Join Us

We are 221,658 members in 83 forums discussing 162,071 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

Topic: Anyone regret going 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: Aug 23, 2019 10:03AM

StAuggie wrote:

I'm finishing up chemo next month and will have to make a final decision about whether or not to do reconstruction. I'm planning on having both breasts removed. I do not want implants, so I'm choosing between going flat or DIEP fat grafting.

A few weeks ago, I was just fed up with the whole multiple surgery, lengthy recovery idea and just wanted to put cancer behind me, so I decided to just go flat. My concern is how I am going to feel later. I realize that no one can tell me how I'm going to feel about having no breasts, but I don't want to make the decision to go flat and then regret it later; from what I've read, its better to start reconstruction right away or at least leave skin, if they're able to, and then have it later.

If I go flat, I would probably wear some type of prosthetic to give the appearance of having breasts, at least in public. Not sure that I want to mess with the hassle of prosthetics, but in all honesty I don't think I can be comfortable without them in public. I just keep going in circles and haven't been able to come to terms with either option.

Dx 4/12/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/9/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/29/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
Log in to post a reply

Page 6 of 8 (213 results)

Posts 151 - 180 (213 total)

Log in to post a reply

Aug 29, 2020 08:20AM mheibel wrote:

Each of us have a different journey and personal decisions to make. I am getting used to my new "normal'. It's good to hear that you can have corrective surgery after going flat. I'm currently having radiation surgery now so I know any additional surgery is on hold, but I think I'll look into it once I see what the final result is. I also am most likely going to look for another PS, as I feel like I was dismissed from my current PS after the infection and my decision not to continue with reconstruction.

Log in to post a reply

Aug 29, 2020 08:11PM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

mheibel - you might want to consider DIEP as well. I went out of state for a consult since it was not available where I live. I was not a good candidate (not the right kind of fat in the right places) and recovery was several weeks longer than plastic. The PS surgeon gave me several names (I think all in Oregon). I do not regret going flat, but the temptation to turn love handles into boobs sounded like a good deal.

Log in to post a reply

Oct 31, 2020 09:46AM Dubhain wrote:

Fiaranch1 - I love your attitude 😀! My surgery will be sometime in January. My chemo isn't done until about mid-December. I'm considering double mastectomy since it has the fewest complications and shorter recovery time. I may ask if I'm a candidate for a DIEP anyway just so I know whether or not it's even an option and to be fully informed. Definitely will not do implants.

Dx 6/23/2020, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Nov 2, 2020 09:05PM ILOVERMONT wrote:

I am a week out from my bilateral mastectomy and total hysterectomy due to BRCA2+. Very little pain which was surprising. The drains came out today and one was getting angry so glad to see them go. I went straight to flat. I met with a PS to discuss my options early on and when he got to the part about 5-6 surgeries to get them to look even (right breast was radiated so not a candidate for implant and not enough body fat to do two) I said no way. Very surreal to put my hand on my chest and nothing there but they were trying to kill me so I won't miss them. I'm looking forward to not wearing bras anymore just to go get the mail, shop etc. I am 60 and my partner of 10 years was fine with my decision but if I were 20 years younger and single I may have gone for reconstruction. For me it was the healthiest option at this point in my life and so far no regrets!

Dx 1/21/2019, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/11/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 4/2/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 7/1/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

Nov 3, 2020 07:27AM LivinLife wrote:

That was one of the main reasons I chose to go flat - I've had no regrets! I hope you continue being as comfortable and happy with your decision... Glad your partner is supportive too!

with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
Log in to post a reply

Nov 3, 2020 10:28AM mightlybird01 wrote:

I am half flat and 1 year out from surgery and I don't have any regrets. It feels totally natural to me. I kept my hair short too, after having had long hair all my life. Loving the short hair :-)!

Dx 4/12/2019, IDC/IDC: Medullary, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 5/21/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/8/2019 Mastectomy: Right
Log in to post a reply

Nov 3, 2020 12:18PM JO-5 wrote:

Half flat here, never sorry, but wish I would have had the other removed as well. This way .... I am off balance and having one large breast causes rib, shoulder pain.

JO-5


IDC 04 Stage 1 Grd 3 no nodes Lumpectomy rads plus boosts ER+PR+HER- AI 5 yr 2014 secondary angiosarcoma from rads lumpectomy recurrence 1 yr Mastectomy with lat flap 1/2 flap went necrotic skin graft to center of chest.
Log in to post a reply

Nov 3, 2020 03:10PM Scottie719 wrote:

I've been half flat since July 2017, and honestly never even think about it. And like mightybird01, I've kept my hair really short after a lifetime of shoulder-length or longer, and consider it one of the [few] silver linings of the BC experience!

Dx 1/6/2017, IDC, Right, 0/12 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 1/23/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 3/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/21/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 7/17/2017 Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 9/6/2017 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

Nov 19, 2020 05:11PM mheibel wrote:

Does anyone else have a protruding sternum after bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction? I had my mastectomy in June, left expander removed (due to infection) in July and the right one removed in August. I also had radiation during October on my right side, so I was waiting to see if everything would "calm down" a little, but it's still protruding. I'm getting used to my body and I don't think I will have reconstruction, but maybe a little "clean up" because there is extra tissue (to the right of my sternum) that my first plastic surgeon left behind.

Any information is appreciated.

Thank you.

Log in to post a reply

Nov 19, 2020 07:43PM LivinLife wrote:

I wouldn't call it protruding exactly though I had ribs that felt (some still) 2 1/2 times the size of normal and other areas that either feel too like other extra tissue settled in the wrong place or is still swelled or both. P.T. didn't want to do any myofascial release on me because I"m a "slow healer" and they are afraid I'm not healed yet. I went on line and found two techniques on YouTube and did very little work gently on my right side each night for a handful of nights and it helped a lot. P.T. was ok with that.

I'm still struggling with cording issues too. Other women on this site recommended I go to see a lymphedema specialist for that. I'm hoping she may do some myofascial release too. I don't know if that would help you or not though you could research that a bit and see if this fits for what you are dealing with. Apparently it's not unusual for tissue, etc. to settle in the wrong places and it just needs a little help to get back where it belongs (or a better place?).

with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
Log in to post a reply

Nov 22, 2020 09:04AM mheibel wrote:

Thank you LivinLife for the information. I am unfamiliar with myofascial release, but will do some research. I did see a lymphedema specialist and she was happy with my range of motion and said I was healing well, but that was a while ago. I also completed PT and continue to do home exercises. Thank you again for the information and I hope your cording issues are resolved soon.

Log in to post a reply

Jan 5, 2021 10:08PM Juju-mar wrote:

hi ladies,

I'm considering a unilateral mastectomy without reconstruction. I am 36C and wondering if anyone has had pain or issues with being lopsided? I plan to wear a prosthetic to even things out. My husband is concerned that I will regret this decision. I need radiation so, even if I do want reconstruction it has to wait 6-12 months.

Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Julie

Dx 8/27/2020, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/2/2020 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/27/2020 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Jan 5, 2021 11:37PM Beesy_The_Other_One wrote:

Jujumartin, I had a BMX two years ago, without reconstruction, and have no regrets. However, I chose BMX because (for me) the idea of being lopsided was unacceptable. It's not like this was new territory to me--I'd had ½ of the right breast removed because of a Phyllodes tumor in 1997 and chose no reconstruction (I was 35). Then I was diagnosed with cancer in the formerly "healthy" left breast in 2018. For me it was a "two strikes you're out" kind of situation.

I write because a close friend of mine had a UMX without reconstruction in 1995. At the time she was only 32 with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, which had bad outcomes at the time--so bad they would not even CONSIDER reconstruction--but she is very much alive! I have since had another friend who chose UMX, and both women I just described have neck and back issues tracing back to having so much weight on one side of their bodies and wish they'd removed both breasts. My mother, who is/was a 34 A (tops) had a UMX in 1995, and has had no problems, but when she's not wearing her bra and prosthetic, you can't tell which breast was removed. She has had no pain or other issues. Could the pain issues experienced by my two friends be associated with size of the remaining breast? Could it be a fluke that I know two people with such issues? Could be, on both counts.

The best news for you is that you can heal and recover, and you can always change your mind if you don't like dealing with the prosthetic. I wear two every day and am content with my choice. If you'd want me to connect you via PM with my friend who had a UMX at 32 and is now 57, I know her well enough to say that I feel certain she'd be happy to discuss the issues she's experienced, which are very different from mine and more relevant to you. Obviously, I have personal experience with mastectomy, but not UMX, but my friends do, and specifically how it affects you as you age. I believe my other friend would be just as willing to speak with you as well; she was over 60 when she had her UMX and it was within the last few years, so they were not issues that worsened over many years.

Hopefully others will chime in who have chosen a UMX and will be helpful to you, but feel free to PM me if I can help further. I had worn a ½ prosthetic for 20 years, so I knew I could do it--it made my situation easier in a funny kind of way.

1997: Phyllodes, R breast. 2018: IDC, L breast. TCHP, BMX, Radiation, Nerlynx. Dx 8/20/2018, IDC, Left, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC)
Log in to post a reply

Jan 6, 2021 06:39AM LivinLife wrote:

I chose BMX vs. UMX primarily for the reasons you described your friends having. I also think being larger breasted would've made seeing myself in the mirror much more uncomfortable. There were other reasons it just made sense for me to have a BMX though physical discomfort was high on the list. I've then heard other larger busted women esp. either glad they did BMX or wish they would have. I'm sure there are opposite stories too....

with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
Log in to post a reply

Jan 7, 2021 12:45AM naps wrote:

Hi there Jujumartin,

I had UMX with skin sparing and TE placement, with a plan to reconstruct. After the initial whirlwind died down, I had the growing realization that I just didn't want to proceed. Didn't want more surgeries, more anesthesia, more drains, a balancing procedure on the other side, etc. Maybe it would have been more difficult to go the route I ultimately did if I'd had larger breasts, but I am/was a 36 B, and I was pretty sure I could find a prosthesis that would look and feel ok under clothes. My husband didn't care if I reconstructed or not. It just didn't seem worth it to me. It was hard at first to bail on reconstruction completely, and the TE helped somewhat with the fit of clothing, though it was rather asymmetrical and became increasingly uncomfortable. (They're usually not meant to stay in all that long!) After the whole long rigamarole of treatment, hair loss, TE placement and filling, and so on, I guessed I could get used to a lot, including being flat on one side. It took me about 3 years to make my peace with all that and get off the fence, and after the explant surgery, I had about 2 strange days of adjustment, but then I knew it was absolutely the right thing for me. So much better than having the filled TE sitting there. I can say I am completely used to my "aesthetic flat closure," and it's just much easier and more comfortable. I swim with a prosthesis and generally wear one out and about (a light one from Athleta, nothing heavy or hard), but even when I don't wear one, it's comfortable and often not even all that apparent (I tend to wear loose, flowy pj tops, etc.) Send me a PM if you have any questions. Good luck with your decision!

Dx 3/2016, ILC, Left, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 8/10/2016 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy AC Immunotherapy
Log in to post a reply

Jan 7, 2021 11:14PM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

Juju - it is a personal decision and reall only you know what is right for you. But it helps to talk and sort out those feelings. I chose a bilateral without reconstruction 4 years ago and have no regrets ( I was almost 60 at the time). The surgeon counseled me that there was no medical reason to remove a healthy breast. I went the full circle, looked at just removing the BC breast with plastic reconstruction; bilateral and recon both, and DIEP for both. After consulting a DIEP specialist I found out I was not a good candidate and that recovery was longer than plastic. One woman I talked to was very happy with her DIEP with liposuction, she was 30 when she went throught this. When I told another woman that I had decided against reconstruction, at 60, why did I need them, she angrily told me that she was 65 and wanted her breasts. So age might not matter. Another person who only had one breast removed and no reconstruction, remarked that she had small breasts anyways, and thought it would not look or feel lopsided.

Log in to post a reply

Jan 9, 2021 08:02PM pat2011 wrote:

I am so grateful for this forum! I had UMX in 2011 and after that time wore sports bras with pads in one side. It worked reasonably well, but sometimes the two sides didn't exactly match, especially since I had a 69-year-old slightly sagging breast on one side and a perky-looking one on the padded side. I also had problems with the bra riding up on the flat side so one breast looked higher than the other. After 8 cancer-free years, my mammogram detected a very early stage tumor in the remaining breast and I opted for mastectomy last month. Now I am planning to try protheses and a mastectomy bra for the first time. Could anyone give me any tips? I have tried my sports bra with pads on both sides, but it continually rides up. Is there anything about the mastectomy bra that helps with that problem? I will probably be satisfied being flat most of the time, but some clothes just don't fit properly. I have an appointment for a bra and protheses fitting in about a week and would appreciate any advice about what questions to ask.

Log in to post a reply

Jan 9, 2021 10:56PM Beesy_The_Other_One wrote:

pat2011, I think you'll find being fitted with two prosthetics to be far easier than it was to be fitted for one. I had a Phyllodes tumor in 1996 and lost half a breast. In 2018, when diagnosed with IDC in the other breast, for me it was a no brainer to remove the one and half that remained. I always joke with women that as ridiculous as it sounds, you only realize when you lose part of a breast or a whole one--that the weight of a breast holds down your bra--and that's exactly what you described, and you won't have that going forward. I wear a very comfortable bra daily with two prosthetics. Is it perfect? Nope. But I can live with it.

I can send you more info about what I chose if it might help, but I would think that a prosthetic fitter would help you far more than I can.

In my case, when I met with the fitter, my main goal was COMFORT. I wanted a bra that didn't dig into my back. I was looking for prosthetics that did not rub against my incisions. The fitter accommodated me and I wear those to this day, but I'm also now able to wear a variety of prosthetics. I would be happy to discuss this further, even by PM, if you'd like, if I haven't answered your questions.

1997: Phyllodes, R breast. 2018: IDC, L breast. TCHP, BMX, Radiation, Nerlynx. Dx 8/20/2018, IDC, Left, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC)
Log in to post a reply

Jan 9, 2021 11:03PM Jaybird627 wrote:

Hi.


After TE complications (wound issues) I'll be flat on 1 side. I'm looking for threads on breast tattooing. Not a nipple. Anything on this site? Anywhere I should look for artists who do this? I've seen pics of full 'bra' type tattoos. I have 2 small tattoos on my body, I'm looking for someone to do something more artistic to hide my numerous scars. Thanks!

Jaybird. My hopes are not always realized, but I always hope - Ovid. Surgery 3/4/2005 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Dx 3/5/2005, IDC, Right, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jan 10, 2021 08:12AM Aussie-Cat wrote:

Hi pat2011, I hope your fitting goes well. It sounds like you need breast forms that have some weight, so they won't ride up. Silicone forms might suit you or possibly weighted foam forms. They also recommend a bra that isn't too loose across the back to reduce the likelihood of it riding up. A lot of women say the fitters want them to wear really tight bras though, and you may need to be firm that you want it to feel comfortable. I find the Amoena Mona Bra and Power Sports Pocketed Bra to be supportive, comfortable and not ride up on me. I hope that helps.

Diagnosed with nerve pain (post mastectomy pain syndrome) July 2018. Twin sister died of breast cancer May 2019. Surgery 6/19/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right
Log in to post a reply

Jan 10, 2021 06:23PM arabrabchap wrote:

Hi Just found this post. Am trying to make a decision regarding reconstruction versus going flat or having reconstruction after my double mastectomy. I think I want to go flat mainly because I am 78 and don't want to face a lot of surgeries. Although I know it can be done together, I am reading about problems that require more surgeries. Not sure I need or want this at my age.

What is the recuperation time for going flat and what problems will I be facing? I'm reading about lanyards, special pillows, no showers till the drains are removed, getting a shower sheet, special shower head, et al. After your body has healed, do you have to wear anything special? Any advice would be appreciated.

Log in to post a reply

Jan 10, 2021 07:06PM Beesy_The_Other_One wrote:

arabrabchap,

I chose no reconstruction because I wanted to live and move on and it was the right choice for me. I'd had a brush with a one-off tumor in 1996-1997 and lost half the right breast then. The cancer was in the left. By this point, both were going if I was going to be down to a half! I was 35 at the time of the first surgery and had just turned 57 at the time of the BMX.

I had a plastic surgeon close me, and she INSISTED I take showers daily, which I really did not want to do! It seems every doc has different ideas on that. I did not use a special shower head nor a "shower sheet." But having a drain holder is worth its weight in gold! I can't find the one I had right now, but it looked like this: drain holder. The drains are a pain and not much fun (even though mine did not hurt me as others experience), but you get those with reconstruction or without.

I found the surgery very easy (no reconstruction=less time under anesthesia). In a few days, I was off all meds and within two weeks, they were starting me on radiation! Even I felt that was rushing it, but I was driving and doing everything else, so it made sense to move ahead.

I had pillows for under my arms but never used them--they were given to me by MD Anderson. I had a friend who had a BMX who was sore for weeks under her arms--she also could not raise her arms. But I had none of that. I don't have a recliner, but we do have an adjustable bed, and it was helpful in the early days. Whether you do reconstruction or not, bringing a pillow in the car for the seat belt area is worth remembering. The ride home will be much more comfortable without the seat belt pushing against your chest.

My surgeons did not require me to wear a surgical bra. It's my choice to wear prosthetics now, but you wouldn't have to, certainly, and enjoy the bra-less life. When I was fitted for my prosthetics, I chose the most comfortable bra they had, and it's not bad looking. I look the exact same in clothing or in my bra as I did before (I had worn a ½ prosthetic for 20 years so I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting into).

If you end up deciding to "go flat" I would ask for an "aesthetic flat closure." You can search on this site or on the internet about what that means, but it's the correct way of telling a doctor that you want a flat and attractive end result. I brought photos to my plastic surgeon but did not use that terminology. She left skin in places that she wouldn't have (I think) had I used the terminology--my theory is that she thought I'd change my mind. I had a plastic surgeon close me so I could avoid any further surgeries! I've thought about pursuing a revision, but after two years, I'm less enthusiastic.

Lastly, consider asking for a nerve block (whether you choose reconstruction or not). I think it was a big part of what made the recovery so easy. By the time my nerves were really waking up, I was days from surgery and feeling better.

Sorry you find yourself here--truly. Let me know if I can answer further questions if I wasn't clear enough typing this out quickly.

1997: Phyllodes, R breast. 2018: IDC, L breast. TCHP, BMX, Radiation, Nerlynx. Dx 8/20/2018, IDC, Left, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC)
Log in to post a reply

Jan 10, 2021 07:09PM TNBCsurvivor wrote:

I'm 63 and a survivor of TNBC. I also had a double mastectomy and opted for not having reconstruction. Who needs breasts at my age, LOL. I have not worn a bra since late October 2020 and LOVE not having to wear such uncomfortable underwear. However, having said all that you will not be flat after surgery. A small amount of tissue must be left so that you can lift your arms above your head (if you were truly flat you could not do this). The decision is up to you, but think about the long term before taking short term action.

Log in to post a reply

Jan 10, 2021 07:17PM Moderators wrote:

TNBCsurvivor, thank you for sharing your experience, and welcome to our community. Medicating

Yes, these decisions are so personal, and appreciate hearing the different perspectives.


To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
Log in to post a reply

Jan 11, 2021 10:18AM - edited Jan 11, 2021 12:14PM by Jaybird627

I'm having trouble accepting the fact that I have to be flat (on 1 side) due to expander failures. Is there a thread for those struggling with this situation? I'm going to seek out therapy for my 'issues' but was just looking for other's who had no other choice to go flat and were unhappy at least for a while until acceptance.

Thx,

J ~

Jaybird. My hopes are not always realized, but I always hope - Ovid. Surgery 3/4/2005 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Dx 3/5/2005, IDC, Right, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jan 11, 2021 01:18PM pat2011 wrote:

Thanks for your reply Beesy_The_Other_One. I have read other posts from you and found the information very useful. The time you spend for well-thought-out responses is appreciated. I will definitely tell the fitter that comfort is at the top of my requirement list. It helps to know what to ask.
Log in to post a reply

Jan 11, 2021 01:22PM pat2011 wrote:

Aussie-Cat, it will be interesting to see if the brand name bras you mentioned are available in my area. Glad to know what works for you. If I can't comfortably solve the problem of the bra riding up, I'll never wear it. I'm all about comfort! Thanks for responding.

Log in to post a reply

Jan 11, 2021 02:05PM LivinLife wrote:

I too had a pretty decent time recovering from BMX without reconstruction. I did not use prescription pain medication after leaving recovery though did alternate Ibuprofen and Tylenol every 4 hours as they recommended. I did that for just about a week and then noticed I began forgetting which let me know I did not need these as often. Within a few days after that I believe I only took one or two of one or the other each day and then none soon after. I really did not have much discomfort being a passenger on the 4 hour ride home from the hospital either. Sometimes I used a tiny padding between my chest and the seat belt and sometimes I didn't. Others have described being in quite a bit of pain so that can really vary.

The shower drain holder was a must. I was allowed to shower right away... Other than that I did not have anything special for the shower. I was attached to a negative wound vac too so had even more limited movement - "hedgehog" (wound vac) rested on the side of the shower : ) I was unable to fully raise my arms up to comfortably shampoo and rinse my hair though managed by also bringing my head closer to my body. I needed help stripping the drains and emptying them the first two days maybe? More b/c of the reaching around so much to one side - I didn't have that range of motion and when I forced it is was very painful the first two days. I stripped my drains every time I emptied them which wasn't necessary though I wanted to avoid the problems I read others had with drains plugging. The stripping was easy, esp. once I could do it by myself.

I did not use pillows except for one medium one under my tennis elbow arm due to tennis elbow. I did not sleep in a recliner b/c mine are both manual and I could not raise or lower the foot part of that on my own. I slept on one end of the couch with my feet across an ottoman onto the seat part of the recliner until my drains were out - don't know how to better describe it than that. Once my drains were out I was soon able to stretch out on the couch - bed still wasn't an option b/c I toss and turn a lot and that created much more than the 5 pound limit to move myself. On the couch I relied more on my abs and legs to move from one position to another.

Initially I wore sports bras - one size larger than what I would normally wear was suggested and right on - under my top. Button down tops were a must the first 4-5 weeks. The compression of the sports bra felt good for some weeks, then I switched to camisoles under tops. They fit tight too and help as nerves were waking up, itching and other weird sensations. I stopped wearing those maybe 2 months after surgery?

I developed bilateral cording a few weeks (or less) after surgery. That has been my only real remaining challenge. I was in P.T. for a bad tennis elbow and they gave me stretches to do at home for the cording. It help lessen that greatly in my arms and made my full range of motion more comfortable. The cords are still in my arms though I can't really see them. I went to lymphedema therapy (L.T.) and she could feel them. They can still be seen and felt in my armpits, down my sides and in my diaphragm unfortunately. I've had some lymph node swelling in both elbows too. L.T. has ended due to that facility closing for good - the outpatient part anyways.... The L.T. was hopeful my cording will just go away which still is not happening. I have scleroderma so we theorize that is making the cording more persistent. I'll wait and see - deductibles starting over and I have many other appointments coming up so not in a position to start back to L.T. at this point elsewhere anyways.... Hope the above helps...! Best to you!!


with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
Log in to post a reply

Jan 11, 2021 03:53PM arabrabchap wrote:

Thanks so much for all this info. I'll be meeting the surgeon on Thursday so will know more then. Again, my thanks.

Log in to post a reply

Jan 12, 2021 04:25AM - edited Jan 12, 2021 04:27AM by Traveltext

This was published recently. Turns out most women who choose to go without reconstruction, re happy to be flat.

https://www.medpagetoday.com/hematologyoncology/breastcancer/90619


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

Page 6 of 8 (213 results)