breast reduction

Hi all,
have had my usual 6month check up today, and was pleasantly suprised when onc, suggested breast reduction on unaffected breast. I have never considered this before because I think you should be glad to still be allive, but have accepted the offer as it has started to get me down, non fitting tops, can’t get a decent fitting bra on both sides etc. etc. Has anyone had this done, how was it and how long was recovery. I had bc 6 years ago, and am starting to feel excited at the prospect.

Ann

Hi Almas
I’ve had a breast reduction but not for cancer although now I do have breast cancer - how bizarre.
Anyway it really is ok - not particularly painful and the pain is very manageable with paracetamol. You have to be careful afterwards not to stretch or carry anything much for quite a while and no driving for 3-4 weeks. Also keep the area clean as you can get infections. I stayed in hospital for 2 1/2 days but some people recover quicker - I just didn’t feel very strong. I was ecstatic with the results.
Anything else you’d like to know?

Very best wishes
REbzAmy

thanks for reply
I am only a 38b, so don’t need a reduction as such, just a rather large deficit on left side because of wle, so it should’t be a massive procedure. How long where you off work
thanks Ann

Hi Ann

I had 2 weeks off work then went back with stitches still in - felt fine was just delicate in that area. I think I was fine again after a week or so. Basically the way I looked at it was I was healthy - not ill therefore was having an operation as a fit young woman so should recover quickly. You should take 2 weeks off minimum though. I’m going to be so out of proportion soon though as due to have mastectomy in Dec sometime. Can’t believe I was so happy with the size I was after reduction and now has all gone to pot!

Good luck

Hi sorry to hear your having a mastectomy are you having a recon straight away. Is the wait because you are having chemo first.

Hi Ann and thanks.
Yes am having chemo - just over halfway through it. I found a large lump in my armpit in June and went straight to my doc who found a large lum (4cm) in my breast and my life completely changed. I could write a book about it all - I’m sure we all could. Because of my age, the fact that I have Invasive BC and it is aggressive and the size of my breasts 32 D they started me on chemo very quickly to shrink the lumps down so they could operate. I didn’t even have a chance to freeze any eggs as there was no time but have been given a monthly injection of Zoladex to switch off my ovaries in the hope it’ll preserve them until I finish chemo. I’ll also be on herceptin for a year - had first one a week ago.

What is your story if you don’t mind me asking?
R

oh yes sorry forgot to say - the plan is to wait 2 years before reconstruction - guess coz of aggressiveness of BC and also it’s a very long operation otherwise.

Hi again
I take it you are quite young, not very pleasant at any age. I was 46 when diagnosed 2001, even though I had been to hosp about a lump 12 months previously. Anyway eventually diagnosed with stage3 grade3, 2 lymph nodes involved, you could have knocked me over with a feather, I’m sure you know the feeling. I have 2 boys then aged 8 and 11, now aged 15 and 19. I had 8 chemo 4 fec and 4 taxotere followed by 25 radiotherapy, then tamoxifen. In 2004 I found a lump again under armpit, which was a recurrence refused more chemo but had another 20 radio. Then had Zolodex and Arimidex, found Zolodex ok, but had heavy periods due to age, so had hysterectom with removal of ovaries in 2005, at the same time husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer he was 51, so all in all had a very strange few years. But on the positive side we have come through all this very much closer and stronger, and most importantly fit and well at the moment. Every day, year is a bonus. How are you coping with chemo and herceptin.

Hi Ann
What we only have to go through. It scares me the fact that it can just come back and does seem to in so many people. I have come to terms with a lot of things to do with BC - even the fact it can return. But I am trying to be as positive as possible about it all.

Sounds like you have really had a rough ride but am really pleased to hear that you and your hubbie are closer and stronger as a result and also fit and well.

The chemo for me is tough. I had my first lot of Tax nearly two weeks ago and it knocked me for six - I was flat out for 3 days at least and then my head started clearing which was such a relief - am dreading next lot. I guess everybody is different - some people seem to sail through chemo but I haven’t. I’m not sure what effect the herceptin has as am having it together with Tax at the moment. When Tax finishes I will have herceptin on its own and then will know what effects (if any) it has on me. I just feel lucky to be given the treatment so easily. Only a few years ago you had to fight for herceptin.

How come you decided against chemo this time?

Interestingly, I am on Zoladex but this is to switch off my ovaries in the hope they will be preserved and not damaged as a result of chemo - my BC is not hormone responsive.

Would be good to hear from you and to keep in touch and know how you are doing. Do you log on much?

Best wishes
Rebz

Hi again
I decided against chemo because the side effects I had with the other was horrendous, I was in bed for 5 days each time, the Taxotere was better, but I felt as if I’d been beaten with a baseball bat (not that I ever have lol). Finger nails fell off blisters on feet and so depressed they reduced the dose by 10% and it was better after that, not much though. I was off work for 18months, as I work in operating theatres and just couldn’t face confronting cases of cancer. I don’t know if it was a foolish idea or not, but so far no regrets. I keep a constant watch on whats going on this site, as I can remember a lot of people having treatment at the same time, but some of those people are no longer with us. So I do look every day or so, just to keep up to date.
How many chemos have you to your next lot of tests, is there any improvement yet?
I do think having chemo before surgery is a more positive thing because you can see results, rather than surgery and never knowing if the chemo actually did anything at all.
I had my treatment at Weston Park in Sheffield which was very good, now my check up are at the Hallamshire, and they look after you very well

I’ll stop rambling now and get a drink I think

Like to hear from you soon

Ann

Morning Ann
What a lovely day it is today! I’m just thinking of going for a walk to the bank and various other bits n pieces along the way but the weather is putting me off somewhat but I also know I need some exercise - need to get my vitamin D.

Hope you enjoyed your drink. I had a lovely evening last night - went out with an ex (from a very long time ago) and his wife. Had a lovely chinese meal and a catch up - it’s been a very long time since I saw him and he heard about my illness and got in contact which was really nice.

What kind of work did you do - you said operating theatres so something medical? I’m too squeamish for something like that but I guess you get used to it and I certainly don’t blame you for not working that’s for sure.

I just noticed above that you are now 6 years down the line - that is really cool and I think you will really appreciate having the breast reduction all the more due to length of time. It’s really good to chat with somebody who has been in the clear for such a long time.

I’ve got two more chemos left - one next week. Each time before the chemo I see the oncologist who feels the lumps - I can definitely say the one in my armpit has shrunk considerably and the one in my breast is not nearly so hard - previously you could really feel it but now it feels more like normal breast tissue although it’s still there so something is definitely happening which is great news. I know what you mean when you say having chemo first seems better as you can actually see a difference. My thoughts on the subject are should I be having more chemo after as well although I will be on herceptin so maybe that’s my insurance policy.

Anyway am going to force myself out of the house now - got a busy day as seeing some friends and their kids, then taking my mum out for coffee (she had a bunion operated on a few weeks ago so cannot drive) as she has been stuck in the house for a while and then going to friends for dinner - phew! Yes my energy has come back and am feeling good.

Hope you are having a fabulous day.

Speak soon
RebzAmy