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SURGERY AUGUST 2018

302 REPLIES
Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

It's good to hear from you Wombat Woo and I'm glad you are doing well.

You're absolutely right Karen, it has been a long road although probably longer for you than me as once I had had my surgery in August I didn't need any other treatment. I think the recovery time for a Diep is about the same as LD flap which is what I had and I still feel some discomfort even now after 3 months. It does improve, just very slowly. Don't try to do too much before you are able.

Sending hugs to you both x
Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Hi Linda

 

I'm still here (have swapped over to the Nov surgery thread mostly).  After my WLE and re-excision in August, I had my mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction on 21 Nov.  

 

I was hit really hard by the op, and had totally underestimated how ill and exhausted it would make me feel.  For the 5 days I was in hospital I felt like I'd made a terrible decision.  I'm home again now (have been for one week) and things are looking more positive.  I have a bit more energy, I've got my appetite back (partly at least) and I'm not in pain exactly, just discomfort.  I am almost walking 100% upright but my tummy feels very tight indeed.

 

But my wounds seem to be healing up nicely and the look of my foob is pretty good.  It's hard getting used to a boob without a nipple but in size and shape it's a pretty good match to my 'good' breast.  I haven't really looked at the scar on my tummy and new tummy button much as I find them hard to deal with, but that will come.

 

The hardest part is being reliant on other people for help.  After my previous ops I was able to do everything like normal within days, but with this one I've been told I can't do things like hoovering and laundry for the next 8 weeks.  It's been difficult to have people here doing things for me and I'm sort of looking forward to being left on my own for a bit to find my own speed/way of doing things.

 

It's been a really tough few months and I've still got to deal with the emotional side of things, plus wait for the path results from the op which I hope won't show anything unexpected.  But thigns will get better and i'm hoping that 2019 will bring the chance for me to return to some sort of normality.  

 

Glad to hear you're back at work Linda - hope you continue to recover and return to normal well too.  It's been a long road hasn't it?

 

Take care all 

Karen

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Hi Linda
I am here though to be honest work seems to have taken over. I am doing well and beginning to feel the whirlwind has slowed a little Still getting tired easily but I guess it being wintee doesn’t help with that.
I too would really like to hear how everyone is getting on....
😘😘🤗🤗
Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Hi

 

Is there anyone still coming on the forum from the August Surgery thread?  I would love to know how you're all getting on.

 

I've been back at work for a month now, trying to get back to normal.  Please let me know if any of you are still out there.

 

Linda x

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

BR ... if you search the forum for the MonarchE trial there are other threads which mention it and there’s a link to the Macmillan community in one of them.

Hope your rads go well.

hugs xx

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Hi Belmont Rose, I’m not surprised you are weary of treatment if you were diagnosed in December. I was diagnosed in March and have had chemo, surgery and currently doing rads with herceptin thrown in every 3 weeks and I have. Really had enough of treatment. The problem I find with rads is that you are there every day so it is a constant reminder of what you have been through.
I am curious how/why they say you have a 50% chance of it coming back. I’ve not heard of the trial so can’t offer up any advice there apart from do what you feel you can cope with.
Hope rads is going ok for you and that your seroma is healing. X
Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

I've just come back from a meeting with my boss to discuss my return to work - I will be going back next week on a phased return!  I will be 10 weeks post op by then but I can't quite believe that it's time to go back already.  I do feel well enough to go back and I work in an office so I won't be doing anything too physical although I am expecting to get a bit of backache (I'm going to take my cushion with me).

 

Hope everyone else is healing well xxx

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Hi all, good to see that you are beginning to think about ‘normal’ after 2-3 months... we are moving at such speed, ladies!

I am due to start radio this week, although as my foob is still suffering recurring seroma (feels like sleeping on a tennis ball!) and has definitely grown since they did the laser mapping, I won’t be surprised if it gets put off yet again... groan. 

Don't know about you but I am beginning to feel really weary of treatment now as I was diagnosed last December and have been going into Guys for sessions since early January. Hoping to be done with the main treatment by the end of this year, but am being considered for the MonarchE trial for abemaciclib as apparently my cancer’s more than 50% likely to return. Is anyone else considering this? Would be glad to see what you think about it...

Look after yourself, ladies - and keep cheerful. I couldn’t believe the sunshine today - and it’s nearly November ☀️☀️☀️!

Big hugs BRx

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Hi Jane

Good to hear from you.  I'm glad you're trying to get back to normal and I know what you mean about not knowing what normal is.  At the minute I don't think I'll ever feel 100% normal - it is such a slow process.

 

I feel fine driving, albeit still with a cushion behind my back and I have to be careful when I'm turning sharply to the left.  I'm driving like I did when I was learning and wasn't allowed to cross my hands on the steering wheel!  I still feel like I have a really tight bra on even when I have nothing on.  Do you feel like that?  As for how I am emotionally, most of the time I feel OK but I do sometimes find myself wondering if I'm going to get it in my other breast as a lot of women on here seem to be on their second round.

 

It does seem to be all about appointments doesn't it, although as long as my nipple behaves itself I haven't got any further appointments now until March 2019!  I'm seeing my boss next week to discuss my phased return to work and I will probably go back the week after.  I'm pretty sure I will get some backache as I spend most of my day sat at a computer but I'm going to take my cushion with me.

 

Lots of hugs to you and everyone else on the August thread (you've all been very quiet recently, hopefully it's because you are all doing well) xxx

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Hi Linda, sorry for the late reply, trying to establish my new normal! Not quite sure what that is!

Glad to hear you're doing well and driving again. Any issues with that or anything else? How is your foob and any scars? Are you ok emotionally?

 

I'm driving ok as long as I'm careful not to open any of my car doors with my affected arm (eg I often put my shopping in the passenger footwell). Sleeping is improving, with my Tendercush cushion I can, for part of the night, sleep on my left foob side but mostly sleep on my right boob side. Seroma in my back seems  fully healed following a steroid injection 2 weeks ago. Seeing my doctor in a couple of weeks regarding return to work, not sure if I'm ready yet as will be seeing a counsellor for some counselling/therapy beginning November - partly BC, partly some other things. Also stil having physiotherapy which is great, and will be also trying Pilates starting beginning November - having also fortnightly reflexology to help relieve my restless legs. It's all appointments, isn't it? Seeing my consultant next for my next checkup and hopefully will get the results on my HER2 and menopausal blood test. On Tamoxifen but that may change to a different tab depending on blood results, no side effects yet fortunately!

 

Quaggie - sorry to hear things are tough for you, big hugs to you, Linda and all the other ladies xx

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Hi Quaggie- fingers crossed it is just an itch !!!!

Tears are healing and meltdowns make you feel better ....

🤗&😘
Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Hi all

 

Just thought I'd pop in and say hi.  Good to hear everyone is doing well.  

 

I'm still weighing up the options I have for reconstruction after mastectomy - everyone (my BCN, my new consultant and the plastics surgeon) are pushing me towards the DIEP which is scary but does seem like it might be the best in the long run.

 

I've had a couple of emotional meltdowns when the team warned me off going to stay with my brother (see my other thread about my DIEP decisions), plus I've now been referred to the gynae oncolog team urgently as an itchy lump ... ahem ... down below, worried my GP.  So that's fun.  Waiting for an appt there so I'm anxious I'm heading down a new cancer road of course.

 

Anyway, taking each day as it comes.  Not much other choice really.  

 

Hope everyone has a good week xxx

 

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Just got back from the breast care clinic and my new nipple is healing nicely and I don't need to have a dressing on it anymore.  I am quite relieved as at one point I thought I might end up losing it altogether!  I am slowly getting back to normal after my surgery although my BCN said that I could still have some slight discomfort for up to a year!!

 

Jane - I am driving now and thinking about going back to work soon.  Please let me know how you are doing.

 

Hope everyone else is recovering well xx

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Hello everyone 

Really good to see you are all making progress and grabbing the chance to get back into normsl, everyday activities. It’s been such glorious weather recently, it seems a shame to be indoors...

 

I spoke too soon 2 weeks ago about starting radiotherapy! IVe been 3 times to Guys since then for them to pump c200ml Sedona fluid out of my foob to try to stabilise it for radiotherapy, all of which is extremely boring and time consuming. Last week I even got as far as lying half dressed on the scanner before they decided no! I’m now 2.5 months post surgery (full Mx, implant and aux clearance - 11 of 20 lymph nodes infected) so am a  bit concerned at the delay - I understand they normally want to get cracking on rads within 3 months. Anyone else had a seroma get in the way of rads and have any suggestions for getting the fluid creation to stop?

 

I’m also taking Letrozole - a few night flushes for the first few days and then all fine.

 

Meanwhile, let’s love the sunshine - we went out for a 15 mile bike ride yesterday to soak up lots of vitamin D! Look after yourselves, ladies - and keep smiling🤗🤗🤗

BRxx

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Hello everyone 

Really good to see you are all making progress and grabbing the chance to get back into normsl, everyday activities. It’s been such glorious weather recently, it seems a shame to be indoors...

 

I spoke too soon 2 weeks ago about starting radiotherapy! IVe been 3 times to Guys since then for them to pump c200ml Sedona fluid out of my foob to try to stabilise it for radiotherapy, all of which is extremely boring and time consuming. Last week I even got as far as lying half dressed on the scanner before they decided no! I’m now 2.5 months post surgery (full Mx, implant and aux clearance - 11 of 20 lymph nodes infected) so am a  bit concerned at the delay - I understand they normally want to get cracking on rads within 3 months. Anyone else had a seroma get in the way of rads and have any suggestions for getting the fluid creation to stop?

 

I’m also taking Letrozole - a few night flushes for the first few days and then all fine.

 

Meanwhile, let’s love the sunshine - we went out for a 15 mile bike ride yesterday to soak up lots of vitamin D! Look after yourselves, ladies - and keep smiling🤗🤗🤗

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

My new nipple has finally stopped bleeding and looks a lot better than it did on Tuesday, it is scabbing over nicely.  I think it  might be the antibiotics that did it.  My BCN put on another dressing and I have to go back next Friday for it to be checked out again.

 

Hope everyone is doing ok xx

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Wombat - For me, I only need the cushion behind my left shoulder blade and down the left side of my back, where my dent and seroma are - my seatbelt when driving does not really rest of my foob. On the subject of seronma - it was drained AGAIN today (that's been done every week for the last 7 weeks!) and finally had a steriod injection to try to prevent any more fluid build up now that the wound under my foob on the scar has healed up (couldn't have steroids whilst on anti-biotics or not healed wound). Next surgeon appointment is not for 3 weeks - hurrah - apart from physio I may have a couple of medical appointment free weeks for the firfst time since May/June!!!!

 

Linda - I'm on Tamoxifen for 5 years, and still wiating for my HER2 results which will be yet another 2 weeks Smiley Sad  But surgeon is hopeful and optimistic that won't come to needing any other treatment such as chemo). Having a blood test tomorrow so the oncologist can check my menopausal state as that may suggest if to consider an AI like Anastrozole instead of Tamoxifen. I just need to hold out for another 5 weeks to be one year period free Smiley Happy

 

I was not asked about physio, was just visited by the physiotherapist on my 3rd day in hospital after my mx/recon and she told me I would see her 6 weeks after op - I'm glad she did - she's lovely and I must say the physio worked a treat last week, felt so "free" and "loose" at the weekend although a lot more "firm" and "tight" today - too much walking for retail therapy! Roll on tomorrow's physio. The daily exercises are helping too.

 

Also have booked myself in for reflexology next Monday, not through my insurance (as all other things are) but via a recommendation. I have other issues apart from my foob including restless leg syndrome so hoping reflexology might relieve that and/or my other issues.

 

Keep at it ladies xx

 

 

 

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Hi Jane and Linda. When I started driving again I found a small cushion or a folded up scarf under the seatbelt next to my boob was really helpful at first.
🤗😘
Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

It sounds like you're doing well Jane.  I think I will have to get myself in my car and have a go at driving.  I will also be taking a cushion with me for my back as this is what I've been doing when I've been in the passenger seat.  I'm sorry to hear that you have to start taking Tamoxifen - do you know how long you will have to take it?

 

I asked my consultant about physio yesterday and she said that they only refer people if they are struggling and she obviously didn't think I was.  I might look into it later on if I don't think I'm improving well enough because I can get it for free as I work for the NHS.

Member

Re: SURGERY AUGUST 2018

Linda - make sure that your BCN and/or consultant do the follow up on your weeping nipple. I'm sure you will. Hope it gets sorted soon. Other than that, how are you doing overall?

 

My first drive went well, round trip of 6 miles to the supermarket with OH. Put one of my tit pillows (which is quite a flat one but softly padded) behind my back to give a bit of relief to my dent and seroma area. Drove again yesterday alone but only 2 miles for my monthly manicure and was ok apart from forgetting to not be careful when I put my handbag in the front passenger footwell and felt as if my arm had wrenched.

 

Same again today, trip to the GP for monthly checkup due to some other issue I have - she was impressed with my new foob although concerned with my "healed wound" under my foob on the side which is a bit red and inflamed although I think it's where my bra band is and that's possible irritating it. Tomorrow I will see my consultant and have him review the healed wound, and hopefully will be my last seroma drain with then a steroid injection to stop the seroma. 

 

My GP also gave me my first prescription for Tamoxifen which I shall start taking tomorrow.

 

Hope everyone else is doing well.