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Topic: Calling all SCUBA divers!

Forum: Working on Your Fitness —

Conversations about exercise, diet, and getting back in shape after breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: Jul 26, 2015 02:29PM - edited Jul 26, 2015 02:29PM by Midgiemoon

Midgiemoon wrote:

it seems that there aremany of us out there! Share your trips, tips, favorite dive sites, hotels, and any other dive stuff!


Cheers, Midgie

Dx 5/1/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Radiation Therapy 7/8/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 9/28/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 3, 2019 08:47PM Diveslikeagirl wrote:

I had this same question and found this info on the DAN website (scroll down through the letters).

http://www.alertdiver.com/DAN_Medics_Answer_Your_Questions_about_Dive_Medicine

I've also called DAN since being diagnosed and they've been pretty helpful.  I got a referral to a dive medicine doctor in my area to discuss returning to diving.  

I've been to Grand Cayman but it was > 15 years ago but I've read that they've continued to be conscientious about sustainable diving.

We're going to need a trip report, Hapa!  Have a great time.

Mindy

Dx 10/2017, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/15/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 12/22/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/22/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 5/14/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 3, 2019 09:23PM hapa wrote:

My onc said I could do all the things I normally do. I asked specifically about scuba diving and he said it was fine.

According to the manufacturer, the port has been tested up to 160ft. I doubt that is a hard limit, but it probably hasn't been tested any deeper since there would be little need. But unless there is air in the port, pressure at depth wouldn't affect it. Liquids and solids aren't compressible. Similarly, I can't see any theoretical reason why a port would increase my risk of DCS. There's a lot of speculation about radiation induced fibrosis and/or lymphedema being a risk factor for DCS but of course there's no data. And there is always the possibility that my lung was weakened by rads, but unless I hold my breath while ascending it will be under no more stress than on land. Anyway, at this point I'm pretty much just like "if I die, I die".

I'm not considering removing the port early. I have removal scheduled concurrently with an implant revision surgery and my PS will tunnel up so I don't have to spend another year babying the port scar. I cannot get in earlier with the PS.

I tried on all my gear and nothing is rubbing it. I had assumed it would, so that was a nice surprise. Once I realized that, it was game on!


Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Feb 7, 2019 08:19PM octogirl wrote:

hapa, it is good to know that it has been tested to 160 feet! that would make me feel much more comfortable with diving with it...Have a wonderful time!

Octogirl

Dx 6/18/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/16/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/9/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/15/2015 Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/8/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Feb 27, 2019 05:30PM Diveslikeagirl wrote:

Well ladies, almost 2 years after my last dive trip (pre-DX), I finally got my gills wet again. I scheduled a long weekend in Key Largo to visit some friends and get in two mornings of 2-tank dives with my best dive buddy (she shaved my head when my hair started to go). The seas were choppy, the water was around 76-78 and the vis wasn't the best, but the sun was out and it was 80 topside. But I accomplished a lot of what I wanted to do in anticipation of a 10-day liveaboard to Oman this coming April. I got familiar with my equipment again. I tested out a 5 mil wetsuit that I will need for Oman and figured out my weights. I had a couple of unplanned mishaps that tested my dive instincts. And I learned I could still haul my ass back up a flapping dive ladder with all my gear on. I also tried out my post-active-treatment gift to myself, a new point-and-shoot UW camera and housing.

As only you guys will understand, I was very worried internally if I could remember to set up safely and hook things up efficiently so that I wasn't one of those high-maintenance divers. On land, I've been able to laugh about "chemo brain" things I forget or my fingers not working right or not being able to come up with words for things, but you can get away with that - on land. I really had to focus, and my dive buddy helped me out sometimes (my auto-inflater popped off once on a back-roll entry), but in general, I wasn't a menace to myself (or others) and I feel like I can hold my own on a trip. I needed that confidence booster.

I did get a little panicked on my second dives because even in a 5 mil and a hood, I was chilled about half-way into the dive. I got worried that my body temp regulation was messed up. Then I realized that, because the area is so shallow (you have to work to get below 45 ft), we would come up after the 1st dive with no requirement for a surface interval. On most trips, my first dives would be to 100 ft and boat captains would insist on 60 minute surface intervals. For this trip, since we could go back down right away, we did, and then I realized I hadn't "refueled" my personal solar panels or eaten a snack to help me stay warm. It wasn't that I couldn't warm myself, we'd just pushed ourselves. So now I've got some of those kinks figured out and I'll be sure to pay attention on the liveaboard.

I'm relieved, because I wouldn't want to get through all this treatment nonsense and not be able to dive again.

I hope all of you are well. Hapa, I hope you have a great trip!

Mindy

Dx 10/2017, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/15/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 12/22/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/22/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 5/14/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 5, 2019 03:15PM hapa wrote:

Hi Ladies!

Let me apologize for not posting a trip report sooner, I totally forgot about this thread! Anyway, Grand Cayman went smoothly. Getting back in the water was like riding a bike, I felt like I had never left. I wore a 3mm wetsuit and full foot fins, no hood, booties, or gloves because I don't like wearing a lot of weight. I was a little chilly after a couple dives on overcast days, but I only needed 8lbs of weight, and probably could have gotten away with 6lbs if I wanted to push it. That is the same amount of weight I dove with before, using the same kit so no changes there. I was a little worried before we left that my BCD would be really uncomfortable with my implants when it was fully inflated but I didn't notice any difference whatsoever and had no problems with my wetsuit or anything else constricting against my port (I use an aqualung pearl, btw, which has a wide V opening in the front and no chest strap). We got in on a Wednesday, dove 2 dives/day for the next five days except we did 3 dives on Saturday b/c we went to stingray city, and 4 dives on Sunday because the boat was going out with other divers so why not? I had a little trouble with my ears not wanting to equilibrate on the way up a few days in, so I had to take advil before diving on Sunday and Monday and that got the inflammation down enough for me to make it through the trip. Other than that, there were no issues and absolutely no cancer-related issues. The only thing that was different or odd this trip was that I didn't get seasick. Usually I am horking the first day and possibly the second day of diving, no matter how much meclizine I take. I don't know if it was the short boat rides, smooth water (it wasn't that smooth), or if chemo has significantly increased my tolerance for nausea.

I had my last Herceptin infusion through my port the morning after we returned - no problems. The port is scheduled to come out in about three weeks so I won't be diving with it again. As an aside, I did have a chest CT recently which showed radiation-related changes in my lung, but I haven't noticed or felt anything abnormal either on this trip or any time since.

As for Grand Cayman, it was fine but I don't think I'd go back. The island never had indigenous people so there is pretty much no foreign culture at all, its like being in Florida but replace all the Hispanics with Canadians. Restaurants are decent, but nothing you can't get in the US. Lots of gastropubs, seafood restaurants, etc, most places were expensive and the food was nothing to write home about. We stayed at the Grand Caymanian, which was pretty much the cheapest place I could find with a kitchen, because I can't tolerate restaurant food 3 times a day for a week. Our condo was surprisingly nice, but the resort was a little out of the way and there wasn't much in the immediate vicinity; you need a car to get anywhere. The grocery store was like an American grocery store but a little more expensive, and generally speaking you can get anything you want on the island, it is just like being in the US but more expensive. Grand Cayman seems to cater to a very wealthy clientele, and frankly I don't understand the draw. The diving was good; not great but good. We saw lots of fish and lobsters, only one turtle and a handful of reef sharks. I'm told the diving is much better on Little Cayman or Cayman Brac. Even the lady checking us in at the airport on our way home told us to try the other islands next time. There isn't a whole lot to do in GC except dive or go to the beach. We're not really lay on the beach people, plus we were so exhausted after diving every day that we didn't even bother checking out the beaches, which I'm told are fabulous. Grand Cayman served its purpose though. I wanted a safe place to dive that had a compression chamber and was a short flight back to the US if I had problems.

We flew through Charlotte on the way home. Going through customs there was a breeze. Much better than Miami, I try my best to avoid customs in Miami, lol.

Diveslikeagirl - please report back about your liveaboard. I'd like to do a Galapagos liveaboard in the next couple years. I've never done a liveaboard because I was always too scared of getting seasick and not enjoying it, but post-cancer me isn't scared of anything anymore.

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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May 9, 2019 02:03PM octogirl wrote:

Great trip report, Hapa, thanks! So glad to hear the diving went well...

FWIW, my hubby suffers greatly from seasickness, but loves liveaboards, and would much rather be on a liveaboard than a day boat. He gets used to the rocking after a day or two and the seasicknesses goes away: he also finds going to his cabin and falling asleep on his bunk is a good way to stop seasickness, and of course that is much easier to do on a liveaboard than on a day boat! So, I say go for it and don't let potential for seasickness stop you!

Dx 6/18/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/16/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/9/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/15/2015 Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/8/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 23, 2019 12:08PM - edited Jun 23, 2019 12:19PM by Diveslikeagirl

Hello scuba ladies. Sorry for taking so long to post. I got back from my Oman liveaboard (Aggressor) in early May and work/life has been crazy since then. The trip took 2 weeks, we were on the boat for 10 days and we got 8.5 days of great diving in. The trip was organized by the non-profit I volunteer for: REEF.org. (check it out, it's free to join!) The trip was the first fish survey trip that REEF had done in the Gulf of Oman/Arabian Sea, so everyone on board was new to the area and the fish. Many new critters and adventures! Fortunately, I had done REEF trips before with everyone that was on this trip. REEF divers settle quickly into routines and are very deferential to one another so there weren't any "clunkers" (divers that are hard to get along with). The Oman Aggressor was new in 2017 and has 11 rooms for 22 divers. However, the boat/crew had never been this full before, so there were some glitches with zodiacs, dive masters and food/diving schedules. Mostly minor except I have to say the dive deck could use a better orientation because 22 divers and their cameras are a logistical nightmare. Since there were only 2 zodiacs, they broke the group into 3 and then rotated the schedule so that each group got to go first, second and third (the longest wait), several times during the trip.

I would probably want to hear the most about the diving, so that's what I'll focus on. The itinerary was one-way; we started in the south out of Salalah and ended in the port of Muscat. In general, the visibility was sub-par, usually 50 feet or less. Most of the time it was around 25 feet or less. We were diving during the spring upwelling and that put a lot of plankton in the column. But because we were doing fish surveys, we were moving slowly and I stayed close to my buddy (we've been diving together for 7+ years). A couple of times, we became separated, but I could see someone else from my group so usually my buddy was nearby. I really stink at navigation so I like to be able to see the dive master or another diver. Zodiac pickups were by safety sausage and I was surprised by how far apart we would find ourselves at the end. The dive masters were pretty bored with us because they were used to covering a lot of real estate. But once they learned that we were looking for new and unique species ("yes, that's yet another cleaner shrimp, let's look for fish"), they were able to help us better.

Despite bad vis, I was amazed at how many new fish I saw. Oman is much different than the Caribbean. Lots more soft corals, and mostly low growing hard corals. Not a lot of tall sea fans, barrel sponges or elkhorn/staghorn. No walls, but we dove a few wrecks that were very fishy. I was also trying out a new Olympus TG-5 camera that I bought myself as a treat after my active treatment ended in December. You NEED a camera for fish identification and I was stunned at how many great shots I got. Stupid easy to use. Then, when I got home, I ran the pictures through a software called VividPix which is customized for underwater. That boosted the pictures to Cousteau caliber! (maybe exaggerating a little, but for $ 49.99, I was ecstatic).

Physically, I was really pleased with how my body held up. I swam and lifted weights before, during and after treatment, so I was confident but not sure how 3 long (60+ min) dives a day would feel. They offered night dives too, but I've stopped night diving unless there's something UNPARALLELED to see. I could definitely feel fatigue by the end of the day. The temps were in the mid-70s with some colder thermoclines, so I wore a 5 mil and always a cap. A couple times I put on my 3 mil hooded vest with the wetsuit. On a third dive, I was standing with my gear to board the zodiac (they put your tank on after you were on board). A good friend who knew about my diagnosis asked me if I was OK because I was shaking a little. But once I was under, I forgot all about BC and fatigue and recurrence and, and, and.. all the other useless stuff that occupies my brain on land. I had my port removed right after my last Herceptin. I didn't want to worry about that while diving either.

So, it's a lot of work to get to Oman and if I went again, I would find a schedule when the vis was better. I would also schedule more time for touring above the waves, but that will have to wait until retirement, I'm afraid. I need my job to bankroll my diving addiction. Next trip is a liveaboard in Turks and Caicos in December (to count more fish).

Treatment-wise, I'm down to AIs for the next 5-10 years and I'm also taking a bone strengthener (Alendronate). I only had slight osteopenia, but in light of the research hinting that bone drugs may stave off bone metastases, my MO and I agreed I could take them if I can tolerate them. Still searching for my eyelashes and eyebrows, and my fingernails absolutely shredded on the dive trip, but I'm dealing.

Best fishes and hugs to you all.

Mindy

Dx 10/2017, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/15/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 12/22/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/22/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 5/14/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 5, 2019 09:21PM GerberD wrote:

Amazing trip report Diveslikeagirl! Thank you!

I actually got my diagnosis on a live-aboard trip in PNG!

Wondering if there is anyone out there diving with sub pec implants post-reconstruction. I'm in the middle of deciding what size to install. Is there anything I need to consider? Or just let me know what your experience has been like!

Thanks! Can't wait for my next trip, maybe after my second surgery in March 2020.... It's so hard not planning anything!

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Nov 6, 2019 10:17AM Diveslikeagirl wrote:

Hooray, GerberD! This thread has been quiet for a while.

I didn't need implants or reconstruction. But I would recommend that you contact Divers Alert Network (DAN) through their 800 number for some free advice. I got some great help after I developed blood clots in one leg last December, 4 months before my dive trip to Oman. I got to talk to someone and they sent me articles by email AND they sent me the names/contact info for doctors in my area that had signed up with DAN as hyperbaric specialists. The doctors are typically divers themselves and they "certify" with DAN before giving dive-related care. I ultimately didn't have to go to one near me; my clots resolved and my doctor cleared me. But if you're a DAN member, they want to help you (that's what you're paying for, and they also get data from talking with you and learning about your situation).

I hope someone else on the thread has had your experience. I'd like to know the answer myself.

PS: what's the story on getting your diagnosis while on a liveaboard? Someone sent your test results to the boat? Talk about buzz kill.

Mindy

Dx 10/2017, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/15/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 12/22/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/22/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 5/14/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 6, 2019 11:49AM hapa wrote:

Gerber - I have pre-pec implants and I was worried the BCD would press on them when inflated but it didn't. You will have some restriction on lifting and may have restriction on arm movement if you get them sub-pec. I can also tell you that you will just need to rebuild your strength enough to get yourself and your equipment on and off the boat or dock. It is amazing how fast your muscles atrophy after surgery. My cardio fitness held up through the six weeks of no workouts but my muscles suffered immensely and I was basically starting over from scratch in terms of strength. Sorry I can't be of more help re: sub pec recon. I haven't heard of any horror stories though, if it makes you feel any better.

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Mar 7, 2021 06:29PM panout wrote:

Just did my first dive after surgery last week and it feels so good to do something fun and normal...and to go someplace without having to show my boobs to anyone :)

Mydoc was ok with diving so soon because I’m doing it in a dry suit, so incisions will not be submerged. I have decided to do a regular routine of dives on 100% oxygen to 20 feet. This simulates a hyperbaric oxygen treatment and I’m hoping it will help everything heal faster.

Are there any other technical divers here that have done something similar?

Dx 1/5/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/23/2021 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/5/2021 Whole-breast: Breast
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Mar 7, 2021 06:34PM MinusTwo wrote:

panout - I was just an occasional scuba nut. But I will be very interested to hear about the O2 helping to accelerate the healing. Please do let us know.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Mar 8, 2021 10:52PM hapa wrote:

I’m heading to Cozumel in April! Cant wait

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Mar 9, 2021 05:34AM Maryjogee wrote:

Hi fellow Divers! New to the entire website; prophylactic BMX 4/13/21 w immediate expanders, due to huge High Risk hx and recurrent ALH. Head Cold Stage to many of you, I know. I'm just a sport diver from years ago, but hubby gives his blessing for me to plan a dive trip for my two college age daughters (eldest is already certified, spent semester in Belize, younger sister has been thru a resort course/open water). Can’t do Fiji etc, so something a bit closer to the US

I would greatly appreciate all thoughts on when I might reasonably expect to safely and comfortably plan such a trip: months? Next year? Ugh. I'm reasonably fit “runner" (jogger!) and equestrian, not a total couch jockey. Thanks, even.

Dx 8/2017, LCIS, Both breasts, 1cm Dx 8/2020, LCIS, Right, 1cm Surgery Surgery 4/12/2021 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Mar 9, 2021 04:36PM hapa wrote:

Six weeks after your last surgery, assuming you don't have any complications, should be safe to resume any normal activities. Though you might want to give yourself a few weeks to work on your strength because six weeks is enough to atrophy your core and arm muscles if you're not using them. If you're going with the expanders still in, run it by your PS to make sure there aren't any issues with diving with them. I can't imagine there would be. You can also contact the manufacturer if your PS doesn't know or you don't want to ask him. I called the manufacturer about diving with my port and they assured me the port was tested down to 170ft. I was surprised they had data.

If you do get cleared and want to dive with your expanders still in, I'd put on your kit and make sure it's not rubbing on a bad spot or intolerably uncomfortable for some reason. I didn't have expanders but I know they have some hard edges and it seems like it would be uncomfortable if your BC is putting weight on them.

If you wait until you get your implants, I'd still put on your kit and make sure it's still comfortable. Mine was fine, but you know your measurements have probably changed so best to make sure. You don't want to find out after you've dropped $$ and flown thousands of miles that your BC is too small and your wetsuit doesn't zip over your foobs.

All of this of course assumes you're not on any kind of immunosuppressive medications. I assume since you had only ALH you won't be.

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Mar 30, 2021 08:16PM panout wrote:

Well, I've now done 3 dives since surgery :) Over the weekend, did a long deco dive to 160'. This was probably my last "real" dive until after radiation therapy is over.

I'm going to spend the month of radiation really working to fine-tune my sidemount configuration and actually take the time to try to measure how long I want all my hoses to be (and maybe order them in pretty colors!), and decide exactly where I want to stow my back-up lights, reels, and cookies.

I'd love to hear everyone else's diving adventures!!

Dx 1/5/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/23/2021 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/5/2021 Whole-breast: Breast
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Mar 30, 2021 11:11PM octogirl wrote:

I had a Hawaii trip planned in a few months that was going to include diving...then fell and broke my leg! I will be cleared to put weight on it by then, but diving might be a little too much. We'll see :-(

Dx 6/18/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/16/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/9/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/15/2015 Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/8/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 31, 2021 09:30AM panout wrote:

Octogirl - what terrible timing!! Which bone did you break? If it was the fibula, you'll probably be OK to dive by then. I have also broken a leg (long before this BC madness), and returned to diving the minute I was cleared to dive. Carrying the gear was the challenge, but once I got in the water everything was great. Kicking was good PT and the weightlessness made all movements easy.

Once you can bear weight, they'll start by allowing you to bear 10% of your body weight, then 25%, and so on. Even when you are allowed to bear 100% weight, walking is slow and unsteady until you have built back up your muscles. Gosh, I sure hope you can get to dive while in Hawaii.

Dx 1/5/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/23/2021 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/5/2021 Whole-breast: Breast
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Apr 1, 2021 05:47PM hapa wrote:

octogirl - so sorry to hear about your leg! I think if you can get help with your equipment, diving should be no problem. Maybe hand it back up the ladder instead of wearing it while you get back on the boat.

This is not BC related and only tangentially diving related: I got scopolamine patches for my dive trip next week (OMG I can't believe its that close!). I got them from a CVS minute clinic. The appointment was ~$60 for the NP to write the script. I was able to make an appt online for the same day on a Saturday, it was super easy and convenient. Insurance isn't going to pay for this kind of appointment so going someplace like a minute clinic or walmart clinic can save you some money, not to mention if I had tried to get into a PCP their next available appointment probably would have been in October of 2027. The patches were ~$130 for 10, which is 8 more than I need for 6 days of diving. You can get those cheaper but I just had them filled at the CVS since I was already there.

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Apr 1, 2021 10:15PM octogirl wrote:

Thanks for the words of encouragement all! The bone I broke is my femur...and actually the real issue isn't the break, which is fairly minor, but the fact that it is located very close to my knee, which is replaced (artificial). I've dove with the artificial knee, no problems (I don't climb up the ladder with gear on)....the problem is that any further damage could cause the femur to dislocate from the artificial knee, meaning I'd need another knee replacement :-(

Saw the ortho doc today and he is starting me on PT to bend my knee in two weeks, but he still doesn't want me bearing weight on the knee for six more weeks, and my next apt with him is only two weeks before I am supposed to leave on my trip. So yeah, the whole trip is likely going to get postponed. Diving in the fall maybe?

Hapa, sorry if you said this and I missed it, but where are you going on your scuba trip? (Looks like I may need to dive vicariously for a while!)

Octogirl

Dx 6/18/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/16/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/9/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/15/2015 Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/8/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 2, 2021 11:53PM hapa wrote:

octogirl - heading to cozumel! leaving in a week!

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Apr 7, 2021 08:49PM octogirl wrote:

have a blast, Hapa! Looking forward to your report!

I've always stayed at Scuba Club Cozumel there. Wish I was there now...

Dx 6/18/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/16/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/9/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/15/2015 Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/8/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 8, 2021 08:56AM Salamandra wrote:

So excited to see this thread come up! I just learned to scuba dive this February and I fell in love with it! I'm going back to Roatan at the beginning of July for more diving and to get my advanced open water certificate!

I'd love any advice about where to prioritize with buying gear. I'm thinking a wet suit, the ones I rented from the shop were ok but it could be nice to have my own, and a dive computer.

If anyone is thinking about a dive trip and wants to join in Roatan, it is wonderful there!

Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9. Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/17/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 12/2/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2019 Fareston (toremifene)
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Apr 9, 2021 10:44AM panout wrote:

Welcome to the scuba craze salamandra! You asked for suggestions on gear to buy first. Your bio says you live in NY, so I'm going to assume you'll do most of your diving in a warm tropical area. It is nice to have your own wetsuit...especially if you are grossed out about other people's body fluids in the rental ones, or if you have body proportions that are difficult to fit.

When buying a wetsuit, think about what thickness you will need for the majority of your dives. If you're only diving in warm water, you'll want a very thin one (max 3mm), but if you are going to dive where you live, you'll likely want a much thicker one (7-9 mm). As you try out different experiences, you might still find the need to rent a wetsuit that will fit the environment better than the one you own.

You'll enjoy having your own dive computer so that you keep your logs from your various dives. Another piece of gear people usually buy first is a regulator....or at least your own mouthpiece that you can attach to a rental regulator.

Dx 1/5/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/23/2021 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/5/2021 Whole-breast: Breast
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Apr 9, 2021 03:39PM octogirl wrote:

I agree with panouts suggestions, and I would also put a mask high on your list, especially if you want a prescription mask.

Octogirl

Dx 6/18/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/16/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/9/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/15/2015 Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/8/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 9, 2021 07:26PM Salamandra wrote:

Thanks!!

Yes, I am scuba diving in the tropics for now. I had been under the impression that I'd need to get dry suit training to scuba dive around NYC but maybe that's not true. I need to do more research and maybe connect to a local dive shop.

I rented a wet suit where I was learning. I'm pretty sure it was 2mm or 3mm. Honestly I'm not sure it was enough! The first two days I dove in my bathing suit but the more I dove the colder my body got, and stayed cold. I was thinking of getting the booties too for my feet.

It's strange but I am truly more bothered by the wear/tearing in the borrowed wetsuit than by the sharing of the mouthpiece. I know it doesn't make sense and I wasn't *very* bothered, but for some reason the mouthpiece sharing really didn't ping any of my icks.

I do have a mask I've been using from my snorkel set, and that was working fine - at least as well as any of the rental masks that I also tried. I guess that's my very first piece of equipment right there :)

Do you shop for your stuff locally? Do you have any favorites or recs? Beyond equipment, have you been to places that you would recommend for a solo woman traveller, on the cheap side?

hehe I am so so so excited for the summer now!


Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9. Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/17/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 12/2/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2019 Fareston (toremifene)
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Apr 10, 2021 08:55AM panout wrote:

Salamandra - You are probably right about needing a dry suit to dive around NYC, especially if you dive at any time outside the peak summer months.

As for where to buy things.....this can be a great debate about local vs. web-based. I try to buy everything I can from my local dive shop....I want them to be profitable and in business, so I have a place to fill my tanks, and to get my gear serviced. After many years, I have a relationship with my shop that is more like family, and they will match any price from another source, so it's a win-win. However, I sometimes need/want things that they don't carry (they carry everything, but might not have the specific brand I want), and then I have to look elsewhere. I still try to buy local. For example, I purchased a new harness recently that I could have purchased online, but by buying it from a (somewhat) local store, the shop owner put a few hours into fitting it on me (saving me weeks of trial and error and frustration). She was really good about listening to how I needed the straps to work with the new incisions I have and ensuring I still have good lymph drainage.

There are many retailers that sell items online, but when you are starting out you need advice and guidance in your purchases, so I would recommend starting with your local shop. Also, ask about buying second-hand gear. If your dive shop services any gear brought in for consignment, that may be a great way to kit up pretty quickly.

Later in your dive career, you'll have the experience to know what you like and need and you'll likely scour the internet looking for a specific thing. Initially, just get what you need to go diving often. The more dives you do at the beginning, the better diver you'll become. The better your skills, the more enjoyable your dives will be. I was blessed to have a "lake" close to me that I could dive in every weekend. This gave me an opportunity to perfect my buoyancy and comfort level, so now, when I go on expensive vacation dives, I am very relaxed and got the maximum bottom time.


Dx 1/5/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/23/2021 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/5/2021 Whole-breast: Breast
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Apr 11, 2021 05:44PM hapa wrote:

Salamandra - If you already have a mask, snorkel, and fins then you already have some equipment. That was my first equipment as well, but I got booties to go with the fins since they were open heel. I next bought a wet suit so I didn't have to wear the torn-up, worn-out, ill fitting, peed-in men's wet suits that shops have for rental - it was one of the cheaper options but I only dive in the carribean or Hawaii so cheap was fine. After that I got a computer. After that I got a BCD on craigslist and bought some regulators from a LDS who cut the hoses and put it all together for me. If you don't have a BCD then I'm not sure you would want to buy regulators because the hoses may not fit a rental BCD - you want your hoses cut to fit your body and your BCD. I also bought a beanie at some point but I can't remember when that was. It's surprisingly helpful in keeping my head warm and doesn't squeeze my face out the hole like a hood (I could never do a hood, just can't do it).

I suggest starting with the cheapest items, ones you can use for other things like the wetsuit and snorkel set. You can usually rent computers when you dive, so just rent or borrow for a while and see what you like and don't like before investing a lot of money. Computers don't have to be terribly expensive; I think mine was around $350 and my husband bought a Mares puck for about $200 (if even that much, I don't remember) but he has since upgraded to a newer model version of mine (the algorithm on the Mares puck was too conservative and it would be telling him to surface when my computer was saying I still had 20 or 30 minutes). If I were to do it over again I might just buy used regulators, provided I could find modern ones in decent shape - regs don't really wear out so most people don't replace them very often, but there are plenty of people who buy the whole kit and then quit diving after 20 dives. If you have patience you can find a lot of this stuff on craigslist for very good prices. My BCD was $100 on craiglist, it's an Aqualung Pearl i3. And like panout said, your LDS could have secondhand gear and some of them will arrange a gear swap every now and then for folks looking to unload old gear. Oh, one more thing about buying your own kit: it will take up a LOT of space in your luggage, so you are checking probably two bags when you go anyplace to dive, so it doesn't necessarily save you much money over renting.

As far as LDSs go, there are very few who even sell things in my size. I'm not freakishly small or anything so I don't understand why they can't have one lousy wetsuit or BCD for me to try on. They'll offer to order it for me but I can do that myself and I wouldn't have to come back to pick it up! I bought my most recent wetsuit from a LDS who had quite a bit in my size and even smaller. And we hit the brick and mortar store for divers supply on our way to the Atlanta airport once which is where I got the computer - they also had lots in my size.

I'm checking in from diving day 1 in Coz. Had a great time this morning, even though my DH hogged down all his air in 40 minutes on both dives. Idk what's wrong with him today, usually we are pretty well matched in air and we run out of no deco time before we run out of air. There's more people here than I was expecting but it's definitely not crowded. Lots of divers went out with the house shop but we chose a smaller outfit that will only run up to six divers on a boat. I can't wait to get back out there tomorrow! Also, we decided to stay at an all-inclusive, which usually isn't my bag but it is working out pretty well for us so far and I might consider it again in the future.

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Apr 11, 2021 07:50PM hapa wrote:

I forgot to mention: I put the scopolamine patch on before our flight took off and dived with it today. No seasickness!

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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23 hours ago MinusTwo wrote:

Hapa - Jealous!!! Have a wonderful time.

Do you mean you wore the scop patch in the water on the actual dive? I never had problems with seasickness, but my DH was always horribly nauseous. I've had scop patches for BC surgery after the first time when I threw up for an hour in ICU.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014

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