Do i bother with reconstruction ?

Hi all

I have posted loads of times about one thing or another, but here we go again!

To cut a long story short, had tissue expander recon last yeat, it has not gone well, now have the opportunity to either have ld or tram flap.
The problem is that i am not sure that i want to bother with it all. I have had enough of ops and hospitals for ever (nearly two years post diagnosis, mastectomy, lymph nodes removed, chemo ,tamoxifin).

I have two young children aged 6 and 3, and don’t thnk i have the strength to go through surgery again.
The other part of me, thinks, i hate my existing recon so much, that if it can be made better, then to go for it! Also,it is only a matter of time, before i WILL need some kind of op to deal with what has happened with the existing recon, so there will be no choice.

I feel caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

What would you do?

Thanks for reading.

Naz

Hello Naz,

Well it’s luvly to chat to you here - yes, you may have posted before, but so have I, and you’ve been lovely and caring n given me some great advice!!

Do you know Naz, I might be completely wrong here, but your comments here about having had enough of surgery and hospitals just seem to speak volumes in the way you’ve worded it. It makes me wonder if the best course of action for you is to just put it all on hold for now, and just have a lovely summer with those two little cuties in the photo, which I take are your children! (and let’s hope the weather keeps nice so that you can all enjoy this summer). You’ve been through so much, and I know how you’ve been feeling about body image stuff from previous posts, but perhaps you need some quality time away from hospitals etc and just to enjoy some nice family times etc.

It’s not nice feeling you’re between the devil and the deep blue sea, and you really hate your existing recon. Could you think of a time period when you’d like to have the ld or tram flap, cos if so your hospital might be willing to work with you on it. (Eg mine told me they would need about a month’s notice if I ever want recon, or that they could book me in advance for it, if I wanted it say in six months time).

It sounds as if, like you say, at some point you’re going to need something else, other than your horrible tissue expander. If you could have a think about what’s most/less important to you and plan for when you might want your surgery, then that might help. For example, you may want to have the summer just as your body is now, and then plan for one of the flap recons before or after Christmas. It might be important for you to have a new recon in time for christmas, or in time for next year’s (hopefully nice) summer weather etc.

I know you’re feeling in a catch 22 situation, but may be worth investigating what choices your hospital can give you as regards surgery availability times when you want them - then instead of being in a catch 22 “devil/deep sea etc”, you’ve got choices and control - and ultimately a more pleasing chest/body at the end of it, after all you’ve been thru.

Hope some of what I’ve suggested is useful, and take care of yourself!

Luv, Shelley xxx

Hello there Shelley!

How lovely of you to reply to my post!

Well, do you know what, your post has made the most sense to me for a long time now!
I have agonised over this damm recon dilemme for months (well three!)and no conclusion drawn!

I think you are right…i need some time out.
I am not convinced that now is the right time to be having more surgery, so to put it all on hold might be the most sensible choice to make.
It has all been so hard, and dealing with this body image business has been doubly hard. Hating the tissue expander, coupled with knowing that i will now have to have a further op or two, when mentally, i was done with surgery and hospitals, drains and all of that horrid stuff!

You are right, i do have a choice and i am in control…thankyou for pointing that out to me…:slight_smile:

How are you doing ?

Naz x

Oh Naz, a big hug coming your way, cos am just so pleased u r feelin more settled than yr earlier post - this bloomin bc takes away so much more of us than just breast tissue. It takes away freedom, peace of mind and a sense of control, so I’m so glad you’re feelin you have more control again. Good on you Naz!

Me - well I’ve been doin much better overall - which is brilliant!

But, on the down side, my Dad’s just been diagnosed with recurrence of bowel cancer. I have an adventure holiday booked for just under three weeks after Dad’s surgery - parents want me to go on it still n have had to promise them I will go, but really, I’ll not go unless I’m reassured Dad and Mum are ok enough for me to go. So yesterday, when I heard Dad’s news, it was the “I hate cancer” moments all over again. It’s his third time with cancer in two years.

Life’s horrible n seems so unfair at times - but we deal with it one way and another - no choice have we. Am just so glad of you all on here!

So Naz, you take care and will continue to look out for your posts. There’s lots of lovely people on here isnt there - we’re just so lucky to have this forum.

Enjoy that time out Naz - you deserve it with those little children, and when the time’s ok for you and you feel you can go forward with the recon, then you’ll have enjoyed this time away from hospitals and treatment!

With much love,

Shelley xxx

post deleted

Just lost my post so here we go again!

Norberte, i agree, Shelly is the voice of reason! Talk about not seeing the wood for the trees, or something like that anyway!

Shelley, how are you today? I am sorry to hear about your dad, nasty horrid cruel disease! When is his surgery?, i do hope he will be okay, and that you manage to get to go on the adventure holiday.

I have to see the ps tomorrow, to talk the talk i guess. I will check out the waiting list, and make a decision from there.

Thanks guys…thankgod for this site is all i can say!

xx

Hi Naz

I think Shelly’s suggestion makes absolute sense, but just thought I’d let you know I’m having a similar dilemma.

I haven’t had any recon yet, been one-boobed for a year. At the time I swore I’d never have reconstruction and I really was sure I wouldn’t ever have surgery or make myself ill for cosmetic reasons. But, you know, it’s a bit like giving birth - you forget how awful it is!

I would like to have two breasts again. It sounds as though you would too, just perhaps that you’re not ready now. I have made an appointment to discuss recon options and timescales, with a view to possibly having recon after Christmas, sometime in 2012. We have to move house first, plus I just don’t feel ready for more surgery and the recovery yet. It has really helped me to have it in the pipeline, just a matter of me deciding when.

If the unsuccessful recon has to come out at some point, then I guess surgery is unavoidable, just a case of waiting until you’re ready to go.

good luck xxxx Jane

Hi there Jane

Yes, you are so right, it is a case of when i am ready to go, as simple as that.
If the recon had not been as unsuccessful as it has been, i probably would have said to hell with it all for months to come.
But, it seems that the stupid implant will be coming out on its own at this rate,if i don’t have the surgery to sort it.

I went into the recon with my eyes closed i think…wasn’t aware of potential problems, but neither was i told!

Anyway, i shall take some time out i think, as the thought of surgery right now, completely freaks me out…

I do hope all goes well for you Jane, it is a big decision to make, but once you are informed and know what you are going for, go for it once and for all.

Thanks once again…

Naz x

Hello Naz, Jane and Everyone Else too!

Oh Naz and Jane, good luck with your appointments, and please let us know how you go on. You’re right Naz, it’s a big decision to make about reconstruction, so we wish you all the best with the appt you’ve made Jane, and Naz you too, whenever you might decide that the time may be right for you, although it doesnt seem as if that’s now for either of you. I’m just so glad that both of you are making choices - I reckon that’s what it’s about, having choices and being told the ins and outs, so you can make good decisions. Bl…y cancer takes away so much from us… everyone should still have choice, cos that gives some control that cancer doesnt have!

Ok, Shelley’s stepping down from her soap box now folks - huge sigh of relief from everyone - phewwww!

Naz, I’ve just posted on that post I started - my Dad’s operation date has been brought forward to next Thursday. I just heard when I got in from work tonight. I’m just so thrilled - that means it’s been brought forward by just over three weeks. I dont think it’s ominous that its been brought forward - just that he was prepared to take a cancellation. It gives me another 3 weeks of seeing him and Mum through his op and the start of recuperation, before I go away on my holiday. Like I said, am really pleased!

Luv to Everyone!
Shelley xxx

Shelley, really hope that your dad’s op goes well…will be thinking of you at that time.

Saw ps today, my name is now on the waiting list for LD flap, approx six months wait…so by that time, i am hoping that i will be more mentally prepared for it, and now have time to get my head around what the surgery entails.

ONE day, there will be no more op’s or anything, i am sure of it!

Have a good weekend all…

Naz x

I have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and I believe I am going to have reconstructive surgery after a full mastectomy. The thought of having breast implants terrifies me. But, the thought of having no breasts bothers me even more. That’s if I even make it through this at all. I have total empathy for you and your situation. The path I am about to take is already wearing me out.

Hi Indyheather…

I totally empathise with you…the journey is long and exhausting to say the least!

Take one step at a time and try not to get too bogged down with stuff…easier said than done i know.

When you are ready to talk the recon talk,then take your time and do lots of research, as it is a massive step to take…

All the very best to you.

Naz x

Hi Naz

If you want to know about my experience of the LD flap recon, just pm me. Or if you hunt through the recon section on the forum, I have done some lengthy posts.

My recon was at the same time as my mx, so a bit different, but it may help.

Good luck!
Dx