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Topic: Nurse mocked me - I KID YOU NOT

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: Apr 5, 2018 09:42PM

Jeremiah29-11 wrote:

Today at Northside Hospital Cancer Center in Atlanta, Georgia, I was at the radiologist's office preparing for my first treatment. Long story short, a nurse was trying to make small talk with me, (this conversation was entirely non-medical, she was not my nurse) and then she inappropriately noticed I am flat chested, ASKED me if I had a mastectomy (NONE of her freaking business, mind you), I nodded yes, and she had the GAUL to ask me if I was considering reconstruction, to which I replied I wasn't sure and she literally, I KID YOU NOT, threw her head back and LAUGHED and said "well I know what I would do!".

Needless to say, her superiors were notified.

This is just a reminder to all of my fellow warriors that just because you're in a medical office doesn't mean some fool won't say something stupid, yes, even medical staff. I will take this experience and learn to be on guard even in what I thought was a safe environment.

Dx 10/17/2017, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/29/2017 TAC Radiation Therapy 4/8/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 6/19/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 5, 2018 10:06PM Meow13 wrote:

I know, it is hard to believe that nurses would not be sensitive to cancer patients.

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Apr 6, 2018 05:16AM Beatmon wrote:

I’m glad you reported the nurse. One of my nurse employees said in front of other staff the old hated remark: at least you will get new perky boobs! Wish I could have fired her for that...

Dx 7/27/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 8/9/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 12/1/2013 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 7/1/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 8/9/2014, IDC, Both breasts, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 8/27/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 8/27/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/27/2014 Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 6, 2018 06:17AM Nel wrote:

I am generally pretty laid back but have reported a nurse and a volunteer at Dana Farber for stupid comments    Better trining needed on how to interact with patients.  

You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf Dx 9/27/2011, IBC, Stage IIIB, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Dx 8/6/2013, IBC, Stage IV, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 6, 2018 07:17AM jo6359 wrote:

One of the dumbest things I've heard from a technician was: you're lucky that you have cancer because now cancer isn't a big deal. It's just like having a bad cold. I calmly pointed out to her that cancer wasn't anything like a damn cold. I provided objective data to this technician. She continued to minimize cancer and the effects of chemo. I reported this technician to her supervisor and followed up with a letter of complaint to the cancer center. Generally, I find that staff is usually very well trained, compassionate and professional. A few Chemo patients have told me there are times they don't have the energy to report these individuals because they are conserving their energy to deal with the Big D, constipation, nausea, vomiting, severe fatigue, port issues, Etc. I suggested to them if they're not able to report it at that time have a family member or friend report it or follow up at a later date.

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 2/16/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/16/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/16/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 6, 2018 07:34AM mustlovepoodles wrote:

That's just shocking, rude, and uncouth! I hope her employer read her the riot act. You'd think at a hospital the size of Northside, in the radiology dept, they'd know better. I guess not.

Oncotype 23. Positive for PALB2 & Chek2 gene mutations. My breasts are trying to kill me! Dx 7/20/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/19/2015 Lumpectomy Surgery 9/2/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/19/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/3/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 10/18/2016 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery
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Apr 6, 2018 07:49AM Hogwarts wrote:

Hi Gloria-Jeremiah,

I, too, am with Northside ONCO and got very confused by chart notes that were left on my new foob Rx. The notes were a worst-case scenerio based on my bloodwork. The nurse practitioner told me, at my appointment, that everything looked good, but when I saw chart notes and a copy of my blood work, I was at the cliff's edge again. My CA numbers are always low-normal, thought s few digits in the blood work are out of range. My regular doc says these numbers are 1. not critical, and 2. the the result of having a shingles virus in my body, which was in my record. Left with the deer-in-the-headlights feeling and not quite sure what was going on. It took me a month to get back to normal and totally spoiled Christmas.

The next day, Northside sent me a survey and I told them exactly what I thought, with both barrels. Told them that under no circumstances should they say or write anything that can frighten us in any way when you give us a printed Rx or return appointment, etc, if you don't have proof to back it up. Keep your speculations to yourself!

My onco is great as is her usual nurse, just not this NP. No wonder I have PTSD from the C doctors' offices. In the survey I made it clear that until any of the staff have been thru the hell we have experienced, don't say/do/write anything that will be the least bit upsetting unless you need to tell us something backed by fact. Have some empathy/compassion!!! What we have been thru is no laughing matter, nothing to be taken lightly, ever.

Glad we are speaking up about this kind of insensitivity to folks that should know better. Seems like there should be some kind of sensitivity training, similar like to sexual harassment in the work place.


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Apr 15, 2018 12:17PM - edited Apr 15, 2018 12:20PM by GmaJoLynn

I continue to be amazed by the comments made by my plastic surgeons (started with one and then after she told me "I'm just frustrated with you and you need to see Dr. (noname), who is in the same office)". They have both made comments that were terrible. I had immediate reconstruction and the PS came in my hospital room and told me what size she put in and laughed and said "I had to really work to get it in". The fact is I had told her no larger than 500 cc (to match my other breast) and she measured all the breast tissue removed (even the tissue taken out from my armpit (lymph nodes, etc) and weighed them and it weighed 550 so she put in a 550 size implant. It didn't take and three days later when they took my bandages off my skin was black (the size of my hand, fingers included). It made me sick. I have now had 5 reconstructive surgeries and my skin is SO thin. I am concerned and going to go back and talk to the PS about it. I'm thinking of having it (left side) removed and not replacing it. It's in my armpit and has drifted down and sideways. It feels like I constantly have something under my arm. I wish I would never had immediate reconstruction and I will probably end up having the implant taken out. I don't have the strength I used to have and it looks horrible. I would rather be flat and strong and comfortable in my own skin. I'm sorry you had to go through this. I can't believe how uncaring and brutal the comments are that I have received from my PS(s), both in the same office. So many rude comments that I am astounded at their lack of professionalism. I guess that's why it's good we have this site, so we know we are not alone in being treated poorly. It's hard because at the point where I was getting the rude comments I was dependent on them to fix me so I didn't tell them how rude they were. But when I'm done, I'm going to write the state medical board. I don't think I will even let them touch me again. I don't know where to go to get it removed. I live in Alaska and I could go to Seattle but I don't who to see and I'm scared of getting a quack... I respect your decision to not have reconstruction. I guess medical personal are human and just like the general population there are people that are rude, disrespectful and just plain cruel. Doesn't make it right. Some PS are so arrogant and if you mention anything you don't like they cop an attitude, like how dare you criticize my work. Jerks!

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Apr 15, 2018 08:09PM Rrobin0200 wrote:

how insensitive, unprofessional and unethical this nurse is. I'm glad you reported her. Imagine how many other patients have had to deal with her

Dx 3/6/2017, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/31/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Jun 17, 2018 08:35AM Tess1962 wrote:

hi beautiful survivor,

I am writing to ask how you're doing on Famera. I start that drug after radiation is complete. I am also wondering how long I will have to take it.

I'm so sorry about your experience with that nurse. Uncalled for for sure.


"The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it." Dx 4/6/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/7 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 5/9/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 7/31/2018 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Jun 17, 2018 11:15AM - edited Jun 17, 2018 11:16AM by Meow13

I personally have found plastic surgeons that are beyond rude. One lady I talked to only a week after diagnosis threw/tossed the expander at me. I never had a foreign body inside me before. She asked me my goals. I think I said being able to wear a bathing suit and look good. She said back to me my expectations were too high. Look good in a bathing suit. She was awful, I decided I wanted a DIEP if I qualified. Well I had to go to our university hospital for that. I talked to the main surgeon that does it. He was very blunt, but when he saw me he said oh yeah I can do it. And if I didn't choose him and the DIEP he guaranteed I would be unhappy. Yikes, I went with him he did a fantastic job. But boy his ego was the biggest I have ever seen and no filter on his mouth.

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Jun 17, 2018 11:19AM Meow13 wrote:

I can laugh now, but when you at the beginning of this you can't laugh or even look forward. The dark cloud of cancer hovers, you know what I mean? My body is about to be permanently altered.

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Jun 17, 2018 01:40PM - edited Jun 17, 2018 01:42PM by MeToo14

After I finished my first go around of chemo my MO told me I couldn't wait too long for surgery and should do it as soon as I could. I saw my surgeon, I was checking out his office and trying to make an appointment for my lumpectomy. I told the woman who was helping me that I needed to have the surgery as soon as possible. She laughed at me, then looked at her coworker and they laughed together. She said "oh yeah, I'll get right on that."

I'm sure they are very busy and everyone demands my surgeon's time but she was being a huge bitch. It was at a time when I was consumed with fear and just wasn't myself. I just didn't have it in me to tell her what I thought of her. But I was shocked and hurt. Surprise...she doesn't work there anymore.

35 when diagnosed. I had isolated tumor cells in my nodes and was told I am considered node negative, I do not. Dx 7/2014, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 2/3 nodes, ER+, HER2- Chemotherapy 7/14/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/25/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Surgery 12/26/2014 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 1/2/2015 Carboplatin (Paraplatin) Radiation Therapy 4/27/2015 Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2015 Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin)
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Jun 17, 2018 01:43PM - edited Jun 17, 2018 01:44PM by Meow13

Tell the surgeon about that. Wow, that is really bad. Oh she doesn't work there anymore good.

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Jun 17, 2018 07:28PM edwards750 wrote:

OMG how insensitive. Glad she got canned. Co-worker should go too.


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Jun 22, 2018 11:57AM cp418 wrote:

Just saw this in the news and cannot believe this patient was treated this way.


Breast cancer survivor fights Cleveland Clinic over surgery results (graphic)
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Jun 22, 2018 12:54PM Lula73 wrote:

OMG! And the other PS interviewed says a PS isn’t required to make a smooth and flat chest with nice outcome...only a general surgeon. Obviously he hasn’t seen the hack jobs with lumps and bumps and folds and awful blue/gray scars that don’t fade that many general surgeons leave in their wake. And the GS tells you if you wanted it to look nice you should’ve gotten a PS to do it or opted for recon as that’s the best he can do. Unbelievable!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no matter what surgical option you choose, DO NOT go with a surgeon who does not show you before and after photos of his own work with results that you would be happy to have for yourself, not just happy considering you’ve had BC. No pics? It’s a no-go right out of the gate. Doesn’t matter if the docs are part of a large teaching institution that’s well respected or a small private practice. Not convinced?


-Lula Dx 1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/13/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 3/2/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/1/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 22, 2018 01:21PM carmstr835 wrote:

Well, I watched that video and that PS is wrong. My surgeon made me very flat and it looks great. I also said I might later want reconstruction and I do, but I did not want the horrible disfigured post-mastectomy scars I saw in photos to be my deciding factor in whether I did reconstruction or not What they did to this woman is wrong! I had no loss of arm movement with the completely flat outcome. One side I had a axillary dissection and the other side I did not, I had excellent range of motion on both sides after my PT. My scars are almost completely gone and I could live with this result. I just decided I didn't like being called "sir" and the pain from the radiation is now my deciding factor for the DIEP I will have on July 10. I know I could have had a better outcome if he left some skin. But I did NOT want that, and my surgeon accomodated me well. Most medical people remark about how well my mastectomy looks.

Dx 3/1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 3/22/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 3/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 5/17/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 6/27/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 6/27/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 6/27/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 9/11/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 7/10/2018 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 10/16/2018 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Jun 22, 2018 01:53PM Meow13 wrote:

I would be upset to have to wait a year to have it fixed. Definitely glad she has alerted other woman to this plastic surgeon.

There are alot of horror stories out there.

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Jun 22, 2018 02:38PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

This may not be a valid comparison, but when women who are transitioning to men have mastectomies as part of gender reassignment, they get some very nice flat chests. I have never heard mention of problems with arm movement problems.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 22, 2018 02:42PM ksusan wrote:

Excellent point.

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 22, 2018 03:46PM Lula73 wrote:

wish there was a like button xbrnxgrl!

-Lula Dx 1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/13/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 3/2/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/1/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Femara (letrozole)

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