"54 Years Old" Bi-lateral Mastectomy with Tissue Expanders September 24th...SCARY STUFF! - Marietta, GA

I was diagnosed with a Invasive Cell Carcinoma in...

I was diagnosed with a Invasive Cell Carcinoma in June after finding a lump in my left breast while on vacation. The past 3 1/2 months have been grueling to say the least. There are so many tests and decisions to make. Before this, I never knew there were so many forms of breast cancer, or so many treatment options, I won't meet with the oncologist until after my mastectomy on Seotember 24th, so not sure about chemo yet. My surgeon feels I will need chemo because my tumor is a high grade, and has a high proliferation rate. For now, I will take this one step at a time, and "Kick Cancer's Butt."

1 Week Post-Op

Drains are out after only 1 week, which is great, but the expanders seem to hurt a little more. Maybe I have more fluid build up or something. My plastic surgeon has decided to leave and move to a practice too far from me. I have to find a new surgeon. Definitely not something I thought I would be worried about right now.

1 Month Post-Op

It has been a month since my mastectomy, and it has been a crazy ride. My plastic surgeon changed practices, so I had to get a new one. Then the nurse accidentally overfilled my expanders, and I could hardly move for 2 weeks. I am also having to go to a reconstruction physical therapist to try to release my arm where the node biopsy was removed. Just as we got all the reconstructive business figured out. While I'm being all negative....I found out today That I will have to have chemo, and they want to start next week. Geez! I have long, thick hair, and while I understand all of this is to save my life, it's still hard to accept so many changes in your life. I really appreciate everyone's advice and support, and if any of you have any good chemo tips, I would really appreciate them! I am trying to be positive, and know all this is all temporary.

It's day of chemo with my new shirt haircut....met some interesting people!

2nd Chemo Treatment

5 months since breast cancer diagnosis, 2 months since double mastectomy, and today was my second chemo treatment....half-way there. this has been a difficult process, and now I get why they call it a battle. Sometimes it's hard to see who's winning. Looking forward to better days.

12/30/15 Finished Last round of Chemo.....barely. Now problems with breast reconstruction...advise appreciated.

Wow....when you're told after having a Mastectomy that you have to have chemo - It is definitely scary. They tell you all the risks, , but also tell you about all the new drugs to control nausea....etc. While they definitely help, it is still a brutal treatment process. Now that I am done with that, I will have to take a pill for 5 years and work on reconstruction. The problem is that my incision from the mastectomy and expanders has been difficult. Even though try Dr. Stopped the fills after my 1st chemo because it was healing poorly, it now has necrosis. I should find out what they plan to do on Jan. 13th, but fear my reconstruction is in jeopardy. If anyone else had had this happen I would appreciate hearing how Or if you were able to resolve it. I only have 100 cc's.

5/8/16 Reconstruction Update

In my last update I had just finished chemo and was waiting to see what was going to happen with my infected tissue expander. Unfortunately, I had to have surgery just 2 weeks after finishing chemo to remove the right expander. The plan was to leave it out for 3 months, then put it back in. The problem was that I developed blood clots 2 weeks after the surgery, so I was put on blood thinners, and told it would be at least 6 months before it would be safe to put the expander back in. They will check the clots in June to see if they have resolved, and then a decision will be made about where we go from here. In the meantime, I am struggling to deal with the physical aspects of this mess. Getting dressed is a nightmare, and there are no prosthetics for my situation. I am going to try to post a pic, but the image keeps flipping upside down. Anyway, my skin is so thin since my last surgery, and it feels like my skin is directly on top of bone - very painful! My slim build is definitely working against me on this business. As soon as I get the go ahead I will give reconstruction another chance, but if it fails next time I guess I will have to make some very difficult decisions. On a positive note, my hair is starting to grow back! It is only about an inch long, with tight chemo curls - not pretty, so still wearing scarves most of the time. My patience is wearing a little thin with all of this, but I have to believe it will all work out eventually.
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

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