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SURGERY OCTOBER 2018

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SURGERY OCTOBER 2018

Thought I would start this thread as I am having my TM op on Wednesday all being well. Having another blood test tomorrow as my neutrophils and white blood cells were too low for surgery when I had blood test yesterday. No surprise really as that's happened the last 3 cycles of chemo. I have grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma which is ER positive and HER2 negative. 

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Jane sorry i finished chemo in September. I had it before my op. So I guess I could see the hygienist now then. I have rearranged my dentist appointment for January as I thought it would be best to leave it until treatment has finished.
I have just thought I was told I can have surgery on the other side 2 months after radiotherapy has finished so maybe you could have reconstruction then too.
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Hi Linda,

I am missing work so much I was really excited to be asked a dental question! I would leave it til your third week to see the dentist and hygienist as your neutrophils should be picking up by then. I am assuming you are having three weekly chemo? Your hygienist will probably err on the side of caution and not do too traumatic scaling, but your mouth should feel better after a hygienist session.

Regarding the saltiness, it is difficult. If you have sugar free gum, which promotes saliva, this may help. I have read that lemon juice can counteract saltiness, but obviously in moderation, as it can cause erosion, which could result in sensitivity. Good luck with the chemo. 

Best wishes

Jane xx

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Yes still do the exercises daisydi.
Jane to use a distraction technique after chemo how long should you leave it before going to the hygienist/dentist? My mouth has been really salty but seems a little better today butccould do with a clean. What can I do about the saltiness? Ta.

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Great news.  Well done x

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Hi when I had my mammoplasty they removed nodes via incisions in the breast so I dont have any wounds under the arm and have full use of my arm.  Does anyone know if I should still do the exercises as I havent been doing them because I am using my arm normally? I thought they were to stop you getting a frozen shoulder but now I not sure

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Thanks Linda. 

I just did a bit of research on uk websites and it did state 6-12 months after. I would rather sooner than later. I still haven't looked at the surgical site yet, and it is a big dread. But I have read other threads where women have felt exactly the same. So the sooner I have a breast shape, the better.

Love Jane xx

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I think I was told 6 months after radio to give your immune system time to recover. I can remember saying if it's a long time I would go private. I have heard of people waiting ages so it depends where you live. See when others had theirs though. X
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Hi Linda,

I was told that if I don't have radiotherapy I have to wait three months for healing, and if I do have radiotherapy then it is a year's wait because of the effects on the skin. I thought the timescale was due to medical reasons rather than the fact that I am being treated on the NHS. They did not mention that timescales would be different privately. Do you think they would be? Does anyone else know? That is something I would ask but it never crossed my mind to be honest. Even regarding the radiotherapy-  I was disappointed that one surgeon said I would only have it if there was cancer in my lymph nodes, the second said it was in my treatment plan due to the initial size of the tumour so I would be having it, and my mastectomy surgeon said I wasn't necessarily having it. So difficult when there isn't a consensus opinion. But I have always felt that the treatment I have been offered has been ultimately what is best for me, not because of how it is funded. But reconstruction is an elective procedure so maybe timescales are different? Thank you for that suggestion.

Best wishes

Jane xx

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Jane I was told radio can effect up to 10% of the size but as I have dense tissue it's less likely to have an effect. I was told an implant was not an option but different people have different opinions when I discussed reconstruction. I thought that would be my preferred option initially but was discussing a diep before ending up with a therepeutic mammoplasty. I understand how you feel re looking at your scar. I looked at mine straight away but not so easy for you.
Why do you have to wait a year for reconstruction? Could you go privately any faster? I think I would have looked into that in your situation. x
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Hey Linda. Fab news!!! So pleased for you. I get my results on 15th November. Hoping for good news too. 
Regarding my future plans, I have been told I will probably have radiotherapy ( due to the size of the invasive tumour initially , even though it had disappeared after chemo) so I couldn't have immediate reconstruction. I will have to wait a year they said. One surgeon suggested I could have an implant, another said I couldn't as my skin won't stretch to accommodate one after radiotherapy, but a third surgeon who carried out my mastectomy yesterday said it would be possible. So I don't know! If I have a flap reconstruction I can't use my back as this could affect my arm and I am a dentist so this could affect my dexterity, and I am quite skinny so they said they don't think they would be able to take it from my stomach, but they might be able to use my inner thigh or bottom. Time will tell.

Anyway, I am thrilled for you. Best wishes

Jane xxx

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Got my results today and although I was nervous my surgeon who is amazing got clear margins. Fab news! 1 in 10 cells were alive so my response to chemo was good! Well worth all the **** i have been through over the last 6 months or so. I am so relieved.
Just got to get picc removed now by my local hospital.
It's nice to share successes.
Janie. Are you having a reconstruction? I may have the other side lifted to match 2 months or so after radio.
Linda x
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Hi Helen

Thank you for your encouraging words. It really helps to read stories from other women going through similar procedures and feeling the same. I realise I have to put it in prospective. It is life saving which is more important than the cosmetic appearance. As women, it is such a cruel disease though, isn't it, and we have so much to come to terms with. I hope you will be even happier when you get your final implant.
With best wishes

Jane xx

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Thank you Loolarch. Your daughter's comment to ' man up' made me smile. To be honest, after managing pretty well on six rounds of chemo (  other than the first one when I got neutropenic sepsis), I shouldn't really be too fazed about something which is cosmetic really. I think it's just that it feels so mutilating. But hopefully there is a neat scar under the dressing. I will find out when I  have to take the dressing off in three days. Good luck with any more treatment you may have.Love Jane xx

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Hi Janie

I had a right sided mastectomy and SNB on 24th September - like you I didn't want to look at the site.

I had a drain in and a dressing covering it so didn't 'have' to look at it at first.

The drain and dressing came off 10 days after the op - and I plucked up the courage to look at.

As I'd had a tissue expander reconstruction at the same time as surgery it wasn't too bad, as I had some shape to my breast.

There was some purple glue stuff on the wound which made it look worse, I think.

Anyway, 6 weeks down the line I'm used to it and the purple glue has now gone and the scar looks quite 'neat' - except for some puckering by my armpit - the surgeon has said she'll sort that out when I have the tempoary expander exchanged with the permanant silicone one.

You're doing well if you're managing on paracetemol and ibuprofen.

Keep doing the excerises.

Good luck.

Helen xxx

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Hi Jane

 

Glad to hear you are doing well!

 

I had a bilateral Mx in July, and like you I was very reluctant to look at the scars, in fact even thinking about it made me tearful. I am told this is very common. After a few days, my daughter (adult) asked to look, and she persuaded me that it looked absolutely fine, the main thing was that my cancer had been removed, and told me to "man up"! I took her advice, and it was far better than I expected, my surgeons(s) did a very neat job. 

 

I did the exercises regularly, and have been fine, other than some tightness across the scar and armpits, but exercises and physio have helped.

 

all the best for your recovery x

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Hi all

Well, I had masectomy of left breast and sentinel node biopsy yesterday. I was booked in at 12.30pm and was supposed to have operation at 3.30pm but the first operation must have been more complex than anticipated,as I didn't go in til 5.30pm. I was incredibly upset all morning and very tearful when I arrived at the day surgery unit. However, by the time I walked to the theatre I felt very drained and tired and more resigned to it.

I was able to come home last night ( after 10pm) and had a really good night's sleep.My husband had got me one of the heart shaped pillows and I felt very comfortable. I have been wearing a soft sports-type bra with my knitted knocker and I look very symmetrical. However I haven't dared look at the surgical site.Any tips on this? I expect it is something you get used to? I am just taking paracetemol and ibuprofen so far, and I am in surprisingly little pain, just a bit sore. I did the exercises this morning and that was fine. 

Good luck to everyone else with their results/ surgery. 

Jane xx

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Thanks Magsv.
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Good luck tomorrow Linda - I'll be thinking about you 👍😊
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Saw breast cancer nurse for results today Linda, but after conversation with her I'll see breast surgeon next Thursday to discuss way forward. Always had high grade DCIS in one area but there wss another area that looked suspicious even tho biopsy was benign. Final results showed that both areas were actuality high grade dcis tho. Meanwhile there was a third area biopsies- this wasn't removed in recent surgery but not sure why not?
Jings - wish cancer was simpler! 😱😅
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Magsv Didn't you see the surgeon today? Will you need more surgery? How come the biopsy didn't show that it was high grade or has it got worse since the biopsy was done maybe?
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So - here's the question (and story) I asked the nurses on here after my patholigy report appt. If anyone has any advice that'd be great! 🙂

 

"I had surgery 2 weeks ago to remove an area of high grade DCIS. At the same time, another area - when biopsied was reckoned to be benign - was also removed. It turns out (results today) that both areas are high grade DCIS with comedo necrosis and malignant calcification. A third area was also biopsied after an ultrasound, but was apparently also benign when tested so was not removed during the surgery.

 

I had an area of invasive breast cancer removed from the other breast 3 years ago and had follow-up radiotherapy and take Letrozole tablets. 

 

Anyway, my question is, if it had been known that there was more than one area of high grade DCIS before surgery, would I have been advised to have had a mastecomy? I've been offered radiotherapy follow-up but have an appointment next week with the surgeon to discuss things.

 

Sorry if it sounds complicated!"

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Oh thank you Linda! It's been the longest 2 weeks of my life - don't remember being this worried first time round. Just hoping I get away with it again 🤞😊xx
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Daisydi Glad you are home and the op is over. I am waiting too and it's gone fast tbh. X
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Magsv Good luck with your results tomorrow. X
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Thank you daisydi. I can really imagine my weeping in the operating theatre too. Glad your operation went well. I hope I will feel the same relief after surgery as you do. This time tomorrow I should be home and it will be over.

Best wishes

Jane xx

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Oh and good luck Janie.  I was terrified of surgery and was still weeping in the operating theatre but its all done now.  Hope all goes well for you xx

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Just got home after my mammoplasty.  They took lymph nodes through the same incision so no wound in armpit which I am relieved about.  Got a nice corset over my boob. Bit sore but so relieved surgery over.  Now  the waiting game begins ...

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Hi pastamissus

Thank you for your post. You sound very upbeat. I am sorry you have to go for more surgery on the other side. I hope I end up with a moob! It won't be as traumatic as just  completely flat. I do have my knitted knocker ready. I am just dreading looking at my new form after the operation. It is just a case of adjusting I guess. Every time I think about the operation my stomach does a flip. It is at 12.30pm tomorrow. But I must think, they are excising the cancer and, if nothing is found in the lymph nodes, I will be cancer-free.

Best wishes

Jane xx

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Hi LInda

Thank you for your good wishes. Although I have a wonderful family and lots of lovely friends, I only have one close friend who has had a mastectomy, and she was totally traumatised by it. I do offload on family and friends but  you lovely ladies know EXACTLY how I feel and your messages mean so much.

Love Jane xxx

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I had a mastectomy 6 weeks ago, going for another one in 2 weeks (found cancer in the other side!). It was actually fine. Your chest won't be completely flat, I joke I have a moob. There was surprisingly little pain, apart from a feeling of gravel rash in my upper arm which disappeared after 3 weeks. I'm not having any reconstruction and plan to stay flat.

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Janie i wish you all the luck in the world tomorrow. I was going to have a mastecetomy and in my head i was going to think of it as temporary until reconstruction if no reconstruction was done. There are peeps who can tell you about their experiences if you look on other threads eg. May. Thats what i did to get advice. Hope that helps but soz i can't help from personal experience. X
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Hi Sals

Thank you for your post. It really helps to hear from other ladies who have gone through it. Your reassuring words have certainly reduced my anxiety. 

Regarding chemo, I can reassure you that the nurses are fabulous at giving medication to counteract the symptoms, so I actually found the chemo became easier at each cycle. Do let the nurses know early on about your symptoms. They can get you started on the medication early so things don't get too bad. Best of luck to you for your next stage of treatment.

Best wishes

Jane xx

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Hi Janie, I am the opposite way round to you had the surgery and starting chemo next week, i’m Nervous of the chemo as I have not really felt ill but now feel I am entering into something that is likely to make me feel horrendous, so in my eyes and experience so far if you have been strong enough to get through chemo, the surgery will be ok for you you will be sore but you won’t feel ill and although I have a temp implant I was really surprised when I was brave enough to look that I didn’t really care about the scar and being nippleless - Saying that I did find an amazing website for prosthetic nipples, so eventually there are lots of options to make us feel/look better it just all takes a bit of time and getting used to. Best wishes for your surgery and recovery keep us up to date
Sals
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Hello ladies,

I am having a mastectomy of my left breast this coming Wednesday. I was intially told that I would probably be offered lumpectomy and radiation or a mastectomy. I deliberated over the best option, only to be told that due to the large area of dcis mastectomy is the only option. I was also told that if there was no remaining tumour in the breast , and the four lymph nodes that they will remove are clear, I wouldn't need any radiotherapy. However I have met with another surgeon since the appointment, who tells me that it has already been decided that I will have radiotherapy due to the initial size of the invasive tumour ( 5cm) ( which has since disappeared after six cycles of chemotherapy ).

 So, it has all been quite traumatic, and I do feel traumatised about the coming operation ( though the ladies on this forum have been very supportive). I am so worried about coming round from the operation with no breast or nipple, just flat tissue. They can't do a temporary implant due to the risks with the subsequent radiotherapy.  I do have a knitted knocker ready but I just wish it was all over, with a reconstructed breast and no radiotherapy. But all you ladies are going through the same and seem so strong. I was strong through chemo after a terrible start, when I ended up in hospital with neutropenic sepsis, but I am not feeling strong now.

 

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Disydi good luck for your op today. Soz i meant to put a message on here yesterday but hope you see it today. Let us know you are ok when you can. Are you going home today? I stayed in due to distance but got back to ward at 7.30 so it would have been a long day if I went home as its 3 to 4 hours. X
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Daisydi - good luck for tomorrow. Can't believe it was 5 weeks ago I was in the same place you are now. I'm doing well 5 weeks post right mastectomy and reconstruction.
Will be thinking of you and everyone else having your surgery tomorrow and sending love.💖
Helen xxx
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Thanks x
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Hi daisydi
I had a therapeutic mammoplasty (both sides as I have bilateral BC) in May,
I just wanted to share my experience in the hope of offering some reassurance. Like you, I was so nervous about the prospect of the surgery. However, on the day I was just relieved the op was going ahead and felt very calm. I hope it’s the same for you. It really is an amazing op and the ‘nasty little bugger’ will soon be out! Good luck xxx
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My surgery is tomorrow.  Really scared now but in some way relieved that it is happening so the nasty little bugger can be taken away.  Will let you know how I get on .....

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Hi All
I haven’t been on for a few weeks, I had a mastectomy and temporary reconstruction on 5th October, I stayed in for 2 nights and came home with2 drains - they were a bit of a nuisance, not painful but I got my dog caught in the tubes once and then 2 days before the last one was due out tripped up and pulled the tubes apart, I had to go back and thankfully they said they might as well take it out, needless to say I am a bit clumsy! I’ve been surprised at how ok I have felt throughout the whole process, i’m 3 weeks on now and my main issue is swelling my new boob feels like it’s getting bigger but I have had it checked and they say the swelling is normal at this stage, my results were good, clear lymph nodes, but I still need chemotherapy to improve my chances against reoccurrence - that will start week after next and so next week is full of work up appointments, CT scan, bloods and echo - it’s a bit of a never ending journey at this stage. Good luck to those of you awaiting surgery and speedy recovery to those who are post surgery. I think we should share good box set recommendations!
Take good care of yourselves
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Feeling better today but still weak. Taken less tablets too. I have dense breasts so radiotherapy is less likely to affect the size. It can reduce size by up to 10%.
I won't need a prosthesis I have been told. I did think I wouldn't have the other side done but I have changed my mind now I think.
How old are you Magsv? I know I am having radio but only that its usually 3 weeks but been told it will be plus or minus a boost?
I don't know re a re-excision but think its easier and they go in the same scar.
Very cold today in Somerset. Took ages to get warm. Watching Celebs go dating box set and resting.x
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Thank you magsv for welcoming me!

Linda friends have told me to take arnica to reduce bruising and help healing but professionals have told me not to as it may interfere with clotting.  Think I will prob not take it.  As far as I can find out a batwing mammoplasty enables the surgeon to remove the tumour as well as a lot of breast tissue as I have large breasts and the surgery involves incisions resembling batwings and then relocating other breast tissue to fill the gap.  Apparently the breast reduction is better for radiotherapy treatment.  I wont know about any chemo until they have checked lymph nodes.   He did offer to do other side at a later date but will see what happens.  I just want to get through the surgery and onto the next stage.  My first trip to the hospital and core biopsy was on 4th October so it has all happened really quickly and my head is all over the place.  I am in Norfolk.

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Yes Linda, I have faith in my surgeon as well. I was so pleased to learn that it was going to be the same one who operated on the other side 3 years ago. He managed to get clear margins then - so hopefully it'll be the same this time. 

 

I am a wee bit concerned about whether or not I'll be having radiotherapy this time - I actually hope I am as I've had clear mammograms on the left breast after having had this before, so hoping it'll work the same magic on the other one this time 🙂

 

It must be difficult having elderly parents and family members living very far away to consider when going through this. A concern I've had is two of three sons moving house during all this and I'd normally be totally available for grandchildren duties. One lives locally, so just had to fit duties in around appointments and surgery. The other one is in Manchester (we're central Scotland) and they moved this week - the school holidays there. Normally I'd have offered to go down and bring the grandchildren here to give them space to get organised, but had to leave them to it. 

 

We're going down for a quick visit after the results on Wednesday though - thought I'd fit that in before possible daily radiotherapy treatments start. x

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Daisydi I had mammoplasty on Monday. It was fine but I had a lollipop scar which went round to my side. I didnt take arnica no. Should I take it now? I didnt feel nervous amazingly probably because I have had a while to process things as had chemo first. I just wanted to get it over with and my surgeon did an amazing job.
I felt in pain the second night but powered through. Other than that just been tired. You will be fine. Dont worry.
I am having the other side done later if I want after radiotherapy.
Where are you and are you having chemo or radio? Whats a batwing mammoplasty? Are you having both sides done?
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Hello daisydi,

I'm sorry I can't help with your questions as haven't had experience of either mammoplasty or arnica tablets - but I just wanted to welcome you to the group 🙂

x

 

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Hello, can I join this group please.  I have prov grade 2 ductal ca  ER pos and HER neg. I am having surgery Monday and I am terrified.  They are doing a batwing mammoplasty and I will end up with one boob half the size of the other.  I am so scared.  Has anyone else had a mammoplasty and did anyhone take arnica tablets before surgery to help with healing and bruising???

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Thanks cdc yes v pillow is very comforting like a blanket! Glad your chemo is going ahead today.
Magsv I am not too worried yet re results as have confidence in my surgeon but that could change. Its very stressful for both my OH and me as we dont have many family members around to lean on. My parents are 86 so I don't want to worry them and bro is in Brisbane. My OH is not talking to his son. I do text them though sometimes but not told them i had op yet as the date changed.
I was told as long as see through dressings stay on 2 days don't worry if they come off. They are still there though but I get so hot at night I would not be surprised if they come off soon.
Been watching Celebs go dating which is fun.
Linda
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Glad to hear you are back Home Linda. Hope you can take things very easy. The V pillows are great aren’t they? Will have to dig mine out for my op in the New Year. Best Wishes for a speedy recovery xx
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Glad your Surgery is over Linda 🙂

 

I was meant to get my results on Monday 29th, but appointment letter came through for Wed 31st so a slightly longer wait. I've been managing the excercises - actually have more trouble with movement on the side that was done 3 years ago - although I think there was more removed then as nipple has gone there and 3 lymph nodes rather just the two this time. I'll be sure to keep them up for as long as I remember this time, as it's benefiting both sides.

 

The district nurse has been twice now to check wounds and has given me prescriptions for dressings. She's going to come back on Monday and remove the steri strips - then no more need for dressing.

 

Fingers crossed for good results 🙂

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Linda ...I replied on May thread