the tissue to prepare for the implant. After my surgery my Dr. told me not to lift anything heavy with the arm the SNB was done on but didn't tell me if that was something permanent or just during the healing process. I recently picked up a heavy bag and have been in pain for 2 days, should I be worried?? 

Surgery 10/8/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/22/2013 Reconstruction (right) Surgery Reconstruction (right) Surgery Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction

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