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What's wrong with NOT having reconstruction?

Sdawells
Posts: 23
Joined: Nov 2012

I feel the need to vent a little and this seems to be a safe place to do so.  I had a double mastectomy backing in /september with expanders placed for reconstruction.  It was trouble from the start and about 8 weeks later I had to have emergency surgery to have them removed due to a severe infection. I never even got to have any fills.  I was told that I could revisit recon at a later date.  My priority has been getting through chemo, (less than half way done). My problem seems to be that everyone, including all my doctors seem to think that I should start reconstruction again as soon as my chemo is done.  They make me feel ugly! What is the matter with me staying like this.  Yes, I am very aware that the feminine form is usually a lot more curvy than mine, I can wear my prothesesis when I chose to, I find them heavy and not too comfortable. My husband seems to feel the same as the doctors and I'm beginning to feel that my breasts are for everyone but me.  I should mention that I am 55 years young and in otherwise excellent health. I have had a total of 12 different surgerys in my life for everything from fibroids to gall bladder and the thought of another time under the knife terrifies me.

I would love to hear from some of you who did not have reconstruction on how you dealt with it, your own feels as well as the treatment you get from others.

thanks all

Fairemewell
Posts: 28
Joined: Jul 2012

I am sorry that you are having trouble with everyone regarding this, espically your husband.

I am lucky that my wife understands that I have not wanted reconstruction from the start and she is accepting of my decision.

This really is your decision. It is your body and you are the one who has to be okay with this. I guess I am lucky that my onc. and my surgeon were both supportive of my decision to skip the reconstruction. As for your husband, hopefully he will come to realize that fake breasts do not make the woman. How you see yourself is the most important.

Personally I am glad for my decision as I had to have chemo first and my healing is really slow, and I have had trouble with having parts of the incision opening up creating "holes" in my skin.

I hope your skin has healed/sealed up well.

The most inportant thing is how you view yourself. I may joke about being re-clasified as I no longer have most parts that are the standard clasification for female (I had a complete hysterectomy two years ago with my first cancer) but I am just as female now as I was before this all started. Anyway, I am sure there are others here who can give better advise, but know I am rooting for you no matter what you decide.

Tyler

McMarty's picture
McMarty
Posts: 191
Joined: Nov 2012

Hey girl!  You quiet the whole world and see what's in YOUR heart!  I did have reconstruction (DIEP Flap) at the same time as my mastectomy and I have kind of a love/hate relationship with that thing.  Imagine having a prosthesis you can't take off!  I made MANY wrong decisions based on what was best for my family, what my husband wanted.  I also made A LOT OF GREAT decisions when I shut the world out, did my research and figured out what was right for me.  NO ONE knows what you are going through but you! 

The Dr's are under some pressure to make sure you are aware that reconstruction is available.  Just because the majority of women may be frantic to get their 'form' back doesn't mean YOU have to rush!  You may have 'bigger fish to fry' right now.  I bet you are well aware of the options available to you.  If I were you, even if I were me ~ I would tell my people (especially my Dr) NOT to speak of reconstruction anymore.  Tell them they are making you feel ugly and unaccepted and if/when the time is right you will know it and bring it up. 

Relax, you don't have to make that decision right now.  Right decisions take TIME!  You are beautiful and unique and important - if you are happy and making decisions at your own pace you will have more to give.

PEACE to you!

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

There is nothing wrong with not having any reconstruction.  And if you change your mind in years to come, you can have it then.  I don't think there is any rush, and, that is just if you decide you might in later years.

You are not defined by your body parts and I think it is very shallow if someone thinks you are.  It is very understandable that after all the surgeries that you've been thru that you don't want anymore, at least right now.

You do what is right for YOU!  It is your body, your decision. 

Good luck and sending a hug,

Jan

mom62
Posts: 600
Joined: Mar 2004

This is nothing wrong with NOT having reconstruction.  I had a radical masectomy in 2003 and have never had it.  I had all my kids already and really didn't care and neither did my husband.  My doctor revisited it a few years ago after I had a recurrence and I told him I would never have any surgery unless it was medically necessary.  He agreed with me.  It is a personal choice and don't let anyone persuade you.  It is what you are comfortable with.  I only wear a prostetic when I am going to a fancy event, otherwise nothing.  My breasts have never defined who I was so I chose NOT to have reconstruction.  Your choice is just that your choice, do what YOU want.

 

Terry

Rague
Posts: 3277
Joined: Aug 2009

Being IBC - recon at time of surgery was not an option for me.

You mention numbers of surgeries - in my 66 yrs I've had a total of 5 - tonsils at 1 1/2yrs, 2 C-sections at 31 and 32, port impant at 63 and rad. mod. mast. at 63.

At this point in time I doubt I will ever think about/do recon.  I did but I don't want to loose any time from living my very active 'outdoor'  life 'recovering' from surgery that is not necessary.  I do anything and everything I want to do.  Would I be as 'good' after more surgery? Don't know but I'm not ready to give up my horses, biking, lawn mowing (love to it and I have several yards I take care of for people who need a little help) or my newest 'passion' - flyfishing or doing any of the multitude of other tihings I like to do!

My Hubby (of 37 yrs) does not want me to have recon.  I am me and that is what he wants - ME.  Neither of us look like we did when we got married all theose 'eons' ago but we are who we are today and that is what matters.  IF I were to choose to do recon, he will be with md every step of the way for ME - not for him.

We are a very small family so no family dynamics going on.  Hubby and I are both only children (well I do have a brother but haven't heard from him for MANY years), all parents have been gone for 30 yrs and only have 2 sons - so just  us.

Remember that any surgery anywhere can result in lymphedema.  

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

It should be up to you. I was 62 when I was dx 3 years ago.I thought if I need a masectomy I will have reconstruction. Not needed. I had a  lumpectomy.I always wondered about how complicated the masectomies would be?? In the begninning I looked at it as being much simpler than what it is.Not sure now.In July my sister was dx with bc.She was the same age as me when mine was found.She had a double mascetomy.Cancer in both breasts.2 different kinds.Complicated.She had her mascetomy and reconstruction if I remember the same time.She has always been braver than me.Super women and never worries  Although after her surgery she said she wasn't sure about going any farther and will  be satisfied on what is already done. She said the reconstrution was alot of work and the drainage tubes. Her granddaugther helped her get through that. Really don't think she could've done that by herself.

Not sure if doctors usually push  reconstruction.At least not most of them. Years ago I had bowel surgery and had a majpr surgery that changed my life.I was just told I had to have it to save my life.Same as this is for you.That is what matter saving your life and not what others think. I can imagine how you feel with your husband pushing it.

What a decision you have to make??I wish you the best.Sounds like you've been through enough already.

Lynn Smith

New Flower
Posts: 3944
Joined: Aug 2009

I am a very sweet and gentle person  my first reaction - f**ck them all, everybody who makes you feel ugly and uncomfortable 

They have not undergone surgeries & chemo what do they know about cancer 

hugs

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

I am sure your doctors mean well, but, I can't speak for your husband.  I guess I give everyone the benefit of the doubt and I bet they're truly just trying to help you, not make you do something that you don't want to do. 

You are the only one that knows exactly what you want to do and that is all that is important.  If needed, explain to them your reasoning for not having reconstruction and I bet, and I hope, you will see a change in all of their attitudes.

Best of luck to you,

Lex

Sdawells
Posts: 23
Joined: Nov 2012

New Flower, in all honesty that is exactly what I'd like to say!

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

I'm so sorry for how everyone is making you feel.  It isn't right, not at all.  If you don't want any more surgeries, than don't have any and I do understand.

Good luck and I am glad you could talk about it here.  That's why we're here.

 

Hugs, Diane

Sdawells
Posts: 23
Joined: Nov 2012

Thank you all for your kind words and replys.  It is a choice I can wait on but feeling the pressure doesn"t make it any easier. Yes, I have told myself, NO SURGERY UNLESS IT IS NEEDED TO SAVE MY LIFE.  I guess that at this point I'm feeling so miserable with the side effects of chemo that all I can think of is this just being over.  It is so helpful to have someplace that I can say these things and know that others understand.  I really appreciate all of your advise. Thanks again

Dottie Bru
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2013

17 yrs ago I had a mastectomy with recontruction of a saline implant on the mastectomy side & a lift on the 'good' side so they matched. Over the yrs, the implant moved as I either lost or gained weight & I needed more surgery----saline implant was removed & replaced & 'good' side was lifted. In July, after a routine mammo, I was diagnosed with invasive lobular cancer--found in the scarline on the 'good' side. Many people tried to talk me into reconstruction----Many except my family, that is. Reconstruction is a BIG deal--no matter what anyone says!!!! After much research & advice, I opted for NO reconstruction. --and I had the implant removed. IAM SO GLAD I DID!!!! The chemo effected my shoulder, knee & foot on the implant side AND I was in a wheel chair most of the time. At one point, the ortho scheduled me for knee surgery, I was in so much pain. But then my foot swelled & I was diagnosed with chemo triggered gout. Chemo also gave me sores in my mouth & on my tongue which NOTHING helped.I KNOW I could never deal with the chemo ----reconstruction & a spouse with Alzheimers!! Yes, the prosthesis are very heavy so I have been wearing 'knitted titties' in all different colors that my friends made me. The directions are online.

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

I had a double mastectomy on 1/11/11. I didn't have reconstruction. I had such darn large breasts before this.In the summer, I would get yeast infections underneathe them. I hated wearing bras, but if I moved fast when out in the yard, they would be flapping.

I had so much pain from the nerve damage, scar tissue adhesions and now LE, that I am so glad I didn't get it. I have not been able to wear the bra with the prosthetic breasts because it was so painful. I have finally gotten to the point, within the last three weeks, that  I can nice zip up sports bra kind of thing that I wear to hellp with the truncal LE. I started wearing the soft, light prosthetics a less than a week ago. It was so strange to have breasts, but was nice to have something on top to balance out the big belly I now have.

My breast surgeon never pressured me to get reconstruction. My partner, Brian, was so supportive of what ever choice I decided to make.He was actually more on the side of NOT getting reconstruction one because of all the complications I had just from the BMX, but also because it seemed like a lot of surgeries, appts, etc to get reconstruction.

Brian's sister was the only one back in 2011 that I remember trying to nudge me to get it done. I don't remember what I told her but she stopped after the second time.

At first it was weird not to have them. Brian took care of my drains, etc, and he saw me after the surgery before I did. He said it didn't look that bad. If he wasn't so supportive, I don't think I would have handled it so well. He just wanted the best for me, not for him or anyone else.

There are many differnt types of prosthetic breasts. Did you go to a mastectomy boutique and have a feel at a bunch of different kinds? I know some, like mine, are very light weight since I can't have the extra weight pulling down on the sports bra thing I wear. 

I guess you have to stick up for yourself. Remember, the doctors, surgeons, work for you!! This is YOUR body YOUR life YOUR decisions.

If you need extra help with prosthetics, breastcancer.rog is a great site because it has a discussion board specifically for Mastectomy Without Reconstruction. I am sure the ladies there could help you find some more light weight prosthetics.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4520
Joined: Aug 2009

i did not have reconstruction, I  started the process but both times I eneded up needing rads and it would have been a long prolonged surgery. not something i was interested in. My H does not want to wait for me to have one more surgery if I can help it. I have been in the OR well over 15 times. anyway, my docs doent care. I somentimes think it would be nice, but have accepted it. If I could feel them it would be nice when I was with my husband. otherwise WHATEVER. you do what speaks to you that is the only opinion that really matters.

linpsu's picture
linpsu
Posts: 725
Joined: Mar 2010

I had an implant put in after my first mastectomy and was generally satisfied with it; however my cancer reoccured under my mastectomy scar so I had to have the implant removed and I decided I didn't want to go through the reconstruction again after going through a 2nd surgery, chemo, radiation, etc.  I had had enough!  So I have a prosthesis and I'm fine with it.

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

You should only do what you want and what you feel comfortable with and that's it!  I'm sorry that anyone made you feel other than that you are beautiful, because you are! 

I hope that by all of these posts you realize that and know that we all support you!

 

Hugs, Leeza

Unhappy
Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 2012

They are not the one going through the surgeries and recovey it you and you know wnat is best for you body .Don't let someone pressure you into anything you don't want.I am sure you are very pretty just the way you are.I have thought about reconstrution but somehow just can consider it yet I have had to much to worry about without that too.I have a aunt who had both breast removed 50year ago and she is cancer free and a very happy person just the way she is .She say she can be any size breast she want to be and when you look at her you would never guest she don't have breast.She called me when she heard I had breast cancer and talked it help a lot.

ladyg's picture
ladyg
Posts: 1577
Joined: Apr 2010

to make that decision since I only had a lumpectomy. But one thing I did learn through all of this is that I am important and what I want does matter. If you do not want to have recon done then don't do it! Anyone who cares about you will understand that it is your decision and not theirs. Do what is best for you.

Hugs,

Georgia

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3928
Joined: Oct 2009

Reconstruction is a strictly individual choice.  When I was first diagnosed, I was just 33 and reconstruction was the right move for me.  However, I will be 60 this year and I am not sure if I would have done it at this age.  Don't let anyone influence you!  Do what is right for YOU.

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

I agree with everything written that this is your choice and do what is right for you.

 

Good luck,

 

Rose

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 408
Joined: Oct 2012

I opted not to go with reconstruction, and my husband did not care what I decided.  My reasons included these:

  1. I did not want any more major surgery, especially what I viewed as unnecessary.
  2. If I had piggy-backed that surgery with what I had, time would be doubled.
  3. Recovery time was another issue.
  4. Was it worth taking a chance on something going wrong or some health issue causing all of that to be an inconvenience.

Yes, I have prosthetics; but I do not wear them all of the time.  It depends on how fitted my outfit is for work, church, or wherever else I am going. 

My fitter told me that because I am "balanced" on both sides, I can get away without needing to constantly deal with a prosthetic -- not that mine are uncomfy.  I like having that freedom and knowing it is not going to throw my back out of line if I go "prostheticless."

I realize that in most instances, women do recosntruction because it makes them feel better OR they feel they have no choice because of their spouse.  I didn't think I needed that to feel better about myself.  My husband and I love each other for who we are, regardless.  Maybe if I were a really young woman I would think differently; but I am in my late 50s and just don't think the bother is worth it to me as far as the down time that would be involved.

 

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

I did chemo first, then bilateral. no reconstruction, then rads.   I'm triple neg inflammatory BC, in my case I was told no reconstruction for a year.  In that year I had a local recurrence and was found to be stage IV with mets to lymph nodes between my lungs.  With all of that, I decided I don;t need or want any more surgery.  So I won't get it done.  I am content with my prosthesis.  Some days I don't wear them, usually if I'm not going anywhere.

I wonder if your husband and docs are assuming you want reconstruction because of your previous attempt.  They may be doing what they think you want.   Perhaps their real feelings are different, and they aren't saying anything to 'protect' you.

 

Stick to your guns, take a deep breath, and talk with your husband first.  Then next time a doc brings it up just say you've changed your mind and you no longer want reconstruction.  I'm betting they will all be more supportive than you expect.

 

Hugs,

Linda

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4520
Joined: Aug 2009

I think everyone is different, but sometimes i am annoyed by the assumption by docs that we cant deal with being boobless. i think we are sensible and do what is right. I was frequently discouraged from having a propholactic mastectomy , perhpas for the same reasons, by the time i decided on it it was too late.

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

You just do whatever if anything that you feel is right for you, just you.  Talk to your husband, sit him down and tell him how you feel and how what he has said has hurt you.  You may get surprised that he is just doing or saying what he thinks he should.  Men can be clueless in this journey so much of the time.

 

Lots of hugs, Debby

sweetvickid's picture
sweetvickid
Posts: 441
Joined: Nov 2009

I was 55 when I had a double mastectomy.  Family and hubby and even friends assumed I would do reconstruction. At first I just figured I would do reconstruction.  Then I read up on the process.I wasn't big busted had no droop and hubby bragged that mine looked better than a lot of younger women's.  He was pushing for reconstruction.  So I had him read up on the procedures with videos of the surgeries of what would happen for implants or the flap surgery. Also had him look at pictures of breast that plastic surgeons had done.  He changed his tune.  Informed me that what ever I wanted to do was fine with him.  When I said I had decided not to do it he said he thought that was a good decision.

That was in 2010.  Got the foobs and very rarely ever wear the things.  I am amazed at the number of people that never notice I don't have boobs.

 

When I had my mastectomy I made sure the surgeon would not leave extra skin, so my chest is nice and smooth.

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

Everyone has to do what is best for them and not think or worry about what someone else has to say.  I am sure you'll do what is right and best just for you. 

I'm glad you felt you could open up and discuss this with us.  I hope that we've helped you to feel better.

 

Rose

Different Ballgame's picture
Different Ballgame
Posts: 870
Joined: Jan 2010

The most important thing is that you do what you want and not what someone else wants.

I also had both expanders removed due to infections...left breast 5 weeks after mastectomy and right breast 7 weeks after mastectomy at the age of 65.  In my case, my husband did not want me to have the implants as he did not want me to have another surgery.  I did what I wanted, which was, "I wanted those implants."  My reconstruction was totally completed 3 years after my mastectomies.

We are all different.  What makes you feel good and secure should guide you to doing what is best for you.

Lots of Hugs,

Janelle

 

 

 

 

 

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Janelle wrote what I say, do what YOU want!  All the pink sisters are supporting any decision you make for yourself!

Hugs, Megan

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5285
Joined: Oct 2010

I had lumpectomy in 2008 and another one same side 4 wks ago..swelling has gone down and much more noticable to me. LIKE you I have had about 15 misc surgeries. I would not consider getting it fixed (if they even do anything for lumpectomies) I feel you should do what makes you and ONLY you happy and comfortable.

 

Is there a couselor at your cancer center or support group?

 

I'll check back in to see how you are making out. So sorry the expanders didnt' work out.

 

Denise

Compromising2
Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2012

Go with your feelings because you are the one who is gonna have to go through the procedures. I understand getting through chemo is a job within itself. I did chemo, masectomy and radiation. March will be 1 year anniversary for surgery. I use my prothesis. I'm 49 and thankful to be alive. I don't like have surgery so I don't plan on reconstruction. I may change my mind later but today I say no.  Smile

 

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

I so agree with going with your gut feelings.  You are the one that has to go thru more surgery and if you don't want to, then please do not do it. 

If you were to change your mind, you could always do it later, much later.

 

Good luck, Leeza

sea60's picture
sea60
Posts: 2601
Joined: May 2010

is the one YOU make for yourself.

 

Hugs,

Sylvia

punkinpie's picture
punkinpie
Posts: 16
Joined: Jul 2012

My surgeon brought up implants, but also advised that radiation therapy might damage the implant and it may have to be replaced...My radiation oncologist advesed me not to get reconstruction due to the fact that a reoccurance would be harder to catch..That was enough for me. I can't imagine trying to stretch out the skin in my radiated area let alone more surgery there. I can only imagine how long it would take to heal. So, I haven't had reconstruction, and I'm ok with it. I would definately do whatever you feel comfortable with. . 

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

Sylvia just wrote the perfect reply!  Hope you are doing well.

 

Hugs, Rose

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

I would like to say not having breasts has men looking me in my eyes and not the chest like they normally did when I did have them.  That being said, 16 years ago double mastectomy at age 36 and I do not regret not having reconstructive surgery and much like a model I saw on Oprah I feel more like a woman today than I did before.  I refused reconstruction since having so many problems through all treatments including surgery.  I resigned myself to the treatments but decided that I had suffered enough and willing to do go for more surgery.

Thankfully I didn't have reconstruction at time of my raging staph infection after Chemo #2 not sure I would still be here had I done so.

It is a personal decision that you and only you can make and have to live with not anyone else...

Take good care of yourself.

Tara

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

I would like to say not having breasts has men looking me in my eyes and not the chest like they normally did when I did have them.  That being said, 16 years ago double mastectomy at age 36 and I do not regret not having reconstructive surgery and much like a model I saw on Oprah I feel more like a woman today than I did before.  I refused reconstruction since having so many problems through all treatments including surgery.  I resigned myself to the treatments but decided that I had suffered enough and not willing to do go for more surgery.

Thankfully I didn't have reconstruction at time of my raging staph infection after Chemo #2 not sure I would still be here had I done so.

It is a personal decision that you and only you can make and have to live with not anyone else...

Take good care of yourself.

Tara

icuucme2
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2013

I agree with you, if you don't want to do don't. When I first found out I had breast cancer and at the time was told it was a small lump and I could have a mastectomy or conserve my breast, I chose to conserve. I was amazed at the women who told me how vain I was. Then when I did have to have a mastectomy and I chose at the time not to have anything done reconstruction until after my treatment was done. I was told that I was vain again and shouldn't have reconstruction surgery. 18 months after my mastectomy and 14 months of treatment I had reconstruction surgery and love it. In May I will have my next surgery and 3 months after that my last one. :) However, it is my choice to do so I respect your choice as well. Don't feel bad about not having it done, but also don't let fear dictate what you do and don't do.

Lynne

icuucme2
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2013

I agree with you, if you don't want to do don't. When I first found out I had breast cancer and at the time was told it was a small lump and I could have a mastectomy or conserve my breast, I chose to conserve. I was amazed at the women who told me how vain I was. Then when I did have to have a mastectomy and I chose at the time not to have anything done reconstruction until after my treatment was done. I was told that I was vain again and shouldn't have reconstruction surgery. 18 months after my mastectomy and 14 months of treatment I had reconstruction surgery and love it. In May I will have my next surgery and 3 months after that my last one. :) However, it is my choice to do so I respect your choice as well. Don't feel bad about not having it done, but also don't let fear dictate what you do and don't do.

Lynne

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

I did not have reconstruction. I was just tired of treatment and wanted to get finished. I was told I could always get it done later. The problem with this is if I'd had it done then my health insurance  would have paid. Now with no insurance we'd have to pay. I am not sure I'd have it done anyway. At my age who's looking? 

Decide what would make you happy. Only you know your circumstances.

 

muffingranma
Posts: 107
Joined: Sep 2012

I have had a mastectomy. I am not even considering having reconstruction surgery. Glad that was my discision because my cancer is back already after having a mastectomy Nov. 5th 2012. I will have surgery again in two weeks. If no one wants to see my battle scars they can look away, it won't bother me.It is what you feel comfortable with. I am still being drained after he took the drains out the last of Nov. Best of lucki with what ever you decide.

littleangel65
Posts: 46
Joined: Jan 2013

I had my right breast removed last year, and at that time, I thought, oh YES, I am getting reconstruction, but now that time has passed, and I am still going strong, I am not so sure I want to have reconstruction, the only thing that is truly bothering me, is this flab on my side, it gets in the way, when I do put a bra on and my prosithis, but other than that, my husband accepts me for me, not for weather or not I have all my parts. lol

And the more I think about the pros and cons of reconstruction, the more I ask myself, does that reconstruction stuff hide things that need to be addressed, as far as cancer coming back to a specific area? 

All that matters, is what makes you feel the most comfortable, you know your body better than anyone.

Don't worry about what other people think, they aren't the ones having to make that decision.

Take Care

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

I am keeping you in my prayers.

    ♥Kristin♥                                                                                                 

littleangel65
Posts: 46
Joined: Jan 2013

I had my right breast removed last year, and at that time, I thought, oh YES, I am getting reconstruction, but now that time has passed, and I am still going strong, I am not so sure I want to have reconstruction, the only thing that is truly bothering me, is this flab on my side, it gets in the way, when I do put a bra on and my prosithis, but other than that, my husband accepts me for me, not for weather or not I have all my parts. lol

And the more I think about the pros and cons of reconstruction, the more I ask myself, does that reconstruction stuff hide things that need to be addressed, as far as cancer coming back to a specific area? 

All that matters, is what makes you feel the most comfortable, you know your body better than anyone.

Don't worry about what other people think, they aren't the ones having to make that decision.

Take Care

rjporter's picture
rjporter
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2010

I believe that's a decision ONLY you can make for yourself. I chose to have reconstruction against what my mother and some others wanted me to do but I had to do what was best for me. It's hard enough going through chemo you sure don't need that added stress!

I will keep you in my prayers hang in there and remember IF YOU'RE HAPPY with your decision THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS!!!!

 

God bless

gundicus
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2013

I had a double mastectomy without any reconstruction 2 months ago monday - and i'm very happy with my decision. I have had many people ask 'what are you going to do now?' - and i'm not planning on doing much of anything except letting the scars fade, recovering fully & getting back to life! Even the doctors & hospitals it seems have bought into us needing 'breasts' to be ok. - and that's sad. I had well meaning people tell me i'd at least want prosthetics because 'otherwise there are clothes that just won't look right on you.' - really? I haven't worn a dress since high school - my tshirts will look just fine....i'm a butch lesbian...so no - I don't do red gowns etc....and even if I DID - you do NOT need breasts to be beautiful. I wish society didn't have that in the popular mindset - but it bugs me too. If YOU want them for YOU - in order to feel good or be comfortable - FINE. But to risk my health further did not make sense for something that didn't affect my vision of myself or my self-esteem at all. Luckily my family & partner were on board with this decision from the start - it was too risky due to other health problems & the payoff wasn't nearly worth it. I'm sorry so many people are made to feel 'less than' if they don't get at least implants - to say nothing of prosthetics....it's a shame. As for me - i'm a flattop now & darned proud of it. My scars speak volumes to anyone as to my character and integrity and THAT is all that matters - HOW YOU SEE YOURSELF...be proud of your survival and the rest will follow - AND FOLLOW YOUR HEART - ALWAYS!

Stay strong & best of luck,

Gundy

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

Bumping up for Jesse.  I hope this post will help you.

kamcat1962's picture
kamcat1962
Posts: 40
Joined: Mar 2013

I had reconstruction after my chemo since my cancer was so aggressive even though I was stage 2b.  This is what I have learned from the experience. First and foremost your health and remission are the most important thing that you and everyone you know should be concerned with.  You are alive thank God and you want to stay that way and so should everyone else!!!  I had such reservations about reconstruction that I had 3 consults and I waited a year after my treatments to do it.  I had a lat flap and implant on the right side(mastectomy side) and a prophylactic mastectomy on the left and then an implant.  It was hell.  I have never had such pain in my life. And like you I felt pushed by doctors, friends, family, (not my husband he left it up to me, He told me when I had the first mastectomy that all he cared about was me being alive.  HE MARRIED ME FOR ME NOT MY BREAST) even fellow breast cancer survivors kept asking, "When you gonna get your new girls?"  How I wish I had waited and listened to my instincts.  What I am about to print can not be medically proven as far as I know, but I, unfortunately believe it in my heart.  My cancer has recurred and metastized on the side of the lat flap and my implant is leaking(saline thank goodness) but they can't remove it because of all the radiation I have had. I know in my heart my cancer returned because of the stress the reconstruction put on my body. I am sure every doctor on earth would pooh=pooh this idea but that's how I feel.  It sounds like you have already had a rough time with this.  I am not telling you what to do except listen to your instincts I have found that they are your best friend in tne end and usually they are right for you.  Good luck and God Bless you sound like you've been through alot.  Take care

Best Wishes, Cathy K.

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Cathy, I am so sorry for all that you went thru and will be praying for you. 

Sue

kamcat1962's picture
kamcat1962
Posts: 40
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you Sue, you know they say "That which doesn't kill me can only make me stronger" Each day I am elated to wake up and each night I am grateful for the day. My best advise to cancer survivors is to keep busy if you can.  I have had many physical complications from my cancer but i still try to stay constructive.  Believe me I have some very dark days but I think about those that are very less fortunate than I am and then I stop feeling sorry for myself.  My other piece of advice is to either join a support group (ours here where I live is pathetic unfortunately)or go to a grief counselor (yes a grief counselor)  I don't know what I would do without mine. 

She is a true blessing and has helped me through this journey without me losing my mind.  so my motto is, stay busy, laugh as much as you can and love every day and all the people that support you as much as you can.

Cathy K

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

You have such a good attitude Cathy K.  I'm sending hugs and praying for you too!

 

Rose

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