Join Us

We are 224,419 members in 83 forums discussing 163,542 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

Topic: dmx surgery living alone

Forum: Singles With Breast Cancer —

Singles with breast cancer who want to connect.

Posted on: Apr 18, 2015 11:03AM

December wrote:

hello and blessings to all sisters out there! May 6th I will be having dmx with te and I live alone/unemployed /55 years old and also suffer from daily chronic migrain. Money is an issue!. Daughter will take me and bring me home from over night hospital stay .. but she has 2 kids under 3 ... so I will be alone during recovery... is this double?. Assuming I'm prepared in advance?. I've lived alone for many years now now. Has anyone else done this alone?. Advice?


Thanks and blessings to us all

Jeri in Tennessee

"Be still and know that I am God" Dx 2/2/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

Page 1 of 2 (51 results)

Posts 1 - 30 (51 total)

Log in to post a reply

Apr 18, 2015 01:17PM inks wrote:

I think it's doable. Some people find drains hard to do by themselves but while you are at the hospital you could explain to the nurse that you will be recovering alone and would she let you do the drains under her supervision already at the hospital by yourself. That way you will find out if you can handle the drains. Make sure you put any food or supplies you might need at a counter level since it will be hard to lift your arms at first. I was not alone but I cared for myself since husband was managing the kids and the household. I even made my own food since I did not like the foods they were eating. You will not be able to drive while you are on painkillers or even a little longer if you find it difficult to move your arms - so you will need your daughters help with that.

36 at DX, BRCA1+, multifocal/multicentric, 18 tumors, LVI Dx 8/21/2013, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/12/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 4/13/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 2/15/2015 Aromasin (exemestane)
Log in to post a reply

Apr 18, 2015 01:51PM Juliecc wrote:

I had your exact surgery and I was able to put around and do everything myself the next day. I did let my mom help me strip the drains but i could have done it myself if she wasn't there. You probably shouldn't drive the first couple of weeks. What inks said, put everything you need within reach. You can't be doing any reaching, pushing, or pulling. Ask that your meds don't have childproof caps that are impossible to open after this surgery. Can your daughter check in on you each day? The only difficult thing besides the drains was taking a shower with the drains. I had a lanyard and I safety pinned the drains to that. Still, taking a shower was a chore. Just do things in slow motion and you should be ok.

Julie, age 49. Oncotype DX 12. Dx 2/3/2014, IDC, 1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/10/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2014 Surgery 8/8/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/22/2015 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
Log in to post a reply

May 1, 2015 02:36AM December wrote:

Juliecc - I guess I've re-read your post 10 times and I thank you for your insights. I'm wondering about little things like, will I be able to open the frige door? Scoop icecream? Climb in and out of bed (put weight on my arms?) Like now, I'm laying in bed, proped up on my left elbow typing on my tablet...will that be possible? I think I can manage a shower - but I won't be able to lift my arms to wash my hair, right? (I was even thinking of getting a cheap raincoat and cutting the lower half off and the lower sleeves off!)...

Will I be able to poor a glass of milk or juice or soda? Maybe I should have several glasses pre-filled...Good thing I love water! Will I be able to get a pizza out of the oven?

I just don't know - and May 6th is almost here. My daughter will be with me at the Hospital and 1st day home. And I'll have friends to check on me each day and run to the store for me - but basically I'll be on my own unless something urgent happens.

Fortunetly, I've got a great big screen TV with lots of Movie channels, several books I haven't started, and tons of computer work I need to catch up on for both work and home (I don't really "work" much - basiclly unemployed for over a year (daily chronic tension migraines...fun fun) but I still do a few things for a little extra cash, pocket money).

And I have my hobbies, genealogy, Bible studies, etc.

I just worry that the little things like picking up a jar of peanut butter is going to be a pain! Pun intended.

Great idea about no child proof med bottles...But what scares me is gee, if I won't be able to open a medicine bottle, how am I ever going to pour a glass of milk from a gallon jug! I reckon I'll be able to lift the remote control and cell phone! .... Too bad Vodka is not on the prescription list - seems like it might be in order, but I reckon not.

Well, it's 3:30 am - .5 xanax an hour ago when I realized sleep was not in my near future - and I'm still not asleep! Family dr. won't give me a sleeping pill until after the sugery - instead she told me to take an extra xanax (she didn't want to add a new medicine into my body right yet - wants to wait and see what the onc and surgon gives me 1st) - now its too late to take more xanax, I'll never get up in the morning! I don't guess I'll sleep much until the surgery is over - sort of nervus about it...even though I keep reminding myself it's just my boobs - it's not like they are going to be messing with a real organ like my heart or liver or kidneys!

Wish I had a spell check!

Wishing you and all the very best, Blessings.


"Be still and know that I am God" Dx 2/2/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 1, 2015 05:08AM debiann wrote:

By going through your daily routine and wondering how you can adapt things you should be well prepared. Putting things easily within your reach is great advice.  I had difficulty lifting a milk or juice jug from the fridge, but I  had diep recon with a  tummy incision too. I couldn't open bottle caps. I could shower alone and wash my hair. You need to have a plan for how you will hold the drains. I had a cloth pouch I wore around my neck to hold the drains while I showered. I also used a shower chair, but that was more because of the tummy incision. I would suggest showering when someone else is there with you, just in case. It dosen't take all that long till you can resume your normal activities. Good luck to you!

"I live knowing it will be ok when I'm not." Dx 3/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 4/3/2014 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Targeted Therapy 5/8/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/8/2014 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/29/2014 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 11/5/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 1, 2015 10:49PM December wrote:

Debiann - thank you for the encouring words...very comforting. My daughter suggested today that I get on of those horizontal like pictures that have a spout, fill it with my favorite drink, and put it in the frige before surgery (sort of like the wine in a box) - I thought that was a good idea - plus buy my milk in quarts, not gallons. Glad to hear it might be possible to wash my hair! And yes, I'll make sure that I have a guest - just in case! Every one hear is so wonderful - makes me wonder why such amazingly kind people end up so sick....sigh

I think I'll be fine - funny - the only thing I'm really worried about is FOOD! Not cleaning the house or paying the bills or doing any of the Must Do things - as long as I can eat what I love, watch good movies, read books, and bathe --- I'm good to go! Oh! I guess if they cut off my water of lights I might have 2nd thoughts...LOL

Blessings, and Prayers to Lift us all!

"Be still and know that I am God" Dx 2/2/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 2, 2015 12:35PM Juliecc wrote:

I was able to do most things myself, including washing my hair, but I just did things more slowly and carefully. I was going to suggest putting beverages in smaller containers, put things on the counter you might need so you don't have to reach up into cupboards, etc.

The things I couldn't do and you shouldn't do are picking up anything heavy, reaching up above shoulder level, trying to twist off difficult lids or open childproof pill containers, anything pushing and pulling like vacuuming or trying to open a heavy or stuck door, for instance (the fridge is probably ok), etc. These think cause your pec muscles to tighten up and it is painful. Use t-rex arms so your pec muscle can heal.

So you should be able to shower and wash your hair by yourself but I suggest you do it while you have a friend over just in case you need some sort of assistance. I hope all goes well!

Julie, age 49. Oncotype DX 12. Dx 2/3/2014, IDC, 1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/10/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2014 Surgery 8/8/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/22/2015 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
Log in to post a reply

May 2, 2015 12:45PM grammakathy wrote:

Vol4life - you are following a great thought process - thinking through each action that might be problematic for you. Getting out of bed is a struggle at first but many women sleep in a recliner for awhile. Do you have a small travel pillow to place under your arm? Keep thinking about what you use your chest muscles for during the day. My concern was tamping my expresso (funny, huh?) and my husband adapted my lemon squeezer for me. Put things on lower shelves in your refrigerator so that you don't need to raise your arms. Too much activity will increase your drainage and pain level. Plates, glasses and mugs need to be on the counter. You might purchase things like yogurt and even small frozen dinners to get you through the first few days. Switch to a smaller purse and eliminate everything unnecessary. Walking around the house is good. I even was slowly walking around the block the next day following my Mx. It was amazing how much better I felt outside in the sunshine. Your attitude is wonderful and that will carry you along. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Oncotype DX score of 11; 5'10" tall, 155#, Allergan 410 FF425 implants, diagnosed at age 63, 3D tattoos on 23 Jun 2015 Dx 10/2/2013, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/26/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 2/25/2014 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/23/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

May 2, 2015 12:51PM - edited May 2, 2015 12:51PM by Juliecc

I probably already said this (I have tamoxifen brain) but make sure you get a lesson from the nurses on how to do your drains. Also, have a notebook out to write down your drain output each time you empty them. You will need that for your PS. Also write down the times you took medication and what you took. It's so easy to forget.

You'll probably have a post op appt at week one and week 2. Can someone drive you to those? I didn't drive until after 2 weeks.

Julie, age 49. Oncotype DX 12. Dx 2/3/2014, IDC, 1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/10/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2014 Surgery 8/8/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/22/2015 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
Log in to post a reply

May 2, 2015 12:53PM Juliecc wrote:

Also, buy magnesium, stool softener, and maybe prunes for constipation. You will most likely need them!

Julie, age 49. Oncotype DX 12. Dx 2/3/2014, IDC, 1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/10/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2014 Surgery 8/8/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/22/2015 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
Log in to post a reply

May 2, 2015 01:07PM - edited May 2, 2015 01:11PM by Jackbirdie

Dear VOL-I had a bmx on 12/18/14. I am 58 and live alone also.

I won't repeat, but instead stress, every piece of advice above is good.

I can only add it was much easier to drink with bendable straws. Make sure you change them out frequently. (Bacteria)

Indeed have the nurse show you how to do your own drains. It's awkward at first, but doable. By the time I got really proficient at it, they took them out. They have camisoles where the drains go. I got mine used for $5 at a thrift shop. (Bree's in Bandon, OR- they raise money for bc).

Little pillows for under your arms when you have to go in the car for follow- up dr appts (you will please be the passenger) will really help. In the first weeks, every little bump in the road you will feel sorely). I even used them in bed to "absorb shock". I am guessing you will not be able to lean on one elbow in bed for awhile. I have a pillow for my iPad that helped if you use one. It could be comfortably and hands free on my stomach, and for once my boobs weren't in the way. Something similar could be rigged for a regular laptop.

I took colace and senekot, both OTC, liberally, after I went 6 days without going #2. It was dangerous and painful. Stay ahead of constipation. You will almost always get it from both the meds they give you during surgery, and the opioid script they send you home with. Those drugs cannot be called in, sobe prepared that someone will have to hand carry that script to the pharmacy. Do get it filled, and do stay AHEAD of the pain in the first days. Your body cannot heal and fight pain simultaneously..

Remember.. Everyone has a different experience. Different pain levels, different thresholds of pain. Please do not hesitate to ask for more help if you need it. You CAN do this. Feel free to PM me ever/anytime if you need help.

I will be thinking of you.

Warm and gentle e-hug coming your way.

Katy

Katy, age 59 Oncotype dx 30 Dx 12/15/2014, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/18/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Surgery 12/18/2014 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 3/4/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 2/3/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 3, 2015 04:38AM December wrote:

Julie. .. thanks again so very much! I need all the help/advise/reminders I can get! My daughter will drive me where ever she needs too - but I'm going to try not to impose anymore than I have too (she get's mad when I say stuff like that, but I do remember having little ones and how tough it can be) I think I'm about ready...3 more days...Guess I'll figure out how to manage the drains - not quite sure about the "holders" our "pouches" or whatever - right now I'm thinking fanny pack??? I hate to buy commercial ones (sorta expensive) and I'm not crafty enough for the home made ones...I may get my aunt to come up with something - she is crafty! should have thought of that sooner. Well, my biggest problem is I dont sleep - ever!!! So I'm going to try here in a bit - again.

How are you? Where are you in your progress? With all all this wisdom of yours, I'd say you are through the worst of it...I hope so!


Jeri (Vol4Life in tn)

"Be still and know that I am God" Dx 2/2/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 3, 2015 05:00AM December wrote:

JackieBird,

Awe, thanks so much...this is a great place for comfort - and I hope after I get through all this I can pay it forward. I think we must have a lot in common - I get the feeling that you don't object to living alone or having to deal with cancer by yourself (although I don't think we are truely "alone")....I'm certain I will get through this...Especially with all the advise I've gotten here. And I really would rather be alone when I'm sick. Just run to the store for me and leave, then I'm just fine, like an old cat in a corner licking her wounds! I reckon after this surgery is over I'll finally start sleeping at night again. It's almost 6am...I figure I'll fall asleep @7am and sleep till noon. It's like I have to be dead to the world to sleep at all! Anyway - just wanted to say thanks so very very much. Thank in advance for keeping me in your prayers.

Jeri in TN (Vol4Life)

"Be still and know that I am God" Dx 2/2/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 3, 2015 10:49AM Juliecc wrote:

Thanks, Vol. My surgery was over a year ago and my third and last was in January. One of the hardest things for a lot of us is asking for help. Try to get past that! Don't be shy about asking a friend or your daughter or aunt to pick you up food or whatever. People want to help but they don't know how and need specifics. As for the drains, they have little plastic tabs on them that you can stick a safety pin through to pin to your clothes during the day or to a lanyard or shoestring while you shower. Do you have a couple of big ones? If you pin them inside your shirt, the plastic against your skin wuld feel weird. You could put them in a short sock and then pin that to your shirt. Wear button front ones, if possible so you don't have to raise your arms putting a shirt on.

If you have medical questions, call your nurse. I know with Kaiser you can call or email, and even attach photos to an email. I did that when an area of my skin turned white. Please don't ignore medical things because you don't want to bother anyone. You don't want to have an infection or seroma or something else get worse because you waited too long. And remember there are all of of us here to answer questions you have, too. Good luck! Are you on the May Surgery thread? It will be others who are also having surgery in May.

Julie, age 49. Oncotype DX 12. Dx 2/3/2014, IDC, 1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/10/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2014 Surgery 8/8/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/22/2015 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
Log in to post a reply

May 5, 2015 02:01AM December wrote:

Thanks Julie, The sock idea was great! I haven't been able to fall asleep before 5am for weeks it seems - and now that I need to stay up a couple of more hours...I'm about to fall out! Of course, its still 3am...LOL - I've got my days and nights turned around. Seems like there is so much I wanted to get done before the surgery - but I'm not going to reach my goals. It is what it is!

My kids, grandkids came up and spent the afternoon with me - had a late lunch out and took the boys to the park - my daughter wanted to take a lot of family pictures. It was fun, I'm glad we did it - but it sure took a chunk out of my timeline to get things done! But I figure...They are more important than my TO DO list.

You've been great support! I probably won't be back here for a couple of days - but I will up date everyone as I can. I hope that I will one day be as helpful to others as so many have been to me!

I'm a bit worried about a couple of other newbies that came here about the same time I did, Suzanne, for one. She doesn't post anymore, that I am aware of, and I'm a bit concerned. Odd how we seem to grow attachments to each other over this strange thing called the internet that has brought so many of us together! I think it is wonderful.

I wish you much peace, many blessings, and a lifetime of laughter!

Vol 4 Life (Jeri in TN)

"Be still and know that I am God" Dx 2/2/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 5, 2015 07:55AM Juliecc wrote:

Best wishes tomorrow. Tell your anesthesiologist you get nauseated easily and to give you something to prevent that and ask for the patch you can wear behind your ear. I did this with all 3 surgeries and woke up feeling great each time. I was on the internet that evening. I used to be afraid of surgery but through this eperience, I'm not anymore. It's like you're asleep for 3 seconds. My plastic surgeon also used this stuff during surgery called Exparel. It's injected in the surgical site during surgery and provides 3 days of pain relief. I don't think too many use it though because it is costly. I didn't have any pain that was too severe. Good luck!

Julie, age 49. Oncotype DX 12. Dx 2/3/2014, IDC, 1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/10/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2014 Surgery 8/8/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/22/2015 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
Log in to post a reply

May 5, 2015 11:05AM grammakathy wrote:

vol4life - You have your priorities right! All the things you wanted to get done are just "stuff". It is family and friends who are important in your life. A positive thing that changed in my life following my cancer diagnosis is valuing time with them more than accomplishing things. I make time for what is important to me and say "no" when something isn't worth spending my time on. Best wishes on your surgery. You are a special person and obviously much loved!

Oncotype DX score of 11; 5'10" tall, 155#, Allergan 410 FF425 implants, diagnosed at age 63, 3D tattoos on 23 Jun 2015 Dx 10/2/2013, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/26/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 2/25/2014 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/23/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

May 9, 2015 05:48PM December wrote:

juliecc, grammakathy!!

I can't thank you and the rest of the gang enough for all of the support and kindness that has been shown to me...iI'm so thankful 😇 i don't recall much about the last couple of days...but for anyone out there facing the same sugery basically alone...i would like to share some encouragement.

I've been pain free for the most part. Chest tight from surgery? Tissue Expanders? Not painful...ust uncomfortable. But the itching, even at the hospital, wa intense...to the point of screaming and tears!!!! I'm still having some itching (all over, but especiallly under my bandages), but its not too much to bare. Even with the sugery and recovery being 8 hours...i was ready to eat!

All the suggestions here....were a HUGE benefit!!! But you really don't understand "silk pjs and satan sheets" until you go through this surgery yourself. I prepared about a dozen green salads, probably 20 fruit bowls, lots of yogurt, and sherbert divided in chunks and put in zip lock bags (I was afraid my arms wouldn't be strong enough to dip through frozen sherbert/icecream - and I was right). I did other pre-made meals/snacks, as well. I'm so thankfull I did so, And I can't thank the women here for those ideas. Plus my aunt had several cloth pouches with a ribbon attached so that I could carry my drains in the pouches that hung around neck - what a lifesaver!

we'll, I had a lot more to say - but Im falling asleep fast! I am sleepy and tired all the time!

Blessings and hugs to all my sisters here!


Vol4Life,

Jeri in TN

"Be still and know that I am God" Dx 2/2/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 9, 2015 08:33PM Juliecc wrote:

Jeri, It's great to hear from you. It sounds like you are doing good and you were well prepared. I hope your itching is getting better. Do you think you are having a reaction to the tape or something else? When do you have a follow up appointment? If the itching doesn't get better, I would call for advice. How are you managing the drains? After a few days, they may feel irritated. I am relieved you are doing well. Get some sleep. You'll be extra tired for at least a month!

Julie, age 49. Oncotype DX 12. Dx 2/3/2014, IDC, 1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/10/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2014 Surgery 8/8/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/22/2015 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
Log in to post a reply

May 10, 2015 08:10PM grammakathy wrote:

Keri - keep taking it day by day. Your emotions will go up and down. Try to stay in the present and let the future take care of itself. Julie gives you great suggestions. If the itching continues, please call your doctor. I had itching after one of my surgeries and had a rash when the bandages were removed. You are doing great

Oncotype DX score of 11; 5'10" tall, 155#, Allergan 410 FF425 implants, diagnosed at age 63, 3D tattoos on 23 Jun 2015 Dx 10/2/2013, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/26/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 2/25/2014 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/23/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

May 10, 2015 08:25PM Jackbirdie wrote:

Jeri- I'm so pleased you checked in and you're going well. Do get the itching checked out. Later the itching may mean healing but you may be allergic to the steri strips or something.

Still thinking of you and proud you're handling it all so well.

Katy

Katy, age 59 Oncotype dx 30 Dx 12/15/2014, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/18/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Surgery 12/18/2014 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 3/4/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 2/3/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 10, 2015 09:11PM December wrote:

juliecc ... just stopped in for a sec to say hello to all and send prayers and blessings for all!!! Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. I thought i was doing really well all but the insane itching. .. and yes, it seems more intense around tape, bandages and insisions ... however i just plain itch all over head to toes. My daughter pops in when she can. She took photos of both breasts and sent them to her husband. No, we are not a kinky family!!! She didnt like the way the nipples wewe healing or the surrounding area. Her husband is 1 yr out from his ba in nursing and works as a surgical tech. After showing my glamor shots to several doctors he works with ... it looks as if i have necrosis ... dead skin ... on nipples and surrounding breast skin ... in those areas my skin is black:) son in law was close to dragging me in to er because there is a concern about infection turning septic! Just what i need. I decided just to call my ps in the am. Oh well ...i did immidate tissue expanders following mastectomy ... i guess the extreme tightness around my ribs is caused by that??? Plus ... i am starting to get discouraged because i really thought id be running marathons by today...but today is the worse day yet. Im heading to bed now ... can't seem to get enough sleep. .. i nod off so easy. Thanks to you and everyone here ... this is the one place i can go and if someone asks how i am ... i don't have to smile big and say GREAT! Thanks for letting me vent and even cry a little. .. its a very nice and safe place to hide for a bit and regroup! I am looking forward to the day when my experiences might help someone else... like you and everyone has helped me.

"Be still and know that I am God" Dx 2/2/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 10, 2015 09:21PM December wrote:

Katie, thank you so much for your support - and I still don't have an answer about my itching - but doctors seem to think it is a SE of the Pain meds. I'm falling out of anything even close to awakeness.....but I replied to Juliecc and I hope you will read that, as well. You seem so insightful - you might have some great thoughts on some various matters. I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else has had this itching problem...or dead skin problem, or fatigue problem! I was trying to make a joke- because I know that so many others suffer from so many other more serious things than itching, or loosing nipples to dead skin. But I guess it didn't come out right! My daughter says I've got to quite joking about the cancer in front of other people, that it makes them feel uncomfortable. At the hospital, the volunteer asked me if she could get me any thing....I said, well, yes, I'd like my 2 breasts back and you can take the cancer with you - I've had enough! Well, I thought it was funny - no one else did:)

Blessings!

"Be still and know that I am God" Dx 2/2/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 10, 2015 09:28PM Jackbirdie wrote:

Jeri- Yes, this is the safe place where you can rant and it will help keep your other relationships on better balance. But don't let anyone talk you out of your great sense of humor!

I had my surgery 4 months ago. I have range of motion pretty well back but it took awhile. I still have pain.

Just try to remind yourself you had MAJOR SURGERY. No marathons anytime soon. If you are tired and /or fatigued, listen to your body and give it what it wants. And stay ahead of pain. Don't hang out waiting to see how bad it will get. At least the first couple if weeks. Your body can't fight pain and heal at the same time. Hear?

Katy, age 59 Oncotype dx 30 Dx 12/15/2014, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/18/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Surgery 12/18/2014 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 3/4/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 2/3/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 11, 2015 08:24AM Juliecc wrote:

Please see your doctor today. Necrosis and infection might require antibiotics or some other treatment. Neither problem will resolve itself on its own and I would hate for you to have another surgery because you didn't see your doctor soon enough. Can your sister or aunt take you to be checked today? As you heal, you will have good days and bad days. It may take a month before you have more energy but each week will be better than the last.

Please call your PS and get seen!

Julie, age 49. Oncotype DX 12. Dx 2/3/2014, IDC, 1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/10/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2014 Surgery 8/8/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/22/2015 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
Log in to post a reply

May 11, 2015 10:21AM grammakathy wrote:

Vol4life - please see your doctor to check out the itching and they will switch your pills if they are causing your itching. You won't be running marathons! I dozed in my chair and read for a month. I did walk around the block with my husband daily but even that was an effort. It was six weeks before I realized I was getting my zip back. Take it easy and heal. Gentle hugs

Oncotype DX score of 11; 5'10" tall, 155#, Allergan 410 FF425 implants, diagnosed at age 63, 3D tattoos on 23 Jun 2015 Dx 10/2/2013, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/26/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 2/25/2014 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/23/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

May 12, 2015 02:58PM December wrote:

Jackbirdie, Julie, Gramma, and all - can't thank you enough - did see my BS yesterday afternoon as my PS is out of town (figures) - he says right now things look okay - but did add another antibotic. The itching seems to be going away - I think that as the stuff they used to put me under gradually left my body completelly, the itching went away with it! My BS didn't seem concerned with it.

Y'all are my heros! Yes, I do understand that I have to rest, give this a few weeks, and this is something I am challenged to live through. It is just so d*&^%! depressing. I look at the dishes in the sink, the laundry, and all of that. The piles of bills and paperwork that need to be dealt with (med bills, more and more and more!)...I want to run to the store and get a bag of candy and some chips - but I can't drive because I've already taken pain meds. (Yep, my BS said I could drive short distances as long as I was not on pain pills since I live alone - less than a week out of surgery - I was shocked!)...anyway, point is I HATE, as I'm sure everyone else here has felt the same, being so dependent for the smallest of things.

Kinda weird - I don't want company because I doubt if I can be much fun to be around and I'm so tired of people feeling sorry for me. People don't know what to say or what to do - they feel awkward around me. But at the same time- I do feel a little lonely. I'd like to have someone over to watch a movie with, eat pizza, or maybe drink a beer or cocktail with - and laugh (Yes - I know - booze is weeks if not months away) - The point is - I'd like some feeling of being my old self back again - and...

I think I'm just going to have to begin developing a new relationship with this new self - and learn to love this new me. Sometimes I think I'm morning, like grieving in a death experience - and I did not expect that. I did not realize that I had any kind of attachment to my breasts - but after living with them for 55 years, and sharing so many things and life turning events with girls, lol, I'm finding that I miss them, and that I feel betrayed, betrayed by my own breasts - and I'm angry.

Does anyone ever think...why me? What did I do to piss My Lord off! Don't get me wrong - I don't believe that God punishes His children with illness - but I do believe you can loose His protection! And after what I've gone through the past 3 years ... with this final BC think, I want to scream, OK God, I get it! I'll be good from now on! Except - for the life of me I don't know what else to do gain His blessings - other than be perfect - and in my beliefs, that's why Jesus suffered the cross.

Sorry, sisters, Pain meds kicking in, venting pouring out. No need to respond - but who else can I throw these inner most thought at without freaking them out!

Blessings, Prayers, and Laughter to all. (Time to Milk the Drains, etc.)

PS - Sometimes, here, I feel a little selfish - I really want to be helpful to others, too.

"Be still and know that I am God" Dx 2/2/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 12, 2015 04:13PM grammakathy wrote:

Vol4Life - We so get it!  I have had so many ups and downs in this journey that it makes me dizzy.  And I have had it easy compared to so many who post on this site.  When I feel sorry for myself, I remind me that my boys are married and on their own.  It breaks my heart when I read postings from women in their 20s, 30s and 40s who are going through this.  It isn't easy in our 50s or 60s but at least we have raised our children. 

From all the research I have done, the only thing I can blame my cancer on is my DNA cells messing up.  Somehow the cells that were supposed to shut down errant cancer cells just didn't do their job.  There are women on this board who have smoked and or not smoked, are vegan or eat meat, have taken hormones or have never taken hormones, eat sugar or never eat sugar, have children and nursed or never had children.  We are a true cross section of society.  I definitely don't blame God (although I do thank him as I have walked this path) or anything.  As for me asking "why me", I usually think "why not me."  I thank heaven that I am strong enough to get through my treatments and move on.  And for what I have read, you are even stronger than I am.  You are doing a great job.  Just take your time to recover and don't expect too much from yourself too soon. I slept during the day for a month, feeling too exhausted to do much.  And I was using Tylenol so I can't blame it on the pain meds. 

I am so relieved you visited your BS about the itching and that it is easing up.  I only had that one time and it tried to drive me crazy!

Oncotype DX score of 11; 5'10" tall, 155#, Allergan 410 FF425 implants, diagnosed at age 63, 3D tattoos on 23 Jun 2015 Dx 10/2/2013, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/26/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 2/25/2014 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/23/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

May 12, 2015 09:31PM - edited May 12, 2015 09:32PM by December

grammakathy, I'm so much better now then I was earilier! I think the pain meds, as well as all the lifestyle changes, keep my emotions on a roller coster. This afternoon - I got up, put the dishes up, loaded the dishwasher, took the laundry to the basement and started 2 loads (still unfolded in the basement - probably would be pushing it to carry the laundry UP the stairs! - my daughter will be here tomorrow). When I got too tired phyically, I sorted a pile of paper into several organized sections to deal with later, and even balanced the checkbook - not a pretty sightSinging I cooked a bit of super - took a Hydro, (last one 10 1/2 hrs ago).

So now - I'm on the upswing. Yep, yea me. I can do this.

I loved what you said about "Why NOT me" - well, that's one way to be the party pooper at my pity party!!! But, I needed to hear that. However, I'm pretty sure God knows the difference between one of His followers' temper tantrums or ventings - and the true heart. I will admit, I've gained something from every unpleasant experience I've traveled. Maybe one day I won't have to always have to learn things the hard way.

Thanks to you and all my friend here for just letting me be...well, be me.

Blessings, Prayers, and kind thought and hugs,


"Be still and know that I am God" Dx 2/2/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 12, 2015 10:10PM December wrote:

Gramma - just did my last Nitro cream for the day! Don't know why that takes such effort....

Anyway - I meant to add - just for grins - Pain meds normally have the opposite effect on me than on others - It takes a huge does to make me even think I'm sleepy! After surgery, my daughter stayed with me till I left the next afternoon. I didn't sleep at all! I talked, and talked, sang, and flirted, and threw paperwads at the nurses (playfully, or so I thought:)....all in all I'm pretty certain the staff thought I had someone to sneak in some booze! Apparently, I was very funny and entertaining, until it got VERY old. My daughter was begging me MOM, GO TO SLEEP! And so I was pitiful when I posted this afternoon, once the meds kicked in good, as noted eariler - I didnt sleep - I got busy and happy. Now my last Hydro for the day is waiting to kick in - and will probably have me up working on the computer late - even though I have an early am dr appt. Guess I just needed to explain myself - !!!!!!

"Be still and know that I am God" Dx 2/2/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2015, ILC, Right, 5cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

May 12, 2015 10:14PM Juliecc wrote:

I'm happy you went to the doctor and are doing better. It's always good to get peace of mind. Hang in there. It's been more than a year for me and I can actually go through a few hours here and there without breast cancer crossing my mind. Sometimes I get a glimpse of my Barbie boobs and scars in the mirror and think, "Damn, I really did go through all that." It does suck but I look around me and see others going through situations that are so much worse than my breast cancer and I'm just more appreciative of everything.

Julie, age 49. Oncotype DX 12. Dx 2/3/2014, IDC, 1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/10/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2014 Surgery 8/8/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/22/2015 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)

Page 1 of 2 (51 results)