May 2, 2019 06:31PM Butterfly1234 wrote:
Try looking in reconstruction threads or try typing explant into search button.
Posted on: Feb 3, 2017 08:12AM - edited Feb 16, 2017 03:59PM by pabbie
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?
Posts 241 - 270 (318 total)
May 2, 2019 06:31PM Butterfly1234 wrote:
Try looking in reconstruction threads or try typing explant into search button.
May 2, 2019 10:30PM AdAstra wrote:
I’ve got a visible rib. Took me months to try to figure out what I was seeing. Finally had to ask my MO. Somehow seeing it makes me extra, extra protective of my mastectomy side.
May 3, 2019 12:25AM jo6359 wrote:
I went flat with no regrets. Occasionally, I wear a bra with an insert. I paid $30 on Amazon because I wear it infrequently. I am concave on my affected side. I only notice if I have a tight running shirt on. I have a flat stomach so I think it makes my flat chest less noticeable. Who knows? I'm comfortable with my body.
May 3, 2019 12:56PM rljes wrote:
AdAstrea- I too have a protruding rib. It hurts! But my BS said there is nothing to be done, except gain a little weight - NOT!
I wish I had a tummy tuck when I had my BMX. I'm working hard on keeping my tummy flat. (by not eating - that's so unhealthy) but I look ridiculous with a protruding tummy and no breast. I'm lucky most of my weight goes to my butt.
Where /what did you all do with your old bras? I have some really nice Victory Secret pretty ones...Is there a cancer place that takes these? I would call my navigator but she is useless. Maybe the social worker...…
May 5, 2019 09:39AM PollyOne wrote:
I had a terrible time recovering from my MX so a lot would have to change before I would consider any more surgery. I didn't think I cared much about how I look but apparently being symmetrical does matter. I'm a size D on the right, so it's noticeable if I don't wear anything on the left side.
I have a prosthetic paid for by my insurance but it seems heavier than the other side, and I feel unbalanced in it. I really like how Knitted Knockers feel. They're relatively light, and the texture is more natural. They work with my old bras and I really like being able to use those parts of my past life when so much else has had to change
May 5, 2019 08:02PM - edited May 5, 2019 08:03PM by jo6359
polly- when I had my BMX, I did use knitted knockers off and on for quite a while. I ended up buying a pocket bra with an artificial foob. It's much lighter than the prosthetic bras but it stays in place better than the knitted knocker My only issue with the knitted knocker is when I wore a fitted dress my boob flattened. I only drag out the artificial foob for special occasions or when I'm around my family.
May 8, 2019 07:43AM MamaOz wrote:
oh my Christina sorry to hear that news..
With the arimidex I have a lot of aches and its scary sometimes when ones bones ache thinking it may have spread Im hoping my aches are just old age added to the mix
I have a friend who is stage 4 and its in her bones shes been doing a clincal trial and has stabalized.. but I know its very tough going
May 9, 2019 07:07PM Christene502 wrote:
Had my BMX on the 6th... sometimes I get a sharp pain, jolt wear my nipples were...Weird feeling... the drains are pulling, that hurts, but the actual incisions don't hurt at all, just the tape the PS used, No compression on chest, just thin tape.
May 9, 2019 09:25PM jo6359 wrote:
christene- the drains pulling were the worst sensation. I wrapped an ace compression bandage around my chest to minimize the drainage tubes pulling. It was very loosely applied. Good Luck.
May 9, 2019 09:45PM Pommom1809 wrote:
I got my drains taken out yesterday. Hurt for a very short time, but washing my body is so much easier.
The phantom pains are so strange, I feel pain in my nipples which of course no longer there. My chest feels very tight, hoping this goes away after scar heals. I’m also staying flat, not too sure about the look. I’m sure of one thing, no more surgery
May 10, 2019 09:07AM - edited May 12, 2019 10:31PM by Mumoftwo416
I also had my second drain taken out yesterday. What a relief! But I'm also having weird pains, my chest feels so tight and I'm swelling near my armpit which is really unpleasant. I'm going to start doing the exercises that they recommended for once my drains were out. I'm hoping that helps.
So, this morning I'm going about my business making my kids' lunches and I actually found myself annoyed with my remaining breast. I also decided against any sort of reconstruction, but I can't go braless because my remaining breast is too big
May 10, 2019 06:04PM jo6359 wrote:
The tightness is annoying but it will disappear. The Phantom Sensations will dissipate over time.
May 10, 2019 09:34PM alto wrote:
For me, the tightness went away after a few weeks, and the zingers became less frequent over time. I got a few zingers a day at first, then every few days, then once every week or two.. Now, I can't remember the last time I had one... I just get an occasional short ache when I do something silly like lift a heavy box.
May 11, 2019 09:27AM romashka wrote:
Mumoftwo416: Be gentle with yourself and your body as everything heals. Careful with the swelling under your armpit. I had a large hematoma in the same spot and it took a long while for it to dissipate. I'm not saying that is what you have, just to give it time.
I also concur on no more surgeries. Flat is a pleasure.
May 14, 2019 03:34PM rljes wrote:
Hi Christene50 - I hate to be the bearer of bad news - and again, EVERYONE is different, but a year and 1/2 later I my armpits are still numb and I have to sleep with a pillow under my armpit. It feels like I have a golf ball in there. The best advice I can give is go to a BC physical therapy and stretch-stretch-stretch - when its okay from your BS. I admit I'm not stretching enough. Best of luck!
May 15, 2019 09:47PM NicoleRod wrote:
Christene are you doing the Physical and Occupational therapy they told you to do? You need to do it 3 times a day every day. I did and I have no pain and I have full range of motion. I have no pain when and if I wear knitted Knockers.
May 16, 2019 09:36PM alto wrote:
I would say give it some time. A week is not much time at all and there's a lot of healing going on. The sensations in my chest and under arm changed a lot over the first 3-4 weeks.
May 31, 2019 09:14AM MamaOz wrote:
I concur with you gals
I just reached my 2 year since surgery. I had a lot of nodes removed. This makes a difference
I went to lymphedemia PT and she worked out the cords that were tight in my arm. Now 2 years later Im having a bit of discomfort now and then but she said its now from the scar tissue healing from radiation. Still have numbness.. which I doubt will allieviate as nerves were cut. But all in all Im good with it. But need to always stretch..
Jun 7, 2019 02:13PM MCBaker wrote:
I have been carrying a water-balloon on my right chest for half a year. I have seen the plastic surgeon this week, and the recovery time for a reconstruction is six to eight weeks. That includes modifying my left boob, sacred to my kids. I am wondering If I ought to get this expander taken out and a skin reduction, also thinking that there would be less chest numbness with that. With something like that, the recovery time would be much shorter, and take less of a bite out of my exercise program. I like things natural, and I am scared of another operation, or several. Just one minor operation would be much better. I am small, maybe a C cup, so unequal weight on the sides of my chest would not be a significant issue.
Jun 11, 2019 12:09PM Schweety wrote:
Ok...I am very nervous about this. I am or may have to decide mx or bx. As I read even the happy to go flat responses...I find myself fighting tears! The reason...is even tho I am 69 pushing at 70 real fast, my sexuality is a big..BIG issue for me. I ask myself...Carol, how can you feel sexy and attractive with only 1 boob or worse yet...no boobs???? I have had 2 lumpectomies and radiation so my one breast is quite a bit smaller and I am even really self conscious about that. I am married....wow...I know this all sounds stupid but it's real too me. Very real. I guess my boobs have always been well, attractive and it has been, a part of who I am as a woman. God, I sound so vain....but if it wasn't so important to me I would not be asking, as it is also very embarrassing to ask such foolish questions. I went on another board here a few days ago and no one will even answer it. This is my last hope. HELP!
Jun 11, 2019 12:41PM MCBaker wrote:
Schweety, I am your age. I have decided to have the expander replaced with a permanent implant, but they will not touch lefty. My boobs have always been important to me, not because of sexuality, but because it was important for me to use them for the purpose for which we have them. Reconstruction or no, you are going to lose sensation in both breasts if you have a bmx.
Jun 11, 2019 03:07PM Erica wrote:
I'm your age now, but I was 57 when I had my bilateral mastectomy. Like you, I was (and am) married. Both I and my husband thought non-reconstruction was the best option for me. I loved my breasts, but I also wanted the easiest surgery and fastest recovery possible. And I really wanted symmetry. I dreaded the thought of having two "breasts" that didn't match. My breast surgeon did a great job, so that my chest is smooth and flat and my incisions almost invisible. I choose to wear breast forms because I do feel more attractive in clothes with the shape of breasts (I mostly use unweighted non-silicone forms, so they're very comfortable). My husband still finds me sexy -- it just was never an issue for us.
BUT, having founded and run BreastFree.org since 2007 and heard from thousands of women, I realize that non-reconstruction isn't the best choice for everyone. In your case, you want to retain the shape of natural breasts as part of your body. That's certainly understandable and nothing to feel badly about. Since you've had radiation on your breast, it might be more challenging to make an implant work on that side, but many plastic surgeons are willing to try. Or, you could opt for tissue reconstruction (like DIEP). The downside is that it's a big surgery with a long time spent under anesthesia. Unfortunately, for those of us who need mastectomies, there are pluses and minuses to all the choices.
From your post, it sounds as if you may not wind up needing a mastectomy at all. But if you do need one, I hope you'll go with your gut and do what feels right to you.
Jun 11, 2019 03:23PM Beesy_The_Other_One wrote:
Schweety, what you are feeling is in NO WAY stupid or foolish, nor should you be embarrassed.
Are you certain that you would not want reconstruction? This is very important to you and I am wondering why you would not consider it?
Even though our circumstances have similarities, I did not want reconstruction and knew that going in. I'd lost half a breast to a Phyllodes tumor twenty-two years ago, in my 30's (57 now). Like you, I'd already experienced loss. In all clothes as well as a bathing suit I'd have to wear a prosthetic to make things look right. In 1997, my breast surgeon thought I was nuts not to do reconstruction ("You are so young," he would say--same man did the BMX and didn't fight me this time). Once the IDC came along, I felt as if I were fighting for my life; for me it was a "two strikes you're out" situation and I did not want to spend time on surgery (or surgeries, depending on the reconstruction) and months of recovery--I wanted to LIVE. The dang thing had grown like a monster and my oncologist, who was very positive at our first meeting, suddenly was far less positive at the second meeting, after an MRI showed it was growing like crazy. Honestly, Schweety, for me, through all this my boobs had become far less important to me---and it's the reason I did not answer when you posted on the on the other thread. In a sense, by this point, I felt betrayed by my *&^% boobs--like they were on a mission to kill me.
This is all so personal. I insisted on a BMX because the thought of one breast hanging there literally would make me feel like a freak--like enough of a freak that I would have hidden my body from my husband. I felt as strongly about that as you do about the importance of your breasts, which may sound crazy to you but just thinking of it now makes me very uncomfortable. In contrast, if I am understanding you correctly, you'd rather have one than none. My point is that we are all coming at this from different emotions and ways of thinking---I can't speak to your situation as I wouldn't expect you to understand where I've been and what I've gone through. What we share are great losses. I'm on my second round of eyelash loss from chemotherapy and you'd think the world were coming to an end, again, and this time at least I have a ½" of hair on my head!
I am madly in love with my husband of thirty-five years but I never asked him if it were okay for me not to do reconstruction because I wasn't going to do it. He loves me for me and when he said "for better or for worse," he meant it. I had utter confidence in that. Five months post surgery, I can tell you I made the right choice for ME.
It sounds to me like your husband loves you for YOU but you are the one that matters regarding this decision. Fifty years ago, reconstruction was not an option. It is available to you now, and while not perfect either, you should consider it if it would help restore some of your sense of loss. PM me if I can help with any specifics (even photos of my chest if it would help).
I believe I can safely say that no one on the two threads where you asked this question would have chosen double amputation (that's what it is) just for fun---they just made the best choice for them given their own circumstances and are moving ahead with life. As for me, I'm grateful to be alive.
I'm sorry you're having to be here at all--as I wish none of us were.
Jun 11, 2019 05:08PM jo6359 wrote:
Beesy-Well said. I was almost 58 and chose no reconstruction. I had always been proud of my fit and athletic body. Strangely enough, I didn't want to go through additional surgeries for reconstruction. I have no regrets with not choosing reconstruction. It's very important for you to do what's right for you. Most of the time I go flat but occasionally I will wear fake boobs for special occasions to make my dress look better. I still feel very much a sexual being. You still lose the sensation but It's easy to compensate in other areas. You are entitled to your feelings. This whole process is scary. Good luck to you in whatever decision you make.
Jun 11, 2019 05:37PM Schweety wrote:
Dear Beesy & Jo6359, Thank you both for your honest and up front answers! I have a lot of health issues one being I have had a stroke and I am diabetic with high blood pressure....and last year when I was dx with IDC my surgeon talked about mx because of my prior hx and family hx but was reluctant to do it and because of the length of the surgery & prior radiation there could be no reconstruction. This time he said there would be no choice except for So that's where it sits at this juncture. I know my husband will be okay with whatever....it is me I am worried about. He also has cancer...a bone marrow cancer. This just sucks doesn't it? damn it. Beesy, I may pm you...I know I will re-read what you wrote more times than I even know. I somehow have to get past this.....anyway thank you again....I will be re reading them both over and over. Thank you again, Schweety
Jun 11, 2019 05:44PM jo6359 wrote:
Schweety- Beesy is well informed. I constantly re- read her posts because I learn something new all the time. Hang in there.