Topic: Lumpectomy Lounge....let's talk!

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Feb 19, 2013 08:35PM - edited Feb 25, 2013 11:57PM by ToriGirl

Posted on: Feb 19, 2013 08:35PM - edited Feb 25, 2013 11:57PM by ToriGirl

ToriGirl wrote:

WELCOME TO THE LUMPECTOMY LOUNGE!

I've searched and searched BC.org and couldn't find a specific post just for those of us who have had lumpectomies (unless there was one and it got buried).  So, I thought that it was about time that we had our own place that we can come to...where we can discuss, ask questions, tell stories, seek advice, give comfort, give high fives and do the happy dance...and just feel free to let out our thoughts about the things that we have all gone through (or all currently going through, or about to go through).

Some of you have just had lumpectomies..some of you lumpectomies plus radiation, others have had lumpectomies, chemo and radiation, and still others who have had the lumpectomy, chemo, radiation and hormonal therapy.  We've all got stories...and with those stories we have questions and concerns and this is the place to put them.....so we can hear from others that have "been there, done that" and can give us a different perspective on all of it.

Let's reach as many folks as we can...I know that there are many out there that are asking, " Is this normal?  Should this be numb?  How am I supposed to sleep after surgery? When does it get better?  Do I need to call the doctor? Should this feel like this?" How is the "new normal" going to feel?  "How am I going to get through the next mammogram or MRI?"

Maybe some of you need some reassurance, maybe some of you need to know that there are others of us out there that can help...and still maybe some of you just need to scream, "My doctor didn't tell me that!"or "This sucks!" or just some nice "choice" words...  

Don't worry...we get it...we understand it...

Weather you are waiting to have your surgery, just got a lumpectomy last week or you got one years ago...share your knowledge and experiences here...

There is no limit to what we can talk about!  :)

Ready?  GO!

"Sorrow carves the opening for joy later..." Dx 6/4/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 18, 2013 08:42PM - edited Apr 18, 2013 08:43PM by RMlulu

Welcome LaurieParr - glad that you have found our lounge, but so sorry that you must join us. Breastcancer.org is the best site...stay here for your info. Great lists of questions to ask your BS and excellent step by step of each procedure.
My lumpie is from 10:30 to 2:30 across the top of my breast. Tumor was 9cm behind nipple near chest wall so rads needed. I think one of the best books I read prior to lx was the breast cancer husband it's on this sites recommended book list...even if no spouse great info and good to help appointment buddies know how to support.
Prior to lx:
Walmart Danskin Now front zip sports bra 2X larger to wear after lx
2-3 front zip or button tops 1-2X larger for comfort
Front button or very easy on pjs
1-2 100% cotton cami no shelf to wear later...won't rub on incisions
Stool softener Pain med beware...you will only need the first 24-36 hours if that
Party or family time day or days before lx so you are full love and laughter
Lx day wire localization will be a breeze. Sitting in a chair. Compression like mammo and dr will place guide wire to tumor chip to help surgeon...will use a dye to color tissue so wear pants you don't care about if stained. Then they will numb your nipple with cream and send you on to nuclear med where you will receive 3-4 shots of blue dye that are like tiny fast bee stings then on to surgery center for your day surgery...if you need ask for a hit of something to take the edge off and something for nausea if you aren't sure how you respond to anesthesia ...next you know you are going home...very little discomfort...you will feel good very quickly and the pressure and tension will be gone and you will realize you've gone over 24 hours without thinking about cancer! Yeah :)
Make sure that you discuss with BS when and how you will receive info on margins and nodes...some have you call 4 days later and others have you come into office a week after surgery...so ask so you are not worried. Path report comes in parts so don't panic...if its not all there ...it is part of the waiting that is cancer.
Discuss with BS use of your arms. I babied my left arm for at least 2 weeks no over head...ask!
Again so sorry about your dx, but inform yourself...select a great team... And stay focus on today! Sending calming confident thoughts (((hugs)))
Cindy

Dx 12/18/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/22/2013 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/13/2013 Hormonal Therapy 5/31/2013 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Apr 18, 2013 09:20PM LaurieParr wrote:

Dear Cindy,

Oh my gosh..I just read your reply to my post. I am SO touched that you would respond in detail. It was EXACTLY what I was needing. I am such planner and knowing the details will enable me to sleep so much better tonight.

I am so glad to have found fellow Lumpies. Finding breastcancer.org has been such a Godsend to me. I feel supported and cared for. It is so amazing to connect with women who are going through the same thing.  People mean well, but typically they don't know what to say or do. BC women KNOW instinctively what each other needs.  I am so grateful.

I will take your advice on the book. I am really looking forward to reading it. I can tell you that my husband (although I know the book doesn't mean "husband" literally) has had a very hard time with my dx.  He went into total denial (even though I told him I knew it wasn't a death sentence) and he kind of shut down. He is better now, but seems to downplay everything. It hurts and annoys me.  He will be great AFTER the surgery because he will feel useful and relieved.

Thank you again for your love and support. I hope I can be a help to someone in the future.

XOXOXOX

Laurie

"My kids are my life. They are my purpose." Dx 3/21/2013, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/27/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Surgery 6/5/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 7/15/2013 Breast Dx 0/1 nodes
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Apr 18, 2013 09:33PM RMlulu wrote:

Laurie - the book is great! Read and mark what is important to you...then give to your hubby. Mine felt helpless and it was hard to explain just what I needed. He couldn't just fix me.
I earmarked the pages and gave him a job...he is the official appointment buddy...he reviews all my questions and writes down Drs answers...it helps to have his ears...because my head just goes.......
Lol your hubby will lol over and over watching everyone check out the girls bs feeling her over and over...love to watch his face.
Good Night Warrior you will be fine.
Cindy

Dx 12/18/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/22/2013 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/13/2013 Hormonal Therapy 5/31/2013 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Apr 19, 2013 05:58AM brooksidevt wrote:

Hi, Laurie.  I'm sorry to hear you'll be joining us, but as you already know, this is a wonderful resource and guide. 

Your surgeon, or maybe his nurse, should be able to give you a pretty good idea of how long you will be out; other hairdressers on this site might finetune their opinion.  For me, four days after my lumpectomy, I was very briefly outside chopping ice.  The lumpectomies (I had a second one for a benign lesion), on the same side as the shovel I was using, bothered me not at all.  The sentinel node incision site bothered me a lot, as it had done since day one, and continued to do so for weeks. The issue was that I could not find a garment that did not have a seam somewhere that irritated the incision.  Should this be an issue for you, perhaps you might be smarter than I was and ask for a dressing you can use just while you're working to protect that area.

The presurgical injections and wires help your surgeon identify your sentinel nodes and your tumor (you can read more about these procedures on the main site, or through some of these threads).  Lots of us here found them to be no big deal.  Most (but not all) radiologists use lidocaine as a matter of course, so I'd just suggest that you let them know (as I did) that you would like that injection.

Oh, and as you use your arm a lot, you probably want your surgeon to refer you right away to a lymphodema therapist who can give you guidance as to how to avoid any problems through overuse.

Dx 11/21/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/6/2013 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/20/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/3/2014 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 11/20/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 9/27/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 20, 2013 09:19AM debbiema wrote:

Had my lumpectomy on 4/18 and I feel amazingly well. I keep waiting for the worst pain, but it hasn't come yet!  I guess that's a good thing!  Doctor seemed optimistic and said he took 5 nodes with the sentinel biopsy and he thinks they will be negative, but we have to wait for final pathology.  I can only hope and pray for no nodes and clear margins!!  Sometimes when I move it sounds like water is in there.  Has anyone else experienced that?  Thanks in advance for anyone's comments!

Dx 3/28/2013, IDC, 1cm, Grade 2, 1/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/14/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/25/2013 Hormonal Therapy 10/14/2013
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Apr 20, 2013 10:33AM april485 wrote:

Debbiema, congrats on getting through your lumpectomy and will be keeping fingers crossed for clear margins and node negative! As for the "water" thing, you most likely have a seroma (I have one too) which gets reabsorbed by your body over time. It is just lots of fluid filled with white cells which rush to injury in some people. If it gets really big or uncomfortable, they can drain it, but mine has stayed stable and has even shrunk some and I had my last surgery on 3/11. Best to you moving forward!

"Fear has been a huge dictator in my life - so I am trying to stage a coup!" ~ a friend Dx 1/30/2013, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/20/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/10/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/21/2013 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 20, 2013 12:13PM nyama wrote:

Hi everyone--

Still feeling well after the lumpectomy and oncoplasty.  Almost no pain at all although this huge bandage wrapped around my chest is driving me crazy and itches sometimes.  I get it off Tuesday, thank goodness!  I can't wait to see what "the girls" look like now...smaller and lifted and ready for rads, lol.

But in more important news--got the pathology reports back.  Clean margins and clear nodes.  Yippee!  Still waiting on the oncotype results for the final word on whether or not I have to have chemo but so far, so good!

Hi LaurieParr!  As you already kinow, you came to the right place.  Hope all goes well for you.  I was scared to death to have the guided wire and pre-surgical nipple injections--I'd read a couple of bad stories. Honestly, though, it was a breeze.  I asked for a double dose of lidocaine for the wire insertion, and probably the lidocine injection hurt worse than the wire insertion, and that was nothing.  Barely felt the nipple injection at all.  Speaking from very recent experience, you'll feel SO good when this is behind you.  Just knowing that it's OUT!  What a relief!!

So glad for your NEGATIVE, encyclias!  And glad to hear your lumpectomy went well, debbiema!  

Oncotype Score: 0; 4/15/13, lumpectomy with bilateral oncoplasty (reduction mammaplasty) "I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become." - Carl Jung Dx 3/19/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/15/2013, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2013 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/10/2013 Hormonal Therapy 8/2/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Apr 20, 2013 12:24PM LaurieParr wrote:

Thank you all so very much ladies! You have even answered questions I didn't even ask yet. You are all amazing. Thank you! I'm so glad to hear that the recent Lumpectomies went well! We are all cheering for you and each other.

Thank you again for easing my mind on future procedures. :)

Love and blessings,
Laurie

"My kids are my life. They are my purpose." Dx 3/21/2013, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/27/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Surgery 6/5/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 7/15/2013 Breast Dx 0/1 nodes
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Apr 20, 2013 02:23PM LaurieParr wrote:

Brooksidevt, Nyama, Cindy, and RMlulu,
Thank you for sharing your experiences with me! What a relief to hear how it will go. Your input is priceless to me and my family.

I downloaded "The Breast Cancer Husband" last night and it is wonderful! I asked my husband to read the first few pages. He did and then handed it back. I said, " Don't you want to read more?" He just looked at me. I said, " Honey, this affects you too and I want to make sure that your feelings are being understood and met. ". He got teary eyed and said, "This isn't about me. All I want is for you to get well. That's all." I hugged him and said that it WAS about him too.

I decided that I am going to read the book for myself so maybe I can help him in some way. I want to be the best "Breast Cancer Wife" that I can.

Thank you all for everything. I hope your day is as wonderful as all of you.

God bless,
Laurie

"My kids are my life. They are my purpose." Dx 3/21/2013, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/27/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Surgery 6/5/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 7/15/2013 Breast Dx 0/1 nodes
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Apr 20, 2013 08:12PM debbiema wrote:

Thanks April845!  appreciate your help! Keeping fingers and toes crossed for no nodes and clean margins!  Gonna be a long few days.

Dx 3/28/2013, IDC, 1cm, Grade 2, 1/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/14/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/25/2013 Hormonal Therapy 10/14/2013

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