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Topic: September 2019 surgery support group

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

Posted on: Aug 14, 2019 08:39AM

JenInMass wrote:

Hi all! I'm still pretty new here but I just got the call yesterday with my next surgery date and thought I'd go ahead and start a thread for September as I'm sure I'm not the only one who has or is expecting a September date at this point.

I am having a nipple-sparing mastectomy of my left breast plus tissue expander placement on 9/10. This will be my 3rd surgery this year. I had an excisional biopsy in June (after 2 failed attempts at a core needle biopsy), followed by re-excision and sentinel lymph node biopsy in July since the first surgery had DCIS in all margins in addition to the small mass they were going after that turned out to be IDC. The second surgery was good news on the lymph node front but still did not have clean margins, and there was a second slightly larger IDC mass that hadn't shown up on any of the imaging (multiple mammograms, ultrasound, and MRI). So, mastectomy it is.

Anyone else getting ready for a September surgery? I like that the August group has a list of everyone's surgery dates updated in the first post; I can do that here as well if people would like that.

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Sep 10, 2019 06:36AM Lucy55 wrote:

Thinking of all you girls who are having your surgeries now ..and praying all goes well for everyone ...I'll be looking to hear how you all went ..Mine's not until 16 th ..I wish I could get it over with ..hugs to all

Dx 8/27/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2014
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Sep 10, 2019 09:32AM cathy67 wrote:

Leaving for hospital now.

Dx 08/06/2019, IDC, Right, Grade1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 10, 2019 10:02AM Masowers wrote:

Good luck today sister’s! Praying for good results! Had my lumpectomy and SNB yesterday. All done under general. Feeling good today. Only taking Aleve. Best news I could have asked for: lymph nodes negative and tumor margins clear! Feeling blessed and grateful!

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Sep 10, 2019 10:12AM purple-flower wrote:

good luck all!!

I woke up now wondering if I should have pushed for Diep reconstruction instead of implants. UGH! PS said not enough belly fat for same size so could do but would be smaller (I am pretty small already). I was scared of the mega procedure so felt relived at the time and went forward w implant plan. Now thinking that silicone inside is so scary and maybe should have sucked it up and done longer diep surgery sucky in the short term but better long term. oh I am now conflicted. I could not change immediately surely would mean a mega reschedule from tomorrow's plan. any words of advice??


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Sep 10, 2019 10:43AM HopeWins wrote:

Purple flower - its totally normal to question decisions but if your heart was steering you away from the DIEP, maybe you should stay the course.

I had DIEP August 22nd. Recovery is no joke. I don't regret it, but I had more boob than abdomen and I'm looking at myself thinking - how am I ever going to feel like myself again, like i feel like i have two half boobs. It will all work out fine and I'm going to try to be patient and will let my PS rebuild, but I'm telling you this because there's no perfect answer.

Both surgeries come with their share of pros and cons. Are you getting tissue expanders? If so, you can always change to delayed DIEP instead of swapping for implants at the next surgery. Lots of women do this, especially if they are planning rads. Also, if you were planning direct to implant but are REALLY conflicted about recon method, you might be able to ask for TEs instead and not impact the surgery schedule.

And another option, if you hate your implants, you can have DIEP in a few years when u have more fluff to spareWinking

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Sep 10, 2019 11:00AM - edited Sep 10, 2019 11:10AM by purple-flower

Hi Hope

thanks for the reply..it made me smile. 😊 and I really needed that. I am having tissue expanders first. so they could do diep later? that's good to know. and yeah don't know the next step plan yet... will know after surgery and path report. geez... this is hard on so many levels. today is dye shot and tomorrow 8am surgery scheduled. the most important part is to get that sucker out of my body so can't lose sight of that. sigh.

ok onto the day.. thanks again


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Sep 10, 2019 12:20PM purple-flower wrote:

Masowers that is awesome news!!!! yay! wishing you a speedy recovery.

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Sep 10, 2019 12:21PM - edited Sep 10, 2019 04:57PM by purple-flower

good luck Cathy 67!!

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Sep 10, 2019 01:08PM Lucy55 wrote:

Masowers ...That's great !!!!

Cathy ..Thinking of you !

Dx 8/27/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2014
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Sep 10, 2019 02:43PM HopeWins wrote:

Yup, Purple flower, lots of delayed DIEP. If my SNB was positive my PS would have put in tissue expanders and planned for delayed DIEP. He doesn't like to radiate healthy tissue so the flap transfer would have happened after rads.

You can take your time and heal and research in your down time. I would just recommend you find a PS who is highly skilled in DIEP for a consult. Not sure where you're located but I'm sure you can get recommendations here.

Best of luck with your surgery!

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Sep 10, 2019 03:07PM ChaClarey wrote:

Best to you Cathy6

Dx 8/16/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Sep 10, 2019 03:23PM ChaClarey wrote:

Great news Masowers.

Dx 8/16/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Sep 10, 2019 07:28PM purple-flower wrote:

Hi y'all.

Ok, just back from the dye shot and thought I'd report back. It was really quick. No numbing and shot into breast, so yes, hurt, but literally for 10 seconds. She had me count and it was done and fine by 10. I am officially spiderwoman now (radioactive... get it?). Trying not to let breath get away from me, and just moving forward through the motions today. Hospital arrival 6:30am tomorrow w/8am surgery scheduled. Bye for now.

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Sep 10, 2019 09:34PM kim49 wrote:

Hey all! My 1st post. My whole journey started August 19th with a mammogram. I've had an ultrasound & biopsy. IDC, lymph nodes look clear on the ultrasound. I am having a mastectomy on Sept. 16th of my left breast. The cancer is in more than one quadrant so makes more sense to do a full mastectomy. They'll take a few lymph nodes to test. I'm not doing reconstruction right away as the wait to do both is longer because of coordinating 2 surgeons schedules, at least 2 months. I had my pre-op appointment this morning. I don't know if my pathology report came in yet. I need to call my oncology coordinator tomorrow so I will ask then.

I still can't believe all of this is happening to be honest.

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Sep 10, 2019 10:51PM Lucy55 wrote:

Kim...I'm having a left breast mastectomy on Sept 16 th as well ..it's a lot to take in when first diagnosed..it's good that the nodes appear clean on the ultrasound !

Spider-Woman ..good luck for tomorrow !

Dx 8/27/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2014
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Sep 10, 2019 11:20PM Moderators wrote:

Welcome, Kim49! We're so sorry you find yourself here, but you've definitely come to the right place for support as you begin down this road. Best of luck on your upcoming surgery, we're all thinking of you!

The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Sep 11, 2019 07:07AM purple-flower wrote:

JenninMass - I hope everything went really well for you, and you are resting and healing peacefully!!!! Today is my day. Yikes. Trying not to totally panic. It's mechanics day today - just cut out the sucker!!! More later. Bye for now!!!

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Sep 11, 2019 07:13AM purple-flower wrote:

Ok everyone... today is the day. 6:30am arrival to hospital, 8am surgery scheduled to start. Last night was terrible - felt overwhelmed, sad, panicky, hoping not to be sick today as not totally feeling great yesterday, etc. Up now at 4:10am drinking this yucky stuff they gave me and getting myself psyched up. Today I am more oriented toward just moving on. It's a done deal now... no looking back. It's the right thing to do. Now just waiting for the momma pathology report will be hard.

On a different note, I bought 2 big beautiful cupcakes for family dessert last night, as kind of a joke and a goodbye party.... when I bought them I thought it was funny, but then well, not quite as lighthearted as I thought when serving, and it all felt a bit tragic to me. Oh well. Family seemed to take it well and they have been amazing (2 kids - twins almost 13!). Ok, time to sign off. More later.


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Sep 11, 2019 07:39AM Lucy55 wrote:

JenninMas..hoping everything went really well for you !

P-F...not long now ! Soon you'll be on "the other side "...where I wish I was !!!...The night before is very stressful ...I remember last time ..and I'm sure it will be just as stressful this time .Looking forward to hearing good news from you !!!

Dx 8/27/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2014
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Sep 11, 2019 03:00PM cathy67 wrote:

Thanks all sisters!

I am back. Now praying for margin negative and node negative. The post-op appointment will be October 1.

This morning, I went out for a walk, and will walk again later today.

Pray for the upcoming surgeries.

Dx 08/06/2019, IDC, Right, Grade1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 11, 2019 03:13PM - edited Sep 11, 2019 03:13PM by Iknewit

Purple-flower, I hope everything went well, and you're healing well. I've been reading your posts, they have given me insight a s strength. Thinking of you.

Hope everyone is well and hanging in there. I find my nights are the worst, I have the toughest time after i put my 5 year old to bed. I try to meditate, but constantly feel overwhelmed. Iam planning his 6th bday party for this weekend. I sort of went all out, as planning parties is my fave pass time. It still doesn't really keep my mind off of things.

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Sep 11, 2019 03:44PM Lucy55 wrote:

Iknewit ..yes ! Nights are the worst ..too much time to think.!.I hope your son's party goes well ...and you both have fun..This is my last weekend before surgery Monday ..so I've planned a busy one too...to keep my mind occupied...Have friends coming to dinner Friday night , going out to see the new Downton Abbey movie on Saturday..and all the family coming for lunch Sunday..I'll be so pleased to have this surgery over and done with ! I suffer anxiety at the best if times !

PF...hope you are resting easy ..and all is good !

Dx 8/27/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2014
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Sep 11, 2019 04:55PM vmb wrote:

Surgery for me is scheduled 9/18 -- exactly one week from today. Funny, the last time I remember being this nervous, counting down weeks and days was my wedding. So tragic that the emotions are so different now.

Left mastectomy with right reconstruction planned and I pray that all goes well. I've never been so nervous for anything in my life.

Would be interested to hear from everyone who has had surgery this month already. Was it as bad as you thought?

Love to you all. x

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Sep 11, 2019 05:24PM aaoz19 wrote:

Hi Everyone,

I finished my chemo on 8/30/19. I'm scheduled for a lumpectomy and SNB on 9/23. They will be putting the radioactive seed in the morning of my surgery and using the blue dye as well. I will have follow-up with surgeon and oncologist on 10/11. Hope everyone is doing well - prayers for all!

Dx 3/29/2019, IDC, Right, Stage IIIA, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/16/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/22/2019 Lumpectomy: Right
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Sep 11, 2019 06:27PM Iknewit wrote:

Lucy- so glad you planned your weekend well. Enjoy it and try to release the tension, but easier said.

Vmb - it's soo nerve racking, the last time I had this feeling was before having my son, but then I calmed down and it was over. This time the emotion is different, but the butterflies are the same. I hope everything turns out well for you, sending good vibes.

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Sep 11, 2019 07:02PM JenInMass wrote:

Glad to hear your surgeries went well, masowers and cathy67! I hope things went well for Trying2bepositive yesterday and purple-flower today!

I had my mastectomy yesterday and according to my surgeons everything went well, and looked good when they stopped by this morning. I've got to say, it was all a little rougher than I'd expected -- the nurse who did my IV messed up and I lost some blood and passed out, so there was what felt like a really long time getting my heart rate and blood pressure back up to a normal range and stabilized. But the surgery before me in my assigned OR ran long, so my issue didn't actually delay things anymore than they were already being delayed. I was a little emotional about this one...had some tears leaking out as they wheeled me into the OR.

And then I vomited/retched multiple times in my room afterwards, which didn't help the soreness and pain. Not going to lie, around 2 am I was thinking "there is no way I am going to be able to go home as scheduled, I am going to need at least another day." But then the nausea finally calmed down, I got a couple of hours of sleep uninterrupted by vital signs checks or my IV alarm going off (that is LOUD when it runs out of fluid) and once the sun came up and I got some breakfast, I was feeling much better and started getting antsy to go home. Finally got home around 1:30 pm, just about 24 hours after going into the OR.

I'm also now the proud owner of two pink surgical bras with dangling rings to hold the drains. (Woke up in one, they gave me an extra to take home.) Not exactly the alluring lingerie I would prefer for my wedding anniversary this week (great timing, huh?). We'll have to have a makeup celebration later this fall....

I have a follow-up with my plastic surgeon tomorrow. My husband goes back to work on Friday; my dad is coming up to spend the day with me on Friday, which is especially nice as he's had his own recent medical issues and is very happy to be recovered and able to be helpful.

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Sep 11, 2019 07:41PM Lucysbff wrote:

hi all,

1st post, but have been following this site for a while now, and have found it to be super helpful. My surgery is September 20 (bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction-pre pectoral implants). Really looking forward to getting the surgery over with, but thanks to reading about everyone’s experience, I feel so much more prepared.

Good luck to those having surgery and best wishes to those recovering

Dx 6/9/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/1/2019, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Sep 11, 2019 09:16PM - edited Sep 11, 2019 09:19PM by Lucy55

JenninMas...Good Grief !!! That would of been terrible with the IV !!! Glad to hear your are home safe and sound now ..Did they give you anything to try and stop the vomitting ?

Trying ...I hope everything has gone well ...and your resting comfortably ..

PF ..Thinking of you !

Lucysbff and aaoz19 and vmb ..welcome aboard ..we can all chew our nails together ...and there is some comfort in that !

Dx 8/27/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2014
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Sep 11, 2019 10:58PM cathy67 wrote:

Hi JenInMass,

My toughest time is the nausea when I waked up, and the nurse in the recovery room rushed me out, but she suggested that I can stay on a wheelchair outside on the hallway, then I agreed, then when I felt a bit better, my husband drove me home.

It felt better today, and I can almost handle everything myself, my husband took over all the housework.

It is time that I move over to the next step of this forum, before that, pray for the upcoming September surgeries, for the other ladies here.

Dx 08/06/2019, IDC, Right, Grade1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 12, 2019 11:44AM purple-flower wrote:

Ladies!! It's over. I'm alive! ha ha 😊 Cathy Trying and JenninMass SO happy you are done too but I am so sorry how difficult some of the steps were Jenn. Geesh like it wasn't difficult enough!! And hi to new people here. Very sorry you are here but we will get through it together. As you can tell from my crazy posts, all thoughts emotions fears are ok here. no judgement only love and support (and agreement!)

In general all went ok. I was definitely teary on and off while being prepped for surgery and nervous. but I really loved my surgeons so having them around to talk to before was very helpful. Everyone on staff was so nice. Wheeling into the surgery room felt like a turning point in life...metaphorically going through those double doors onto the next phase of life.

I went in about 8:30am and out in recovery around 1. Believe it or not I went home about 4:30. Gotta admit the wheelchair ride to the car was pretty awful and I barfed before getting in but drive was ok. my mom bought me an awesome pillow and it was great. slept all day yesterday and felt like crap overall I think mostly from the anaesthesia. 2 drains - one on each side- and not so bad. Got one of those little belts with pocket on each side that seems to work well and it's comfortable. really interesting that I have no bandages and no bra on. Totally open w surgical tape on incisioms under boobs and under arm fom SN removal. PS said she wants me to see it all and monitor for any swelling. super strange looking but better than I expected. they were able to do nipple sparing and the whole skin so just look deflated bruised and lumpy due to the expanders. It feels like the expanders are the worst part for pain now. I am pretty sore. took narcotics all night round the clock and just tried Tylenol to not be completely wiped out. will see if strong enough. I am pretty sore.

Husband is doing everything for.me literally. The hardest thing so far is pushing myself up in bed like to sit up higher. can t quite figure out how to do it since I usually push up with arm muscles on bed. Anyway clearly I have lots of time on my hands now so rambling. I will sign off for now. OH and upon initial look during surgery lymph node looks clear. that was good news and I am very anxious to get results back 7-10 days they say.

Hang in there everyone coming up!!! this too shall pass. sending love and light.


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