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Surgery December 2018

Member

Re: Surgery December 2018

Hi Melanie,

 

Good luck with the op on the 7th! Please let me know how it goes, and if you've any retrospective advice about what to take to hospital - and things to prepare for post-op :-)

 

Magsxxx

Member

Re: Surgery December 2018

Hi Essex Girly, I can understand your dilemma as I also agonised over my decision about whether to have 2 WLEs for one definite High Grade DCIS and the removal of a further suspicious area (like you, there was a third area which was biopsied, but mine showed up to be benign so wasn't removed) or a mastectomy. I hated having to make the decision, as I wanted the 'experts' to advise.

 

I - eventually! - made the choice to have the 2 WLEs followed by sessions of radiotherapy to kill off any remaining areas as this seemed to work when I had my first bout of breast cancer in the opposite breast 3 years previously. I also had 2 nodes removed. The weekend before the op, I made up my mind that I was going to phone up the BCN and tell her that I'd changed my mind and would just go for the mastectomy after all. I didn't, though, because I worried about having a bigger op with possible drains to cope with afterwards, as well as an overnight hospital stay instead of being a day surgery case.

 

That operation was in October, and I've now decided to have the mastectomy after all - hence the New Year's Eve op date. I made the decision because of conversations with the BCN when I received my pathology report which said that there was a very small residual bit of DCIS remaining in the anterior margin. It didn't seem to worry the surgeon, but he did offer to go back in and remove it in a simple 15 min. op. I also worried about the 3rd area showing up as benign which wasn't removed - 'what if it wasn't really benign?' kept going around my head.

 

Anyway, my BCN said that it was important for me to 'move on' and maybe the only way for me to do that was to have a mastectomy. Again, the decision was mine. This time, though, I instinctively knew that I was now ready to do that. I'm mentally prepared for the op now (well - not the op, but the loss of a breast!). The BCN really hit the nail on the head with the 'moving on' bit. Apparently there's no survival difference to each op decision, but if I'm going to always be wondering instead of just puting this behind me (again) and getting on with life then a mastectomy it needs to be. And now I won't need radiotherapy either.

 

I had the choice of lumpectomy and follow-up radiation or mastectomy with my first (invasive) cancer 3 years ago, and after agonising over the decision, decided on the lumpectomy. I put it all behind me after the op and just got on with life. That breast is fine now and this other one probably would be as well ... but decision has been made :-)

 

Mags xxx

Member

Re: Surgery December 2018

Hi Essex Girlie,I’m having my injection Thursday and my mastectomy Friday too. Not sure if it helps but I have two lumps both 6-8mm one is invasive lobular and the other invasive tubular they are 4mm apart. I was given no choice but to have a mastectomy. I tried really hard to have lumpectomies but for my surgeon it was not negotiable, I also cannot have nipple sparing surgery but am having reconstruction with implant done at the same time.

I’m sure you wouldn’t have been offered the option to not have a mastectomy if they weren’t confident this course of treatment would be ok for you.

I’ve been so strong throughout my diagnosis, carried on with life as normal but today it’s hit me like a freight train. I’ve been so busy getting the house ready and doing all the Xmas prep I’ve not seriously thought about it until today. Guess I knew it would hit me eventually. We’ve got this girl, it’s **bleep** but **bleep** happens and we can look forward to being waited on through Xmas. Take care xx Melanie 

Member

Re: Surgery December 2018

Hi, I am due to have two WLE's to one breast, on Friday 7th, I had my pre-op assessment today and am not coping at all well, my anxiety levels are through the roof.

 

I have two areas of High grade DCIS, I am to have the wires inserted with the aid of mammogram as the markers are very difficult to see.  On Thursday I am going in for the dye injection as I am having sentinel node and one other removed.  If I am going to change my mind I need to do it now?!!

 

I am very frightened, since my surgeon said that he thinks 'something else might be going on between the two areas' - which are 6 cms apart.

 

I chose WLEs because I wanted to try to save my breast but now I am wondering if I made the right decision, I have agonised over this for a month now!   I just don't want to have a mastectomy to be told afterwards that there was nothing more than the two small areas of calcifications they saw on the mammogram, but then again I don't want to have to have another operation in the New Year because they could not get good margins and/or the nodes are nasty.... I also wonder which operation would be the easiest to recover from?   In a way I would love someone to say 'you MUST do this ... or that..'  My mental state is really not good right now, I am not sleeping, there are just so many unanswerable questions going round and round in my head.

 

 

Member

Re: Surgery December 2018

Well reddi - until now I've only concentrated on the obvious things (V-shape pillow, front fastening pjs, bra, going home shirt etc. ect). I'm actually very new to planning for an overnight hospital stay as my previous surgeries were lumpectomies - so both day surgery cases.
I have had a thought though about the follow-up GP nurses care. The previous 2 times I was very happy that the hospital arranged for practice nurses to visit me so that they could check wounds and change dressings etc. This time, I'll be discharged during a major holiday period (everything closes in Scotland at New Year) so I think I'll phone my GP surgery soon and try to organise the visits myself just in case. I really appreciated being looked after so soon after going home last 2 times - I'm a real coward when it comes to looking at own op sites ... I need to psych myself up for it 😳😅
Member

Re: Surgery December 2018

Hi Mags and Beckett! We're all three of us old hands, thus far. I am somewhat envious of your NYE surgery dates -- neither my OH nor I are big fans of the night, and I bet the surgical ward will be quiet (though perhaps depends on who comes into A&E!).

Mags, as the veteran, is there anything off the beaten track that you're packing in your hospital overnight bag?
Member

Re: Surgery December 2018

Hi Mags and Reddi,
I too am having a mastectomy on New Year's Eve. At least I get to enjoy Christmas! Just finished 5 months of chemo. I can't have immediate reconstruction due to radiotherapy after the op. I have a meeting with the breast nurse this week to discuss the op.
Mine is a grade 3 triple negative tumour that was 83mm to begin. Had final MRI last week.
I feel ok about it at the moment but that may change!
Becky x
Member

Re: Surgery December 2018

Hi Reddi,

I got my date this week for my right breast mastectomy (going flat, so no reconstruction). It's on the 31st December, so will be bringing in the (Scottish) new year a little differently in 2019!

 

I had a lumpectomy on the left breast 3 years ago (nipple couldn't be spared) and on a routine follow-up mammogram in May of this year, an area of high grade DCIS was found. To cut a long story short, after lots and lots of needle guided biopsies and MRI procedures, I had 2 WLEs and SNB in mid Oct. The pathology report showed up more areas of high grade and an area of DCIS still remaining in the anterior margin of one. Hence the decision to have the mastectomy.

 

If I had my way I'd have had a double mastectomy, but this wasn't considered necessary by the hospital team. I'll keep chasing it up once I've had this latest op.

 

I think I'm organised with everything I need post op - thanks to the great advice I've had from the ladies on here :-)

 

You seem to have prepared yourself well for your procedure. Like you, I'm very thankful for the help and advice I've received from others who've actually experienced this.

 

Mags xxx

Member

Surgery December 2018

I thought I'd start a thread for those of us having surgery in December 2018.

 

I was diagnosed back on 2d May with bilateral breast cancer and have just finished neoadjuvant chemotherapy (right breast is HER2+, but no lymph nodes are involved, per sentinel lymph node biopsy done back in June before I started chemo).

 

I had my post-chemo MRI yesterday, 29 Nov, and my team will review the response to the HER2 antibodies on Monday, with the goal to confirm & consent to the surgery plan on Wed, 5 Dec, with surgery on Thu, 13 Dec -- assuming my immune systerm has recovered adequately from chemo and my (new) surgeon can slot me into her schedule. (By chance, I was initially assigned to a surgeon at my hospital who doesn't do oncoplastic procedures, and just got transferred to a colleague.)

 

The tentative plan is a nipple-sparing lumpectomy on the left for a 14mm mucinous invasive ductal cancer lesion (ER+ 8/8, PR+ 4/8, HER2-) and a nipple-sparing mastectomy on the right for IDC-no special type and extensive DCIS measured at about 63mm on MRI (IDC is ER+ 8/8, PR+ 6/8, HER2+), with immediate reconstruction using a prepectoral implant, meaning the implant will be place over rather than under the chest muscle.

 

I'm a small cup, and also a keen walker and freelance/self-employed, and I'm thinking this reconstruction option would afford less time off recovering and less time off work, plus it will also leave my tissue donor sites intact should I need to have future mastectomy of the left breast and/or if the reconstruction of the right breast doesn't take. During the surgery, they'll take some tissue from the right nipple, and if it tests positive for cancer, the nipple will be removed in a subsequent procedure; same story for the left breast if they don't get clear margins. This is still all to be confirmed -- until a couple days ago, I thought I may only be able to have delayed reconstruction, and it wasn't clear if either nipple might be spared in the first round of surgery. The plan may very well change -- and at this point, I've wrapped my head around that. (Counselling has helped.) 

 

Anyone else scheduled for surgery in the next weeks? Fabulous timing, isn't it?

 

I suspect for many of you, surgery will be the first step in your treatment journey. I feel like an old hand at this point -- since I got my referral to the breast clinic back in early April 2018, eight months ago, I've been reading up. More important, I've been given the gift of amazing help, guidance, and support from dozens of people on various Breast Cancer Care forums. We can and will do this, together. Heart