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Jan 31, 2019 11:31AM
Hi Butterfk3, I was 56 when first diagnosed with a small lump (size of pencil eraser), and was started on Arimidex. I was on it for a couple months and it felt like menopause on steroids. I could not stay asleep at night, so I decided to stop taking it. I also didn't like the idea of reducing the small amount of estrogen I was already producing.
My first surgery also had unclear margins, second surgery also had unclear margins, so I switched surgeons and practice, had third surgery finally had clear margins, but no cancer detected. I was left with half a breast and no one could answer why the supposedly unclear margin was not found in the third surgery. This last surgeon actually said that sometimes cancer just goes away by itself. wtf
I was given conflicting opinions on radiation, so I opted out of that as well. 18 months later I went in for reconstructive surgery and ended up having a bilateral mastectomy. There was no way to fix one side without having surgery on the other, so he asked if I ever consider prophylactic BMX. I had not, no one ever mentioned it. But after thinking about it and talking to some family and friends, I figured I might as well just get rid of my breasts and be done will all this constant worrying, surgeries, mammograms, mri's, etc.
It was the best decision I made, wish I did it sooner, I can't believe no one recommended it the time of the third surgery since the last one really was aggressive and destroyed my breast anyway. For me the surgery was not that bad. I was out of work for one week, only had pain the first day, then what I would call discomfort for the next couple weeks. Nothing that ibuprofen couldn't fix.
I am 11 weeks out since BMX, had implants put in 5 weeks ago (prepectoral with dermal flap) and I feel great. New boobs look ok, a little smaller and stiff, but they need time to settle. Apparently it takes 3-6 months. I am going back under in a couple weeks to swap them out for a larger size which is a quick 45 minute procedure. My plastic surgeon also recreates nipples (which I had removed to further reduce my breast cancer re-occurrence) and has a tattoo person on staff for the arealoa. I'll probably have this done in the fall.
Hope this helps, good luck on your journey!
9/1/2016, DCIS/IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
9/30/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
10/31/2016 Lumpectomy: Right
5/1/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right
1/2/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant