After some thought this evening I have decided to stick with the LD. I have enough to think about, whilst trying desparately not to think about it!, without such a decision. Whilst sitting there trying not to feel ill about the talk about drains and fluid build up I thought "its not like I even wanted to be here, if I was after a Jordan then I would shop around". I cant face making any more decisions and just want to get on with it - start getting better. I have read some and cant see any real pros or cons in either surgery except a quicker recovery for LDP and as a front line policewoman (in a team of 8 other men) I just want to get back to normal life asap. I may have cried during sex with my husband recently but he just wants me well so whether I have a scar across my back or tummy wont change that. I just dont want to make anymore decisions. I am going to go for the LD tomorrow and hopefully come away with a date so I can start focusing on getting better.
Thanks for all your thoughts, sorry if it seems I am wimping out but now I have decided I feel better.
Yes, I think it's worth a visit to the other surgeon and then you can make a fully informed choice.
I think it's really unlikely that an extra couple of weeks will make any difference to your chance of survival - although I remember panicking at the time when I opted for mast & recon rather than lumpectomy and they had to put back the date of the operation.
You'll have gathered that I've been thrilled with the results but I've also met others who've been really pleased with the LD recons. For me, because I was fairly large breasted, the surgeon couldn't do an LD without an implant and he didn't want to do this in case I needed rads. The abdo scar from a diep puts some people off, but mine is really low and doesn't worry me a bit....even wore a bikini for the first time this summer since before I had kids - and the scar wasn't visible at all.
It's a hard decision for you - by the way the diep doesn't use any tummy muscle, so it doesn't affect how active you can be and I've been bouncing around all over the place (sometimes too much!!). I don't think it's vanity thinking about what you'll find easier to live with. This is a horrible disease and the more comfortable you feel about how you'll be with your body after surgery is really important to you psychologically and emotionally.
Good luck tomorrow and let us know what you've decided.
Thanks Lyndu, have been reading some threads on here and my booklet, beginning to lean towards LD as seems recovery is quicker but thinking I might go and see the other surgeon any how. Like the quote though, thats definately me!
And I like this comment from an American journalist, Molly Ivins, who died of IBC - she wrote some great stuff about being a cancer patient -
"I am one of those people who are out of touch with their emotions. I tend to treat my emotions like unpleasant relatives—a long-distance call once or twice or year is more than enough. If I got in touch with them, they might come to stay."
I opted out of reconstruction, but the issue isn't just where the scar is, it's also which muscles you use. If you're on the beat you probably have a fairly active lifestyle and choosing back or tummy muscle might make a difference.
A delay while you talk to a plastic surgeon (and to people on here) is not going to make a difference to your survival. You're right, your husband is just panicking and wants it gone, but you do need to do the research so you will be happy with what you have.
On being in denial - I'm pretty good at finding jobs that need doing, or a glass of wine, to stop myself thinking sometimes - I know I'm doing it, and so what. That's how I cope. Other times, I can think it through just fine - so let yourself not think about it if that's what works for you.
Thanks for your thoughts,
Ostrich comes from my tendancy to stick my head in the sand!
Didn't tell the BCN about my feelings, too busy trying to take in all that she was saying and trying not to pass out as talking about drains and fluid build up etc made me feel icky! Am now confused as didn't know prior to my appointment the BRI in Bristol only do the recon with the back muscle and was told if I want the recon with my tummy muscle I would have to be referred to another consultant at Frenchay in Bristol and to let them know. Now I don't know. Don't want to have to make choices. My husband thinks it is vanity to care where a scar is and feels that the one to two week delay in waiting to see the other consultant may be the death of me (he's rather panicking that it all seems to be taking so long) and I'm not sure whether I do care that much but feel I ought to investigate it but also just want to get on with it too and be told what to do! Argh! Will surf the forum for pros and cons of both types of recon but Fizzie and Dotchas if you have any perspective on the surgeries it would be appreciated! I said I would let them know tomorrow when I go for my exam with the consultant (back muscle recon consultant).
I've been using bio oil (quite expensive) and also aqueous cream (very cheap for a large pot!).
I was lucky as the mastectomy removed not only the whole breast, but also the area of skin which had been close to the tumour - so no radiotherapy needed. I'd partly opted for the diep as I was told by my surgeon that radiotherapy can sometimes adversely affect implants and there's a risk they can 'capsulate'.
Yes, this is a life-changing experience - no matter how much you feel you might or might not be in denial. There's all the practical stuff to cope with and then all the emotional fallout. However, don't feel bad that you don't feel terrified all the time even though you know at some level you are. I've managed to get through it all so far and people seem amazed that I haven't fallen apart. On the other hand, I've been really fortunate - my grade 3 tumour was small and I didn't have lymph node involvement....it's a different story, I'm sure, for others further down the line and I feel a bit of a fraud when I read some posts on here.
Good luck with everything, Ostrich, and keep shouting if you need anything.
Good luck seeing the BCN,please tell her how you are feeling. What you are feeling is normal,totally normal.You are in shock and your brain is working out how to cope.I wish I could say something to make it all better but I can't.Don't be afraid of your emotions let them do their thing.Its the bodys way of coping.
Writing your thoughts down here is brilliant ,keep doing it.
I am 44 with grade 1 and I have had a mastectomy ,recon and now am only on Tamoxifen.I didn't need chemo or rads so fingers crossed for you too!
Its hard with your job too as you are by nature of your career seen as a strong person and you probably don't feel strong now as this is out of your hands.
Hmm, on further reflection, I am not in denial, I know this. I think about it every minute of every day. When I went to church on Sunday and told a very good friend of mine that I was treating it like a journey I have to take she offered to pray with me and I refused because I knew that if I prayed with her I would loose it completely and that was very scary. I am not in denial, I am terrified and keeping a lid on it because I am too afraid to take my feelings out of the box and examine them because I am afraid I wont be able to get it back together.
Scuse the ramblings of my mind, just trying to work things out and writing them down is helping.
Thought I would just add this before I go.
I suddenly realised last night why I feel ok about all this. I AM IN DENIAL. Lying in bed with hubby away and having drunk a bottle of soave I wondered to myself why I am not bothered by my diagnosis and then suddenly I burst out laughing and realised - I AM IN DENIAL. Because my diagnosis was 3 weeks ago and apart from a chat 2 days later with the BCN to tell her re my decision about immediate reconstruction and a letter from the consultant confirming I have BC nothing in my life has changed. My hubby and I had a spat on Sunday as I was telling him that hopefully the surgeon would want to do the surgery in about 3 weeks and he ended up getting v cross with me saying I should get it done asap and Friday if the surgeon offers and to stop trying to fit this BC in with the rest of my life. I realised last night that my attempt to control the situation by actually pretending it isn't any different to anything else in my life (ie that it needs to be scheduled in once I have done the other things on my busy calendar) is because I haven't actually sat down and told myself I HAVE BREAST CANCER. I have but not in any way that makes me think - sh*t I need to get this sorted asap and that another 3 weeks might make a difference to my long term health (although it probably wont) and that I may have to put off doing the things I had planned for a while.
I also realised that whilst I had been telling myself that "its only a teeny insignificant cancer in that its grade 1 and I might not need chemo and rads and therefore its hardly worth mentioning" - not like my friend who was a grade 4 - I was actually going to loose a breast and that if someone else told me that that was their treatment I would think "that's awful".
I HAVE CANCER! There I said it. Last night it was funny and also quite a sobering thought however again today it feels like nothing. Maybe I will feel differently after looking at pics etc - a reality check of sorts.
Thanks for the welcome!
Its scary to realise just how many of us there are!
Am off to see the BCN about the op in a minute and surgeon tomorrow. Fizzie, I was wondering what oil you are using re the scars? Did you have to have chemo or rads as I have heard reconstruction can cause issues with rads.
Good luck with your surgery. I can understand your decision to have mastectomy and immediate reconstruction - that's what I also decided to do and I've never regretted the decision - it's been fantastic.
Like you, I couldn't face the thought of waking up after the op still having one large breast and the other not there at all...and I thought I might have serious problems balancing. Also like you, I haven't experienced any fear over the whole thing or about dying, just anxieties over coping with the after effects of surgery and so on. But it's really been fine, despite the odd wound infection and occasional setback. The surgeons reduced my healthy breast at the same time so that it's similar in size to the new one - and I now feel great....two slightly smaller and more pert boobs and a flat tummy to boot (I had a diep reconstruction).
The scars do eventually heal - I'm 6 months down the line now and still keep rubbing in the oil! A friend who's a nurse advised me after my op to use the hairdryer on a low setting on the scars after having a bath or shower and I haven't yet got out of the habit - it helps the wounds stay dry and inhibits infection setting in.
If you want any other advice about the op, it's useful to look on the reconstruction thread (I'm sure you have already!) or please shout and I can try and pass on some tips.
Hi Ostrich, sorry that you have had to join our club. I've learned loads from this site and have made very good virtual friends too. It's great that your tumour is a grade 1, and that work are being so supportive. Mine have too and I can't imagine how it must be for those who have problems with work. I hope the discussion with your surgeon goes well on Wednesday. I have got the results of my re-excision tomorrow so that feels like quite a big day! Take care and lots of love xxxx.
Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care discussion forums. I wondered if you may find BCC's resource pack helpful, it has been designed for those newly diagnosed. If you would like a copy just follow the link below:
We have also published a booklet about breast reconstruction which you may find helpful to read, here's the link:
If you would like to talk about your diagnosis and feel you need to talk to someone in confidence then please give the helpline a call, the staff here are all either breast care nurses or people who have personal experience of breast care issues and are happy to just lend a listening ear and can offer valuable advice and support if neeeded. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 the lines open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm and Saturdays 9am - 2pm.
I hope this is of some help to you.
I am new to this site and wanted to share where I am at.
I was diagnosed with a 22mm lump just behind my left nipple on the 18th August and told its a low grade, grade 1 I think. I have had a lump there for over 3 and a half years and when I had it checked out then I was told it was a breast mouse. Its started to change the shape of my breast in the last couple of months so I went back to have it checked in August to be told that I have cancer. I have been told that they didn't misdiagnose my mouse 3 and a half years ago and that the cancer may have been behind the mouse or have developed since. Strangely though I have always wondered since that time whether they were sure or not as when I had the core biopsy 3 and a half years ago they didn't guide the gun with ultra sound but they did this time.
I have been told I have to have a mastectomy as its so close to my nipple and am going to see the breast care nurses tomorrow to talk about reconstruction and look at pictures (I have opted for reconstruction at the same time as the surgery as I think I will cope better waking up with something rather than nothing) and am going to see the surgeon on Weds and will hopefully get a date for the op then. I have no idea at this stage whether I will need chemo or rads or anything else.
I have told everyone at work and only had two weeks off afterwards to get my head around it. Work have been fantastic and bent over backwards to be supportive. I am a policewoman and want to carry on with my front line duties as long as I can as I am dreading being stuck in a office after surgery. I just want everything to stay the same and am not looking forward to all the changes I have to face. I am not scared of dying but scared of the scarring, lack of nipple, effects of chemo should I need it - loss of hair (I have suffered alopecia intermittently over the last 10 years and struggle with the bald spots so total hair loss freaks me out), early menopause and affect on my sexuality (I am only 39). The only time I have shed more than a tear or two since my diagnosis has been whilst being intimate with my husband!
I am very lucky to have a friend who is surviving breast cancer and is coming to the hospital with me tomorrow and Weds as my hubby has had to go away.
Well thats me. I thought I didn't need more support but having read some of the posts on this site and having written it all down I think that I might and hope that you wont all run away from me for spilling everything at the first post!
Back on line!!!!!
15 sessions of rads - tatoo date 18th, as I am joining the rads trial and need ultasound scan etc first of all, so tht they can find where my lump was!! Hopefully I should have 4 titanium arrow heads in my left boob somewhere!!
Woohoo re your results, that's great. OK granted "there was no cancer" would be better but that's pretty damn good I think.
Good luck with the onc this afternoon and getting your internet back (I had to live without the net for 3 weeks, I was ok for the first 2 but then I got *edgy*, mind you I live and work online).
Appointment with oncologist this pm - fingers crossed!!
PS computer playing up at home so using library at the moment - internet should be back on on thursday - hopefully!
Hi Everybody - does anyone know how Peppery got on? Can not seem to find any posting re her results? I usually post on Confusing Diagnosis and would like news!
Love Tuesday xxx
Hi Kitty, I am sorry I didn't get back to you till now, not been on the site for a while. Thanks for your encouraging words about your sisterinlaw How did you get on with your Old boss, New Boss, OH and the coffee shop?
I had some good news, Only the 1 node in the 7 they took the first time had cancer, it wasnt in any of the nodes taken at the 'clearance' so hopefully they have got it! going to see the Onc next Wednesday for the first time to discuss chemo plan, bit nervous and not looking forward to it, probably going to start the following week. I have decided to try the cold cap and see what its like. nothing to loose a? except my hair hee hee! Goin to go to work next week (I work part time in an office, 3 days), got to make some money up. I'm hoping to work inbetween treatments but will have to wait and see, I get quite sick with some medications so only time will tell. I did go to work inbetween the two ops but was exhausted after 2 days, not really a wimp!!! Haven't felt up to much excercise at the moment but will be getting weight off and doing a lot more as soon as I can. moonwalking definately out though!! Arthur wont let me (Arthrightis I mean) am in a table tennis team (thats proper table tennis, not ping pong!!!) so will be going back to that ASAP. Celebrated my 15th (second time round) wedding anniversary on Wednesday, went out for a romantic itallian meal.
Angela congrats on your news, hope you enjoyed your Champagne,
Hope everyone's results were good.
Positive thoughts and Cyber hugs to all
Love Laurel x
Great news!!! Tubular, grade 1, 4mm in size, clear margins, clear lymph nodes (6 taken), only rads now!!!
good luck for the rest of you who are about to go in!!
Champagne in the fridge ready for tonight!!!
My B----Ystomach is in knots.Good luck for Thursday.
Will be back on later with good or bad news if there is such a thing as good news with this disease
Hi everyone,it seems as though this is a big week for a few of us,get my results on tues 5th aug.you all seem to be talking about this wire,i dont remember this,they marked me up from a ultra sound 10mins before my opp,so they must have done it while i was under.Hope it all goes well for everyone.x
I too am waiting for results on 6th August having had WLE and wire guide on 28th July .
Strangely they had 2 attempts at putting my wire in as there appear to be a mass that they kept hitting. Really hurt the first time but hardly noticed the second
I too am being positive but having expected to just have check ups after first biopsy am keeping options open 🙂
My results were so mixed (grade 1 but lymph node involvement, small tumour but needs re-excision) that I didn't know whether I was celebrating or drowning my sorrows so I just drank too much white wine - I am on the wagon and the Jane Plant diet now. Keeping everything crossed for you Angela.
Results next wednesday 6th August - bottle of champagne in the fridge to celebrate or commiserate next week!!
Yes, you can uncross your fingers and legs!
Back home this morning having fainted yesterday while they were putting the guide wire in, or rather just as they finished.However, when they took the check mamogram they had not hit the spot - it was only 6mm - so had to remove it and do it all again!!!! My excuse for fainting is that I am a grazer and usually eat every 2-3 hours and had missed breakfast, elevenses and lunch!!!
Then to theatre at 3.30 and then back on the ward later. Not too painfull - I only had paracetmol post op and have been working my arm and got 100% from my BC nurse this morning for having full range!!
Am being good (for the moment) and being waited on by my OH.
The porter who took me down for my wire insertion yesterday said that they cover about 8 miles a day round the hospital!!! Rather them than me!!
Kitty, jut catching up with this thread. I think your husband's idea is a brilliant one as it takes some of the pressure away from you. I told my bosses and close colleagues straight away and they have been really, really supportive. Good luck with it and do let us know how you got on.
Good for you! I once got one of those pedometers that count the number of steps you walk, to inspire you to walk 10,000 steps per day. The only benefit I got out of it was the knowledge that it is 11 steps from my rocking chair to the fridge!!!
I think your husbands suggestion is a great idea. An out of the office meet-up may well be much easier, and having him their for support will be wonderful.
Glad to hear your sil has reached the 10 year mark and well done her for doing the moon walk .... I'm not tempted to join in to that extent but I am doing a 10k walk soon with sponsorship money going to the voluntary driver charity that took me daily for my rads.
ps: Laurel, my sister in law had the same pathway as you. Of course it was gutty right at the beginning, and five years sounds like a long time to be under the cosh, but she took each stage at a time, the Tamoxifen didn't have any ill effects at all, apparently, and everything went just fine for her and she has just had her ten-year check and all clear. Meanwhile, she joined in with all sorts of adventures with my brother (taking up horse riding and Lord knows what else) and she says with all the Moon Walking she has done she is a million times fitter than before the BC. Funny how it goes, eh? I am not saying you should wear yourself out training for the 2012 Olympics, though - moonwalking not compulsory!!!
Love Kit xxx
Hi everyone. I have been talking to my husband and told him what you all thought. He has suggested that we meet with Old Boss and New Boss together, in the coffee shop round the corner from the office. He says that this way, I can break the news my own way, with support from him and Old Boss. I can explain that this is an 'outside the office' subject. Husband suggests that this way, I am in control of the conversation and the environment. And if I start to break down he will help out - but actually I think it will be ok this way. I am going to think through all the ideas but I am feeling so much better for discussing it with everyone here. And thanks for the hugs, Laurel!
I told everyone straight away because I belive that everyone should be 'breast aware' not just women but men too. Mine was caught early with my second routine mammogram. I was very worried as I had only just started a new job in April (I was diagnosed 2 weeks into my new employment), but they have been so supportive, maybe because of the disability discrimination act, but they have also been genuinely concerned, not too sympathetic and not too inquisitive but I think the world should know how important it is to get the blasted thing early, I thought I was only going to have lumpectomy and some lymphnodes removed and then radiotherapy, but it has worked out that I have had 2 lots of surgery the second on on 14 July (axillary clearance) and I am still very sore, (stitches out on Monday). Chemo and radiotherapy and 5 years of tamoxifin to look forward to. Told my family when I had the full facts (no need worrying them until then) but I felt it was important to keep my employers in the loop because of time off. I only told my Line Manager after the biopsy, she said she would need to tell big boss because of needing time off work. big boss asked my permission to tell the staff, I agreed.
Kitty I would get your old boss to tell new boss but I hope you get the courage to talk openly about it soon, it does help and I have found that people after the initial shock, don't really mention it too much.
Lorraine I think you did the right thing.
Cyber hugs to all.
This is good advice - thank you all for your help with my dilemma. I reckon that soon I will take the coward's way out and ask Old Boss to break the news on my behalf- he is truly lovely, kind, supportive etc and I have no reason to think that New Boss won't be just the same. I've got a large team to look after myself and if I heard this news about one of them I'd respect their wishes about privacy, and support them through their illness. However, it's all so difficult now I'm the potential subject of everyone's interest. I have worked for my company for many years and they're great employers - but sickies do tend to get fussed over/talked about/worried about quite a lot and I don't want to spend the rest of my career being brought cups of tea and having my arm patted! Talking to you guys has really given me confidence and cheered me up. Love Kitty xxxx
It dosen't really matter who your new boss is if you are working for the same company. Company rules are for all and not for the chosen. They can't discriminate and cancer comes under the disability discrimination act. This is taking it one step further but it gives you confidence when you do have to tell work.
I told my 'big boss' from day one and I've been lucky and haven't had, so far, a problem. I hope that it will be the same for you.
I know that I will be on a phased return when I go back, which I hope will be soon.
I think you need to tell your new boss somehow as they are duty bound to support you through treatment if you have a permanent job. you have rights and as person who currently has or has had cancer in the past you are covered by the disability act but if the new boss doesn't know then they can't really plan to support you with that in mind. I don't see anything wrong with asking old boss if they wouldn't mind telling new boss because talking about it is still difficult at times.
You could talk to the helpline here about the employ stuff they've been doing which helps people know their rights but in essence it's their job to help you through this and in some very practical ways but they can't if they don't know.
Just something to think about (like you don't have enough already).
I did tell my boss as soon as possible and he's been really really supportive and it's nice to know he cares (genuinely).
Good luck with it all.
If you fear getting upset at your 1st meeting with the new boss then perhaps getting the old boss to tell her is the best option. I kind of took the cowards way out of telling 'the lads' and got their line manager to tell them. I didn't want to just disappear for what may have been months without them knowing before hand, once they knew they all expressed their support in various forms.
Thanks Doll! You are good to reassure me. I think the new boss is going to take this discussion a lot more calmly than me, if ever I pluck up the courage to have the conversation with her! I just KNOW I'm going to cry as soon as a mention it!! I've just thought, should I be a cowardy custard and ask Old Boss to tell her? Or go on holiday and send her a postcard? Or tie a note to the collar of her cat? What do you think?
Sorry that you are now having to worry about the new boss situation along with the bc situation. I understand that you do not want the entire firm knowing at this pont, but your boss is duty bound to keep your health issues confidential if that is your request, so you should be able to tell her the situation and have her keep it to herself. I was lucky with my employers and colleagues all being wonderfully supportive - the majority of my colleagues are young men and I did wonder how they would react, they were wonderful and respected my wishes not to be treated like a poorly person ... the common response was 'sorry to hear about the boob thing' .
Good luck with the surgery and also the new boss.
I've had to have time off already and haven't even had surgery yet, and I made my boss to promise not to tell anyone - but now I've got a new boss! I haven't told the new boss any lies, and the old boss has told her that I have a bad back (which is true but not the reason I've had time off, obviously) so I've sort of let the new boss think that I might need surgery because of my bad bacK. Old boss says this morning New Boss has asked him why I am still riding my bike if I have a bad back!
Spoke to Old Boss this morning and told him I am not ready to discuss anything with New Boss yet as I don't know her from Adam (Eve?). I haven't even told my family and I SOOOOO do not want to discuss this with a stranger, or have New Boss mark me down as potentially useless cripple before we've even had a proper conversation about work stuff. Also don't want to break down during first ever conversation with New Boss! That would be awful. However, I recognise she is my employer and deserves to know what is going on, so she can plan ahead for if I am off work a lot, which I expect might happen.. I have lovely employers but I don't want the whole firm talking about me or feeling sorry for me, as hubby and I are coping quite well with only a close friend knowing. I know it seems a bit unfair to the firm but I don't want to upset myself by confiding in her before I tell my family. At the moment I am worrying more about New Boss than I am about BC!! At least it is keeping my mind off the next lot of results!! Any thoughts, anyone? I'd welcome some advice if anyone has any thoughts.
i didnt tell anyone except my boss because of needing time off for fna and then scan etc. i didn't want any sympathetic looks from anyone and felt i would tell if there was anything to tell. i was told i had it and then waited for appt to give me a date for surgery, once i knew that i told people, some didnt know what to say.
its all individual i suppose. i had mastectomy in nov 2005 am back at work and feeling great, not had recon but may consider it in the future.
best wishes with your journey.