Just diagnosed

Hi! I was diagnosed 2 weeks ago with grade 2 invasive ductual breast cancer and have just had a SNB to check my lymph glands. Because of my tiny size and the location of the cancer I am having a mastectomy. My hardest decisions are deciding on prothesis verses reconstruction. My surgeon is keen to do the back op but as I do a lot of swimming, tennis and other sport I am concerned about possible weaknesses later. I know it has to be my decision, but any advice would be great!

Hello Lynda_E

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June, moderator

Hi Lynda_E and it’s a good question and of course your decision. Since you are so active in sports, I would suggest not considering an implant that goes under your pecs. I opted not to have a latissimus dorsi, a tissue flap procedure that uses muscle and skin from your upper back because I am active in sports too and wanted no muscle used in the making of my breast. I know many woman have great results and very happy with LD reconstruction - I’m not knocking the procedure, yet I did draw a line on harvesting muscle. Yesterday I had my second stage 2 for diep flap, to make my breast smaller and shaped to match my healthy right one and my hips smoothed where the ends of the hip-to-hip incision is and now nipple tattoo after healing and that is it - it’s a keeper for life. I have small breasts and learned the little ones are just as hard for a PS to get right than the big ones. I had just enough stomach fat for one small breast. It’s been a long haul and I’m grateful to have one healthy breast. I too looked into going with a prothesis and decided on a single skin sparing reconstruction, because I could and it’s part of my mission of trying to get back to as close to me as before. I hope your SNB results are clear. You have had alot to take onboard in a very short period of time. Whatever choice you make, will be the right one for you. Gentle hugs, LB, x

Hi Lilac_Blue thanks so much for the advice and particularly the gentle hugs. I got my results this afternoon and unfortunately 1 of my glands is cancerous…which was not the news we wanted especially as its our 21st wedding anniverary today! So now its glands ou, mastectomy and then chemo…so I have longer to decide whether to reconstruct ot not. Gentle hugs back to you!!

Oh Lynda_E, I’m sorry you have had such news and even more so on your 21 year anniversary. I hope you and your husband can have some semblance of a celebration as 21 years is a wonderful milestone. Lynda, we are here for you and as you have read, there are various threads for each stage of your treatment with caring, thoughtful, helpful women who have or are where you are. The BCC phone line is excellent as well - I’ve called many times and offered kind, compassionate, real advice that has worked. The new normal will sink in over time and for now, you have been hit with all of it - to take on board. Please feel free to message me and I do care. Grateful to know you have a solid, long term loving husband to help you through this life passage - that is 100% gold in your corner! My love to you and Mr. E. - Gentle hugs - LB, x

Hi Lynda
I was diagnosed with Grade 2 Lobular Breast Cancer last October at the age of 45 and as both my mum and nan had also had it I opted to have a bi-lateral mastectomy with immediate reconstructive surgery. The cancer was also in one of my glands so I had to have an auxillary clearance of my right arm. I chose to have the Tram op as my surgeon recommended it to me calling it the ‘Rolls Royce’ of operations. Like you I enjoy sports so to have the back muscle op was not going to be possible. The tram op is a lengthy one 10 hours in total and you have drains in place that are removed as you heal. Where I was cut from hip to hip has healed beautifully and I am very pleased with the scar. I underwent chemo (6 treatments) but sadly had a disasterous time at treatment number 4 so they stopped me after that but I have recovered well. I had nipple reconstruction yesterday and that also went well so only have the tattooing to go and I’m complete and I feel great.
Whatever op you choose don’t be afraid just think positive and be positive and you will get through it.
Ruth x