Mastectomy April 30th

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wmnak
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 4/18/2007 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm joining the BC Club...
Diagnostic biopsy was April 4th, breast cancer diagnosis April 11th.  I've discussed options with surgeon and oncologist and have decided on "modified radical mastectomy."
Doctors are being particularly aggressive with the breast cancer because I had APR surgery for rectal cancer in Feb 2006, resulting in a permanent colostomy.  Apparently these are different types of cancer.  Who knew?
Doctors also assure me this surgery will be "quite simple" compared to my abdominal surgery.  Please tell me your recovery experiences.
:-)    Martha

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/18/2007 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello,

I am Kitt and I am a nurse but have a husband with Crohn's disease and a Mother that had breast cancer.

Yes you can have more than one kind of cancer and I am sorry you are going through this.

Generally the recovery period for a modified mastectomy is in the 7-10 day range.

I think it may be wise to discusss in detail your recovery period with your surgeon. I am only giving you my opinion and I am not a physician.

You have my support and gentle Hugs.

Respectfully

Kitt


postal2
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1106
   Posted 4/19/2007 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Martha, sorry to hear you are going through this. You have found a great place for info and friends!
I had two mastectomies (different times) and I also had my gallbladder out before that. I agree that the mastectomies were MUCH easier than the abdominal surgery! There are nerves cut when you have a mast and I guess that is much of the reason. I really didn't have much pain on the chest area. The arm takes some excercising to get back the full movement and that can be uncomfortable, but still I think the ab surgery was much worse.
Please keep us updated and hang out with us here. Not a club you want to join, but some really neat ladies are here!
HUGS, Gail
  It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
 
Elisabeth Kubler Ross


coopfesta
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Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 4/19/2007 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Martha:
 
Sorry you have to join the club no one wants to join.  There is an upside, you're going to be rid of the worry, so to speak.  I was tempted to have a mast for a few days before I decided on a lumpectomy.  I'm glad Gail had that positive thing to share about the lessened pain, too. 
 
April 30 is my 42nd birthday, and I'll be grateful to have you to consider during that day.  I'll be thinking of you often and praying that you come through well.
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Confucius
Don't knock on Death's Door.  Ring the bell and run.  He hates that.

Ellen


Tavish
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 4/19/2007 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Martha, sorry to have to offer you a welcome, but glad you found us. Wow, 2 cancers, you are a real trooper. I know others here have had 2 different cancers, perhaps they'll speak up too.

As far as the mast, I can't offer you experience, as I had a lumpectomy in November 1999. I had a sentinel node biopsy, then had chemo and rads, plus 5 years of Tamoxifen. Believe it or not, this is all very do-able and you will be amazed at your strength! Ask lots of questions along the way, and consider taking a tape recorder (and a friend or family) to the doctors' appointments so you can listen to the discussion later...it is amazing how much one misses during those appointments.

It is a whirlwind of activity, no doubt! Just be sure to research what you can and feel right about any decision you make. Ask us whatever you want...no question is silly!
Lori


RubyShooZ
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 4/19/2007 7:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Martha,
 
I don't have experience to share with you but I do have care, concern and soft hugs for you.  I wish you all the best through this difficult time and I do empathize with you.
 
This seems like a great place to get support and I'm glad to have this resource and glad you're here with us.  Please keep us updated.
 
Nora
~ Peace, love and understanding ~
 

Frayda
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 4/19/2007 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Martha! Welcome to our board! I had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction (expanders/implants). The reconstruction definately added to the recovery and amount of discomfort.  I have also had abdominal surgery and the mastectomy was somewhat easier. You will have drains for a week to 10 days which are uncomfortable. Loose shirts that button down the front and safety pins for the drains are a must!  Even if everything goes well and you are feeling good after two weeks, remember that it is still major surgery and you need to give yourself time to heal. Don't go back to work too soon; I'd give yourself a month to take it easy if you can. I thought I was was feeling good enough to go back to the office after a week, just a few hours a day; not a good idea! After a month I almost collapsed from exhaustion.  I am happy to say that was almost 6 years ago and everything is fine now! We will try to help you in anyway we can. We have lots of experiences among us that you can help you navigate your road through treatment and recovery. Just ask! Good luck! Frayda

wmnak
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 4/19/2007 9:31 PM (GMT -7)   

Thank you all for the words of support and encouragement!

I'm optomistic that no further cancer will be found after the mastectomy and that I'll be on surveillance only, same as for the rectal cancer. 

From what I've been told, if cancer is discover in the lymph, I'll need chemo.  Apparently I'm e/p receptor negative so am not a candidate for Tomoxifen or other hormone type therapies.  I'll cross that bridge when/if I get there.    :-)


RubyShooZ
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 4/30/2007 9:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm thinking of you today and sending out postive vibes for you during your surgery and for your recovery as well Martha.
 
Gentle hugs!
~ Peace, love and understanding ~
 

cupycake2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 4/30/2007 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Martha,

Thinking of you and hoping all went well. Hope you have an easy recovery period. Pamper yourself and take it easy sweetie. Give your body time to heal.

Hugs,
Debbie
"What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship? It is like robbing the world of the sun"
Cicero


Brnadebt
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 4/30/2007 10:24 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi

 

Just wanted to wish you luck on the mastectomy, I had mine done in March of this year and I have to say it was quite an easy surgery. I hope you bounce back quickly, keep us posted we care.

L&H

Bernadette


 
 


wackygal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 857
   Posted 5/6/2007 5:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Martha- I had a bilat. mastectomy in March 2001 and the recovery was not that bad. I had percocet for a few days, but that made me constipated :-(... I remember my mom yelling at me because I was vacuuming about 4-5 days after surgery. The drains were the worst part, I had 4 for about 3 weeks, and they kept getting caught on the kitchen drawer knobs (OUCH). Hang in there... we are sorry you have to join this club, but we'll help out the best we can..... btw- my tumor was 4.5 cm.... very agressive, 5 nodes positive, and I'm still here, just celebrated 6 yrs.
Hugs,
Stefanie
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"It's been worth everything I've been through,
 To do what I do"

                       To Do What I Do   -Alan Jackson, 2004


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/6/2007 6:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Martha

I hope that all went well for you and your recovery goes smoothly.

My friend had a bilateral mastectomy 2 years ago already and I would go over and help her change her dressings.  The drains were her biggest complaint.  She had the implants inserted in surgery so her recovery was a little slower but she made it through and is doing wonderful.

I will pray for you.  Gentle Hugs


 
Respectfully
 
Kitt
RN CCRN, Critical Care and Emergency Department Manager for 26 years.
 
Depression 25 years, Husband Crohns Disease 30 years
My Father and 5 siblings all died of Cancer. It is a subject close to my heart to help people with Cancer.
__________________________________________________ 
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.”
Rosalyn Carter
 


postal2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1106
   Posted 5/7/2007 11:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Martha, just wanted you to know I'm thinking about you and hoping that all is going well. Let us know how you are when you feel up to it. {{{{gentle hugs}}}} Gail
  It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
 
Elisabeth Kubler Ross

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