Anyone had chemo after DIEP flap recon?

Hello all
I am looking for some advice with regards to having chemo after a DIEP flap recon and soon after having the operation was chemo given?

A bit of background, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal breast cancer in 2019 with lymphovasacular invasion ER+HER2-. Had a lumpectomy, then chemo and radiotherapy. Reaccurance in the same breast in 2023. DIEP flap surgery was advised. I had the DIEP operation in October last year and only now starting to feel like myself. I have an appointment in a few weeks with my consultant to discuss if chemo will be the next step forward.
Has anyone been in a similar position?
Thank you in advance

Sorry to hear you find yourself in this situation. I had a single mastectomy with diep flap in June of last year and they started me on kadcyla 5 weeks later. I also got radiotherapy on top of that starting August 2023.
I suppose it really depends which chemotherapy they’re putting you on. I am absolutely exhausted but i am luck i don’t have any other symptoms.
Speak to your BCN or oncologist, they wont start you on chemo until youve recovered from surgery.
Good luck

@sunnydays1 Have you started chemo? I am wondering the same thing. I almost didn’t get the diep reconstruction as I was so worried about having to get chemo while I potentially was still recovering from the surgery. My tumours were pr/er+ her2-, no LVI, micromet in sentinel node. Predict shows a 5.5% benefit to having chemo, consultant is leaving it up to me. I feel I need to go for it but I am very nervous.

I’m 3 week post op diep flap reconstruction.
It’s been a struggle but I’m slowly getting there.
IBC 12mm pr/er+ her2- with 1 lymph node positive.
I’ve been told chemo, radio and hormone therapy, once I’ve recovered from surgery.
The chemo has thrown me a bit, was hoping it wasn’t needed.
I’ve signed up for the Optima trial to see if there’s a chance I might be selected in the hope I wouldn’t need chemo :crossed_fingers:
It’s such a hard decision to make.
Have you decided what to do?

My oncology appointment is on 19th March. I will be going ahead with chemo, as now it has been mentioned, I think I will worry I haven’t been thorough enough if I don’t take it. I could get the Oncotype test but I am scared of the result to be honest. I know that sounds like I am burying my head in the sand but if the result shows a high score, I think that would follow me about like a dark cloud forever more. I was really gutted last week when chemo was thrown into the mix but I am getting my head round it now. It will be a few weeks before it starts so will concentrate on eating well and getting my fitness levels up in the meantime.

That’s good, glad you have made your decision and as you say you can now focus on feeling as well as you can before your treatment starts.
I too have decided to go ahead with the chemo unless Optima tells me something different.
Take care and hope all goes well :pray:

@nichola009 Wishing you a speedy recovery. I have felt a big difference this last week, so week 4 for me. Been back walking the dogs as before, albeit a little slower but that will come. All the best for the chemo (unless Optima says not required, in which case, RESULT!!) X

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Hi Ngt
I was advised chemo wouldn’t be necessary this time round thankfully, I suffered terribly having chemo with the first diagnosis and during lockdown too. However I am on Anastrozole and 3 monthly dosage of Zoladex and suffer from terrible joint pain, aches and pains and fatigue.
It’s been six months since the DIEP op and although I have healed well, physically I don’t have the strength I had before my second diagnosis and mentally I still find it hard coming to terms with this most recent diagnosis. I have a good support network and am enquiring about counselling sessions through work.
I wish you all well.

@sunnydays1 That’s good you don’t have to go through chemo. I started on 27th March and so far, just a really vile taste in my mouth along with a dry mouth/throat. A few days of tiredness as well. I hope you get some counselling sessions to help you cope with the feelings this recurrence will have brought to the fore. Be kind to yourself and lean on your support as much as you need to. Xx