Lisa had her mastectomy & LD Flap recon Monday

I said that I would tell you about Lisa’s op when she had it. She is doing really well only 42 hours later. She was 6 hours in theatre … didn’t come out until 9.30pm and we were allowed to see her at 10.30. She was still drugged from anaesthetic but in good form feeling so good that it was over and in no pain at all and slept well all night. Still no pain yesterday just uncomfortable when she moved her arm. Today the same still no pain at all and the only thing she is complaining about is that the area under her arm is sore from where the drain is. She has one drain to her back and one from under her arm. She also had a lump removed from her lower back but no drain in there either. She has looked at breast which naturally is swollen but she is really pleased with the result in that other than no nipple and the slight swelling it looks the same as the other one. It looks as if someone ahs cut teh nipple off and left it flat and put a piece of skin in its place.She can’t believe that she has absolutely no pain and is only on paracetamol and ibuprofen for the discomfort which is very bearable. This afternoon she came for a walk around hospital and into grounds as she felt she needed some excercise … she needs to get her bowels moving! Already she is so pleased that she had it done and knows that although it will never look exactly the same as a normal breast because of the nipple area ( she will have recon on that next year) at least she will be able to wear low cut dresses etc. She also knows that it will look even better in time. She said she also feels tons better than she thought she was going to.
One of the older nurse had LD Flap done 3 years ago and was showing Lisa. She never did have the nipple recon done and so still has the flat area of skin but Lisa says it still looks really good and obviously in a bikini you wouldn’t ever know.
Won’t go on anymore but wanted to tell Sarah and Lenise in particular about her op and mostly to assure others about to have it done that there is no pain and Lisa who is only 30 says she is pleased that she had it done.
Love to all of you having to have mastectomy and thinking about a recon.
Incidentally, because Lisa has virtually no veins left in her arm from 8 sessions of chemo, the anaesthetist knocked her out by telling her to breathe something in. Lisa says that she took one big breath, there was a sweet taste and remembers no more until someone told her it was 9.30pm! It was wonderful she says.
Love Sue x (Lisa’s Mum, who aged about 20 years on Monday afternoon!!)

Hi Sue - so glad it is over for you both and Lisa is feeling ok - I am so pleased she is not in a lot of pain - I only had ibuprofen and paracetamol - it really isn’t as painful as you imagine. Bowels can be a problem!!! - I just asked for lots of laxatives!!! Glad Lisa is pleased with the result so soon as well - the drains are a pain but the fluid is better out than in so try and get her to stick with them as long as they will let her. I used a bag that went over my shoulder so I didn’t have to drag them around everywhere.

Sue you can now start to relax - have a BIG glass of wine on me!!

Take care

Sarah x x x

What a good idea Sarah! … just got back from hospital so I can have one now … Lisa had a walk up and down a couple of corridors tonight as she was feeling that she needed to stretch her legs. I had a text from her a while back which said, " I have BEEN" So thats a relief in more ways than one! Surgeon popped in tonight to have a look at his handiwork and said that if the flap hasn’t been rejected within 48 hours then all is well so he is now calling the op a success and said that she could probably go home on Friday. He will decide tomorrow. We get results of lymph nodes etc next Weds. Only one little set back she has developed tonsillitis! She always gets it if she is run down so is now on antibiotics as well. She had a temperature yesterday so that is possibly the cause. Lisa too has a bag to wear round her neck when she goes to the loo etc. for her drains.
Anyway Surgeon also said that even without the results she is more free from cancer than she probably has been for over a year ( even though she didn’t find lump until April) so that made her feel really optmistic. All she has to do now he said is get her body to heal.
Anyway how are you now Sarah … a couple more weeks down the line since last I heard?
Love Sue x

Hi Sue - doing really well now - most of the back swelling has gone and I have full movement in the arm - just feels a bit weak if I weight bear on that side - can be a bit tricky getting out of a bath if I lean on my left side. Also I have a valve under the skin to inflate the implant later on if I want and by the evening it does rub a bit on my bra strap - but otherwise I feel back to normal which is great!!! Seeing my occuaptional health on Friday to get signed back into work and starting a phased return from 1 December. Thought it would be good to get back to normal for a couple of months before the next surgery.

Loving being at home but spending way too much money!!! - all the christmas shopping done and had a lovely day yesterday with my grandmother. It is nice that once the kids are dropped off at school I don’t have to rush off to work and can do what I want.

Take care

Saarh x x x

Lisa doing so well she will be coming home tomorrow afternoon with two drains. Thats the 5th day. Still no pain and only on paracetamol and ibuprofen for discomfort with drain under arm and some stiffness in mornings. She is so pleased and expected to feel a lot worse. A bit nervous about coming home although she wants to be home more than anything of course but always a worry that something will happen. She came for another short walk with me and felt better for it. Can imagine spending money being at home Sarah … Lisa has been the same …don’t blame you wanting to get back to normal before having other op. Hopefully Lisa’s results will be good next Weds. The main worry is the skin met … the lump on her lower back although he has taken a wide margin he says and is sending it somewhere for special analysis as its very unusual. We will have everything crossed for that.
Love Sue xx

Hi Sue

Delighted to hear of Lisa’s progress I do hope that she continues to improve as well as she has done to date. Well done Lisa and well done Sue you sound like a really lovely Mum. Good luck with the lower back, my thoughts are with you both.

I go in next week Wednesday, 21 November for sentinal node and on 1 December have the mastectomy and LD flap. I have not been told anything about rejection but will call my bc nurse today to get the gen on that. She just told me today that my grade of DCIS is high, not so chuffed to hear that but hopefully it is not a bad thing. It has never even crossed my mind about rejection of the tissue, they will be using skin from my back so I think it would not reject as it is my own skin hmmm will see what she says. I will also lose my nipple and hope to have recon next year on that.

Going away for the weekend with my lovely man so we can just have some us time, daughters staying with their Dad. Need to get some more christmas gifts bought, hey at least I will have plenty of time in the hospital to write all the cards out.

Take care,
luvnhugsCarolexxx

Honestly Carole the likelihood of rejection is very very slim but I guess they have to tell you this. I think its only the flap in place of the nipple area. The muscle being still joined won’t be rejected. Lisa has been so pleasantly surprised at how well she has felt and with no pain … just the discomfort … soreness… of the where the drains go in… but then I remember getting that when I had my hysterectomy. Otherwise she says that she just feels normal. The breast looks good considering it is so soon after op … a bit swollen and only slightly bruised but just think what they have done to only get that! really nothing much. The end of the breast of course looks completely different, and flat instead of pointed, with the flap but has been told this will look much better later on. Someone told her to become a tassel twirler because the tassels will cover the end and no one will ever know!!
When she came round from the op we were there and she was in such high spirits it was unbelievable … joking and laughing and had us in fits. Don’t know what they gave her but I could have done with some!! I am going shortly to pick her up … taking a soft pillow just in case uncomfortable to sit in car but she says its not her back that hurts its under her arm where the drains are. We all know its a horrid thing to have to have done and you don’t know how many times I have wished … even prayed … that it was me instead. But I would recommend this op to anyone and not to be afraid of pain as there isn’t any. When you think of the alternative its like a miracle. Hopefully drains out next Weds evening when she sees consultant. He is also pleased with the drainage so all we need now is good results on the bits that he cut out, including the lower back lump.
She has had excellent care and will miss her electric bed she says.
Have a lovely weekend … I know we will with Lisa home and who knows soon I might be able to take her away for a few days too.
Love Sue xx

Incidentally Carole don’t forget to post and let us know how it goes … we will be thinking about you and looking out for your news.
Lots of love Sue & Lisa xx

Hi Sue

I have been reading your posts and am really pleased your daughter is doing so well, I had the same operation 2 years ago and did’nt have any pain either, much to my suprise.

I can also relate to how you must be feeling seeing your daughter going through treatment, my daughter had cancer (not bc) 3 years ago now and it broke my heart to watch her go through chemo and feel so poorly, how things change though, she gave birth to our first grandchild 4 months ago and the past has just about been forgotten.

Its much easier coping when its yourself rather than someone you love.

Take care.

Jan

How wonderful Jan to have a young Grandchild and to know that you have a happy ending with your daughter. As you said it breaks your heart to watch them go through it all. No words can explain it… its like someone is ripping out your heart but you mustn’t show it. Not sure if I will get grandchildren now… still as long as Lisa survives this awful disease I will be more than happy with my lot.
What an awful time for you both to have had cancer. I hope all that has changed now and I wish you many happy and wonderful years with your daughter and grandchild or grandchildren! One thing this disease does is make you look at life at a different angle doesn’t it?
Love Sue x

Hi Sue, I read your recent posts so this is all great news for you both, your daughters recovery post op must make this a little easier for you too, it must be hard watching your childen go through this, but thankyou for sharing this week, it is very positive and encouraging, im dreading surgery which is on the 30th Nov, so hello to carole- again, we are close to our date, im having a right mastectomy and TMG flap from the thigh. all similar surgery in the end.
1 day at a time.
good luck sue with lisa’s return to home recovery , please carry on posting how you are doing.
Julie xxx

Hi Julie. Wishing you all the best for your op … I am sure you will be fine. They don’t let you have any pain these days … there is so much they can do. Did you see the article in the Sunday Times magazine yesterday? Really encouraging for any type of recon and some wonderful photos of ladies who have had it done looking so sexy.
I am just going round to see Lisa now … fortunately she only lives a short distance away with her fiance (would have been married by now but has now put it off until she has her hair back and can wear a low cut dress!). She says she is fine this morning and only has some stiffness, mostly where the drains are under her arm. She has pottered around and even put some washing on and tidied up with her left hand. Wonderful really considering the op was last Monday afternoon.
I will be waiting for you and Carole to post after your ops and tell me how good you feel!
Lots of love to you
Sue xx

Hi Carole and Sue, good to meet you, carole i hope your snb went ok yesterday, i had mine 7 days before you, and big op on the 30th so we can chat along the way, its great to hear sue that lisa is doing so well, she has her young age on her side which must help her physically, and you and others supporting too,
yes the times article was fantastic!

bye for now, lol, julie x

Lisa’s results weren’t ready on Weds night hence me not posting but the consultant has since telephoned her and its good news … no other cancer in the breast tissue and no sign of cancer in lymph nodes (she asked if she could have them back then!) … the back lump does have cancer in it which we knew of course and is still being tested. He says he wants a thorough check as it is so unusual for the cancer to have spread to just one met in the back. In fact he has never come across it before in all his years. We will know more this coming Weds when we see him again. We should also know soon what further treatment she is to have now. A lot depended on the situation with the lymph nodes.
Anyway this is just to tell you that I am one happy Mum at the moment and I am sure that a couple of my (many) facial wrinkles have now disappeared! As at least we have one bit of good news after all these months. Lisa is going on fine …13 days after op … drains came out Weds, what a relief although she missed the bag she used to carry them around! …and she is feeling really good. Came shopping with me yesterday … needless to say I didn’t let her carry anything as her arm is still uncomfortable and she mustn’t lift anything but she is doing her exercises every day and getting more and more movement in the shoulder … other than that she uses her arm normally to do simple chores, put make up on, wash up etc. After 3 days without the drains she says that she can feel a slight build up of fluid in back but really nothing much and wonders if walking a lot … she comes with me and the dogs everyday… has helped. Very little bruising and absolutely no pain anywhere. Breast a bit swollen and a tiny bit sore in the cleavage area when touched but again nothing much, far less than we expected and still looking good.
Thought I would post as I know a few of you who are due the ops would be interested to know how she is doing. She is a big believer in the power of positive thinking and has been so positive all along that it has kept me going. I am hoping that I can do the same for you.
Will post again
Love to all of you
Sue xx

Hi Sue, Lisa Julie

So chuffed to hear how well Lisa is after her surgery, wishing you both all the very best throughout the recovery period. You sound so very brave Lisa, well done honey xx

My SN went well, pretty exhausted until 2 days ago as I take bad reactions to the anaesthetic. Get results of SN on Saturday 1 Dec when I go in for the mast and recon. Feel great today tho and have cooked my socks off, casseroles and soup for when I come home after my op. It will save my lovely man some of the chores at least so that makes me feel better.

Julie

Take care honey, my thoughts are with you now and especially on Friday, just think by Friday night for you and by Saturday night for me we will have won the first battle of our war with this demon. Hey we will even be ok to have a wee drink at Christmas and New Year and hopefully get the best Christmas gift ever in regaining our health or at least knowing what future treatments we face.

Take care Julie, keep reminding yourself that this Friday is the day when you start getting better.

luvnhugsCarolexxx

I will second that Carole … both of you will be on the mend after the weekend. Lisa had no pain at all, just a little uncomfortable ( mainly from back lump she had removed from her lower back) and only on paracetamol and ibuprofen the whole time. I have everything crossed for you both that it all goes well and i will be watching the site for when you both post again. Make the most of the rest.
Incidentally Lisa goes to see consultant again tomorrow night and will get her results formally then and find out what treatment next. She has a little build up of fluid in her back, she can just feel it around the back wounds … not bad after a week without the drains and they may syringe some off. I will let you know.
Lots of love to you both … we will both be thinking about you over the weekend. Hopefully you will be as pleasantly surprised as Lisa was with the results.
Love Sue& Lisa x

Thanks Sue and Lisa

Good luck with your results Lisa.

Thought I would give you a laugh. My Dad is so worried, bless him, I saw him on Friday and he was asking loads of questions. We had just been speaking about the radioactive jags to my breast and I said to him it;s not all bad Dad hold on I think there,s a strange reaction to this radio in my boob!! Then I sang to him Booby love, my booby love, boob bop a lula shes my booby, Booby doo I wanna be like you oo oo, Take good care of my Booby and so on and so on. Dad and Mum joined in with me and we all had such a laugh. Hope that made you smile.

luvnhugsCarolexxx

Certainly did Carole! Lisa too has your sense of humour and is always joking about her boobs or lack of one! She also kept making us laugh during her chemo about how everyone in chemo ward looked the same as if all sisters! Puffy faces and no hair. She has been an inspiration to us all even the Drs have been amazed at how cheerful she has been. Her thoughts are that no one will want to know her if she is miserable all the time.
Love Sue xx

Hi Carole and Sue and Lisa,
Great to hear that lisa is recoverying so well,I plan to do exactly the same!
Ive been telling all my friends and family that Im going to a leaving do tonight! my right boobs do!!! they all think Im skatty any way, so no one is shocked. Im ready now, in my head and heart for this, the last month has been a nightmare hasnt it,for all of us.
Good luck carole, Ill be thinking of you, try and get some restful sleep before hand even if its naps during the day.

Lots of love to you both and thankyou for being here along the way.
Julie xxx

Hi all
We will be here for a long time yet Julie and eager to know how you get on.
We saw consultant again last night for formal report post op. No further cancer in breast tissue … they tested and retested because they couldn’t find any … chemo had certainly done its job. No cancer in the 19 lymph glands he took. All this excellent news of course. But the one downer is that they did find breast cancer cells in the back lump … the secondary cancer. For some reason the chemo had hardly touched it … it was still 10mm across when he removed it. They are having a meeting today to see what comes next … probably radiotherapy on back to make sure he has got it all and then tamoxifen.for 5 years. She is already on Zoladex once a month. If it wasn’t for that back lump we could now be saying that we are optimistic that she has totally beaten this thing. Lisa has IBC which is a very aggressive cancer, if you didn’t already know, and we still blame the 9 week wait between discovering her breast lump and the first chemo. It was just before her first chemo that she discovered the lump in her back but then some weeks before a biopsy on that and then it took a junior Dr to intervene as no one else seemed bothered. It was at this point they were convinced that it had traveled further and to other organs and we had some pretty depressing days I can tell you. However CT scans showed no cancer anywhere else hence going ahead with the ops but there is now always that worry that a tiny cell has lodged somewhere and will rear its ugly head one day because it has escaped the breast. At the moment we are celebrating the good news though and Lisa says she will do all they tell her however painful or uncomfortable to keep this thing at bay. Her hair has just started to come back so she is looking forward to leaving her hats off soon.
Incidentally she had to have some fluid drained off last night, not much though considering it is a week since drains came out. It was a bit uncomfortable having it done but she said it felt better afterwards. he was pleased at how breast looks and how the wounds are healing. She really has done remarkably well and feels well… much better than we had hoped for and I just hope that you, Julie and Carole do as well. Lisa says she feels totally normal except from teh stiff arm and armpit … doing her exercises though and it gets better every day. Can’t wait to hear from you both to know how you are doing.
Love Sue & Lisa xx