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Topic: After Mastectomy - 2 weeks later - internal scar tissue

Forum: HER2+ (Positive) Breast Cancer —

Testing, treatment, side effects, and more.

Posted on: Nov 16, 2020 06:29AM

MimiTJ wrote:

Hello,

I would like to hear about other women wjo had mastectomy and lymph node clearance.

I had mine done last week of October and had to so another one urgent beginning of November due to Haematoma evacuation.

I can feel on thr side behind where the breat ise to be, ai feel a lil hard scar whixh at fort thought was the drain tube but the drain has beem removed and still see feel it.

The underarm, the feeling is very numb, heavy, as if there is something that feels big and uncomfortable undrr my arm

I am doing tbe exercise and still cant lift my arms beyon 90°

I would be grateful if ypu could advise

Thnk you a lot xxx


J




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Nov 16, 2020 12:58PM - edited Nov 16, 2020 12:59PM by MinusTwo

Mimi- internal healing can take several months. Remember you have a ton of internal stitches. SOunds like you're only 2 weeks out. I was told not to lift my arms above my shoulders at all. I can't remember how long it took for me to get my arms straight up again, but I remember WEEKS of walking my fingertips up the wall.

You'll have scar tissue from the drain that takes time to resolve. After ALND, I never got feeling back in my under arm - but some people do.

These are questions you need to address with the doc. When do you see the surgeon again? Or can you send an electronic message or call?

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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Nov 16, 2020 03:22PM MimiTJ wrote:

Hello Minus Two

Thank You for your message.

I will send my consultant a message tomorrow.

I was also told not to lift my arms above my shoulder especially after the haematoma evacuation op (2nd op - 10 days post mastectomy)

I saw my radiotherapist last week who referred me to physio because I need to be able to lift my arm up behind my head to be able to start radiotherapy.

I was told radiotherapy will be 6 to 8 weeks post mastectomy, but my radootherapist is thinking to start radio end of Nov to beginning Dec, which I think is early.

I have started to do exercise 1 day post surgery.

I know every person is different and healing times difers. Please can you tell me approx how long until you stop feeling the heaviness under your arms, as if I am holding a bottle under my arms, it feels numb and swollen but it is not swollen.

Ill email my consultant tomorrow and see.

Thank you again

J

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Nov 16, 2020 04:27PM romashka wrote:

J,

I had mastectomy and developed a big hematoma under my left arm (cancer side). It was an uncomfortable picnic for a while. Very tender and swollen and it dissipated sloooowly. The drain on that same side stayed in longer than the opposite. Pulling it out was quite a tug and that created a new inventory of hurt and tender to heal.

And then funnily enough, the dear doctor who placed my port roughed me up on the opposite side of hematoma side.

Things went back and forth for a while but settle down eventually. But even to this day there is tightness. I do have what I think is full mobility. There are limitations though at times.

Where they removed three lymph nodes, the cancer side, felt so red and raw and angry. But the skin was intact. That also dissipated over time. I had my surgery mid-October and by the end of January I was swimming in the pool a little bit.

There are so many folks on this site that were up and running much much quicker than myself.


Lots of peace,

A


PALB2 Dx 8/22/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 10/11/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Nov 16, 2020 07:42PM MinusTwo wrote:

Mimi - I'm not sure if you had nodes removed or not. I did with ALND surgery. That under arm & upper inside arm has never regained feeling,

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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Nov 17, 2020 04:46AM Rah2464 wrote:

Mimi I too had a hematoma on my cancer side. Thankfully mine resolved without the additional surgery, but it sure complicated the healing process. I wound up with a significant amount of scar tissue, cording, you name it. I also had a very angry armpit where the lymph nodes were removed. My PS gave me a shot of cortisone in there to assist the healing process.

I needed physical therapy to release my shoulder so I could get my arm overhead again. It was several months of exercise and massage before I had free movement. The healing process can be slow for sure. Speak up about any issue you are having with your doctors and massage therapist because the sooner you work on these scar tissue problems, the easier they are to reverse.

Dx 5/23/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 6/26/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 7/26/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 17, 2020 07:31AM MimiTJ wrote:

Hello Romashka,

Thank you for taking time to write about your experience.

I am doing my exercise everyday and healing very slowly.

I had all my lymph nodes removed on the cancer side (left) and at the moment I have no feeling whatsoever. It's early days so keeping faith.

Do you manage to do all your normal activity prior to surgery. when did you manage to carry weight on that arm?

Thank You again.

Stay bless

J

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Nov 17, 2020 07:35AM MimiTJ wrote:

Hello Minus Two,

Thank you again for taking time to write.

I had ALND as well (left side). You mean no feeling at all.

Thank You muchly

stay Bless

J

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Nov 17, 2020 07:39AM MimiTJ wrote:

Hell Rah

Thank you for taking time to write back.

I am glad to hear you did not need surgery for your haematoma.

I have been referred to Physio so that my arms movement is good before radiotherapy.

How long did your numbness take to come back to normal?

Thank you muchly

Stay Bless

J


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Nov 17, 2020 12:25PM MinusTwo wrote:

Mimi - yes, I mean I never regained feeling - but then I was told I probably would not. It's really weird applying deodorant when you have no feeling. Others may have different results. Since you are only TWO weeks out, I do urge patience.

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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Nov 17, 2020 05:45PM MimiTJ wrote:

Hello MinusTwo,

I feel weird doing underarms scrub. No feeling at all, I heard the nerves grow back at 1mm/day. My friend who had a tummy surgery only started to have small feeling 2years and 4 months later.

Ill be patient.

Thank You muchly.

J

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Nov 17, 2020 07:14PM SuQu31 wrote:

Minus, I feel the same way about deodorant, and don't get me started on how weird it is to look in the mirror to shave under my arms. Since I have to do one that way on the cancer side, I just do the other one that way too, although I do have feeling on my non-cancer, non-lymph node side.

MIMI, for me, the feeling that I do have came back so gradually that I didn't really notice until it was somewhat significant. I had a re-excision surgery to address a close margin and additional skin was taken right near my underarm. That caused some range of motion issues. Thanks to the women on this board, I pushed for PT. It helped immensely. Please be patient though and give yourself time to heal. Your body has been through a lot.

Re-excision for close anterior margin 10 days after BMX. Dx 10/31/2018, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/9/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap Dx 12/10/2018, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/19/2018 Surgery 9/13/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant
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Nov 17, 2020 10:07PM MinusTwo wrote:

SuQu - I am forever grateful that the hair never grew back under my arms after chemo. I couldn't even imagine trying to shave.

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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Nov 18, 2020 10:40AM MimiTJ wrote:

Hello SuQu,

Thank You muchly. I have physio coming soon but due to covid, it will be phone consultation. Will see how it goes.

Sorry to hear about the additional surgery you had to do, but I am glad You had done some PT and it has helped greatly.

I am also doing the exercise I was given and some extra one from a PT on Youtube.

I would love that my underarms hair don't regrow :D

Lots of Love

J

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Nov 18, 2020 02:52PM - edited Nov 18, 2020 02:53PM by MinusTwo

Mimi - PLEASE be careful with the exercises. Particularly pulling things off the web that your doctor hasn't approved. As I said before, you have a TON of internal stitches. It's really easy to pull or break one of those for the first several weeks. That might mean more surgery.

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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Nov 18, 2020 04:08PM Beesie wrote:

Mimi, I'll second MinusTwo's advice. I remember reading somewhere that it takes 6 weeks for skin that's been cut and stitched back together to regain 90% of the original strength of the skin. This is why anyone who has any major chest or abdominal surgery is told to restrict physical activity for 6 weeks. Our chests gets pulled and pushed by any movements we make with our arms and even are impacted when we sharply turn our heads. After a couple of weeks, I know I felt good enough to do anything, but my plastic surgeon kept reminding me of the 6 week restrictions.

It is important to exercise our shoulders and arms to regain range of motion, but at least for the first 6 weeks after surgery we should only do exercises given to us by our breast surgeons or plastic surgeons, or a physiotherapist recommended by one of these doctors, someone who is extremely knowledgable about restrictions after mastectomy surgery. What you want to do is promote healing and mobility, not cause harm that sets back your recovery. So do the approved exercises only, carefully!


“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Nov 18, 2020 04:44PM SuQu31 wrote:

Yes, couldn’t agree more. Please don’t push it! You will have plenty of time for exercise, I promise. I am generally a rule follower anyway, but definitely with this!

Minus, one good point for chemo! I know some women use electric shavers, but that scares me even more. I have to be extra careful on the cancer side because I have lymphedema.

Re-excision for close anterior margin 10 days after BMX. Dx 10/31/2018, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/9/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap Dx 12/10/2018, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/19/2018 Surgery 9/13/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant
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Nov 20, 2020 10:38PM MimiTJ wrote:

Dear All

Apology for very late reply and thank you all for taking time for advising me

MinusTwo, Beesie and SuQu: I have now stop the you tube PT exercise and only doing what the doctor and nurses have advised :)

I will be seeing my PT soon as well :)

I wanted to also ask whether I can sleep on my side (non affected one), been reading and I see to sleep on back which is more recommendes not on side as it can cause complications. I don't sleep on my affected side however sometimes I turned on it for a few seconds.

Since few days now, I have been sleeping a lil bit in my non-affected side, so challenging to stay on the back constantly to sleep.

Thank You all

J

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Nov 21, 2020 03:06PM MinusTwo wrote:

Mimi - my doc recommended putting large pillows or bolsters on each side of me so I couldn't turn onto my side(s). I'd never been a back sleeper so it was a real challenge. I think I slept that way for at least two months.

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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Nov 23, 2020 01:21PM MimiTJ wrote:

minustwo- Thank You muchly. I will use some pillows to make it easier; my back aches so bad if I have to sleep constany on my back.

Best Wishes

J


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