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Krista24 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Oct 25 2011 at 4:06pm
Hi I am a newbie to the site. I have read so many stories on here and they are all so familiar. I am so ready to put as much of this as possible behind me, but sometimes it is really hard. Unfortunately, I didn't find this site until after my treatment was complete.  I am 39 years old. I had my surgery August 2010.  Mine was a lumpectomy, however they took a large amount of breast tissue to be safe (which I am thankful for, better to be safe then sorry). Now the difference in the size of breasts is alot and I am considering going in for reconstruction surgery. My biggest fear, which I am sure most if not all of the women here have is what if the cancer comes back? I don't want to feel that I will have this surgery for no reason. I have an appointment scheduled to see the plastic surgeon in 2 weeks, but I was wondering if anyone out there had any advice?
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Lillie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lillie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 25 2011 at 4:16pm
Welcome Krista24,

I'm sorry I can't offer any advice about reconstruction, but I do want to welcome you here to this site.

I didn't find the site until almost 3 years after my surgery and chemo. But, it has helped me to share my story and receive the support of so many people on this site. There is no other support group for triple negative like this one. Actually, most people seem very ignorant about 'triple negative'. We have to educate them.

Good luck with whatever choice you make and please keep sharing.

God Bless,
Lillie
Dx 6/06 age 65,IDC-TNBC
Stage IIb,Gr3,2cm,BRCA-
6/06 L/Mast/w/SNB,1of3 Nodes+
6/06 Axl. 9 nodes-
8/8 thru 11/15 Chemo (Clin-Trial) DD A/Cx4 -- DD taxol+gemzar x4
No Rads.
No RECON - 11/2018-12 yrs NED
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Barbi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 25 2011 at 6:03pm
Krista, What a great question and, unfortunately, only you can answer it for yourself.
 
I had my revision done at the time of my lumpectomy. I had the same thoughts, but wanted to avoid extra surgery as well as just be as "normal" as possible.  Well, my cancer DID come back.  In my case, it doesn't mean more surgery as it came back in a node as well as mets.  So, the revision didn't change the outcome, but I've had more 2 symmetrical breasts for the last 8 months, and hope I get to enjoy them for many more years. You never know what curveballs life will bring.
 
I hope you will take this as the positive message it is meant to be.  We just never know what will happen in life so you just plan for tomorrow and live for today. Good luck in your decision making. And congrats on beings cancer free for OVER A YEAR!!! YEEEAH!
10/10,age49,St3,gr3,5+cm,1 node,BRCA-,T+Cisplatin+Rad0001(or placebo),Lump 1+cm,AND 0/15,AC,rads finished 7/6/11.Mets bone, liver,mamm node 8/11,abrax/tigatuzamab failed.Started bicalutamide 11/16/11.
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krisa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote krisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 26 2011 at 12:08am
Stories about reconstruction seem to fall into two camps and no one can know if reconstruction will turn out with no problems or become a horror story.
Good luck with your decision. I wear bras with padding which evens out my lopsided self :)
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conniec View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote conniec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 26 2011 at 7:44am
Hi Krista, 
Welcome and Congrats on being a year + survivor!  I'll just tell you a couple things to consider that I don't think I considered before I made my decision.  I opted for double mastectomy and immediate reconstruction with silicone implants.  Since I was 40 at the time of my diagnosis/surgery, I thought I wanted to have breasts. I'm blessed that I have not had any complications so these are minor considerations.
My implants don't feel like real boobs.  
They are colder than my body temp which is uncomfortable to me.
They are not symmetrical because the fold below one is different.  This isn't noticeable with clothes on.
I have lumps from the alloderm, a tissue graft that is used to support the implant.  I had one lump biopsied b/c it disturbed me so much. 
The implants are under the chest muscle.  This means the muscle is cut and causes a disfigured look when flexed.
The positives are obvious so I didn't list them.  Sorry to sound a bit negative, but it's one aspect that I don't really have peace of mind over.  I don't know if I would be happier w/o them. Best of luck with your decision.
 
 



Age 40,
Felt lump 8/20/10
Lumpectomy 9/7
DX 1.5 tumor stg I 9/13 margin not clear
Double MX w/ expanders 10/8
Final tumor size 1.7, 0/3 + nodes
AC-T chemo 11/8 - 2/21
TE/implant exchange 3/29

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overwhelmed View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote overwhelmed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 26 2011 at 9:49am
Welcome Krista,

Reconstruction is such a personal choice. There are so many levels of rconstruction and much depends on the treatments you've had.  My advice is go to see the plastic surgeon and maybe even two to see exactly what the surgery would entail and what the hopeful outcome is. dI decided to undergo reconstruction because I wanted to be whole again following a mastectomy. it's been a difficult series of sugeries. I breezed throught the mastectomy, so I was  shocked at how hard this has been. At one point I wanted the expander out. But, now I am almost ready for the exchange and am happy I did this. But, it's not an easy choice and my plastic surgeon told m only 40% of women have reconstructive sugery, so you wll be in good company no matter what you decide.

Good luck.



t
DX ILC TNBC 3/10 at 50, Stage IIb; Grade 3; 5.1 to 7 cm,SNB neg;TC-6 rnds, 30 rads, Avastin-18 rnds, BRAC 1&2-
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overwhelmed View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote overwhelmed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 26 2011 at 9:53am
PS  Sorry about the typos in my  post. My computer is down so this reply came frome my phone. I can't figure out how to correct my mistakes. Ugh!
DX ILC TNBC 3/10 at 50, Stage IIb; Grade 3; 5.1 to 7 cm,SNB neg;TC-6 rnds, 30 rads, Avastin-18 rnds, BRAC 1&2-
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tninalabama View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tninalabama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 27 2011 at 2:27pm
Hi Krista,

I had reconstruction and don't regret it. 
Yes, they are perky. They also have little feeling, are not as supple as before, And can make sleeping on your stomach a challenge.

Pam
Dx 11/07,stII bgr3,1/8+, metaplastic, recurrence 11/09, lymph dis 12/13+ 07/10, rad,x28 9/10,02/11 mets

BRCA neg
5-FMC since 03/12
PET 04/12,no progression
Bone scan clear 06/12
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Grateful for today View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grateful for today Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 27 2011 at 11:33pm

FYI: There are some posts on silicone vs saline implants on: TNBC Talks: Topic Silicone vs Saline implants.

With caring and positive thoughts to all,

Grateful for today...........Judy
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Krista24 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krista24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 29 2011 at 9:43am
Thank you all for the information and suggestions. I will let you all know how it goes in 2 weeks when I meet with the doctor. Still nervous about the whole thing, but i guess that is normal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grateful for today Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 16 2012 at 10:47pm
Hi,

Recently there was a new thread "Need help on reconstruction decision" on the
the TNBC Surveys and Polls.
http://forum.tnbcfoundation.org/need-help-on-reconstruction-decision_topic9743.html

I had posted some of the prior reconstruction forum threads and some new links on that forum.

Thought if a new member/any member used the "search" function on the Welcome New Members
Forum and not on Forum Home.....one would miss that thread which has multiple other links.
Thus, putting the info I posted on that thread onto this thread.


Reconstruction is a very personal decision made in consultation with one's providers.
With the same clinical status and options and same information, the best decision can be
different ..........how well we know we are individuals with both similarities and differences.


There have been prior forum threads on the reconstruction/implant considerations.
There may be something in them that you will find helpful.
Here's some of them:

http://forum.tnbcfoundation.org/tug-flap-procedure_topic9557.html?KW=reconstruction

http://forum.tnbcfoundation.org/silicone-vs-saline-implants_topic9220.html

http://forum.tnbcfoundation.org/newbie-to-reconstruct-or-not-implant-issues_topic9345.html?KW=reconstruction

http://forum.tnbcfoundation.org/expanders_topic9229.html?KW=reconstruction

http://forum.tnbcfoundation.org/right-implant-replaced_topic9119.html?KW=reconstruction

http://forum.tnbcfoundation.org/need-help-on-reconstruction-decision_topic9743.html

This forum/thread: http://forum.tnbcfoundation.org/reconstruction_topic9217.html?KW=reconstruction


More info at these additional sites:
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/avon_foundation_breast_center/
On left of website: click on "choosing reconstructive surgery"
Learn About Reconstructive Breast Surgeries
Pre-operative blood vessel mapping
Tissue expanders (staged reconstruction)
Implants
Deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap
Superior gluteal artery perforator (SGAP) flap
Lateral septal gluteal artery perforator (LSGAP) flap
Superficial inferior epigastric artery (SIEA) flap
Transverse upper glacilis (TUG) flap
Transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap
Oncoplastic surgery
        Also comparisons of reconstruction options at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/avon_foundation_breast_center/treatments_services/reconstructive_breast_surgery/options.html
Note: Disclaimer.   I could not delete the last column re: why to choose Johns Hopkins. I included this
        site as the columns that explained the advantages and disadvantages of each type of reconstruction
        had good info.   I am not recommending one facility over another facility.   Facility choice is
        yours and your physician's.

LBBC/ Living Beyond Breast Cancer Ask the expert. Questions and answers form 8/2011.
http://www.lbbc.org/Learning-From-Others/Ask-the-Expert/2011-08-Breast-Reconstruction/(language)/eng-US

http://www.lbbc.org/Events/2011-08-24-Breast-Reconstruction/(language)/eng-US
Click on   "download podcast and slides from this program"

Information if one is considering not having reconstruction.
http://breastfree.org/


With caring and positive thoughts to all,

Grateful for today.............Judy
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