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Topic: Is anyone going flat or living flat?

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: Feb 3, 2017 08:12AM - edited Feb 16, 2017 03:59PM by pabbie

pabbie wrote:

I had a right breast mastectomy in 2014. I've been living with one breast for three years, wearing a mastectomy bra & prosthetic. My left breast is a size D and hangs low and I get sweaty and rashes during the hot summer months.

I met with a PS but am not a good candidate for breast reconstruction because I've had surgeries on my stomach area, with radiation and chemo on my behind and part of my thighs because of color-rectal surgery 17 years ago.

I don't feel comfortable taking muscle from my back. I'm 59 years old.

I'm deciding on another mastectomy or breast reduction/lift from a D to a B. This might be a weird question but did anyone feel weird with the surgery being close to their heart?

May 2017 Recurrent 1.1 centimeter IDC with multiple foci, treated with surgery & Aromasin. Dx 2/6/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 2/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/23/2014, IDC, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/23/2014 Mastectomy: Right Dx 5/4/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 11, 2019 05:54PM Schweety wrote:

Thank you so much for your response to my question.... I too worry about non conforming or matching breasts. I have seen some pics that are really hideous.....makes me cringe. The surgeon did not want to do a mx last time because especially with reconstruction as it is a long surgery and longer recovery time especially with all the other health problems I have....diabetes, high blood pressure and a stroke to name a few.

I will be re-reading all the reply's several more times. Thank you again!

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Jun 11, 2019 06:56PM Beesy_The_Other_One wrote:

jo6359 (Happy Birthday, belatedly, by the way--I'm assuming!),

Thank you for the kind compliment, but I'll bet any money you are referring to Beesie (I'm Beesy) just because she truly is well informed and a bright light on this forum. This is the second time this week I've been mistaken for her, and I'm thinking I might need to add to the end of my name to avoid appearing as an imposter!

**From the other post where I was trying to clarify the Beesie/Beesy confusion: We both chose our usernames based on childhood nicknames--hers came from the meaning of her first name, mine came from my maiden name, which ends in BEE. When I hastily created my username, I never thought to look to see if there was someone else with the same name spelled differently so as not to cause confusion--or in my case, appear more intelligent than I am! Beesie has a cute Bee as her avatar with a cow crossed out (as in "I'm Beesie, not Bessie"). My avatar is Dash from the Incredibles because I've been told I bear a striking resemblance to him as my hair is growing back in, though I suspect Dash didn't color his hair 😉! I've had cowlicks along the front of my hairline all my life, but now that I don't have much to weigh it down, it sticks straight up, just like Dash's, despite all my efforts to use gel to stick it down.


1997--Cystosarcoma Phyllodes, R breast. 2018--IDC, L breast. 8/15/18 Biopsy US measurement: 1.5 x 1 x 1 cm 8/30/18 MRI measurement: 7 x 2 x 3.4 cm (!?!). Dx 8/20/2018, IDC, Left, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 9/11/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/11/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/11/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 1/31/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 2/27/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Jun 11, 2019 07:05PM - edited Jun 11, 2019 07:08PM by jo6359

Beesy- I will pass the compliment on to both of the beesies.

My birthday is in March. I use a former boyfriend's birthdate as part of my username. Thank you for the birthday wishes.

Dx 1/29/2018, DCIS, Right, Stage 0 Dx 1/29/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/15/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 11, 2019 11:04PM Christene502 wrote:

Schweety

I recently had a BMX no reconstruction. I had it within the week my 65th birthday. And 44th wedding anniversary. What a way to celebrate.

Cancer was in my left breast, but I had the right removed as well, just to play it safe. I didn't want to live with only one breast. To me that would be more depressing.

It's a little hard to adjust to the New Me. It will take time. I have cancer in my bones. The surgery wasn't going to cure me, my drs and I said the mastectomy will just get out the primary tumors. At my age who needs breasts? Only real reason we have them is feed our babies...

With reconstruction, there are complications, who needs that? So many have the expanders removed.

Good luck to you.

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Jun 12, 2019 07:31AM - edited Jun 12, 2019 07:32AM by MCBaker

"At my age who needs breasts? Only real reason we have them is feed our babies..." The sweet memory of feeding my babies is made more real. Everyone is different.

Christine, I will be praying for you. The C in my screen-name stands for Christine.

Mary Dx 10/3/2018, DCIS, Right, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Dx 11/16/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 12/18/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/19/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 6/27/2019 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Saline implant
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Jun 12, 2019 06:27PM - edited Jun 12, 2019 06:32PM by jo6359

christene- I have to respectfully disagree with you regarding our breasts. I didn't choose reconstruction and I have no regrets. I did not choose to have children but I did enjoy my breasts. Even for individuals who are not breastfeeding or sexually active breasts can still have meaning to that individual. I do miss not having sensation in my breast. Whenyou have a double mastectomy the sensation is gone. For some of us, we do miss having nipple sensation with sexual activity. Most of us adapt and compensate for the loss. I see nothing wrong with acknowledging the loss. I am very sorry to hear you're dealing with additional cancer in other parts of your body.

Dx 1/29/2018, DCIS, Right, Stage 0 Dx 1/29/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/15/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 13, 2019 10:16PM - edited Jun 13, 2019 10:18PM by alto

Everyone's different, but I found life post-surgery to be less disturbing than I thought it would be. The time before is just very intense and scary. I think it gets easier to adjust to it over time.

I feel fine about my body now. It looks different, but it still gets the job done. When I'm hugging my hubby I don't even notice it.

—unrelated...

I learned about Tig Notaro today. Comedian who got a double mx and goes flat and is still rocking at life.

Being half flat, I was a teeny bit jealous. She looks awesome, and presumably doesn’t have to deal with bras anymore.

Diagnosed at 42. Had symptoms of Paget's for years prior to positive biopsy. No Tamox because low% ER. Dx 11/2/2018, Paget's, Right, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 11/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 11/29/2018, DCIS/Paget's, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/18/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 12/21/2018, DCIS, Right, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 1/15/2019 Mastectomy: Right
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Jun 14, 2019 09:17AM - edited Jun 14, 2019 05:29PM by MamaOz

Schweety

The girls above all have great advice

Its such a personal issue, I struggled for months trying to decide on reconstruction

Ive been married 41 years , I usually wear small silicone prostethics in a coozy bra so my clothes hang nicely

But at home I sometimes go without, as for feeling sexy a nice bra during intimate times goes a long way..

At the time of my DX I had a tumor on my right side and lymph nodes involved. But I insisted on a double because I didnt want to be lopsided nor worry it may appear in the other

My plastic surgeon was very honest with me and explained because I would be doing radiation I may have expanders in for a long time as the tissue would take a long time to heal and may require several surgeries .I was 63 at the time

And for me it was just not wanting to waste time with surgeries that may or may not take

As it turned out there was a new tumor undetected in my left that the pathology from my surgery discovered so for me the BMX was the right choice


Life was more important. Now 2 years post surgery and my treatments Im still healing from the radiation and have develpoed more scar tissue , according to my phys therapist who works my right arm and chest to keep my lymph fluid flowing..I had 29 nodes removed 3 positive

Anyway ..Do I miss my boobs to be honest of course Id like to look like I once did

but on an everydy basis ..no I barely notice

And its two less things I need to worry about!

But I feel fortunate to be alive and getting on with the important things

As I said a good bra with pockets and inserts look very nice.. its become a part of the new me

Like 'oh man feels so good to take these boobs off 'or 'hang on need I to adjust my boobs..'

For me my main concern is surviving.. its only been 2 years.. I take arimidex and pray it keeps the cancer at bay..

Its a tough decision and a very personal one as the other girls said only you can decide what you are comfortable with

Get all the facts from your Drs thepros / cons of all your options etc

Best of luck

Mamaoz









Mamaoz : chemo 1/.17-4/17 AC/.paxitacil : 3/29 nodes Dx 12/5/2016, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/20/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/8/2017 Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 18, 2019 07:53PM Schweety wrote:

Dear mommaoz….. Thank you so much for your reply. Getting the low down right from the girls who've had to deal with this is so very valuable...even tho the decision is personal.


Thank you all again!

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Jun 21, 2019 06:48AM MamaOz wrote:

hi Girls,

My topic is not exactly about our living flat

But I had one of the best oncology Surgeons.

Dr Manuel Torres-Saliche. In Miami

I had a 2 yr follow up appt scheduled which the office called to cancel a few weeks ago

He was so dedicated, skilled and compassionate

He also was an expert on nipple sparring (. Which not haveing recon I didnt need) but a friend of mine did

Anyway , he always took all my calls answered all my erratic frightened questions ,called me even after hoirs with test results. That kind of Dr

He was the Doctors doctor..a giant in his field..

He put in my port and hopefully got all the radical lymph nodes during my bmx

He unfortunately passed away Monday. He was 57 , he fought an aggresive bladder cancer that took him in 8 mo

Life can seem unjust at times. The man saved lives...

I just needed to take a moment to acknowledge him

He will be sorely missed in the fight againsr Breast Cancer community here

He touched my life and I was blessed I had the good fortune to have him on my team

Rest in Peace Dr Manny I will never forget you

💕💕💕



Mamaoz : chemo 1/.17-4/17 AC/.paxitacil : 3/29 nodes Dx 12/5/2016, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/20/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/8/2017 Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 21, 2019 06:20PM jo6359 wrote:

mamaoz- I live in the Miami area. One of my dear friends knew Dr Manuel Torres Salichi very well. She is an RN who had the honor of working with this excellent doctor for many years. She said he was always a professional, compassionate and kind. He did not put up with nonsense from staff and expected all of his patient to be treated with respect and dignity. According to my friend, he always had time to give a person a smile, ask about their day entry staff with respect . She is devastated at the loss. The staff at Baptist Hospital are reeling at this sudden loss. He's diagnosed and months later dead.

Dx 1/29/2018, DCIS, Right, Stage 0 Dx 1/29/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/15/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 24, 2019 07:39PM MamaOz wrote:

    • thank you Jo. He was amazing. AllMy other Dr 's had such reverent respect for him..
  • when I had made my appt recently ( after getting my reminder card) I asked the receptionist if I was still supposed to see him as it was now 2 years after my surgery. And she said oh yes you will see him every year.. thats the dedicated man he was..
  • my heart goes out to not only his family but all his co workers...
  • Hope you are doing well
Mamaoz : chemo 1/.17-4/17 AC/.paxitacil : 3/29 nodes Dx 12/5/2016, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/20/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/8/2017 Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 24, 2019 07:40PM jo6359 wrote:

mamaoz- thank you. I'm doing great. How have you been doing?

Dx 1/29/2018, DCIS, Right, Stage 0 Dx 1/29/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/15/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 24, 2019 08:26PM - edited Jun 24, 2019 08:28PM by MamaOz

ok for the most part. Arimidex is rough

And my arm is acting up the last few weeks. Ive been lucky so far with no swelling. (29 nodes) My lymph

Pt thinks now after 2 years the radiation scar tissue is causing some issues. And then this morning I was out gardening ( extremely hot) and used my sleeve which I never normally do, but thought it might help with my arm ache. Well after an hour I took off my garden gloves and my hand was swollen!! I freaked and called my pt. She was off today but gave me advise and told me it was the heat and not to panic. So I spent the rest of the day jiggeling my arm and hands ...the puffiness has gone down a bit

But my arm and hands have been tingly lately. So sometings going on.nerves or blockage

I had been told the recovery from radiation was slow but not sure how to alleviate the new scar tissue.its causing I see my PT once a month as I live in the keys so its a bit of a trek up to miami

So arent you glad you asked!? Lol


Mamaoz : chemo 1/.17-4/17 AC/.paxitacil : 3/29 nodes Dx 12/5/2016, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/20/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/8/2017 Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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21 hours ago jo6359 wrote:

Mamaoz- you need to be very careful in this summer heat. It has been so damn hot lately . Miami is a nice little Trek from the keys. it's still a good idea to see your physical therapist and make her aware of your new symptoms.

Dx 1/29/2018, DCIS, Right, Stage 0 Dx 1/29/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/15/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/15/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)

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