Hi Snoozy, Unicornmummy (is that shades of Despicable Me unicorn?), my old chums Jill, and Ann,
Firstly Snoozy Sue - ref "notifications". For some reason all of mine stopped about 9 months ago now, but got one last week. I keep hearing of other with the same recent prob. I contacted the moderator girls a couple of times soon after mine stopped, thought we'd got it sorted but we hadn't. If you click into the profile section top right of page and click on subscriptions/notifications, you can check what settings you have clicked on or off. But even tho' I discovered one was off, it still didn't solve the prob.
You chemo cuties, I admire your gutsiness, I tell you,. What a hard time you have, treatment effects and hair/eyelash/brow loss. And you Sue, flippin 'eck, two kids as well, more chemo and "needing" to work - crikeybobs. Think you need a SupaDupa booster. I'm really pleased to hear you don't have to have rads this time though. Save you all that time, tooing and frooing.
So . . chemo first. and your opting for "both" masts with reconstruction options - as to where you choose from for self tissue wise, or implants. Some of that'll depend on what size can be achieved, with what spare tissue you have for both, I', guessing.
NIPPLES, god yeh, utmost importance!! Again, it depends on whether they can be "spared" surgically, during the immediate recon surgery. I had to lose both mine, Hated the thought of, and was why I was so indecisive with my first BC op - lumpectomy but lose almost 1/2 my breast with a 7cm sphere but keep nipple, and rads or lose it all with a mast. If you do have to lose them, there's the option of nipple recon, usually after both your boobs have healed and "settled or draped" (note I didn't say "drooped"!), so that they can level the nipps up properly. I've heard of some women being able to save one nipple and have had it halved to create a second one. The beauty of that being that they both have an immediate natural colour from part of the areola. If you have both new nipple recon, after they've healed, you can have the areolas tattooed, which is really like the icing on the cake!!! And the final option, is to have 3D tattooing, where the nipple is an illusion. There are some interesting posts on some of the fors and againsts on Nipple Recon or tattooing threads. The obvious "for" is that it's one less operation, but you don't have a raised central "nub". With one girl, the tattoo faded very quickly, another was really chuffed with her 3D ones. (Why couldn't you talk nipples with your Mum? she's a woman with her own, and must have seen yours umpteen times in your life, hey. Made me chuckle)
But really, you do need to get all the info on recon options, preferably from the surgeon who's carrying it out. Some surgeons tend to have their "favourite" recon procedure, eg Tummy for softer, or a Lat flap (back) for a smaller but firmer boob, because it contains more muscle. Plus the BCN's there discuss anything further and bash things out with, pro/con and decision wise. Look at loads of photos of results for the various different ones if poss. There's nothing like direct visual info. Also, I wonder if your BCN might be able to put you into direct contact with someone who's had whichever recons done? Don't know. But it's always that much easier to face something when you have all the facts. helps you feel settled in your head.
Unicornmummy - Your another whos' had a tough chemo slog. Gosh I do feel for you both. Awww, and I'm not surprised you felt a bit sorry for yourself. It's great you've both got so much info to give to each other.
Unicornmummy, that's so resourceful of you with the root spray, what a really clever solution. Yeh, I felt great with my pocketed bra and prosthetics on too. But it was my personal confidence that was badly affected - meaning dating, intimacy wise being a NoNo. I wasn't happy looking at myself naked, so I certainly wouldn't be happy with someone else looking at me. Very, very delayed recon. Only ever wanted implants. less scars, risk of infection and healing time. Took me to 2014 to be at a time in my life to go for it. Just due to lots of major life stuff, loss of my parents and brother, a house move to another area, and severe depression. I'm still only at the expander stage, which are now long overdue for replacement to silicones, but I've kept falling off the horse, due to motivation dwindling. I'd be opting for nipple recon and areolar tattooing. But, even just having the expanders installed and all the inflations done, I immediately felt WhooHooo confidence wise, at getting some of my old shape back. What I'd really missed, was the outer curvature of boobs and the extra width it gives to your upper torso again, instead of just a skinny ribcage, with two lateral scars - very neat ones though. And I haven't had to wear a bra since either.
Sorry this has turned into such a mammoth post girls, but hope it's of some help. There's so much info to all of this. Gather it all in, weigh it all up, keep bashing it out. You may start to feel overloaded, but I hope not.
Sending you both love and strength, and love to everyone else popping in
Hi Delly thanks for your comment, I am getting chemo 1st, find out tomo what kind and when I start, but surgeon thinks it will be 6 rounds again. My surgeon is highly recommending a mastectomy after but hasn't given me much info, other than I will get reconstruction at the same time. He says I can get the left one done 1st, then get the right one done at a later date, but I feel I might as well get them done at same time, wouldn't want the cancer to come back in that one either.
The plastic surgeon who carried out the reduction last time was there, and had a look at my back and stomach and said there was plenty she could use (cheeky) but I don't know what happens about nipples! I know that might seem petty in the grand scheme of things but I have only been with my bf for 5 years, we have discussed it and he's fine with it but I know I will feel strange about it. I couldn't discuss this with the surgeon at the time as my mum was there, not the kind of conversation I want with her in the room!!
So I really don't know what to do, I suppose as they gave me a reduction I have already had to adjust to new boobs once, I was just getting used to having perky ones again too.
Hi Unicorngirlmummy, sorry I haven't replied, I don't seem to get notifications anymore. Saw my surgeon on Mon, this time it is HER2, whereas last time it was triple neg. He is recommending a mastectomy, I have a month to make a decision. I see the oncologist tomo to see about chemo and when I start. This time my BCN has suggested the cold cap, how are you getting on with that? My last oncologist didn't agree with them but she has retired so will see what the new one thinks. I think I can actually handle losing my hair again, it's my eyelashes, I missed them the last time.
What kind of chemo are you getting? I didn't suffer from sickness last time, hope it's the same this time. I've been quite positive up until now, I'm not dying and I can fight it again, but really stressing out about a mastectomy and how I will feel about it after. They gave me no info on what happens and what my options are. My BCN is leaving info at the reception desk tomo so might feel better after reading that. The only positive I can think of so far is that I won't need rads after it, travelling to and from hospital every day for a month was a nightmare last year.
Hope you are doing ok and treatment is not being too hard on you.
My experience was primary found R/boob 2006 - options were lumpectomy with rads or mast with full ANC (prior to SNB being introduced). Opted for mast. Then I found another lump L/boob just before my yearly check for the R. Automatically opted for mast and again ANC. No node involvement found in either case, so missed out on rads and chemo with both. But, I have to say, losing my 2nd boob smashed me to bits mentally, and I was single (at 47)! not as you, with kids. Makes a huge difference still having one boob, so is why I'm responding. I hope you don't have to go through the same as you did before, but if you do, that it isn't as bad. Do let us know how you go on results, treatment wise, will yer please.
Fingers crossed for you
Sorry to hear you’re going through this again. I have not had your experience, but just wanted to acknowledge your post. There are certainly other ladies who have had a second primary & hopefully will be along to share experiences.
Last week I was diagnosed with a new cancer in my left breast, in Sept 16 I started treatment for Triple negative cancer in my right breast, and had FEC T chemo, lumpectomy, breast reduction in both breasts and finally radiotherapy and treatment finished in May 17.
I was just finally getting over the tiredness, my hair has come back in nicely and my nails have stopped peeling and now this. I find out next week exactly what treatment I am getting this time, but wondered if anyone else has had to go through treatment so close together, is chemo worse the 2nd time round? I wasn't too bad last time, apart from constant infections that put me in hospital, I didn't suffer any sickness etc. I want to try and work more this time round too as I am still trying to catch up financially. Just dreading it being worse this time. I am 43 with 2 kids who still need their mum to run about after them.