Great that you are starting to move forwards - really good news.
Yes a certain amount of assertiveness is perhaps a good choice - although not easy for some of us.
Sometimes it helps to remember - that whatever choice is made - it has to be our choice - for our best
outcome. Only we have to live with this decision for the rest of our lives - so it should be a decision, based on the best information available to us - i.e lots of questions - what, ifs and buts - warts and all. We will have to live with the outcome - and it is our choice.
Sometimes one does not even know what question to ask - but oftern they come by themselves when in the conversation. Exploring the reason for the preferred option of your treatment team is a good way to start.
Trying to understand where and why the actual cuts are being made is also helpful, although challenging. I found it helped my understanding tremendously.
If your surgeon should not be an oncoplasti surgeon - do not be afraid to ask to be referred to one, if at all possible - you might find that some preferred options by you may become more doeable and you may have a better asthetic outcome - as they have experience in plastic surgery, too.
I wish you all the courage in the world and look forward to hearing of how you got on.
My thoughts will be with you and I shall be willing you on.
Good morning Sue, Thank you taking the time to write.. I have a reconstruction appointment tomorrow so hopefully it will make this a little more positive. I need to be more assertive and not scared to ask questions - I tend to back off and just listen!💐
i faced the challenging decision but before chemo. Two surgeons advised that my best option was an immediate DIEP recon and I was referred to plastic surgeon. She was lovely but didn't hold back on the risks and the complexities of fitting me in. I decided to proceed but was anxious that any delay in healing (as it is a massive op there are real risks afterwards) would result in a delay in chemo starting. When a lymph node, seen as thickened on my MRI, came out as cancerous I cancelled the search for a date for reconstruction went for straightforward MX and ANC. Figured I can live without a boob but I won't live without treatment. It was the right thing for me as I have healed really well and start chemo on Friday. BUT I am sad I couldn't have it all done at the same time as the thought of going through surgery and recovery again for purely cosmetic reasons, not least fitting in 3 months off work and into our busy family life feels like it will never happen. In a couple of years of living with a rubber boob I may well change my mind.
So, as you have already had chemo, you have options - as Sue says your team will know what is best for you, your shape and health and best long term option. I found sitting with the BCN and looking at the devices, going through the implications of each and also looking at photos was very helpful, although traumatic too.
So many difficult decisions - am sure you will come to the best decision for you.
So sorry to hear that doing the chemo before your op, has not resulted in the outcome you hoped for.
There are, as you may have found out - a number of options you may have. It will depend on whether they recommend further radiotherapy or not. However, should you not have to have that treatment, you should be able to go for an immediate reconstruction.
The type should be discussed with your treatment team, as they should know best the most appropriate choice with the best outcome for you.
Initially I was hoping for a lumpectomy, but small size (36B) and size of growth - mastecomy was the better option. Due to the size of by breast and where the growth was I was able to have a skin sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (saline implant) to match my other breast. In this case small really is beautiful, lol. Sort of scoop the bad stuff out and put better stuff inside...
I was also very fortunate that my surgeon was an oncoplasti surgeon - and after asking for it - he reconstructed my lost nipple with a skin bud fashioned from some of my breast skin. It looks fantasic and you really would not know that it was not the natural nipple.
Good luck - we shall be thinking of you - the operation is really not as traumatic for most, as imagined in the beginning.
I am sorry things are not clear for you. It's perfectly understandable that you'd be emotional - I think we've all been there at some point and regularly return! My experience was that I had my surgery before chemo. I opted for an LD flap reconstruction without implant. I've gone from a G cup to a C at best on my affected side so am decidedly lopsided at the moment. Once chemo is done I'll be having the right side reduced and some fat grafting to the left to even things up. Until then I wear a very convincing protheses.
You might find more people exploring the options in the Surgery forum https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Surgery/bd-p/4445 but if I can help any further, just shout.
After four months of chemo still only have the option of a mastectomy with lymph removal. I was hoping there would be a choice coz it had shrunk so I'd hoped for a lumpectomy. I do however have the choice about what reconstruction, if any. I don't know what I want it's all so scary. Maybe I should decide and go for it later, but then that means two ops. Sorry I'm feeling a bit down last chemo was Tuesday and s/e are kicking in making me emotional and not coping well with the thoughts in my head. Thanks ladies for being there and listening to my ramblings😢