Ok, I'm starting to freak out

lisamcsherry
lisamcsherry Member Posts: 29
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Surgery on Thursday (11/12). DCIS in 3 lumps (6mm, 7mm, 1.3cm), likely stage 1, unilateral mastectomy with sentinel node biopsy. After much discussion, I decided to have immediate reconstruction (extender put in).

The thing is, I'm still not sure that is what I want. I'm pretty unhappy about the additional recovery time and the foreign feeling the implant will produce. I know its a personal decision . . . I just wish I could figure out what the RIGHT decision is for me. Mostly, I'm trusting my plastic surgeon when he tells me that if I install the extender now, I can always take it out, but it will be a lot harder to reconstruct if we do a 'clean' mastectomy now. (That is, not a skin conserving M.)

I have no pain tolerance. None. I am so worried about the recovery. I wasn't until today.


AAAAAAAAGHHHHHH. At least I have here to vent.

Comments

  • lovelylola
    lovelylola Member Posts: 279
    Vent away - we listen
    Making the right decision is sometimes the most painful part of this process with all the different options. You are saying "I'm still not sure that is what I want" Never feel that you have to rush just because they've already scheduled the surgery. You need to feel confident in your choice. I had them postpone the chemo until I was absolutely sure. We are hear to listen and help you if we can. It's normal to be worried about every part of this process. Sometimes just saying it out loud helps clear the mind to make a decision. Sending hugs and prayers your way. Lola
  • cvolk821
    cvolk821 Member Posts: 36
    Thursday!
    Lisa,

    My surgery is also Thursday (ILC - bi-lateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction). Very scary! Just keep your eye on the prize; health and a second chance. There is no right or wrong answer to the reconstruction question. I, personally, am looking forward to my new breasts as I feel like they will help me get back to "normal". I'll send you an extra boost of positive energy just before I go under. I, too, am concerned about the recovery. Let's just get this first phase past us!

    As soon as you are able, please let us know how it went for you.

    Connie
  • lisamcsherry
    lisamcsherry Member Posts: 29

    Vent away - we listen
    Making the right decision is sometimes the most painful part of this process with all the different options. You are saying "I'm still not sure that is what I want" Never feel that you have to rush just because they've already scheduled the surgery. You need to feel confident in your choice. I had them postpone the chemo until I was absolutely sure. We are hear to listen and help you if we can. It's normal to be worried about every part of this process. Sometimes just saying it out loud helps clear the mind to make a decision. Sending hugs and prayers your way. Lola

    no rush!
    I was diagnosed back in Sept, so there hasn't been a rush -- I really want it to be over.
  • lisamcsherry
    lisamcsherry Member Posts: 29
    cvolk821 said:

    Thursday!
    Lisa,

    My surgery is also Thursday (ILC - bi-lateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction). Very scary! Just keep your eye on the prize; health and a second chance. There is no right or wrong answer to the reconstruction question. I, personally, am looking forward to my new breasts as I feel like they will help me get back to "normal". I'll send you an extra boost of positive energy just before I go under. I, too, am concerned about the recovery. Let's just get this first phase past us!

    As soon as you are able, please let us know how it went for you.

    Connie

    hey connie!
    where are you at (city, state) -- I'm south of Seattle, WA. We can think supportive thoughts at each other.

    :-)
  • cvolk821
    cvolk821 Member Posts: 36

    hey connie!
    where are you at (city, state) -- I'm south of Seattle, WA. We can think supportive thoughts at each other.

    :-)

    Different Time Zone
    I'm in Lake Wylie SC, right next to Charlotte NC. This means I'm hours ahead of you in surgery! I'll start warming up the positive energy for you about 4am EDT, which is about the time you are going to bed. We're in this together girlfriend!
    Connie
  • lisamcsherry
    lisamcsherry Member Posts: 29
    cvolk821 said:

    Different Time Zone
    I'm in Lake Wylie SC, right next to Charlotte NC. This means I'm hours ahead of you in surgery! I'll start warming up the positive energy for you about 4am EDT, which is about the time you are going to bed. We're in this together girlfriend!
    Connie

    time zones, schmine zones.
    time zones, schmine zones. :-)

    You get it started, I'll keep it going. I'll be checking in at 7:45am PT, surgery isn't until 1:30pm (PT) . . .

    My partner is from Columbia, SC so I already have a connection there. We'll be doing great in just a few days.
  • cindycflynn
    cindycflynn Member Posts: 1,132 Member
    Lisa & Connie
    Best wishes to both of you on Thursday. You will have a lot of prayers coming your way from the great warriors on these boards.

    Lisa - Hope you find peace with your decision one way or another. Once you have it done, I'm sure you will do whatever it takes to get your body healed and feeling well once more.

    Wishing you both wonderful dances with NED once this is all behind you!

    Take care,
  • cvolk821
    cvolk821 Member Posts: 36

    time zones, schmine zones.
    time zones, schmine zones. :-)

    You get it started, I'll keep it going. I'll be checking in at 7:45am PT, surgery isn't until 1:30pm (PT) . . .

    My partner is from Columbia, SC so I already have a connection there. We'll be doing great in just a few days.

    You're On Lisa!
    My surgery is at 10am ET (7am your time). Between the two of us, we have most of the day covered in strong positive energy. I'm comforted knowing our champions from this board will carry us the rest of the time.

    I'm only 1.5 hrs from Columbia. I look forward to celebrating with you two when this is over! Only a couple of days until we can cross surgery off our To Do list and move forward.

    I'll check in with you before Thursday and hope you feel me cheering for you across the country!

    Connie
  • cvolk821
    cvolk821 Member Posts: 36

    Lisa & Connie
    Best wishes to both of you on Thursday. You will have a lot of prayers coming your way from the great warriors on these boards.

    Lisa - Hope you find peace with your decision one way or another. Once you have it done, I'm sure you will do whatever it takes to get your body healed and feeling well once more.

    Wishing you both wonderful dances with NED once this is all behind you!

    Take care,

    Thanks Cindy
    I feel it and appreciate it!
  • ColoradoGal
    ColoradoGal Member Posts: 14
    from one scardy cat to another
    Connie,

    I had my left breast removed in August 09 - expander was put into place at the same time. I am also having surgery on 11/12 - to get my permanent implant. Also having the right breast matched, so I can look like myself again. I have NO tolerance for pain - none. And yet, it was ok...very tolerable. I spent only 1 night in the hospital, made full use of the morphine drip, and only took pain pills a couple of times after I got home. It wasn't really painful in the chest area - actually, it was kinda numb. The incisions for the drain tub and the lymph node surgery was actually more sore than the breast. I was sent home with a little pillow in the shape of the heart. God bless the woman who thought of this! It is designed to fit in the armpit area, to keep your arm away from your body. If you don't get one, email me at [email protected] and I will happy to send you one. That little heart pillow was a termendous help in alleviating the pain and discomfort - especially in the first days. The extender felt weird, foreign, but didn't actually hurt. I had my breast expander filled to a B cup, over about 6 weeks. That part does not hurt at all - just felt strange. So, don't stress about the pain - it's not that bad. I am so happy I decided to get the breast expander right away...the process, the time went by very quickly. Good luck, I will say a prayer for you. It'll be ok.
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member

    from one scardy cat to another
    Connie,

    I had my left breast removed in August 09 - expander was put into place at the same time. I am also having surgery on 11/12 - to get my permanent implant. Also having the right breast matched, so I can look like myself again. I have NO tolerance for pain - none. And yet, it was ok...very tolerable. I spent only 1 night in the hospital, made full use of the morphine drip, and only took pain pills a couple of times after I got home. It wasn't really painful in the chest area - actually, it was kinda numb. The incisions for the drain tub and the lymph node surgery was actually more sore than the breast. I was sent home with a little pillow in the shape of the heart. God bless the woman who thought of this! It is designed to fit in the armpit area, to keep your arm away from your body. If you don't get one, email me at [email protected] and I will happy to send you one. That little heart pillow was a termendous help in alleviating the pain and discomfort - especially in the first days. The extender felt weird, foreign, but didn't actually hurt. I had my breast expander filled to a B cup, over about 6 weeks. That part does not hurt at all - just felt strange. So, don't stress about the pain - it's not that bad. I am so happy I decided to get the breast expander right away...the process, the time went by very quickly. Good luck, I will say a prayer for you. It'll be ok.

    Lisa and Connie .. Best of luck to the two of you ..
    I have not crossed this bridge just yet .. 1/2 way thru my 18 weeks of chemo first.

    Best of luck ...

    Prayers to you both.

    VickiSam
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Implants DO feel a bit odd at first...
    But then, they become a part of you....

    BUT, if you don't want to go that route...well, don't!!! It's YOUR choice!

    Hugs, Kathi
  • cvolk821
    cvolk821 Member Posts: 36

    from one scardy cat to another
    Connie,

    I had my left breast removed in August 09 - expander was put into place at the same time. I am also having surgery on 11/12 - to get my permanent implant. Also having the right breast matched, so I can look like myself again. I have NO tolerance for pain - none. And yet, it was ok...very tolerable. I spent only 1 night in the hospital, made full use of the morphine drip, and only took pain pills a couple of times after I got home. It wasn't really painful in the chest area - actually, it was kinda numb. The incisions for the drain tub and the lymph node surgery was actually more sore than the breast. I was sent home with a little pillow in the shape of the heart. God bless the woman who thought of this! It is designed to fit in the armpit area, to keep your arm away from your body. If you don't get one, email me at [email protected] and I will happy to send you one. That little heart pillow was a termendous help in alleviating the pain and discomfort - especially in the first days. The extender felt weird, foreign, but didn't actually hurt. I had my breast expander filled to a B cup, over about 6 weeks. That part does not hurt at all - just felt strange. So, don't stress about the pain - it's not that bad. I am so happy I decided to get the breast expander right away...the process, the time went by very quickly. Good luck, I will say a prayer for you. It'll be ok.

    Very Cool Colorado!
    Wow! You are almost done! Please report back on the implant surgery with details on how you feel about looking like you again. Thanks so much for the details. I hope Lisa has read this too. The same day we begin with our surgeries, you are taking one of your final steps in this saga. You're not a scardy cat after all!
  • sweetvickid
    sweetvickid Member Posts: 459 Member
    Don't worry about the your
    Don't worry about the your pain tolerance. In this day and age there is no I repeat no reason for them to allow you to be in pain. If you or your family have to throw a fit make them give you enough pain medication that you are not in pain.
  • Kim59
    Kim59 Member Posts: 43
    cvolk821 said:

    Very Cool Colorado!
    Wow! You are almost done! Please report back on the implant surgery with details on how you feel about looking like you again. Thanks so much for the details. I hope Lisa has read this too. The same day we begin with our surgeries, you are taking one of your final steps in this saga. You're not a scardy cat after all!

    praying for you
    Lisa and Connie you will be in my thoughts and prayers on Thurday. Just had my bilateral with expander 11 days ago. My surgeon did a skin sparing mastectomy. It's nice to look down and see the same old girls!!
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member

    Don't worry about the your
    Don't worry about the your pain tolerance. In this day and age there is no I repeat no reason for them to allow you to be in pain. If you or your family have to throw a fit make them give you enough pain medication that you are not in pain.

    I had expander 15 years ago
    I had expander 15 years ago and this July. I found this time easier they did not inflate it in the oR. I did nt have any Iv meds took tylenol the first night. alot of the area is numb so the surgery is not that bad. I have to have my expander removed. but wish i could have it. They look awesome when they are done and make dressing way easier.
  • lisamcsherry
    lisamcsherry Member Posts: 29

    Don't worry about the your
    Don't worry about the your pain tolerance. In this day and age there is no I repeat no reason for them to allow you to be in pain. If you or your family have to throw a fit make them give you enough pain medication that you are not in pain.

    you are all so wonderful!
    I had a VERY bad moment at the hospital yesterday -- I was there to do my blood work so I won't have to 1st thing tomorrow morning.

    For the first time I got very upset and emotional, angry and just all 'over the place'. I still haven't had a strongly positive about reconstruction, but its the proven method and I'm going with it.

    Today I'm leaving work at 11am (just another 90 mins) to go have a rosemary-mint body wrap, mani/pedi, haircut, and 90 minute massage. My sweetie is picking my mom up at the airport and is making paella and sauteed spinach for dinner. Relaxing, beautifying, getting me in as good a shape as I can before surgery.

    I figure I'm taking a lunesta (2mg) at 9pm and then -- away we go!!!!

    Thank you all for the encouragement, it really helps. Connie, we're going to have a grand time. :-)
  • cvolk821
    cvolk821 Member Posts: 36

    you are all so wonderful!
    I had a VERY bad moment at the hospital yesterday -- I was there to do my blood work so I won't have to 1st thing tomorrow morning.

    For the first time I got very upset and emotional, angry and just all 'over the place'. I still haven't had a strongly positive about reconstruction, but its the proven method and I'm going with it.

    Today I'm leaving work at 11am (just another 90 mins) to go have a rosemary-mint body wrap, mani/pedi, haircut, and 90 minute massage. My sweetie is picking my mom up at the airport and is making paella and sauteed spinach for dinner. Relaxing, beautifying, getting me in as good a shape as I can before surgery.

    I figure I'm taking a lunesta (2mg) at 9pm and then -- away we go!!!!

    Thank you all for the encouragement, it really helps. Connie, we're going to have a grand time. :-)

    What time is dinner?
    I'm pea-green with envy. I had had my hands and feet done today but no massage...no paella, and I could really use a haircut! Girlfriend, you are living right!

    I thought about you today at my pre-op appt with the plastic surgeon. Of all of the scary things we have to deal with, and all of the unknowns, this reconstruction preparation is so positive for me. I wish you felt as comfortable.

    Toast me with your water bottle when you take your Lunesta tonight, and I'll wake up the universe and get it smiling on us for your surgery tomorrow.

    Connie
  • Calleen
    Calleen Member Posts: 411
    cvolk821 said:

    What time is dinner?
    I'm pea-green with envy. I had had my hands and feet done today but no massage...no paella, and I could really use a haircut! Girlfriend, you are living right!

    I thought about you today at my pre-op appt with the plastic surgeon. Of all of the scary things we have to deal with, and all of the unknowns, this reconstruction preparation is so positive for me. I wish you felt as comfortable.

    Toast me with your water bottle when you take your Lunesta tonight, and I'll wake up the universe and get it smiling on us for your surgery tomorrow.

    Connie

    I remember
    How scared I was mine was July 29th this year.. The night before I got to drink a fun cocktail of stuff to make me clean out my system.. My BFF came over and I got to spend the evening running back and forth to the restroom.. I had a bi-lateral with immediate reconsturction using my own body tissue. sooo i had to have a clear system since they were working on my tummy.. BUT I also refused the pain meds and morphine pump. I wasn't in pain at all. just felt sore and uncomfortable. so it all depends on your body and how it reacts. I don't know if I have a high tolerance or what.. The nerves were cut so there wasn't I guess any nerve endings to feel pain...
    You both let us know how it goes. and if you can't sleep well someone is always on here willing to lend an ear!!!