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VIRTUE-TRIUMPS's Photo VIRTUE-TRIUMPS Posts: 200
9/2/10 7:19 P

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I am happy to see you are feeling better each day. emoticon

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9/2/10 6:24 P

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Oh thank you sooo much for your message. I can so much relate to what you are saying about closure, looking normal, etc...
This site has been such a blessing for me in this journey and I encourage you and everyone to look over the posts regularly since we never know just what we really have to offer someone.
I am 3 days since my surgery and I am dealing with it better each day. They do still look too large but as you said they will go down. Funny thing today, I showered and when I looked at them when fully naked, they are all I see (that's not the norm for me, haha, somehow all my other bumps and buldges were out of my sight) and I cannot imagine what they will look like under clothes???? I am very anxious to see this progress....
Thank again and keep in touch with what you decide to do about your implant.
Marilyn

I am the beginning of the end of breast cancer in my family!

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain


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CD5263005 Posts: 376
9/2/10 1:24 P

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I'm sorry I hadn't seen these posts prior to today. I am 4 years out from surgery. I had a mastectomy on the right side and breast reduction on the left. The whole reconstruction thing is sometimes hard to get your mind around. Who ever thought they would have to make the decision to nipple or not to nipple? I did have it and the tattoo done after conversation with my plastic surgeon that it was more of a closure issue with yourself that you are back as close to normal looking as you can get. And I have to agree that I think at this stage if I hadn't had it done to give the appearance as a regular breast I would feel different about my body. The oragami method!!! That's exactly what it is like. Cut, twist, stitch. In my case it did shrink down. I told the plastic surgeon I didn't want it to appear like I was cold all the time! I had the tattoo on it too. Even though the area is numb after how many needle pokes in one area I had had enough and told them to stop, it looks fine. I almost passed out. What a whimp! I think I made the mistake of looking. Bad move. It looks good. I am having issues now of since I lost 40 pounds that my breasts are 2 different sizes. My implant also is bumpy which the plastic surgeon said is I probably developed too much scar tissue around it and it's kind of being smooshed. It doesn't hurt or anything but I am considering getting it redone and then do a smaller implant. He suggested I could get an implant in the smaller one. Is he crazy? I didn't really like getting this one. Who would have thought you'd be going through so many decision.

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9/1/10 8:01 P

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Thanks for sharing all this. It is so helpful to hear what you are going through, physically and emotionally.
I know you will feel better every day, and I hope you will continue to share with us.

Betty


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9/1/10 6:18 P

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glad your surgery is behind you...hope for a speedy recovery and that you feel good with the results when the healing is complete!!

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9/1/10 2:32 P

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OK So here it is!
I had my surgery on the 30th. It took about 2 1/2 hrs for the procedure then 1 1/2 in recovery and I came home the same day.
The only problem I had was, I chose not to use the Scopelamine patch (anti nausea) and I was feeling very nauseous till the next day, so if that is an issue for you, USE IT!
I woke up and felt some pain in my nipple area, sort of a burning/poking feeling. They gave me pain meds and I was fine.
My procedure was nipples and she made some minor changes in my scars underneath so I look more symetrical. The boobs themselves are beautiful, now the nipples are another story. They look very odd at this point because of swelling and they are just overexagerated. I wasn't expecting them to look so odd, it was sort of a shock. I wish I would have had someone to warn me, but oh well that's why I'm here for you guys.
I have to change dressings daily and they are odd. I have to cut a hole in the middle of a few guaze squares for the nipple to fit through, and stack them till they are as covering the nipple. There is antibiotic ointment all over the aerola/nipple area 1st, then guazes with a hole, then a guaze to losely cover all of it over taped on. nothing can put pressure on them or they can flatten and not heal correctly.
She told me to be sure to not put pressure on them for 2 weeks and to not get bumped on them or it could cause them to flatten and not look right.
I know I am rambling, sorry.
The emotional side of this is what has me perplexed???
I am not sure just what I am feeling. I just fell apart when I changed my dressings this morning. It makes no sence to me in my head but it must just be another part of all of the process of healing emotionally. Coming closer to the end of all of it seems like it would be easier but the emotions are still raw I guess.
I am really fortunate and I know it, compared to so many of you who have had to endure so much more in treatments than I have, so it is confusing to me why I emotionally react the way I have.
The up side of all of this is I only took pain meds the 1st day every 4 hrs
Day 2 I took Tylenol once in the morning and at bedtime I took 1 pain pill. This morning I took Tylenol. The pain is not bad at all, just a little uncomfortable at times. Yes I feel something but nothing compared to prior surgery and I feel like I am able to do probably more than I should do.
I can drive tomorrow if I choose to but since I don't have to go anywhere I think I will just take advantage of the time to heal and be alone.
I probably forgot to mention my husband is working out of town for 3 weeks or so. He left the morning after my surgery and I have been just fine on my own taking care of myself. A friend took me to my follow up appointment and another one brought dinner and ate with me last night. It is really ok to do this without his help this time and that makes me feel even closer to it all being over.
Ok, I hope I was a help to someone who is thinking about having this done. I know I sure wish I would have had someone to tell me about it.
I will write more as it progresses and as they heal. My doc promisses that they will be beautiful and all the nurses at the hospital described her to me as an artist in her field. What better endorsment could a person ask for???


I am the beginning of the end of breast cancer in my family!

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain


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8/30/10 11:30 P

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Good luck to you. I'll be thinking about you, and can't wait to hear how it goes. Thanks so much for sharing!

Betty


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8/29/10 8:19 P

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OK Tomorrow morning is my nipple surgery! I'm a little nervous but very happy to be another step ahead. I'll write as soon as I am feeling up to it. Tahnks guys for all the support!
Marilyn

I am the beginning of the end of breast cancer in my family!

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain


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8/23/10 9:53 P

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Thanks, Marilyn. This is so helpful! I will be seeing my plastic surgeon in a couple of weeks, and your info helps me know what questions to ask.

Betty


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8/23/10 6:41 P

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Ok I went to my pre-op today. She told me as far as I remember:
1. 1 week of no babysitting my very young grandchildren. When I go back be careful not to get hit in the chest ("it could cause all sorts of problems" so I'm going to be very aware.

2. I will be released with 2 square gauze bandages ,with holes in the middle (makes me laugh) to protect my new nipples.

3. I have to return the following day for a dressing change, then I can do them myself after that.

4. I may need pain meds 1st day, but probably only Tylenol or Ibuprophen after that.

5. They will be oversized due to swelling for a while but will settle enough to get tattooed in 3 months.

6. Tattooing may not be needed, the scaring may be enough, it's up to me. I scar sort of dark pink so she thought it may look fine that way but it's up to me.

7. She gave me a prescription for bras at Nordstrom's (I'm going to call my insurance to see if they are covered)

8. Because the tissue is soft I will be able to put paper tape over my nipples after they are healed if I wear something silky (if I want)

9. The procedure does not cut into the muscle or go deep so recovery will be very easy compared to the other surgeries.

10. I am also having revisions of both sides because my left is a little low so she is going to "tuck and pin" it up a little so they will match better, and the right has a couple of corners she will correct also. Even with the corrections it is not a deep tissue surgery.

Oh yeah I can probably shower the day after my dressing change. WOOHOO That's probably one of my biggest challenges, haha!

I know I probably forgot to ask or just forgot a bunch of things but oh well,That's why it is always a good idea to take a friend, haha. I'll update afterwards so you will better know what to expect when it's your turn girls.

I'm blazing our trail!!!!!!

I am the beginning of the end of breast cancer in my family!

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain


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8/23/10 1:03 A

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So tomorrow morning is my pre-op with my plastic surgeon. I'm nervous/excited! One step closer to the end...
I'll post what she said to expect, recovery time, etc... when I get home.
I'm blazing our trail ladies............ emoticon

I am the beginning of the end of breast cancer in my family!

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain


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BJENKINS1014's Photo BJENKINS1014 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/22/10 10:53 P

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Thanks, Marilyn, for sharing. We're all following and rooting for you!

Dee, I'm sure you'll be all ready for that tropical vacation in July!

Hugs to all,
Betty

Betty


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DEETHEDIETITIAN's Photo DEETHEDIETITIAN Posts: 356
8/22/10 10:23 P

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Marilyn,

Wow, thanks soo much for sharing! This does put my mind at ease! :) My hubby and I are planning a tropical vacation for July of next year and I am hoping to have my boobies completely done by then (nipples and all).

Please keep me up to date on how things go for you! :)

Hugs,
Dee

It is not enough to simply show up. You need to step up for results.... keep on stepping! Dee


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8/21/10 2:11 P

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Marilyn: Thanks for sharing your experience....I am so happy you!!

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8/21/10 1:05 P

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Dee:
Thank you so much for asking me to share my story.
YES the implants are sooo much more comfortable than those rectangular rocks they have to use to make the space for the girls! One of the 1st things I did when I woke up from my exchange surgery was poke my new boobs and tell my husband "they feel so soft" I was so relieved, then I went back to sleep. They also do not feel as if I am going to pop any minute. They actually feel very natural, and look good too I must say, haha.
Hang in there is is all so worth it. Who'd of thought that at 50 we would have nice firm 15 yo boobies again, and up where they started! hahahaha
My nipple surgery is on the 30th of this month and that is 4 months after my exchange. I am a little nervous because I don't know what they will look like. I don't wear a bra and that sort of concerns me a little. I am having the flap surgery your dr described so I will be able to walk you through the process hopefully.
My mastectomy scars are apparently very different than most from what I have read. My PS said she wanted me to be as comfortable with my new look as possible so she stitched me as she would a breast reduction. I have a scar under my boob in the fold area so it is concealed and one up from there straight up to where my nipple would be. It all sort of looks like an anchor. When my nipples are done I will not be able to look down and see my scars, she said. I will have to see that for myself.
My scars have faded out quite a bit. I am very fair skinned, I am a red head, and They are still redish pink, but they should pink out more as time passes.
My implant surgery was not bad at all. It was outpatient. I was put out, it took about 3 hours, I think, and then into recovery. I was in recovery for 2 hours or so then on my way home. I felt tired but nothing compared to my mastectomy.
I'm looking at my calandar so I can give you an accurate idea so bear with me.
Dec 14- bilateral mastectomy, sentinal node biopsy, expanders placed 5 1/2 hrs in surgery
Dec 16- Came home 1 1/2 hr drive
Jan 8 thru Feb 28- 8 fills of 60ccs in each breast for a total of 710ccs (very large I thought)
April 28-Exchange surgery 2 1/2 -3 hrs (650ccs, high profile silicone implants, about the size of a C cup)
April 29-followup apt-1 hr drive to Dr office (My daughter took me, I felt tired but good)
May 5- Went to a church function (a singer so all I did was sit, and I also went to church every week)
May 25- Different Dr apt 1 1/2 hours drive (Drove myself and did fine, Oh yea I got lost but that's just normal for me, haha)
May 28- Flew to Texas to see my kids and get my 7 and 9 year old grand kids to come for a month (did fine, but still not myself)
May 30- Flew back to California with kids (tired but fine)
June 4- Started watching my grandbabies again (8 mo and 1 yr old plus the older 2) Felt fine
So I guess my message is...Compared to all you have been through, this next step is going to be a walk in the park. I am not sure that I am not the typical patient since I didn't have to have RT or chemo, but hey I can only hope that someone reads this and is encouraged and a little less scared of what lies ahead.
I am just so greatful for this site and everyone who is brave enough to post their journey. Thank you for helping, and even when you don't think it means anything to anyone, post it anyway, you never know.

Blessing to everyone,
Marilyn

I am the beginning of the end of breast cancer in my family!

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain


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8/14/10 1:38 P

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Dee
I am a trail blazer !!!!!! and happy to do it.
I would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you or anyone has if I can. I have always wanted to use my experience with this as a help to others. I cannot take the time right now but I will write and answer you as soon as I can sit and answer completely.
I pray you are feeling ok since your chemo and I am happy to have you as a Spark friend.

Marilyn

I am the beginning of the end of breast cancer in my family!

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain


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8/14/10 1:34 P

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My implant replacement surgery was outpatient, but I did have anesthesia! The surgery itself was so much easier than the mastectomy, but I did develop a seroma, just as I had with my mastectomy. A second outpatient surgery to prevent infection and save the implant was performed, and I have had no problems. I was able to get back to tennis and water aerobics in 2 weeks, and only missed walking on my surgery days.

Edited by: BJENKINS1014 at: 8/14/2010 (13:35)
Betty


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DEETHEDIETITIAN's Photo DEETHEDIETITIAN Posts: 356
8/13/10 8:29 A

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Marilyn,

It looks like you are leading the way with regard to the nipple surgery. I am headed that way but have a bit to go before I am there.

I have chemo#3 (out of 4) today. My last one is September 3rd -- I've been getting my fills the week prior to chemo so I also have one fill left!

My plastic surgeon says I have to wait 6 - 8 weeks before having my implants placed (I soooo hope the implants are more comfortable and sit more naturally than these *^%$^#! plastic expanders (ugh!). Then I have to wait for them to "settle" - however long that takes and then I will be getting the nipple surgery. THe way my surgeon described it is similar to what yours said. He said it was a flap like surgery in that he will cut an x (how big the x is depends on how large a nipple I want - and I don't want a large nipple!) ~ he will then flip them over top of one another and wa-la! (he didn't say wala - I did ;) Then -- again, I imagine I would have to wait for the nipple to heal and then I would get it tattoed. That too should be my last surgery.

Can I ask you about your mastectomy scars? I have a line going straight across each breast each one at least 6 or 7 inches across. Where are your scars? Have they faded? I am pretty fair skinned so mine really seem "bright"

I really wish I was where you are right now - I'd be happy to share my experience! LOL! I'm just right behind you by a couple of months! I hope you share with us about your experience ~

Oooh.... speaking of which -- do you mind my asking how the implant surgery went? I am nervous about that! Did you stay in the hospital or was it out patient? My doc says it will be out patient. Surprisingly!! Seems like it would be a major surgery. OOOH... and I wonder about the anesthesia - I hope I get it! I really don't want to be awake for that. I was awake for the port placement and it was NOT pleasant!

I'm rambling ~ good luck to you Marilyn!! :)

Prayers and hugs,
Dee

It is not enough to simply show up. You need to step up for results.... keep on stepping! Dee


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8/11/10 9:39 P

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Patty:
Thank you for your input. It is nice to just hear from others, support is support....
Hope all is well with you
marilyn

I am the beginning of the end of breast cancer in my family!

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain


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PEPPERMINT125's Photo PEPPERMINT125 Posts: 2,546
8/11/10 12:17 P

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I had surgery on both breasts but not nipple surgery. One breast had partial masectomy, with some surgery near nipple, but was left intact. Only thing I can say is that I did have some numbness in that area, but I don't think my experience is too helpful with what you are having done. Wish I could be of more help.


Patty
EST Grand Rapids Michigan (yes same time zone as Maine)

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. C.S. Lewis

It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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VIRTUE-TRIUMPS's Photo VIRTUE-TRIUMPS Posts: 200
8/10/10 1:41 P

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I am sorry that no one has given you the answers that you asked for. I am sorry that I cannot help as even though I have had both breasts removed I have not received reconstruction. emoticon

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8/10/10 12:36 P

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I'm surprised there has been no response, but oh, well...

Thanks for adding me as a friend. I'm adding you as well.

I got my implant at the end of May. My decisions now are to replace with a larger implant (this one is definitely smaller than my other breast) and/or to have nipple reconstruction. Right now I don't want any more surgery, but we'll see.

Betty


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8/10/10 12:22 P

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Well Betty, I am concerned with the lack of response to this post, we may just have to go it on our own and form our own opinions, haha. I will update you after my surgery so at least you will have one opinion to help you with this huge decision.
Add me as a friend and I will write you as I progress if you would like.
How far have you gotten so far?
I have my implants and they say this should be my last surgery. I pray their right.
Marilyn

I am the beginning of the end of breast cancer in my family!

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain


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8/9/10 11:23 A

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I would like to hear what others say, too. I haven't yet decided whether I want to have nipple reconstruction.

Betty


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8/8/10 9:37 P

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I have my surgery date for my nipple reconstruction, it's aug 30.
I am just wondering what to expect and I figured who better to ask than the women who have had the experience????
My doc says she does an oragami type of process. She cuts then flips then stiches to get a raised "nipple" then after I heal I get tatood (I just can't spell that stupid word, but you get what I mean).
I would appriciate any input anyone may have about the procedure, healing time, pain, etc... I want to know what I am in for, haha...
Thanks,
Marilyn

I am the beginning of the end of breast cancer in my family!

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain


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