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Reconstruction or Not?

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2002

I have just finished chemo and my onocologist wants me to wait a year before doing reconstruction because this time the breast cancer was a recurrence and it was growing quite rapidly. I am kinda glad I have time to think about it and research it. Please let me know your thoughts and the pros and cons on both sides. Thanks and God Bless All of YOU

Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

Hi, dear sister, after all you have been thru, sounds to me like a loving caring doc. I would do as he suggests. Give yourself a break, what is one year? Then, you can really forget this whole thing. God bless you, and keep you safe in His arms. Shirlann

Posts: 1416
Joined: Mar 2001

No more treatments, I would bask in the glory of it and yes I agree, you sure do have a caring doctor. I just want to remind you that no matter what you have to do what you are most comfortable with. If that is reconstruction then do the best route that suits you and if surgery is a consideration then just remember you got through it all up to now, the worst of it being over. I on the other hand accepted the fact that I am sensative to what ever they do so I opted not to have reconstruction and today am very happy and very comfortable with that choice. Nothing to say you can't do it later on I have only heard of one case where the insurance company has made a stink about it. Mentally one has to be able to cope and I think Insurance companies realize this for the health of the employee.
Bet you never thought this day would come, that would be like many of us if you had.

Posts: 4
Joined: May 2002

I have been on many sides of this fence since I had a right lumpectomy in 1987, and a left mastectomy in 1990, where chose to not do any reconstruction. When I had another recurrence in 2001 on the right side, I decided on a double tram flap and have been thrilled with the results. I rarely considered reconstruction in those 10 years, and am now a bit sorry that I hadn't. The only caveat is that techniques are so much better now, so perhaps I did get a better result because of waiting.

The important thing is get a LOT of opinions from medical personnel and from friends who have seen actual results.

I was fortunate in that I have many nurse friends, and I always believe in their opinions. My family doctor's office manager was also very helpful. And then you must ask others to show you their results! Nothing like seeing things first hand. Pictures can be misleading. And then, ask as many questions as you can including recovery issues (it's a tough and a long one for the tram, but as my plastic surgeon said..."You pay me now, or you pay me later!") Implants do need to be replaced from time to time.

I am very happy that I finally took the plunge into reconstruction. No more prostheses, no more worry in a bathing suit, no more wondering if I can wear that dress or top, etc. While I lived for 10 years with one breast, I have to admit that I do feel better about my physical image now. I never thought that would be true. And I'm not saying reconstruction is right for everyone. But now that the results are getting better every day, it is certainly something that every mastectomy patient should at least consider.

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2002

I had a Tram Flap reconstruction immediately after my mastectomy. I am so glad that I did. I had the transplant and then treatment. Radiation damaged some of the tissue and it has to have a little fixing. So, since you have already had your treatment, maybe you will be fine. It really is up to you, if you are up to it, I say go for it!

bullfrog13's picture
Posts: 216
Joined: Apr 2002

Dear MMTRKS6- I dont know what your situation is..but I tell you the truth If Ihad it to do OVER again I would have listened to mine and NOT done it.. but I have never been on to follow advice...even when I wished Ihad!!
email me and i'll add you to one of my IM programs and we can talke about ti more... bullfroggie13@hotmail.com

Posts: 166
Joined: Aug 2001

hello, just wanted to say congrats on being done with finishing chemo !I'm sure you're glad that is over. I finished chemo end of Sept.2001 and two week ago tommorrow had a right expander put in. Today I am so happy I did it, the day after surgery I wasn't so sure..lol..I go for my first fill tommorrow so not sure how it will go. I look at this as a very personal decision and its really what you want and how you feel about . Its tough to think about everything especially after all we have to go through. Best Wishes and God Bless..karin

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