Newly diagnosed - have some questions

NellieB853 Member Posts: 7
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi, I was diagnosed with a biopsy 2 weeks ago. The tumor is 2.4 cm, grade 3, ER+ PR+ and Her 2 negative. I have met with my surgeon and decided to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. There have been many family members with breast cancer so genetic testing will be happening. I don't know for sure yet but I was told that I will likely need chemo even if my nodes are negative - I think due to the grade of the tumor. I will be meeting with the plastic surgeon tomorrow to go over the reconstruction options. Right now I feel rather numb and disconnected - maybe I would feel better if I could cry but can't seem to do that. Did any of you react like that? I feel I should be crying or upset but I just feel dazed. Have any of you had bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction?
I was wondering how much pain there is and how much help you needed. Also was wondering how long you needed to be out of work after surgery and if anyone has been able to continue working while they had chemo? I am 59 years old, married, have two children and four grandchildren. I guess that's all for now - I'm not sure what to write. Any info at all would be great.


  • teresa41
    teresa41 Member Posts: 471
    welcome nellie
    hi nellie my cancer was ER+PR+ and HER 2 negative also 2.2cm stage 2. i had a lumpectomy and 36 nodes removed and they all come back clear. i remember coming out of the surgeons office after he told me i had cancer in a daze and shocked i cried a lot in the shower and somedays now i still do. i did 4 rounds of chemo and 33 radiation treatments. i never missed a day of work while doing chemo but everyone is different but chemo is do-able.i cant help you on masectomy but there are many here that can. i want to wish you the best of luck and welcome you to this site there are some amazing ladies and men here!

  • uni605
    uni605 Member Posts: 1
    Newly diagnosed - have some questions
    Hi, I am going to try to answer your question as I pretty much had the same questions.
    I had a bilateral with immediate reconstruction on December 1st. I was most concerned about pain and did not believe them when they told me I would not be in pain. They spoke the truth. I had a epidural - and there was surprised at my comfort level. The other benefit is that when I woke up from the epi I was clear and not that totally knocked out feeling - even the nurses were surprised. Friends who saw me the following day were shocked at how good and alert I was. As for help, you will need help getting out of bed. I slept practically sitting up as it was just more comfortable than being near flat.
    I went back to work on January 11th - I had intended to work short days but it did not happen, and I was able to do it. You are a bit more tired at the end of the day, but as long as you are not on your feet for the day you can judge for yourself. I have to have chemo also, had my first session January 15th, and will be doing the 2nd one this Friday - I have 8 sessions scheduled. After chemo, I was wired - and did have nausea, but was pretty OK by Saturday. I found out that keeping eating something like crackers etc really helped.
    I understand your 'not crying' I have not either - and still have not. I expect that the hair thing will be the undoing of me - and that has started in drips since yesterday. I have my wig already, and have a friend who is going to go with me to get my head buzzed and have the wig fitted. All my friends have said I have 'managed' this thing - and I guess I have. I am still not sure how I feel about it, but I have promised everyone that when I am ready to 'feel' this I will give myself permission. What can I say, I like to 'manage' things.
    I hope this helps. And when you meet with the plastic surgeon make sure you are comfortable with the doctor as with reconstruction you will be seeing this person for at least the next year.
    Best of luck, and if I can provide any more help going forward I will.
  • SherryAF
    SherryAF Member Posts: 31
    So sorry about your diagnosis.
    I was diagnosed in Oct with stage 1b; lumpectomy was done in November, with clear lymph nodes, but we didn't get clear margins. I decided to have a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (using free TRAM reconstruction). I had the surgery on January 5, 3 weeks and 1 day ago. I have to admit that I thought the surgery was quite painful, but I am so much better three weeks later. They found more cancer during the pathology workup of the mastectomy, so, of course, I am SO GLAD that we decided to go ahead and have that whole surgery done, because otherwise there still would have been cancer in me that they hadn't found yet.

    Be sure to find a good plastic surgeon. I love my surgeon, and he came very highly recommended.

    Will be finding out tomorrow if I will needing chemo, so I can't answer your questions about that.

    I hope things go well for you. :)
  • G.G.
    G.G. Member Posts: 4 Member
    Hi Nellie,
    I was diagnosed in Feb. 2009 with also with a 2.4cm, grade 2A, ER+PR+ and HER Neg. Last March I had a bilateral mastecomy with reconstruction. My surgeon did a sentinal node removal, so they only had to take 3 nodes out. Luckily my nodes came back clear. Make sure you are offered this sentinal node option. I also did 4 cycles of cytoxan and taxatere.
    I am 43 years old, married and have two children, ages 14 and 9. The surgery wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. Just follow your doctors advice and don't overdue it and you'll do fine. I felt good and probably could have gone back to work about a month after surgery, but chose not to. I am a elementary teacher and because I had to also do chemo., the doctors didn't want me around the sick kids.
    The thought of chemo scared me more than the surgery! Yet I did extremely well with it. I took all of the anti-nausea meds as directed and was fine. They have some great meds out now. Sometimes you have to try different ones to get the one that works best for you. I thought the zofran worked best.
    Let me know if you have any questions also about reconstruction. I decided to go with the tissue expanders and am very happy with the results. Make sure you like the plastic surgeon, because that is the doctor you will see more than anyone after surgery. Check on his or her references and don't be afraid to get a second opinion if you don't feel comfortable. I had a great plastic surgeon and I feel that made a huge difference in my recovery and attitude while recovering.
    I also didn't cry at first. Give yourself some alone time and don't forget to breath!! I did find that I could relax myself by taking deep breaths! Take care and this site will help you with all of your highs and lows!
    Take Care, G.G.