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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 18, 2019 07:45PM IBJUSTFINE67 wrote:

Halezema...

I was just relieved to enter that darn hospital. I felt like saying FINALLY. I am 6 weeks out and still so proud of myself and I am so proud of you. Sending you virtual peace tonight.

XO,

Colleen

Colleen Shaw Dx 7/9/2019, IDC, Right, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 7/19/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 8/11/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Sep 18, 2019 07:52PM IBJUSTFINE67 wrote:

Yes, I didn't know about the stitches until they finally took my left drain out 3weeks later.

Colleen Shaw Dx 7/9/2019, IDC, Right, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 7/19/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 8/11/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Sep 18, 2019 07:58PM IBJUSTFINE67 wrote:

Yes, I didn't know about the stitches until they finally took my left drain out 3weeks later.

All of you Septembers, hope you don't mind me bouncing in but as an August 12th.....I just want you all to know there is so much hope and joy to come. You 1 weekers....omg....please please keep taking the good pain killers.....it claims your muscles, relieves tension, not the time to tough it out. Do you all have reclining chairs? In missouri, we have "the healing chair". You sleep in it for the first 2 weeks. Kept my drains in a good place but if your drain is constantly hurting? Call your nurse navigator. Hope, not sure if you were the same way but I only had a tiny bit of pain with just one and that was week 3. By the 3rd week you little sweeties will feel better but YOU HAVE TO lay low.....it pays off...trust me. Wish we could take this all away for you guys♡ xoxo, Colleen



Colleen Shaw Dx 7/9/2019, IDC, Right, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 7/19/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 8/11/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Sep 18, 2019 08:24PM HopeWins wrote:

these September ladies are rock stars! Thank u Colleen for coming in to support.

I have to admit, my drains hurt. I hated them. I only had them for 9 days. I had DIEP and the abdominal drains were the worst, getting caught on everything, pulling, dragging and making me feel like a science experiment. The breast drains weren't quite as bad, so hopefully that's all most are dealing with. That being said, PF said someone made an adjustment to her drain that left her in pain, and I agree that warrants a call to the PS.

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Sep 18, 2019 09:33PM IBJUSTFINE67 wrote:

Yes, I didn't know about the stitches until they finally took my left drain out 3weeks later.

All of you Septembers, hope you don't mind me bouncing in but as an August 12th.....I just want you all to know there is so much hope and joy to come. You 1 weekers....omg....please please keep taking the good pain killers.....it claims your muscles, relieves tension, not the time to tough it out. Do you all have reclining chairs? In missouri, we have "the healing chair". You sleep in it for the first 2 weeks. Kept my drains in a good place but if your drain is constantly hurting? Call your nurse navigator. Hope, not sure if you were the same way but I only had a tiny bit of pain with just one and that was week 3. By the 3rd week you little sweeties will feel better but YOU HAVE TO lay low.....it pays off...trust me. Wish we could take this all away for you guys♡ xoxo, Colleen


JLIMO...please, you are not complaining. This forum is for ALL of us!!! What you went through is A LOT. We don't want all the extra stuff!!! This is good news♡♡♡



Colleen Shaw Dx 7/9/2019, IDC, Right, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 7/19/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 8/11/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Sep 19, 2019 06:55AM Belinda977 wrote:

I jumped over here too (my DMX was 8/29). You ladies have this! I am three weeks out today and getting better every day. I had direct implants so still getting used to the new body and my drains have been out a week now. Still dealing with tightness but it's getting better. I had radiation treatment 7 years on my left so that side is slower to heal but we will get there.

Belinda Dx 4/23/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/17/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 7/30/2012 Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/18/2012 Dx 7/25/2019, DCIS, Right, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+ Dx 8/29/2019, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Sep 19, 2019 07:35AM ChaClarey wrote:

Good Morning Septembers’

Morning after surgery. Feeling ok with a little pain. My surgery was lumpectomy so not as difficult as some on this board, so it’s probably all relative. I was able to eat some toast yesterday evening went to sleep at 5:30 and woke at 11:30 pm and was able to go to washroom with some assistance. I took pain medicine then and slept til 4:30am. A nurse will come in today to check dressing. So far so good.

Best wishes to all.

Dx 8/16/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (DUAL) Surgery 9/18/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Sep 19, 2019 07:41AM HopeWins wrote:

chaClarey - lumpectomy is usually no big deal but SNB is painful. Let yourself heal and take it easy. Range of motion and arm pit pain is no joke with SNB.

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Sep 19, 2019 08:05AM ChaClarey wrote:

Thank you for advice Hope Wins. I will take all I can get :). This is a whole new world.

Dx 8/16/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (DUAL) Surgery 9/18/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Sep 19, 2019 08:06AM Lucy55 wrote:

Cha..glad your survey went well ...and your recovery is going well !

Belinda ..good to hear you're feeling better too !

I'm still in hospital ..going home tomorrow with a drain in ...ugh ...but very happy to be going home !!

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 19, 2019 09:05AM MrsG83 wrote:

morning after here too. Just an excisional biopsy. The week long wait for answers I expect will be far more challenging than the surgery itself.

The procedure went well. I have a mass that is 3cm and growing. It was core biopsied as benign this past December but removed because it grew at recent follow up. Also, core biopsy stated “benign breast tissue with focal fat necrosis”. My BS says that it should have diagnosed it as what it was (ie: fibroadenoma or phyllodes). The fact that it simply said benign breast tissue makes her suspicious that the sample was missed.

Fun stuff!


Will update with results next week. Thanks for reading and good luck to everyone

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Sep 19, 2019 09:19AM Lucy55 wrote:

MrsG83..hope your pathology comes back benign.

Trying ...thinking of you ...how are 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 19, 2019 11:33AM - edited Sep 19, 2019 01:00PM by purple-flower

Hi all

Just checking in to say hi and that I love hearing how everyone is healing. And thanks for the tips on relaxing etc. I am totally laying low I swear... but should I be doing some things for range of motion? (Right side had SNR). doing nothing now as mom and husband won't let me lift or really do anything...

I am 8 days today from BMX surgery w expanders in. Drains are killing me. Pressing down on ribs and side and just hurting! One on each side. The left is clearing and seems to be slowing. The right is still dark red blood and lots collecting. I am so frustrated. I want them out and needs to be 3 days less than 30ml. Also had 2 mega bleeds on right side (Sat and Mon) that ultimately stopped but worried that something is up there. Have been to PS office 2x already for check and she seems to be not concerned but thinking of going again today. How long are these $,@<{amp;@ers going to stay in???

Also I know that getting closer to when pathology report will be ready and that slight fear and anxiety feeling is starting to rise.

Starting to get frustrated here in California.

PF


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Sep 19, 2019 04:25PM Belinda977 wrote:

Purple Flow -- Had 4 drains. The first two came out 5 days after surgery. The last two were pulled two weeks after surgery. Hang in there!

Belinda Dx 4/23/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/17/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 7/30/2012 Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/18/2012 Dx 7/25/2019, DCIS, Right, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+ Dx 8/29/2019, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Sep 19, 2019 07:45PM HopeWins wrote:

PF - drains really do vary. Mine were all out on day 9 but one was borderline. I got lucky. Some folks have them in for 3w.

Range of motion - yes. I went home with exercises I was to do each day. I have to admit, I did them for few days but I could feel the drains move inside me when I did them and it hurt and made me nauseous to feel them move. I had a full-on toddler fit after 4 days and refused to do them again until the drains were out, lol.

Let me see if I can find them online. I know one was just hands on hips, deep breaths, puffing out chest. Another was reaching out your arms in front and then pulling back, drawing shoulders together behind, then one was raising arms up to the side until they were shoulder height. Start with 3 reps and add a rep each day, hold to count of 5 I think. I'll confirm if I can find them. Also, was told to try to walk each day. I typically walk on my treadmill to avoid convos/questions from neighborsWinking.

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Sep 19, 2019 07:48PM HopeWins wrote:

also, PF - what is your daily output per drain? They want to see the amount trending down and my PS wanted <30cc for at least 48h before pulling. Can't speak to color/blood though and whether or not that matters. Mine got progressively lighter but if it's still full on blood, idk. They might want them in longer.

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Sep 19, 2019 07:52PM purple-flower wrote:

Thanks guys! These drains suck, and I totally agree w/you Hope re: neighbors! I walked around the block w/husband today and pre-warned him that we are NOT stopping to chit chat w/anyone we see! I feel like I totally want to avoid other people until at least drains are out. I feel like such a mess too.

On another annoying note - developing an extra sore area past the expander, under armpit incision - puffed up a bit and sore. I'm hoping nothing leaking inside there or seroma or whatever. That is same side I had that crazy bleeding so I'm hyper worried. Sounds like that can happen. I feel the edge of the expander, and the drain there too, but then beyond that area feels sore and puffy. Not like that on other side. Everyone thinks it's fine and that I'm now looking for things to worry about, (grrr) but it feels like new sore/puffiness to me. So, I just made appt to go back in tomorrow for PS to take a look. ho hum.

So, that's the afternoon *annoyed* update. Hope you are all doing well out there.

PF



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Sep 19, 2019 08:04PM HopeWins wrote:

Unfiltered... the side boob/underarm area is a shit show. Completely unexpected. I'm 4w out today and it's still the worst part. I had Diep and that's where they made the vessel connection but I was convinced I had a seroma under my arm for about a week. Not so sure now but it's the most swollen/sorest and i didn't expect that.

I feel like I've been walking around like George W Bush with his arms bowed out, like a body builder, lol

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Sep 19, 2019 08:39PM purple-flower wrote:

ha ha ha.. yes! my right side feels so much broader/sore/puffy than other side. I have the expanders there AND the drain entrance and going round. ugh.

I'm going back in tomorrow to see what they think. I am fine if it's just extra sore there, but I'd like to know if extra fluid building up like between skin & expander, or under expander... and then the incision area also hard-ish under. It really feels like every time I have things mostly under control and managed, another crap thing develops. And I still don't have results so don't know what lies ahead either. That's where wine comes in.. oh right, that's out grrrrr. Sorry to be Debby-downer today. I'm losing my patience despite binge-watching some fun tv shows today and a nice walk around the block. This underarm soreness is totally in my awareness so bringing me down.

PF

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Sep 19, 2019 08:58PM HopeWins wrote:

Wine is out?...whoops. Didn't get the memo, lol! In all honesty, I didn't touch it while on narcotics and don't even like to combine with NSAIDs but I WILL indulge to allow myself to breath deep, watch the sunset, pet my dog and be grateful for another day with the family. It's not that I cant do those things without wine, but it makes it sweeter, lol. YOLO!

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Sep 19, 2019 09:28PM purple-flower wrote:

ha! yeah still taking pain killers so trying to avoid alcohol. But can't wait and your enjoyment sounds wonderful!

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Sep 20, 2019 01:46AM Lucy55 wrote:

Hmmm..came home from hospital today with antibiotics ( woke up with a temp again this morning...ugh ) and pain-killers ...Hmm..now I'm wondering if I'd be better off foregoing the meds and just having wine 🥂 ???

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 20, 2019 06:34AM Belinda977 wrote:

Day 2 after stopping pain killers......I had wine. LOL

Belinda Dx 4/23/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/17/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 7/30/2012 Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/18/2012 Dx 7/25/2019, DCIS, Right, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+ Dx 8/29/2019, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Sep 20, 2019 09:28AM ChaClarey wrote:

Day 2 post surgery. I had my last pain killer at 3pm yesterday and took extra strength Tylenol at 7pm and 3am. Slept fairly well but up for a couple hours 3-5am. I had my first coffee post surgery and it was divine. I did my post op exercises for first time and feel exhausted as if I ran 5k. A little stretching discomfort but no sharp pain. I will keep taking Tylenol,but if pain returns I will go back to painkillers. My oncology nurse told me exercise was non negotiable and then she told my partner no cooking, cleaning, laundry for a year was non negotiable. Lol. I speak to my surgeon today so am feeling a little anxious. I think just post op discussion and not pathology. I looked in mirror today with bra off and there’s a noticeable difference already and swelling has not even gone down. Even though I knew this in my head still a bit of a gut punch. It’s so good to have a place to say this stuff out loud. All the best to all of you

Dx 8/16/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (DUAL) Surgery 9/18/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Sep 20, 2019 11:08AM G1973 wrote:

hello all! I am new to this thread. I started my treatment with chemo and had my dmx on Wednesday. What is normal output per drain. Is it for the whole day? Or each time you empty them. PS said to empty 3 tines a day. Any help would be appreciated! ❤️❤️

Dx 4/24/2019, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 5/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/7/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Sep 20, 2019 12:42PM purple-flower wrote:

Hi all

Lucy - I had low fever for 3 days and it did go away, so as long as it doesn't go up, I heard it's ok and part of normal body response to the trauma. Also, surgeons told me make sure to do some deep breathing during the day to get oxygen flowing as lungs can cause this reaction also post-surgery. It is totally disconcening though, I understand!!

ChaClarey - what exercises are you doing? I haven't felt at all up for arm exercises at all until just now (about a week later).

G1973 - how many drains do you have? I have 2 (one each side). We empty them about 3x per day (morning, mid day, before bed). My PS wants 3 days of less than 30ml TOTAL (for the whole day) before she will take them out. I've got one side totally cooperating 1 week out. The other side is still more and darker blood. sigh. they suck! I've been running about 50ml-ish per day, but I think every person is different and I had some rogue internal bleeding also on day 3/4.

And, WINE! mmmmmm....can't wait! Almost there.

Feeling a little better and stronger here (and a bit less sore) it's day 9 today! - bleh. still plan to lay low through the weekend. Hoping drains will come out at follow-up appt next Tues. That will be a huge step forward. Waiting for pathology results any day now - anxious.

Happy Friday!

PF


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Sep 20, 2019 12:50PM lisad1221 wrote:

Hello,

I am new here. Diagnosed in early August. I have Invasive Mucinous Carcinoma, Grade 2, Stage 1 -

I had genetic testing and it was negative, my HER2 status is negative as well.

Next Thursday I am scheduled for a Left seed localized Lumpectomy and sentinel Lymph Node biopsy

I have never had surgery of any kind before, and I am very scared, though trying to remain calm for those around me.

I am 53, overweight but generally healthy otherwise. I feel like I've lost control - like everything is moving so very fast now and I am scared. I even have an pre anesthesia test beforehand.

Any experiences would be greatly appreciate.

Thank you.

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Sep 20, 2019 12:52PM ChaClarey wrote:

Hello Purple Flower,

I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy and have no drains. I was given a booklet with some exercises to start day or 2 after surgery. They were shoulder rolls and lifts, clasping hands together in front and raising above my head, squeezing shoulder blades together and arm lifts of surgery side. 10-20 reps of each. Speedy recovery :

Dx 8/16/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (DUAL) Surgery 9/18/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Sep 20, 2019 12:58PM - edited Sep 20, 2019 12:59PM by G1973

purple flower – yes I have four drains two on each side. The drains are still drawing red. I do have one that has more yellow tin


Dx 4/24/2019, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 5/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/7/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/17/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Sep 20, 2019 01:07PM ChaClarey wrote:

Hello Lisad1221,

I just has lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy on the 18th. I am 50 years old and hadn’t been in hospital for 22 years and that was when my daughter was born. I was a hot mess as surgery got closer and the day of even worse. I just wanted to curl in fetal position and sleep. The day was long as I needed to go early for sentinel node locator procedure before surgery. The hospital staff were all really kind as they sensed my anxiety. I can honestly say when I woke from anesthetic I felt better. People told me I probably would but I didn’t believe them. There is probably nothing I can say that will make you feel better right now, but you will get through it just like I did and many others on this site. Good luck to you and just feel however you want to feel. No wrong doors :).

Ps this site has been great comfort to me since my diagnosis in August.

Dx 8/16/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (DUAL) Surgery 9/18/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel

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