I am so over whelmed this is not on my calander of things to do

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Lynda Leigh
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/17/2005 11:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Where do I start!! Two weeks ago I was called back in for a second mamo and tests and bam there it was big time. I am scheduled for a double mastectomy on the 29 th of this month. I have had cancer 2 other times and I know what is a head of me in that aspect. I was told if they get all the cancer that I will not have to go through radiation or chemo again. I know 2 other ladies that didn't have to go through this. BUT THAT is ok if I do. I just don't know what is going to happen to me. Will I be able to use my arms and if not for how long etc. I know this is hard for youns that have gone through this and my heart goes out to each and everyone of you. We are fulltime RVers and that is hard too. We were in Florida 2 weeks ago when I flew back to S. Calif to see my Dr for a check up. That is when my life changed. We are now in Ozark, Mo and heading back for S Calif to have the surgery. I have seen my surgeon but not had my pre op yet that will be on the 28 th. And I will also see the Nurse that is incharge of the prosticious etc. If anyone can give me some ideas what I will be going through I would greatly appreciate this. Thanks again for listening.
Love ya
Lynda

Brnadebt
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 11/18/2005 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Lynda

Im so sorry that you are here on this site but you will find the greatest ladies here, they are very supportive and with so many of us there is always someone who has been through the same thing. I had a lumpectomy so I cant tell you about mastectomy. There will be others that can answer that for you. I pray everything will go smooth for you. Enjoy your time before surgery as much as possible.
Hugs:)
Bernadette


Lynda Leigh
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/18/2005 7:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Bernadette

thank you so very much I really appreciate you replying.  We have a long drive a head of us from Ozark, MO to S. Calif where the surgery will be. 

Love ya

Lynda


Love ya
Lynda


gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 11/18/2005 10:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lynda, I have a friend who was an RVer and they had a great time. Her husband had some strokes so they are no longer able to travel as they did. But they sure had fun and I envied them. I hope you will not have to have chemo, etc. again and can get back on the road as soon as possible after surgery. It has to be hard to travel so far to doctors you know and trust. Mastectomy surgery is not really as bad as it sounds. Of course there is time for healing and you have to take care in use of your arms and lifting. There are exercises to do to help with range of movement and all, but within a couple of months you are good as new. Reconstruction is a different story. Are you planning on having it done or not? Many of the women here who had bilaterals did not. I had a mastectomy nine years ago and no further problems. Keep us updated. Big hugs and prayers all goes well, MK


JUJU8872
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 11/18/2005 2:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, Lynda. Sorry you had to join us here, but these ladies are really great. I am relatively new, diagnosed Nov 04 and single rad mastectomy Dec 21, 04. The operation is not so bad -- probably not nearly as bad as you think. I took pain medication for about a week until drain was removed. I  was unable to have reconstruction because of node involvement.  I was pretty out of it for a week and gradually got much better. By the time I started chemo on Jan 11th, I was back to walking about a mile a day -- I normally do 2. The most important thing to remember to do with a mastectomy are exercises they give you. This keeps your range of motion going. Please don't think that you can do this for a couple of weeks. Just keep at it. It took me 6-8 weeks to regain range and that is extremely important. I have no problems with my arm. As for lifting, I do not know what my limit is but I rarely lift over 15 pounds anyway. Because I have not had reconstruction, I lift weights daily, 3 pounds, so that the skin my chest wall remains "movable".
 
Hope this is not TOO much information. Good luck, stay in touch, let us hear from you.
 
Judy

debbiR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 11/19/2005 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello my friend! I'm so glad that you decided to join us here. As I told you, this is a great group of women that will be here to support you, no matter what.

I know how shocked you were to hear the news. It is not something that we plan for (thank heavens) or something that we want to deal with. As Judy said, it does take a while to recover and doing the range of motion exercises that you are given is very, very important.I did them in the shower. I only took pain meds for about 3 days after I came home (made sure that my nurse gave me the shots while I was in the hospital) and then was able to function on Ibuprofin 800. There are shirts that you can purchase that will help you hold the drains. (these are usually removed after about a week..sometimes less) Something else that is important is to remember to get gowns or tops that button. You won't be able to lift your arms up for awhile. Also, after my surgery, I found that it was difficult for me to sleep in my bed. Fortunately, I had a very comfortable recliner that I slept in for about 3 nights.

I wish that I had been given the option to have a bilateral. I am hoping that I will be given the ok to have my other breast removed w/in the next year or so. I opted NOT to have reconstruction. This is a very personal choice for each woman. I felt and feel that a woman's breasts do not make who she is or will become. It is a very painful surgery and does take some time to recover. I personally know women that have had the reconstruction and they are very pleased w/ the results. Most have said, after the surgery and during recovery, that had they known the pain, they wouldn't have had it done. But once recovered, said that it was worth it. Guess it is kindof like having a baby. Once that baby is born, the pain is forgotten. lol

Lynda, you will get thru this. Please don't hesitate to post question that you have..no matter how silly you think it is. Most of us have probably had the same question at one time or another. One more thing, keep a notebook close and write down any question that you have. Take it w/ you when you see the dr in Calif and make sure that he/she answers each and everyone of them.

Lots of hugs and prayers coming your way.

Hope that you are enjoying our wonderful Mo weather while you are here.

Deb


 


Luci
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 892
   Posted 11/19/2005 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   

Very few of us are prepared to have our lives literally stopped in mid-stride.  Take a deep breath and tell yourself this is like a longer than usual "rest stop" along the highway when you're rv'ing.

Unfortunately, we don't have a choice about whether or not we stop.  It simply has to be done.  The 29th isn't so far away and the surgery part will be over.  I know, I know it seems like it's forever away, but it really isn't.  After the surgery you'll rest a bit and then make decisions about add'l care.  Right now you need to focus on YOU.  It seems like this is overwhelming but you'll take it one step at a time and with all of OUR help you'll get through this. 

The women here are wonderful; very caring, loving and supportive and that is exactly what you need right now.  Keep coming here.  We'll get you through this time.  Thinking of you.  Luci


In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer.  Albert Camus


babyseeester
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 11/19/2005 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Lynda,
 
Welcome to a great place for support.  I am sorry you are going through this, but you can do it!  These ladies were a tremendous help to me.  I was diagnosed last Sept. and had a lumpectomy/lymphadectomy followed 3 weeks later by a mastectomy.  The hardest part for me was the lymph surgical site.  If you don't have any lymph nodes removed, you will probably be fine as far as arm movement.  But, if you do, the exercises make a huge difference.  I still feel tightness under my arm and probably always will, but I do arm stretches to help. 
 
Where in So. Calif. will you have your surgery?  I live in San Gabriel.  If you aren't too far, maybe we could meet.  You can email me at babyseeester@yahoo.com.  Just say the word and I will be there for you, as will everyone here. 
L & H,
Kathy


Lmmackey
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 11/19/2005 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lynda,

I'm glad you found support here, so you must have wireless or other means of connecting on the web. Please keep visiting! I'm 41 (was 40 at the time of surgery) and I had a double mastectomy in early May. I will have to tell you that, against many people's advice, I did outpatient surgery. Surgery was early afternoon and I left before 8pm and went home the same day. I took no narcotics (mostly because they make me very ill) but felt that Tylenol was enough. I was up and about the very next morning (even surprising my mom). I sat around all that day and rested, napped when I felt like it, and even the next day. The most painful part of the whole thing was the drains. For me, there were 4 tubes - 2 up the center of my chest and 2 more with one one each side of my ribs on the side. The rib ones were extremely painful. I cannot even begin to tell you how badly those hurt. I had no other serious pain except for the tubes over my ribs for the drains. I was able to move my arms fairly quickly, and had it not been for the drains, I would have been doing light exercises 4 or 5 days after surgery. BUT, I knew and highly recommend that you get rest to let your body heal.

I was able to get my drains out (mostly by insistence) one week later. However, one side continued to fill with fluid, so 2 weeks later my surgeon aspirated fluid with a large needle that I didn't even feel. I'm glad that I pressed them to take out the drains. Arm movements were not too limited and I began exercises immediately after my drains were removed. Now, I'm not the most fit person in the world, carrying more than 60 extra pounds. I had a partial mastectomy in March (3/30) and then the bilateral on 5/9, and I feel it was quite easy to recover from! Way easier than gallbladder surgery and a c-section.

In any case, I hope this helps you. Everyone's experience is different, and our mindset always helps. I wish you the best and hope you'll keep in touch! My love goes out to you and your family!

L&H,
Laure'
The finger of God touches your life when you make a friend.
----Mary Dawson Hughes---


debbiR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 11/26/2005 3:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lynda! Hoping that you made it back to S. Ca by now. Please let us know what your surgeon and dr say after your appt next week.
 
Hope that you are laughing and doing some retail therapy.
 
Hugs...Deb
 

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