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Jul 28, 2020 05:42PM
Jul 29, 2020 03:43AM
Hi, all, I had my DCIS treated two years ago and would like to share my thoughts.
When I was first diagnosed, I did a lot of research on DCIS and felt strongly that it is being overtreated. However, did I want to take a chance? Of course not.
Since my DCIS involved my nipple, which had to be removed whether I chose lumpectomy or mastectomy, I chose mastectomy. Also, as a benefit, I needed NO hormone pills or radiation by going that route. When my doctor first presented me with my options, I was horrified at the word "mastectomy". Like many, I felt that was a drastic option and a road I did not want to go down. The doctor even presented double mastectomy as an option, and the benefits for going that route. I thought she was out of her mind. A double mastectomy as an option for something that odds are would never turn to cancer? So naturally I sought a second opinion. It was confirmed the nipple would have to go, along with 1/3 of my breast. At that point, a mastectomy didn't sound so much worse. So I went along with mastectomy with breast reconstruction.
However, while waiting the required months with the tissue expander, I found I just did not like the psychological feeling of a foreign object in my body. I informed my doctor I wanted the expander removed and no reconstruction. But now I am faced with always having to wear my fake boob, so as not to throw my spine out of whack due to more weight on one side. It's not the end of the world, but I wonder if the double mastectomy would have been so bad after all. I lost one, what difference does it make? As of now, I have to get a mammography for the whole breast and see a breast surgeon for the mastectomized breast to be sure of no new growths. That's another thing I was not aware of -- you need to see a breast surgeon for preventive checkups with a mastectomy.
Anyway, sometimes I feel I should have just gotten the double M, as drastic as that sounds. As anyone who has gone through this will agree, I'm sure, it takes going through the whole experience before you can really decide what would have been best for you and what would have made you most comfortable.
To answer your specific questions:
Question for ladies who had: Single mastectomy (without reconstruction), sentinel nodes removed:
1. How long did it take you to recover from single breast mastectomy- without reconstruction? How did you feel 2 weeks out? One month out? Two months? What was the recovery process like? How soon could you drive?
I may be unique here, but the morning after my mastectomy I felt fine. NO pain (I was on meds of course). I remember asking my doctor why am I not in any pain? He said he makes sure they give patients enough pain meds before any pain starts in order to stay ahead of the pain.
2. Also, how long did stiffness? numbness? pain? last? after your mastectomy?
I stopped taking the pain meds after 4-5 days. I have no recollection of ever being bothered by uncomfortableness. Again, this is me....I also had no issues or bruising with the biopsy.
3. How long dis your drains have to stay in?
I remember having to measure the discharge during the day, and when it consistently stayed below a certain amount, it was ready to come out. I think mine was in for 1-2 weeks, but I also remember it was removed too early, because when they “inflated” the expander, I experienced a lot of leaking, and they had to drain me for about an hour. I also remember feeling a bit of pressure before that and it getting more annoying by the day. But after that forced draining, I felt total relief andthere were no more issues.
3/15/2018, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+
5/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement
5/29/2018, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+