New to all of this

PennyIsMyPal Member Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I had my masctectomy last week and just met with my oncologist yesterday. Although I had heard the side effects of nausea and hair loss, I hadn't considered the possibility of chemo shutting my ovaries down for life. While my life is of course most important now, up until about four weeks ago my biggest nightmare was not being able to have children. I am still single and in my mid twenties, the thought of this happening is unreal. Has anyone experienced this? In addition, my plastic surgeon and radiation oncologist advsied me to wait until after radiation treatment to have reconstruction and so I'm lopsided. Any suggestions for hiding this?


  • raku
    raku Member Posts: 23
    Hi Penn, I don't know much about the chemo and ovaries but I am sure that there will be lots of good advice over the next few days from women who have "been there". However, I do know a little about what to do in order to even you out. I had a bilateral mastectomy and had to wait for reconstruction. The American Cancer Society (ACS) has a great program called Reach to Recovery. The hospital I was attending had regular meeting times and my doctor could also request a person to come out to my home. They offer (no charge) a wonderful, soft bra that has pockets in it that you can stuff with a material that resembles pillow foam (foam comes with bra). It took months before I was healed up enough to be fitted for prosthesis so I wore that bra alot. You have to weight it down with little sacks of rice...well I did because it creeping up. But it is so lightweight that it really did the trick for me.
    Also, some large department stores carry bras with pockets in them that you can fill. In addition, there might be some smaller boutique type bra stores that could help. I live near a large city (Houston) and was able to find a boutique that specialized in helping women who are dealing with cancer. I went to the boutique to get fitted for prosthesis but had to keep going back because I wasn't healed enough. I selected a post surgery camisole that I could step in to that had soft breast like forms that I could velcro to the garment. Take care. Hope everything goes well with your healing.
  • rainyday
    rainyday Member Posts: 49
    Penn, I have heard of women that have been through chemo and still gone on to have children afterwards. Don't panic. Make an appointment with your oncologist asap and before you do anything else and before you start any additional treatment. Write down your questions. Good luck.
  • squeeboo
    squeeboo Member Posts: 29
    I had chemo last year at age 31. My oncologist told me that a lot of women get menopause symptoms during chemo, but generally for people younger than 30, it is temporary. For people older than 40, it's usually permanent, and in between is in between. Your chances are very good for still being able to have children. I strongly suggest you check out the Young Survival Coalition at: it is for younger women with breast cancer and has a similar discussion board.
    In terms of reconstruction, if you are getting an implant, you'll have to wait until after radiation. I had a TRAM flap reconstruction at the same time as my mastectomy and that can be radiated.

    Hope this helps!
  • bobbiejo
    bobbiejo Member Posts: 23
    Ask your oncologist about Lupron shots. I received them once a month. This is suppose to put you into menopause before chemo begins. It helps to protect them from the chemo. I started receiving them in July, had chemo a week later and had my last shot a week after chemo ended (which was December). I didn't get my period back until last week. I was starting to get worried. I am not absolutely sure everything is okay, but optimistic everything will be fine. It is hard to get a grasp on now, but it gets a little easier after you time to absorb it. You really should go to the site for the young women coalition above. They had addressed this issue quite a bit.
    Bobbie Jo
  • rizzo15
    rizzo15 Member Posts: 153 Member
    Don't know anything about the reproductive side of BC treatment, but I was also asked to delay reconstruction until further along in treatment. Apparently my oncology team has had some bad experiences when they had to work around reconstruction efforts for a person with my stage of breast cancer.

    After my mastectomy the surgeon was quite surprised to hear me ask about a breast prosthesis 2 weeks after surgery. I went back to work 3 weeks after surgery; he is a well-known & experienced surgeon. I don't know if he thought about how weird a full-breasted (34DD) woman would look going back to work with "nothing". My coworkers felt sad enough for me about the surgery, so I didn't want to draw even more attention to it! Right after surgery, the hospital gave me a softee camisole product that has nice and light form that looked OK under a blouse and sweater, but moves around a lot if you are an active person. I found out that the bra and breast prosthesis specialty shop will be your best help. I was told that that they sometimes even do fittings in the hospital, before a woman even goes home! Bras for Body and Soul ( is local to where I live, but I'm sure there will be a similar shop in your area, or a shop that your health care plan will recommend. Bras for Body and Soul works very closely with all the local surgeons. When the doctor found who I had contacted, he said that whatever products that the owner suggested was fine with him as they were the experts in this kind of thing. There are all kinds of choices for you that will fit your needs. Very few women ever have the luxury of getting a professional fitting of a bra during their whole life. You will feel very pampered!
  • oconnor77t
    oconnor77t Member Posts: 6
    I had to have a masectomy in April of this year. I thought that people would think that something was wrong with me.Nobody did in faxt they all would ask if I was feeling o.k. and I said yes. I got a bra and faom form from the hospital along with a bra with a pocket the day I was discharged from the hospital. The thing you need to do is MAKE SURE THAT THE BRA FITS AND IS COMFORTABLE. You wont want to wear it if it is too tight. The other thing you need to do is make sure that it supports your other breast without cutting into your skin.
    As for having childern the doctor can give you information on the chemotherapy that you are going to be getting. Another way to find out is ( i did this ). I did this for Taxol which is what I am on. Dont be afraid to talk to your team ( oncologist, nurse regular doctor and surgeon and sometimes a social worker ).Don't be afraid to tell them your concerns aboout having childern. SOme places can freeze your eggs so that you can have childern later if you want.