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mollymousemom's picture
mollymousemom
Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2009

Good morning ladies...I just joined this am....I have been visiting this site for awhile, but just decided to join this am.....from what I have read, you are a very supportive group of mighty warriors...want to share a little about myself.....am 62(almost 63) I found a lump in left breast on 6/17/09 & saw gyn on 6/18/09...he determined that was just a cyst(not cancerous)w/ultrasound..was going by shape of image.....referred me to surgeon for core biopsy on 6/23/09...the surgeon did a fine needle biopsy instead. Received pathology results on 6/30 & was DX w/cancer....an MRI on both breast was done on following day....2 other spots were found in left breast & 3 in rt breast.....had core biopsy w/ultra sound guidence on rt breast on 7/6....results neg for cancer....bone scan scheduled 7/10/09....had mastectomy of left breast w/o reconstruction(my decision)...all 3 areas in left breast were cancer..the lump I found was ductal carcinoma...stage 1(I was very fortunate I found lump when I did...had just had mamogram in March & was negative)had drain tubes removed 1 wk after surgery & staples removed yesterday...my surgeon has told me that in his opinion I won't need rads or chemo, but that will be my onocologist's call...I will see her on Friday. With my family history of cancer & breast cancer, I expect I'll have to have chemo...but not going to sweat that.....am trying to keep a positive attitude & so far has served me well.....I do have a question that I hope someone can answer for me........I still look like I have a left breast(have a lot of fluid)...I told Dr I thought he was removing whole breast...sd he did, but that what I had was swelling from fluid build-up....sd sometimes the drains got plugged up & didn't drain like they should & sd I had 2 options.....could drain that(which I would stand chance of getting infection) or could let it go down on it's own...(I chose this)but was wondering if anyone else has had this problem & know everyone is different but how long did it take for the fluid to disappear...nurse told me several weeks....of all things that bother me, this is something, huh?........I have been very fortunate that I haven't had to rely on pain meds...I just take tylenol extra strength(pain meds made me feel awful..only took 2 of them)but I am quite sore from this swelling....thanks in advance for any help you can give me....

taleena's picture
taleena
Posts: 1612
Joined: May 2009

Welcome Mollymousemom... I had a partial mastectomy, so I really can't help you... I just wanted to welcome you to the boards. Your right the women here are pretty amazing and full of support for eachother... a true group of "mighty warriors"... I am glad to hear that your pain is able to be controlled with tylenol... and sounds like you have a pretty positive attitude.... hang on for just a bit and all these amazing people will be loading you with answers to your questions...again welcome...

Gentle hugs to you..

~T

outdoorgirl's picture
outdoorgirl
Posts: 1569
Joined: Apr 2009

Mollymouse!
Sorry,I also had a partial so I can't help you there.I'm glad that you are able to manage your pain with Tylenol-that's great!
Hope they can help you with your swelling.

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Hi and Welcome mollymouse! I had a lumpectomy, so, I can't help you.

But, many here will.

Hope you find some relief.

Leeza

Nufferz's picture
Nufferz
Posts: 55
Joined: Jul 2009

I'm sorry you are having fluid build up in your breast and I had a lumpectomy so I don't know if it would be the same as with a mastectomy, but I had horrible buildup of fluid that was not the normal fluid that can accumulate but rather a blood clot. I was so swollen from it that it made the skin so tight on my breast that the skin was shiny. I made an appointment with my surgeon and he aspirated 55 CC's of liquefied clot and he told me that there was still at least 350 CC's left that would liquefy and the body would slowly absorb it, which is exactly what happened. It did take quite a while but it's mostly all gone now and I'm feeling much better. I'm surprised your doctor didn't at least consider doing that for you. It's not a painful procedure at all, they give you novocaine first and then take care of it.
I hope everything turns out well for you.
Nuff

Akiss4me's picture
Akiss4me
Posts: 2192
Joined: May 2009

I too just wanted to welcome you. Sorry I will not be able to answer your guestion either. I think everyone who is able to is at work! They will be here shortly though. Glad you found us. Come anytime and for any reason, we are always here. :) Pammy

padee6339's picture
padee6339
Posts: 765
Joined: Jun 2009

I did not have a mastectomy either, I had a lumpectomy. A good friend of mine had a mastectomy (without reconstruction) and now has what she calls a Size A cup and getting bigger. She said it is dark with blood and fluid. The doctor said its Lymphodemia and gave her the same options as you got - drain it and risk infection or let it go down on its own. She chose the latter, like you. He told her it was because she had problems with the drain tube. She doesn't seem too worried about it, just concerned. She said it feels wierd.
Good luck to you and welcome!
Pat

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3691
Joined: Apr 2009

We're all here to support and encourage each other. Glad you found us, glad to have you here.

My experience was quite different than yours - I cannot address you specific question. I'm sure others will.

Best wishes to you. Visit often.

jk1952's picture
jk1952
Posts: 613
Joined: May 2009

Hi mollymousemom. I had a bilateral mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction in April, and I had 6 drains after the surgery: two in each breast and two in my abdomin (from where they took the tissue for the reconstruction). My doctor would not remove the drains until I had less than 30 ml of drainage in a day, so mine were in longer than yours, some two or and some three weeks. The last drain was in my abdomin and I did have to have that one removed because it was plugged. You would have known if that was the case with yours: it leaked out the incision, and it was almost 'explosive' when they removed the drain. I'm not a doctor, but it almost seems as though your drain was taken out too early.

But, I have had fluid aspirated twice (from my abdomin due to the plugged drain), and it's quite unpleasant. My doctor and I agreed that I would probably be better off waiting for it to go down on its own after the second aspiration. I had my surgery 14 weeks ago, and it's still swollen, but getting better. Also, when I had a lumpectomy in January, I did not have drains, and my breast was quite swollen for at least two months. I actually didn't notice it much because swollen it was about the size of my other breast (which was small); when the swelling went down, it was about half its size.

If you have an appointment with another doctor on your team, I'd ask what they think. So, you could at least have a second opinion.

Hope it resolves soon and isn't too painful.

Joyce

jikaras
Posts: 58
Joined: May 2009

I had a mastecomy in both breasts in January. My drain tubes were left in for about 4 1/2 weeks. I had no staples, my incisions were taped together. When the drains were taken out, I was still releasing alot of fuild. My plastic surgeon took them out anyway - about 3 weeks later, found that I was still holding alot of fuild.

I had enhancers put in for the reconstruction - she was able to find a spot to go in with a needle to take the fuild out.....

I felt much better after that; but now, impants were put in in May, and I still have fuild. I've been told that the body will slowly move this around. I've been told in 6 months, if the fluid is still built up, my plastic will lypo-suction it out of me...

As she told me, 'your body took quite a hit. Breast cancer and reconstruction all in 6 months, it takes a good 6-9 months for everything to heal'

I know it's not the news you probably wanted....

hang in there,
Jill

JoMama54's picture
JoMama54
Posts: 78
Joined: Mar 2009

Dear mollymousemom,

Your situation sounds like mine. I had the core biopsy then a lympectomy then a
right breast mastectomy. The next day after surgery I started to swell and my surgeon took
me back into surgery.....removing all my tubes because they were not draining. I went to his office twice a week to be drained for almost 6 weeks. When I looked at myself I thought
this is not so bad because I did still have a slight bump. But it was back into surgery for me 6 weeks later. I had a large blood clot & scar revision removed which took everything I thought I had left and another drained tube which worked this time. I was lucky because after the lumpectomy the patholigist found 3 small lumps at random not associated with the wire guide.
I have not had to have chemo or rads, just hormone therapy (which sucks). It took about 10 weeks after all my surgeries before the fluid finally left. I would ask your Dr. about
having this fluid drained. It worked for me. I wish you well with your recovery.
I am glad you have joined this site, but not glad for the reason.
Hang in there and hugs to you.
JoMama

chickad52's picture
chickad52
Posts: 499
Joined: Jun 2009

Sorry that you had to find us this way. But we are all in this together and there is alot of support here. I have not had my mastectomy as of yet , but will after my chemo treatments. Sorry to hear that you are having problems. But it is amazing as to what our bodies can take. Hope you are better real soon!! Hugs Diane:)

lolad's picture
lolad
Posts: 671
Joined: Jun 2009

You came to the right spot here to get support and advice. They are all wonderful people here. Anyway, i had a double mastectomy and after my drains were removed, i did swell with fluid in my breasts. It did finally go down, but was painful. I found that if i was more active, the fluid would build up more. I want to wish you luck and keep your positive attitude.

laura

mollymousemom's picture
mollymousemom
Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2009

thank all of you for your comments....I really appreciate everyone's input...I feel much better knowing I'm not having some "freak side effect"....I have one of the best surgeons in my area(I think & from talking to different people before I had my mastectomy, seems I'm in a big fan club of his)...I had worked in another drs ofc for 17yrs & knew to investigate dr before going under his knife....now, I work for a company that tracks insurance for his office & other physicians, so had talked to some patients that had used him....all positive comments..I'm very fortunate in that way.....I have a great support group in my family, friends & co-workers...I'm going to give it a couple of more weeks to see what happens & then will talk to my dr again..my drain tubes didn't seem to be stopped up....I was getting gradually less & less fluid but, there could have been a "plug"...see my onocologist on Friday to see if she is going to recommend chemo or just what her plan of action will be..will sure be glad to get that visit over with & will let all of you know what is happening......I'm going back to work on Monday for 1/2 days for 2 weeks & then will hopefully be able to return full time....thanks again to all of you & God bless each of you.....

keeping happy thoughts,
mollymousemom

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3602
Joined: May 2009

Hi and welcome Mollymousemom! Good luck with your appointment tomorrow with your oncologist. I hope he doesn't recommend chemo.

I am always amazed at how women are so strong and go back to work so soon.

Hugs, Lex

aztec45's picture
aztec45
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2009

Just wanted to say welcome and good luck tomorrow. I am about 5 days new but I think you find that this is the best group of people you can surround yourself with. Good to have you aboard.

P

survivorbc09
Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

Welcome Mollymousemom and good luck!

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Just give yourself time to heal. Thinking of you!

Leeza

Eil4186's picture
Eil4186
Posts: 967
Joined: Dec 2007

Welcome Molly, sorry for your having to endure all of this though. Sounds like you are very strong and have a positive attitude----thats wonderful.

Keep us updated on your treatment and let us know whenever you need support! Eil

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Hi and welcome Molly. So sorry that you are having to go thru all of this.

Please post and let us know how you are doing.

martharuiz
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2009

Good morning ladies
Just wanted to share my story also. Took me a few weeks to even do this. My name is Martha and am 41 years old. June 2, 2009, I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ which spread within the same breast. My surgeon then ordered a breast 3D MRI of both breast to check on the other breast. Originally I was going to have a lumpectomy but things changed after the 3D breast MRI. I had a mastectomy performed on June 24, 2009 with immediate reconstruction of the breast. The reconstruction was taken from the stomach muscles. I didn't realize how painful this procedure actually was until I had it done. In a way I regret doing it this way. I should have had the implants done instead but I didn't want to deal with it leaking, deforming and changing them every ten years. When I came home from the hospital i had three drains also. Two in the stomach and one in the breast. They are very uncomfortable and had them removed 8 days after coming home from the hospital. What a relief to get them out. It has been a though road but am getting better day by day. Breast cancer runs in my family. My mother had a mastectomy when she was 58 and is doing fine now. Her sister had a mastectomy in her 70's also and now I got it at age 41. I thought if I were to get it I would be a lot lot older but you have to deal with what is given to you. Thank god I have a very supportive family and friends. I have to have one more surgery maybe the end of August to finish the reconstruction. Doctor has to put in a nipple and areola which he is taking from the other breast and readjust the new breast to match.

Thank god I did not need chemo or radiation, just Tamoxifen for the next five years.

Akiss4me's picture
Akiss4me
Posts: 2192
Joined: May 2009

You've come to the right place as I'm sure you know. Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. It does not discriminate over age. Sounds like you have been through the big hurdle and need to rest and heal now. I think if I'd had to do reconstruction, I would do it the same way. I was able to have a lumpectomy, but I also am going through radiation. I am debating over the tamoxifen. Will have another discusion with my Oncologist on the 17th.
Please visit anytime and for any reason. We also welcome inputs on any topic. Hope to see you post again. :(-) Pammy

jk1952's picture
jk1952
Posts: 613
Joined: May 2009

Martha, I had a surgery similar to yours (but bilateral) on April 22, two months before yours. It does take a while to start feeling better, but you should start to see significant improvements each week. I went back to work 8 weeks after surgery, and it was tough for about a week, but I can honestly say that I've felt good since then. I do hit a wall about 8:00 or 8:30 in the evening, but the rest of the day is great.

Your nipple surgery is very quick: mine isn't until the beginning of November, because of my doctor's schedule.

Joyce

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3691
Joined: Apr 2009

We're glad you found us, though regret the reason. Thanks for sharing your story. Yes, your surgery was very invasive. Good to know you're now beginning to feel at least a bit better. I'll be hoping you continue to recover, more quickly and without complications.

I was 45 when diagnosed. There are some amongst us younger - in their 30s, and even 20s. The disease does not discriminate.

Best wishes to you. Visit us often, whenever you need or would like to.

cats_toy's picture
cats_toy
Posts: 1462
Joined: Feb 2009

Sorry for the delay, I am still trying to catch up from taking time off the boards and missed this post completely (probably a lot more too). Sounds like you have already received lots of good advice and information, just wanted to welcome you too.
Cat

survivorbc09
Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

Welcome Mollymouse! Sorry that you are here because of cancer, but, you will find lots of support from the survivors here.

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