all done with chemo, total remission, reconstruction

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jamiesue1
jamiesue1 Member Posts: 21
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Well I finished chemo on Sept 17. Had my pet scan on Oct. 8. The report came back and I am in total remission. Now what exactly does that mean? I always forget to ask the important questions when I'm with my Onc. I have to go on tamoxifen for 5 years but I guess that's it. I am scheduled for my DIEP Flap reconstruction on Jan. 7. My plan is to recupe at home for 3-4 weeks and then fly to FLA to stay with my mom for 4 weeks. Yesterday someone told me that I won't be physically ready to fly in only 1 month. She said my plastic surgeon will want me to be here for follow ups and physical therapy. I have a call into my plastic surgeon but no call back yet. Has anyone out there had the DIEP Flap recon. and what was your experience after the surgery as far recuperating time etc.?
Thanks, Jamie

Comments

  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
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    Hi Jamie: I didn't have
    Hi Jamie: I didn't have Diep but had the tram and honestly I was not able to do anything for about 8 weeks. I was not in awful pain, but was pretty uncomfortable. The incision they do goes from hip to hip and I guess because they cut and moved muscle I was pretty uncomfortable. See what you dr says. Would be nice to spend part of the winter in sunny Fl. Good luck, Hugs, Lili
  • MsFit08
    MsFit08 Member Posts: 4
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    HI JAMIE!!
    What a wonderful site this is...to be able to reach out to people with questions, etc...wish I had this venue to vent, or get answers!!

    Jamie, I was given that choice as well...I studied them all: tram flap, implants, etc... I chose, after much research, to go with the silicone-filled implants, for several reasons:

    - Because I had been training for the Ms. Fitness pageant, I didn't want to lose my lattisimus dorsi muscle, so the Tram Flap was not an option for me.
    - The belly flap, was a great choice, if I had children, and I needed a 'tummy-tuck', but once again, it wasn't a good option for me...wanted the muscle tissue to work out later.
    - The implants were my final choice, but I didn't want saline, because they would have to fill it so full, it would not match my 'normal' side...this probably would have been an option if I had a double mastectomy, but since I only had one removed, I wanted to look and feel as natural as possible...SO
    - I opted for the Silicone-filled implants...I have had them now for almost 8 years! I'm part of a test-study, but they hang naturally, and feel natural (movement, etc.)...PLUS...I got a boob-job out of it! Yippee! (not the way I ever had imagined, but nonetheless, it was).

    During the mastectomy, the plastic surgeon inserts a tissue-expander, and then during chemo he filled it gradually with saline to stretch the skin...once chemo was over, which was Feb of 2001 (6 months later), I had my reconstruction (in April 2001).

    Insurance covers both sides (it's the law), and the doctor will obviously put a 'tear-drop' shape on the mastectomy side, whereas the 'natural' side received a smaller, but round shape. It looks great, and recovery time was probably about a month (another reason why I opted for this type of reconstruction)...plus, once again, I needed this option so that I could get back into the gym.

    I hope this helps...do your research, and choose what you feel comfortable doing...

    God bless!!
    Beth
  • Joycelouise
    Joycelouise Member Posts: 482
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    MsFit08 said:

    HI JAMIE!!
    What a wonderful site this is...to be able to reach out to people with questions, etc...wish I had this venue to vent, or get answers!!

    Jamie, I was given that choice as well...I studied them all: tram flap, implants, etc... I chose, after much research, to go with the silicone-filled implants, for several reasons:

    - Because I had been training for the Ms. Fitness pageant, I didn't want to lose my lattisimus dorsi muscle, so the Tram Flap was not an option for me.
    - The belly flap, was a great choice, if I had children, and I needed a 'tummy-tuck', but once again, it wasn't a good option for me...wanted the muscle tissue to work out later.
    - The implants were my final choice, but I didn't want saline, because they would have to fill it so full, it would not match my 'normal' side...this probably would have been an option if I had a double mastectomy, but since I only had one removed, I wanted to look and feel as natural as possible...SO
    - I opted for the Silicone-filled implants...I have had them now for almost 8 years! I'm part of a test-study, but they hang naturally, and feel natural (movement, etc.)...PLUS...I got a boob-job out of it! Yippee! (not the way I ever had imagined, but nonetheless, it was).

    During the mastectomy, the plastic surgeon inserts a tissue-expander, and then during chemo he filled it gradually with saline to stretch the skin...once chemo was over, which was Feb of 2001 (6 months later), I had my reconstruction (in April 2001).

    Insurance covers both sides (it's the law), and the doctor will obviously put a 'tear-drop' shape on the mastectomy side, whereas the 'natural' side received a smaller, but round shape. It looks great, and recovery time was probably about a month (another reason why I opted for this type of reconstruction)...plus, once again, I needed this option so that I could get back into the gym.

    I hope this helps...do your research, and choose what you feel comfortable doing...

    God bless!!
    Beth

    Thanks for your post, Beth.
    Thanks for your post, Beth. Your proceedure sounds like what I am going to do in December. I will have an implant put in and then, I think when they take that out and put in the silicone, they will also put a little more silicone in the healthy breast. I am looking forward to a better figure and I am also very active and glad that I will still have my muscles. Can I ask, how much did the secondary implant (good side) increase your measurements? I have imagined that we are just talking about one cup size so. I guess I never thought about it, but when women have breast augmentation surgery, they don't have to have expanders first..or do they?
    Thanks for any answers. (Sorry if I was nosy) love, Joyce
  • MsFit08
    MsFit08 Member Posts: 4
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    Thanks for your post, Beth.
    Thanks for your post, Beth. Your proceedure sounds like what I am going to do in December. I will have an implant put in and then, I think when they take that out and put in the silicone, they will also put a little more silicone in the healthy breast. I am looking forward to a better figure and I am also very active and glad that I will still have my muscles. Can I ask, how much did the secondary implant (good side) increase your measurements? I have imagined that we are just talking about one cup size so. I guess I never thought about it, but when women have breast augmentation surgery, they don't have to have expanders first..or do they?
    Thanks for any answers. (Sorry if I was nosy) love, Joyce

    LOL...you're not being nosey Joyce...
    ...you're just curious...

    No tissue expander was needed in the "healthy" breast, they do put in a different shaped implant - a round implant, whereas, the mastectomy side received a 'tear-dropped' shape (makes sense doesn't it?). I absolutely felt feminine and beautiful afterwards!

    As far as increasing the measurements, that's between you and your doctor...I think the most natural increase, the better. I went up a cup size (yippeeee!), but that was my preference (actually wouldn't have minded even more, but there was alot to deal with during this time).

    After the mastectomy, chemo, and then reconstruction, I had to have 8mos. of physical therapy for a "frozen shoulder"...I couldn't lift my arm all the way up, and scar tissue had formed on the mastectomy side, so discuss all options with your doctors, and see which size is best for you!

    Congratulations on your survival!
    Beth :D
  • Joycelouise
    Joycelouise Member Posts: 482
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    MsFit08 said:

    LOL...you're not being nosey Joyce...
    ...you're just curious...

    No tissue expander was needed in the "healthy" breast, they do put in a different shaped implant - a round implant, whereas, the mastectomy side received a 'tear-dropped' shape (makes sense doesn't it?). I absolutely felt feminine and beautiful afterwards!

    As far as increasing the measurements, that's between you and your doctor...I think the most natural increase, the better. I went up a cup size (yippeeee!), but that was my preference (actually wouldn't have minded even more, but there was alot to deal with during this time).

    After the mastectomy, chemo, and then reconstruction, I had to have 8mos. of physical therapy for a "frozen shoulder"...I couldn't lift my arm all the way up, and scar tissue had formed on the mastectomy side, so discuss all options with your doctors, and see which size is best for you!

    Congratulations on your survival!
    Beth :D

    Thank you so much for
    Thank you so much for replying and answering my questions. I am sorry about your "frozen shoulder". That must have been extra hard with your physical life style. And, congratulations for overcoming it.
    And,...you spell better than (nosy-nosey) me! love, Joyce
  • jamiesue1
    jamiesue1 Member Posts: 21
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    Ok ladies, back to me
    Ok ladies, back to me please!
    Just kidding. I'm not trying to decide which surgery to have. I'm having the DIEP Flap reconstruction (no muscle intrusion). I'm trying to find someone who has had the DIEP flap recon to find out what their experience was as far as length of time for recovery. The nurse has gotten back to me and told me I would have to stay home for a month and then I could go to FLA for a month. I just can't go in water because I won't be totally healed yet. If anyone out there had the DIEP Flap recon please comment. thanks, jamie
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
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    jamiesue1 said:

    Ok ladies, back to me
    Ok ladies, back to me please!
    Just kidding. I'm not trying to decide which surgery to have. I'm having the DIEP Flap reconstruction (no muscle intrusion). I'm trying to find someone who has had the DIEP flap recon to find out what their experience was as far as length of time for recovery. The nurse has gotten back to me and told me I would have to stay home for a month and then I could go to FLA for a month. I just can't go in water because I won't be totally healed yet. If anyone out there had the DIEP Flap recon please comment. thanks, jamie

    Jamie: Terry O'connor had
    Jamie: Terry O'connor had the diep flap done the first time. I haven't seen her in the chat room but sometimes I see her mom who is MaryJanice. I'll try to find her screen name for you and I'll email it to you later. Hugs, Lili
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
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    I'm dancing!!!
    YEA YEA YEA YEA YEA YEA YEA!!!

    NAKED HAPPY DANCE!!!

    The hard part is OVER!!!!!!

    The 'Cured' word is hardly ever used....at least by oncologists...'remission' is about as close as some doctors get....CELEBRATE!

    Hugs, Kathi