Have to make my decision soon! Need help!

Sunrae
Sunrae Member Posts: 808
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I've looked around on some of the posts and gathered some info but I'm trying to decide whether to have a double masectomy. My surgeon and onc have not brought it up and when I asked my surgeon, she said its a personal decision and she'll do it if I decide that choice. I'm close to 70, have lots of microcalcifications in both breasts, dxed IDC with 3 tumors in one breast, lymph nodes too, so will have masectomy for that breast. I'm not planning on reconstruction even if I have the double. Too many other health complications. Have any of you had the double masectomy without reconstruction? How about just a masectomy w/o reconstruction. Does it feel strange to just have one breast? I know I'll get some kind of breast form. Was wondering what its like to have to wear 2 forms if I have the double. I have a couple of weeks to make my decision, just going crazy trying to figure out what to do. Sorry if this has already been discussed but I couldnt find it. Supposedly the risk is low for the other breast but no guarantees. You know how that goes.
«1

Comments

  • Ritzy
    Ritzy Member Posts: 4,381 Member
    Not much help to you
    Hi Sunrae! I had a lumpectomy, so, I can't be of help in answering your questions and concerns. But, I wanted to say how I wish you the best of luck with your decision. I am glad that you have some time to think about it before you have to actually have your surgery. I know you will get good responses from the bc survivors that have been thru your situation. Good luck to you!

    Sue :)
  • marilyndbk
    marilyndbk Member Posts: 238 Member
    I can only tell you what I
    I can only tell you what I did. My mother passed away from bc at the age of 46--40 yrs ago. I was dx in 2001, had lumpectomy, and 36 rads. I had multiple breast and endo biopsies and in 2007 did the BRAC1@2 gene testing. I tested negative but breast surgeon said she would do bilateral mastectomy. I chose not to have mastectomy or hysterectomy at that time. Summer 2009 more calcifications were found and bc recurrance in same breast. they found the calcifications were malignant but also found small invasive tumor. My surgeon recommended b/l mast. Then I had to decide on reconstruction or not. Plastic surgeon told me my breast was damaged from prev radiation and wasnt sure if it would hold implant. It was a very stressful time. My husband and I have been seperated for 2 yrs. He never was supportive and couldn't or wouldn't tell me that it didn't matter if I had breasts or not. I am 58 yrs old, not looking for another relationship, but don't necessarily want to be alone the rest of my life either. I had a hard time thinking of myself without breasts. I decided to have the reconstruction maybe partly for myself, but also I thought it may have an effect on a future relationship. on 9/10 I had b/l mast with latissimus flap recon and expanders. The expanders are uncomfortable. My physical recovery has been ok. I am having trouble with the mental aspect. I don't regret my decision, but I will be glad when the implants are complete. Sorry if this is too much info. You are doing the right thing in learning all you can about both procedures. It is an agonizing time trying to decide what is best. I am thankful that my cancer prognosis is good. The rest of my life is topsy-turvy. Good luck with whatever you decide and take care of yourself. Marilyn
  • survivorbc09
    survivorbc09 Member Posts: 4,374 Member

    I can only tell you what I
    I can only tell you what I did. My mother passed away from bc at the age of 46--40 yrs ago. I was dx in 2001, had lumpectomy, and 36 rads. I had multiple breast and endo biopsies and in 2007 did the BRAC1@2 gene testing. I tested negative but breast surgeon said she would do bilateral mastectomy. I chose not to have mastectomy or hysterectomy at that time. Summer 2009 more calcifications were found and bc recurrance in same breast. they found the calcifications were malignant but also found small invasive tumor. My surgeon recommended b/l mast. Then I had to decide on reconstruction or not. Plastic surgeon told me my breast was damaged from prev radiation and wasnt sure if it would hold implant. It was a very stressful time. My husband and I have been seperated for 2 yrs. He never was supportive and couldn't or wouldn't tell me that it didn't matter if I had breasts or not. I am 58 yrs old, not looking for another relationship, but don't necessarily want to be alone the rest of my life either. I had a hard time thinking of myself without breasts. I decided to have the reconstruction maybe partly for myself, but also I thought it may have an effect on a future relationship. on 9/10 I had b/l mast with latissimus flap recon and expanders. The expanders are uncomfortable. My physical recovery has been ok. I am having trouble with the mental aspect. I don't regret my decision, but I will be glad when the implants are complete. Sorry if this is too much info. You are doing the right thing in learning all you can about both procedures. It is an agonizing time trying to decide what is best. I am thankful that my cancer prognosis is good. The rest of my life is topsy-turvy. Good luck with whatever you decide and take care of yourself. Marilyn

    Just want to wish you well
    Just want to wish you well with your decision Sunrae!

    HUGS!
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member

    Just want to wish you well
    Just want to wish you well with your decision Sunrae!

    HUGS!

    I have a double, I was
    I have a double, I was looking for a propholactic right before I got diagnosed. I did have an expander placed thinking I could get a prosthesis to match.My one remaining breast was very large. I was tired of the mammograms redos and the biopsies, I wanted to avoid what i am currently doing now. That killed me. When the time came there was no question I was having a mastectomy I was done. Why didnt I do it when I was diagnosed at 34? I think you are in adifferent place, than at 50. I wish I had done it to be be free of this now
  • cindycflynn
    cindycflynn Member Posts: 1,132 Member
    Sunrae
    I had a lumpectomy myself, but I do have a good friend who had a mastectomy years ago and shared her story with me when I got my diagnosis (I never knew she had bc, she had it very young, years before I met her).

    She told me that she had decided not to do reconstruction, and was very happy with her decision (her mastectomy was on one side only). She uses a prosthesis, and as I said you would never know if she didn't tell you herself. She also told me that she was very happy with how she looked in the mirror without clothes. She said that she did not look deformed at all, but was "just flat" on one side.

    I will be sending good thoughts and prayers your way as you deal with your decision. I know it's not an easy one, but I'm confident you will make the right choice for you.

    (((HUGS)))
    Cindy
  • DebbyM
    DebbyM Member Posts: 3,289 Member

    Sunrae
    I had a lumpectomy myself, but I do have a good friend who had a mastectomy years ago and shared her story with me when I got my diagnosis (I never knew she had bc, she had it very young, years before I met her).

    She told me that she had decided not to do reconstruction, and was very happy with her decision (her mastectomy was on one side only). She uses a prosthesis, and as I said you would never know if she didn't tell you herself. She also told me that she was very happy with how she looked in the mirror without clothes. She said that she did not look deformed at all, but was "just flat" on one side.

    I will be sending good thoughts and prayers your way as you deal with your decision. I know it's not an easy one, but I'm confident you will make the right choice for you.

    (((HUGS)))
    Cindy

    I also had a lumpectomy. I
    I also had a lumpectomy. I know that others will tell you of their experience. Just be sure in your mind what is best for you Sunrae. We all support you!

    Debby
  • cantthink
    cantthink Member Posts: 36
    DebbyM said:

    I also had a lumpectomy. I
    I also had a lumpectomy. I know that others will tell you of their experience. Just be sure in your mind what is best for you Sunrae. We all support you!

    Debby

    I'll have that same decision
    if my chemo goes really well! (so far I think it is) I've got calcifications in the "other" breast, they didn't get a good enough biopsy to be sure they're malignant, but I assume so. So I've been thinking of just having them all (ok, both) off, with no reconstruction, I'm 58, and done breastfeeding! I've assumed symmetry would be easier to deal with, but I must confess the whole surgery thing leaves me terrified! I like to dance, and need something or other up there--if I ever go dancing again--I've assumed it's easier to get them even if you start from scratch? Is there even less to worry about after a double mastectomy? Mets can and could have happened, nothing here is an easy decision. It is helpful though to find out what others think. thank you! Good luck, whatever you choose.
  • natly15
    natly15 Member Posts: 1,941
    Praying for the right
    Praying for the right decision for you. We are at an age where breastfeeding is no longer a consideration, so we dont need these mammaries any longer. If the doctors concur that the best possible outcome for you is a mastectomy, so be it, if your heart also says the same. My grandmother many years ago made her own prosthesis.
  • ppurdin
    ppurdin Member Posts: 1,181
    decision
    Hi,I had a lumsectomy.About your decision,I think we have gut feelings what is the right thing to do.but we just want reasured.it sure would be a hard one i would think.I will pray for you.Good luck.Love and Prayers.(Pat).
  • Noel
    Noel Member Posts: 3,095 Member
    natly15 said:

    Praying for the right
    Praying for the right decision for you. We are at an age where breastfeeding is no longer a consideration, so we dont need these mammaries any longer. If the doctors concur that the best possible outcome for you is a mastectomy, so be it, if your heart also says the same. My grandmother many years ago made her own prosthesis.

    Good luck
    Noone can say what would be right for you except you. I am sure your oncologist has a lot to do with your decision as to what would be best for you. You have to decide what you want and what you could live with. I had a lumpectomy with rads and felt thankful that I could keep my breast. But, some don't have that option. Good luck to you. Take this time and really think about it. Weigh your options and the outcomes.

    ♥ Noel
  • New Flower
    New Flower Member Posts: 4,294
    ppurdin said:

    decision
    Hi,I had a lumsectomy.About your decision,I think we have gut feelings what is the right thing to do.but we just want reasured.it sure would be a hard one i would think.I will pray for you.Good luck.Love and Prayers.(Pat).

    I had mastectomy with immediate reconstruction
    I did not have time even to think about b/l. I had to move fast and be decisive. I underwent right side mastectomy. i that time
    t was pretty radical decision.

    Difficult choice, tough decision.
    Hugs
  • Sunrae
    Sunrae Member Posts: 808

    I had mastectomy with immediate reconstruction
    I did not have time even to think about b/l. I had to move fast and be decisive. I underwent right side mastectomy. i that time
    t was pretty radical decision.

    Difficult choice, tough decision.
    Hugs

    Thanks to all of you who
    Thanks to all of you who posted. I'm still up in the air about my choices but I know that when the time comes, I'll go with what I feel deep down inside. When I think logically, I think go with both of them out, then not so much worry. Then emotionally i think shouldn't i keep one and not have such a hassle with the surgery. My mother lost her left breast to bc and she was fine with the slip-in pads and she always looked great in her clothes. Never did get bc in the other breast. Your thoughts and prayers are supporting me during this time.
  • DebbyM
    DebbyM Member Posts: 3,289 Member
    Sunrae said:

    Thanks to all of you who
    Thanks to all of you who posted. I'm still up in the air about my choices but I know that when the time comes, I'll go with what I feel deep down inside. When I think logically, I think go with both of them out, then not so much worry. Then emotionally i think shouldn't i keep one and not have such a hassle with the surgery. My mother lost her left breast to bc and she was fine with the slip-in pads and she always looked great in her clothes. Never did get bc in the other breast. Your thoughts and prayers are supporting me during this time.

    It is a difficult choice
    It is a difficult choice Sunrae for anyone, if they have a choice. You will make the right one. Praying for you!

    Debby
  • lynn1950
    lynn1950 Member Posts: 2,570
    Sunrae said:

    Thanks to all of you who
    Thanks to all of you who posted. I'm still up in the air about my choices but I know that when the time comes, I'll go with what I feel deep down inside. When I think logically, I think go with both of them out, then not so much worry. Then emotionally i think shouldn't i keep one and not have such a hassle with the surgery. My mother lost her left breast to bc and she was fine with the slip-in pads and she always looked great in her clothes. Never did get bc in the other breast. Your thoughts and prayers are supporting me during this time.

    This is a personal decision!
    This is a personal decision!

    I hate dealing with anything physically invasive. I ended up having a bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction, because I wanted never to have to have bc surgery again. Also, I am all for bilateral symmetry. I never wear a form. I was small-chested to begin with, and bras never felt comfortable to me. I would always have to wear bras because my nipples were very sensitive and puckery. It is great not to have to wear a bra, and I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to have reconstruction (never say never). I do miss not having the sensual aspect of breasts. : } I also had a difficult time with the scars at first, but I'm getting better.

    Do what feels right for you.

    xoxoxoxo Lynn
  • marywest
    marywest Member Posts: 132
    lynn1950 said:

    This is a personal decision!
    This is a personal decision!

    I hate dealing with anything physically invasive. I ended up having a bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction, because I wanted never to have to have bc surgery again. Also, I am all for bilateral symmetry. I never wear a form. I was small-chested to begin with, and bras never felt comfortable to me. I would always have to wear bras because my nipples were very sensitive and puckery. It is great not to have to wear a bra, and I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to have reconstruction (never say never). I do miss not having the sensual aspect of breasts. : } I also had a difficult time with the scars at first, but I'm getting better.

    Do what feels right for you.

    xoxoxoxo Lynn

    You will make the best choice
    I also had a lumpectomy. A very close friend of mine had a mastectomy, it took her some time to adjust to a new look. When she was all healed up she was thankful, and felt good. You will adjust, either way you choose, and you will also be thankful. There is a rule I have been taught to follow, its called the 4 D's. First you make a decision, then the desire comes, then the details, and then deliverance. In that order. God bless you, get peaceful, and you will decide.
  • Dawne.Hope
    Dawne.Hope Member Posts: 823
    marywest said:

    You will make the best choice
    I also had a lumpectomy. A very close friend of mine had a mastectomy, it took her some time to adjust to a new look. When she was all healed up she was thankful, and felt good. You will adjust, either way you choose, and you will also be thankful. There is a rule I have been taught to follow, its called the 4 D's. First you make a decision, then the desire comes, then the details, and then deliverance. In that order. God bless you, get peaceful, and you will decide.

    making the same choice
    Oh Sunrae, I'm making the same choice. Lynn, thank you for your comments. Very helpful to me. Thank you.

    I feel like I've worn out all my friends talking about it. Going back and forth and back and forth. Last week I was like I little kid, "I don't want to do it. I just don't want to." I've gone back and forth in my head with all the pro's and con's. I finally wrote them down. The pro-side was pretty serious stuff and when I looked at it on a page, it really was a no-brainer for me.

    Like as been said, it is a personal choice. And one that I think it is natural to waffle on back and forth. It is a huge choice, and I know in my gut what I need to do. I think you will too.

    Wisdom, strength, and peace to you, Sunrae!
    dh
  • lovelylola
    lovelylola Member Posts: 279
    At 60 I opted for bilateral mastectomy
    and I haven't regretted my decision. I also didn't have reconstruction. The breast forms and prosthetics now days are so much better than what my mother had to deal with for 40 years. The mastectomy bras are very pretty now and with the lighter weight breast forms look natural. I've actually had friends comment that if they hadn't known I had the surgery, they wouldn't be able to tell. I live in Hawaii and even have a prosthetic that I can use in a swimsuit. My scar is low and not noticeable.
    I chose this route as I didn't want to worry about it returning in the other breast like it did for my mom. I'm single, so only had myself to please - which in my mind is how it should be for any woman in this situation.
    The surgery went well and I'm half-way through chemo.
    I hope that this helps. For each of us, this very personal choice takes time and I wish you good vibes and hugs and you make it. Whatever you choose will be right for you. Lola
  • sweetvickid
    sweetvickid Member Posts: 459 Member

    At 60 I opted for bilateral mastectomy
    and I haven't regretted my decision. I also didn't have reconstruction. The breast forms and prosthetics now days are so much better than what my mother had to deal with for 40 years. The mastectomy bras are very pretty now and with the lighter weight breast forms look natural. I've actually had friends comment that if they hadn't known I had the surgery, they wouldn't be able to tell. I live in Hawaii and even have a prosthetic that I can use in a swimsuit. My scar is low and not noticeable.
    I chose this route as I didn't want to worry about it returning in the other breast like it did for my mom. I'm single, so only had myself to please - which in my mind is how it should be for any woman in this situation.
    The surgery went well and I'm half-way through chemo.
    I hope that this helps. For each of us, this very personal choice takes time and I wish you good vibes and hugs and you make it. Whatever you choose will be right for you. Lola

    My decision will be bi-lateral with no rebuild
    REason for my decision is I don't want to have to go thru all of this again. Nor do I want to live with the prospect of the cancer reoccuring at a later date.
    I only have cancer currently in one breast and one mymph node. My loopy reasoning is the breast serve no purpose at the age of 54 other than decorative and they are a matched set so one is of no use. Also mentally I think I will do better with no breast than keeping one as a reminder of what is missing. After going thru all of this I just can't see going thru all of the reconstruction. The expanders I can live without that pain. All the other procedures I don't like the problems you can run into. I am lucky that my husband is doing his best to be supportive of whatever my decision will be but I have made up my mind.

    It is a personal decision that you will have to make. Only you know what is best for you.
  • susie09
    susie09 Member Posts: 2,930
    Sunrae said:

    Thanks to all of you who
    Thanks to all of you who posted. I'm still up in the air about my choices but I know that when the time comes, I'll go with what I feel deep down inside. When I think logically, I think go with both of them out, then not so much worry. Then emotionally i think shouldn't i keep one and not have such a hassle with the surgery. My mother lost her left breast to bc and she was fine with the slip-in pads and she always looked great in her clothes. Never did get bc in the other breast. Your thoughts and prayers are supporting me during this time.

    On vacation now?
    You have all of our thoughts and prayers Sunrae! Hope you are off on your vacation now having fun with your family.

    ♠♣ Susie ♠♣
  • Lynda53
    Lynda53 Member Posts: 210
    sunrae I am having a single done
    Onco and surgeon do not feel it is needed to remove the left. I will have some "wire" procedure done during the surgery to remove atypical cells in the left. The chance of any cancer ever in left is less than 10%.
    (I have inflammatory breast cancer in right)
    I restart chemo tomorrow and some 15 or so weeks later I will have the mastectomy I cannot have reconstruction at that time, as I will also need radiation.
    At this point, I doubt that I will have reconstruction, although I may need reduction on the remaining big girl!
    Such a personal decision, I am sure you will choose what you feel is best for you.
    Peace