Hi Linda It's good to hear from you again on the forum.
Glad to hear you are OK and things settling down.
My recon still goes into spasm occasionally and I can make it move by clenching under my arm - yes it does look like the muscle man! I am sure that I read something on this forum fron another girl whose LD recon twitched, so there are probably more like us out there.
I have to have some corrective treatment done further down the line, as the muscle has pulled and given me a large dimple by the cleavage part of my boob - so I do not have a very good cleavage and have to be careful what I wear. My surgeon says that the muscle will slacken off in time, but I am not sure if it ever stops behaving like a muscle - something to add to my list of questions.
I always have and am still wearing very supportive type bras - my recon is still slightly bigger and a more rounded shape, but it's not that noticeable. It feels quite heavy and droops more than my reduced side - I was expecting it to be the other way round - so if I go without good support the difference is more noticeable.
Jumping boobs. Hi there. I had a mastectomy with Lat Dorsi recon and reduction on the other side on 6th March. After being disappointed initially it's looking quite good, I've had an expander implant put in and had it inflated a little, it's nearly the same size as the reduced size, not quite as pointy so can't quite fit a bra cup yet. BUT..... I had read about the new boob twitching but when I make certain movements mine jumps!! Remember the chap who moved his muscles to music? I could give him a run for his money! I haven't got my next appointment with my surgeon yet so can't ask him what happens but has anyone else had this and does it settle down? I mentioned it before the op and I know he said he'd cut something joining to my upper arm but obviously this hasn't helped. Maybe I should get the other one done and take up juggling!!! Any suggestions?
Hallo Pauline Dear Pauline
I know just what you mean. Seems silly to be pleased about havng a mastectomy next week, but it beats having to have chemo first!
The pre-op assessment is nothing really. They ask a lot of questions about your general health, do blood pressure checks and a blood test. I had an ECG as well. It did take a long time though. But nothing to worry about.
Sentinel node biopsy? Not really sure but they have referred to it a a nuclear injection. Lovely! I have that on Monday 30th and come home again. I don't know, but have the impression it doesn't take long. I go back into hospital for the operation on Tuesday. I am hoping to be out by the weekend but wll ask the breast nurse tomorrow what to expect. I think the sentinel node biopsy is something to do with seeing how far it has or hasn't spread.
I shall be holding you in my heart for the following week, and hope to be able to send you some positive news before you go in. Have you decided about reconstruction yet?
Try to enjoy the days you have. I have been stocking up today on easy food for my husband for while I am away. And I am determined to do some potting in our back yard this weekend whle I still can!
Lots of love to you
So pleased Dear Dilys
I am so pleased you are back on track (that sounds ridiculous bearing in mind the operation you are about to have, but you know exactly what I mean).
I don't know anything about the sentinel node biopsy, do you have to stay in for that or will you be home Monday and back for Tuesday?
I am just having all my nodes removed at the same time as the mastectomy.
If you are back on line the weekend after your operation I am sure you will be helping me as I have my mastectomy on Tuesday 8th May.
I am quaking in my boots already just thinking about it.
I go for my pre-op on Monday 30th April, I guess that is just tests although they say allow half a day for it.
This is the first week I have had no appointments at all at the hospital since I was diagnosed!
It is lovely to hear from you again, as you say, a complete stranger who feels like a good friend.
Try to relax a little over the next few days (who am I kidding!!) perhaps spoil yourself for a change, and I will be thinking about you constantly.
lots of love
For dear Pauline Dear Pauline
Yes I did, and thank god I am back on track. The dear breast nurse rang this afternoon, and said we can go ahead as planned on1 May. Thank you so much for asking. We are strangers but you feel like a friend. I never thought I would be so grateful to be having a mastecotomy next Tuesday! May be these things happen to humble you?
How are you? I so hope you are ok. You have been a lifeline to me.
So anything else intervening I have the sentinel node biopsy on Monday and the op and recon on Tuesday 1 May. So hope to be back on line helping others by the next weekend. And here until the op!
Lots of love
Recon Dear Jo
Thank you so much for replying and giving me your story.
I am sorry to hear that you are not happy with your implants,after all you have been through it must be so disappointing.
I am glad you have been honest with me and after your experience I shall certainly bear in mind your advice for reconstruction with a body part.
I do wish you all the best and hope that in the future you may be happier with your reconstruction.
Hi Pauline I just thought i would let you no i had a bilateral mastectomy in December 06. I am in the process of having my becker implants filled, i have just had the last filling, not wanting to sound ungrateful to my surgeon or anyone but i wish i had never had them.
I am a 39 year old mum who's breast's were drooping slightly even at a small size 32b, I couldn't have any other types of breast as i lost a lot of weight when i was dx with breast cancer, I went down to a size 6 and didn't have enough fat or muscle on my body to have a tram flap etc. Since having the implant's i feel like a 16 year old who,s had a boob job, only not with the joy, they are too high and too hard, they do not feel like breast's at all.
If i could of had a choice I would of chosen some sort of reconstruction with a body part as i feel they would look and feel more natural.
Good luck with your choice, I hope it works out better for you.
Love Jo x x x
Thanks Paulne Dear Pauline
Oh I understand so well! I feel exacly the same and have also been heard to mutter about not going to play this game any more! And then you pull yourself together and get on with it, even though you would rather be getting on with something else! My brain has turned to mush as well. So glad it isn't just me. I have always been so capable!
One useful thing I find. Never speak to the doctors whilst flat on your back with no top on! I feel more in control sitting up!
Thanks again Pauline - I am beginning to feel we know each other!
Much love and strength to you, and thank you for your help. I am going out to treat myself to some lunch and then go to the library - a rare thing for me on a week day.
Take good care my love and stay in touch
Oh no Dear Dilys
Scream all you like, you have every reason to.
Lets hope you get the result by Wednesday and that all is well. We know they have to be cautious and look at everything but oh the waiting really gets to you.
I know what you mean about taking over your life and I have muttered several times that I just don't want to and can't do this. Then you just have to carry on as normal, as much as you can.
I don't know about you but I find my brain seems to have left me. I just can't remember the easiest of things. I heard someone say it's a bit like you are on the outside looking in.
Please let me know when you get your results.
I am sending you a hug.
lots of love
Hallo again Pauilne Dear Pauline
Hope you don't mnd me screaming. But I have just come back from the hospital. I was expecting just to meet the surgeon and be "measured" for the reconstruction. But no. He took one look well, feel really, and did yet another test there and then. It seems he thinks it has spread to the skin. He isn't sure - hence the test. We won't know until Wednesday at the earliest, and may be not till next week.
If we know Wednesday and all is ok then I think we go ahead as planned on 1 May or thereabouts If we don't know by Wednesday then the whole thing drops back. If they know and it has spread then I am in for chemo before they can do anything else. So here we are back in limbo again.
It is beginning to take over my life and I do not like that one bit!
Much love and so sorry about all the gloom and doom.
Hi Dilys Dear Dilys
Welcome back and I hope your weekend was good other than the conversation you heard in the kitchen.
I am sure your recon will be fine, let's face it whatever we decide we cannot be absolutely certain we will like the end result. But Jane is so right in that it's the cancer we want to get rid of and that's the main thing.
Like you I am absolutely petrified of the surgery, I have only been in hospital before to have my two children. And I will find it so hard to be the one being looked after.
This nightmare is only just beginning Dilys and it would be lovely if we could wake up and realise it was a dream.
But I know we will find the strength to get on with this after all we are women!
Don't forget I am thinking about you you are not alone.
lots of love
Thanks so much for letting me know your thoughts and experiences.
I am delighted to hear there are other ladies out there who do not regret their decisions for no reconstruction. I think Jane is right in that you probably don't look on this topic if you don't have reconstruction.
Both you and Jane are so upbeat and positive about yourselves and your decisions and I cannot tell you how much that has helped me.
I know there are lots of bad days ahead but you have helped me to realise there can also be good times to look forward to.
Thank you so much once again.
Oh dear! Dear Pauline and girls
I go away for the weekend and come back to some kindred spirits! Thank you Pauline for being there when I was off line. Just when I thought I had made a decision. Oh dear oh dear. I am starting to think that this thing might be life changing. But we knew that really, didn't we? I think what you have all taught me is that recon if offered is worth a first go, but if it doesn't work, then it is really not worth going to the wall for.
Is it just me but I am frightened of the surgery. The only thing I have ever had before is an emergency appendectomy in 2001, when there was no choice and no time to think. Anyone else wish this horrible nightmare would stop? I was ok this weekend till I heard my lovely family in the kitchen talking about the operation. I feel like I don't want to be a victim and someone to be sorry for. I have always been there for everyone else!
Much love to all
Ooops I forgot to add....... Hello me again, I forgot to add that I was a 34E before surgery and was aged 43 at diagnosis and am 44 now. Just a add a bit of background!
I'm a happy flatty too! Hi Pauline and Jane,
Could I just add my two pennorth worth and add another voice to the non reconstruction route too?!
I had my first mastectomy in March last year and my second in February this year. I had chemo and radiotherapy after the first op but luckily nothing after the second. I'm triple neg so the second op was my 'safety net' as well as having the added bonus of leveling me up.
Like you Jane, I wasn't bothered about being mono breasted and am now actually quite happy about being flat chested, I wear prosthetic's when I feel like it and go without when I can't be bothered to, it's actually quite liberating! I can also be whatever size I choose to which is very handy when certain clothes don't fit. I know if I go out without boobs that all anyone is thinking (if they notice at all ) is that I'm flat chested not that I've had surgery. I'm more bothered by the non reappearance of my eyebrows!
My heroine has become Debra Messing of 'Will and Grace' - who is a very stylish woman and is as flat chested as they come.
After losing my hair and boobs in the past year I know that what makes me female is me and the way I am in my head, it's nothing to do with what others see on the outside. Another plus is that I never have to have another mammogram..ever!
I agree that this is a very personal decision and there is no wrong or right road to choose - just what is right for you.
All the best,
PS Hi Pauline
I was really scared about the operation but I woke up in very little pain and was only in hospital 3 nights. My wound healed quickly and I have a lovely smooth scar. I do have a kind of 'dog ear' under my arm which I wasn't warned about and was upset about at first but is quite common (you can have it removed later though I haven't bothered) but I have got used to that. Now I don't find looking at my scar or my flat chest upsetting in the least.
Thank you so much Pauline I'm so pleased what I said has helped you. I think quite a lot of women feel similarly to me but probably don't use this forum because a forum about reconstruction is far more likely to attract women who have had reconstruction than those who haven't. I've been hanging around these forums for ages and so do check the reconstruction forum from time to time just to see if there is anyone who's not feeling too sure. I just want to give a different perspective because I think the doctors often don't. Bodily 'perfection' has such a high priority in this society and I think that now the (mainly male) medics think they have found a way of making pretend boobs that they assume this is what women with breast cancer must want...but we don't all.
In saying all this i'm not judging anyone who chooses to have a reconstruction...nor am I saying that I didn't shed bitter tears about my own mastectomy...I did...I am just simply saying that for me living with one breast has been by far the least traumatic aspect of having breast cancer.
As I said in my last post Pauline I really hope your treatment goes well.
Thank you Dear Jane
I cannot thank you enough for your reply. It is so refreshing to hear someone speaking positively about not having reconstruction.
Deep down I didn't really want reconstruction and was quite pleased when I was advised against it immediately. But I must agree with you that it doesn't seem to be given as a positive choice.
I have been so worried about loosing my breast and wondering if I will hate what I see, but you have turned my thinking around. Of course, I must see it as getting rid of the cancer, not the breast.
I was finding it so hard to come to terms with no reconstruction as I almost felt as though nobody else
Thank you so much, I will celebrate the fact that I don't have to have a reconstruction.
I wish you all the very best for the future and you will never known how much hope your words have truly given to me.
Hi Pauline Only just seen your post.
I never contemplated a reconstruction...I didn't want a lengthy operation, like you I wasn't advised immediate reconstruction, and for me having cancer...aggressive and with many nodes affected...was the traumatic thing not 'losing' a breast. Of course I felt very sad before my matsectomy (which was 6 months after diagnosis as I had chemo pre surgery) and wondered how i would feel one breasted. Well the answer is that I have felt fine one breasted.
I feel OK about my rtaher interesting one breasted shape. I wear a prosthesis most of the time which is comfortable. I was never a cleavage kind of woman so wear the same kind of clothes as I did before my operation.
I know that for many women a reconstruction is an important part of their treatment but I do sometimes think that maybe surgeons don't present the option of no reconstruction as a positive choice rather than a kind of second choice. Many women get brilliant results form reconstruction...indeed I've seen great photos of breasts which look conventionally more pert and shapely than my own rather low slung droopy, lopsided ones ever looked...but some opertations do go wrong and women get infections and sometimes disappointing results.
So I'd say celebarte the fact that you don't have to have a reconstruction unless you really want to..say yes to being one breasted if that feels OK for you.
I was 54 at diagnosis (now 58) and roughly 38/40Bish.
I hoep your treatment goes well. I hope this brings a different perspective to your eventual choice.
For Pauline Dear Pauline
Thank you for answering. You have been on my mind such a lot too. I think making a decision helps - the rest will follow. Please do keep in touch and let me know how you are. I am not here this weekend as I am going to see my brother in Bognor. But I wll be back next week for sure. Made a trip into work today for the leaving party of one of my dearest friends, so have at least now faced the "real" world again.
Much love to you
Decisions Dear Dilys
I am so glad you have made a decision, obviously watching the video was well worth doing.
I have also made a decision, or rather it was made for me.
When I saw my surgeon he said he recommended that I should not have a reconstruction immediately. His reason was he wanted to get on with any treatment I might need as soon as possible after the operation.
I have been thinking about you a lot too and even mentioned you to my breast care nurse!
At least we both know where we are going now and as you say it does feel a lot better once a decision is made. I am trying to take everything one step at a time and not think too far ahead otherwise I find myself worrying about stuff that might not even happen!
Please keep in touch
lots of love
For Pauline and Petitepart Dear Pauline and petitepart
Ok I have decided to go for the immediate recon with becker implant - essentially the one they expand under your skin and muscle. Ouch. The bc nurse lent me a video which finally convinced me that it is worth a try.
I am trying to stop dithering though I am sure I won't, but this is a decision. And that feels better already.
Let me know how you are doing. You are in my mind so much.
Lots of love and best wishes
Hallo Pauline and Petitepart Dear Pauline
Hi there. I have just had the most deeply boring day at the hospital. They are so good but this was just the pre-assessment before whatever op it turns out to be. At one point they asked me if I knew what operation I was going in for. I was SO SO tempted to say I just needed my toenails cut! Of course I resisted it and answered all the questions (nice to be able to say there are so many things you haven't got). Also blood tests and an ECG. Such delights.
So I am still on for 1 May as far as I know and still trying to make the decision. And in answer - no, noone has said really what they think about recon v prosthesis but all the push seems to be to recon of one sort of one sort or another. Petitepart put her finger on it when she said there was something about the implants that people here didn't want. But saying no to recon seems to be somehow wrong. Maybe they just have more experience?
Anyway the bc nurse has lent me a video about Becker implants (which is what I get if I go that route) and I will screw up the courage to watch it tomorrow and let you know.
Hope you are ok and coping with this weird new world.
Hi Petitepart and Mardy Hi Petitepart and Mardy
Thank you so much ladies for your thoughts and experiences they really are much appreciated.
Hi Dilys Dear Dilys
Good to hear from you. Did the hospital just leave the choice to you, or did they give you any indications which might be best for you?
I must admit, like you I am swaying towards the prosthesis.
I saw one too and I must say I was more impressed with that than some of the photos I saw of reconstruction.
I thought it was a pity they couldn't just permantly attach one of those to me!!
I have not had one reply from anyone who has said they didn't want reconstruction at all. I think you and I must be the exception to the rule!
I am at the hospital this afternoon and I must say part of me is rather hoping the surgeon says 'can't do reconstruction on you', but then I am a terrible coward!
Good luck with your decision, please let me know what it is when you make it. My thoughts are with you.
34F Hi Pauline
I will be 60 in June and was diagnosed in March 06 and recommended a mastectomy as my best option. I couldn't imagine only having one breast as I was a 34F and quite droopy. I made a bit of joke of it and said I would be listing to one side if I only had one. I made the decision to have a mastectomy with an immediate diep reconstruction and a reduction on the other side. I am so glad I did. When I left hospital 6 days after the op if I looked down I had a normal cleavage which was fantastic. Also I was only a 34D cup. Unfortunately since chemo I have put on some weight so am now a 34DD cup but still much, much better that a 34F which I loathed.
My reconstruction is far from perfect without clothes but with clothes, I feel quite confident about wearing anything, even low cut dresses. As another bonus with the diep you get a tummy tuck which is amazing. Although the surgery is quite long I found the recovery much better and easier than I anticipated.
Good luck with your decision.
Immediate reconstruction Hello Pauline, I emailed DilysP on her thread "Help in choosing" on just this subject. I hope what I wrote might be of help to you too. I imagine your plastic surgeon has talked over with you all the possibilities, and also shown you lots of recon photos, and also explained about the different implants you can have. Believe it or not, it can be fascinating and a good discussion helps to remove questions and fears: and in fact my plastic surgeon and I had a lot of laughs! All good wishes
Dilys here again Dear Pauline
Hallo kindred spirit. I am now back from hospital swaying again to leaving it after the mastectomy and having a prosthesis. They did at least let me see one today (a prothesisis that is) and it looked fine to me. But you are right. There seems to be this assumption that recon is best. I am not so sure it would be for me. I now have till Monday to decide.
With you in spirit my love. Let me know what you decide.
Thanks for replying and giving me your experience.
You have been very helpful the more people tell you the
better you form your own picture.
I am glad all is going so well for you and do wish you all the best for the future.
Once again, thanks for your help
Thanks for sharing your experience, I think you are absolutely right in that I must speak to my surgeon in
I have been told I will probably have rads so it may well be that the choice will be made for me.
Sometimes the obvious just seems to escape me!
I am glad you are happy with your reconstruction and
wish you all the best for the future.
Hi Pauline Just thought I'd add my own experience to give you a more balanced picture of things. Although I was very small breasted I had an immediate LD reconstruction last July and have never looked back since. In my opinion losing my back muscle was no big deal and I don't even know that I've lost it. Was driving my car within a week and back to work full time after 5 weeks (office job). I have full range of movement and the only scarring is on my back along my bra line so no one would ever know. Pain was absolutely minimal and I've just had my nipple recreated so almost as good as new.
find out more info from your surgeons Hi Girls
I was totally against the back muscle operation at first, but am glad I did it now, I am 41 and a 36/38C flutuating not sure why.....
I told my surgeon that I wanted just to have the silicone implant and he recommended that I have the back muscle (Lat Dorsi)....
I think you also need to find out if you are having rads or not, as sometimes the rads ruins the implant and I'm not sure if they replace it on the nhs if this occurs....
none of the ops are easy and I only had 5 day's to make my mind up...
Hallo Pauline Dear Pauline
Yes I know exactly what you mean. My operation is on 1 May so we may just have it done together! I will let you now how I get on this afternoon. I am sure it won't be the back muscle op - I simply can't face that. So silicone implant at the same time, or nothing. Two lots of surgery has no attraction at all.
Wishng you all the best, and stay in touch
Thank you so much for replying it is just so good to hear from people who understand.
We seem to be very similar in our predicaments and views and I too do not know the technical terms.
I am having to change my Consultant as the original has gone on holiday. Wednesday I go to see the new one who I am told will probably do the operation on 1st or 8th May.
I wish you well with the BC nurse tomorrow, please let us know how you get on.
Thank you once again.
Very best wishes
Thank you for replying and I feel the same as you in that I think one large boob would be more difficult to disguise!
I am glad you are happy with your reconstruction and you have given me something to think about with your suggestion of a lift on the other side.
Enjoy those new tops, this summer is supposed to be sweltering, so make the most of it.
Once again, thank you so much for your advice, it is really a great comfort.
Thank you so much for replying, it's good to hear from somebody who is much further down the line with their treatment. As you will remember, at first it is very difficult to see any light at the end of the tunnel.
Thank you for sharing your experiences, it really does help
Hi Pauline Dear Pauline
I so empathise with you. I am 55, and a 36C. Not vain at all. I cannot bear the thought of the back muscle recon and haven't been offered the others. So I am between the silicone expander (sorry, not well up on the technical terms) and just leaving it be and having a prosthesis. I am due to see the bc nurse tomorrow and think I have to make a decision then. So I am not much help to you but just send you love and support whatever you decide.
Keep posting - this website has been my lifeline since I had the news last Wednesday.
All best wishes to you
Hi Pauline Sorry about your diagnosis and welcome - this is the best place for support and advice from those going thru the same thing.
I had mastectom and immeidate LD recon (where they use the back muscle) with implant nearly 8 weeks ago now. As I am large breasted - I was a 38F - this is the main reason I went for immediate recon. I felt that having one boob this size would be hard to disguise. I was told that it would not be possible to get a recon this size so took up the offer of having a reduction on the other side at the same time and I am now a 38D.
I'll admit that is has not all been plain sailing - initially I felt that the reduction was too small and the recon too big - but it has settled down now and they are very similar in size. No, it's not perfect and yes there are scars, but even in just my bra you would not know that it was a recon.
I am very pleased with my pert boobs - I am 50 this year - and in the last week or so have had plenty of retail therapy getting new tops that I would not have previously been able to wear.
There are plenty of girls on this site who have not had immediate reconstruction and you can get beautiful underwear to wear with a prosthesis (go to www.ameona.com and request a catalogue and sign up for their free magazine). If you do chose to go for the recon, another option might be to have a lift on the other side?
It's not an easy decision to make Pauline, good luck and let us know how it goes.
Recon Hi Pauline,
I had a tram flap recon at the same time as my mast last July and I'm a size 38c. I've never regretted my decision as it's so good to look down and see cleavage which is why I had the recon and at the same time as the mast means only one operation.
Have to say my recon boob is more in shape as the other one droops a bit but you can't notice anything when I wear a bra and my bra free days where over a long time ago.
The plastic surgeon did say that I could have surgery on my okay boob in the future if I wanted it, also a new nipple on my recon boob, but at the moment I'm happy with things the way they are.
Hope you get lots of advice to help you make your decision.
Immediate Reconstruction Hi Everyone
I am due to have a mastectomy, with lymph nodes removed, early in May and have to decided about reconstruction
Most women seem to go for reconstruction either immediately or at a later date, but I just wondered if any of you have decided definitely against it and your reasons for that.
My breast care nurse showed me pictures of reconstruction and I must admit that I was not too impressed. Am I expecting too much?
I have large breasts (38D) which are really quite droopy (I am 60) and most of the pictures I saw were of much smaller breasts that were really quite pert.
Whilst I do not really like the idea of waking up with no breast, I am rather a coward and would hate to have the reconstruction and wake up to find I don't like it!
Your thoughts and experiences would be very much appreciated.