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General Breast Reconstruction If you're having breast reconstruction, please post your questions and experiences in this forum.


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I had breast cancer

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Old 07-14-2012, 02:40 AM
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you are such a survivor. my mom had breast cancer. glad yours was detected early and happy healing. hope life makes up for the bad things that happened. praying for you.

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Old 07-14-2012, 06:48 AM
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Am almost to my 2 month mark!! Feeling so much better and can raise my arms with very little pain. God is good!!!!

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Old 07-14-2012, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Slinky View Post
You've been through a lot!! Double mastectomy....... was the cancer in both breasts or just one? Often, it is in one and many women opt to have both removed. I have a very close friend. She had ovarian cancer (treated and in remission) and was tested for the BRCA gene. She tested positive and opted to have both breasts removed since her risk for breast cancer was 80+%. She has had a difficult time with her reconstruction/expanders. Her skin doesn't have much elasticity, so she had some tenting and concerns about whether her body could handle the implants. Things are looking up for her and she's moving ahead with her final surgery. Yay!

I guess my point in all this is that those of us who choose to have a BA for cosmetic reasons do not go through the difficulties that a mastectomy brings. I admire you so very much, for having the courage to choose what you want and follow through with it. I know it is NOT an easy choice. I wish you the best of luck. And thank you for sharing with us and becoming a part of the JBI family.

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Mine was just in my right breast. Thank you so much for the kind words. God bless!
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by calicocat View Post
have you been in touch with anyone else that has gone through breast cancer?
Yes i have a good friend that has and have met more friends along the way. The statistics are 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer. Our odds aren't good.

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Old 07-14-2012, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by danzn16 View Post
what were your symptoms that you were able to catch it so early? Thank goodness that you did!! That is so great you don't have to do chemo or rad, they are truly horrible.
I had a cyst in my left breast that would not go away so I finally went to my gyno and he said since i was almost 40 he wanted to get me a mammo, so I did and found breast cancer in my right breast, the one that never hurt had cancer, also my cancer was so small I would have never been able to feel a lump, by the time it would have grown into a lump my type of cancer would have been very hard to beat. That's why the mammos are so important to start early.

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Old 07-18-2012, 11:20 AM
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So sorry you went through all that but I am happy they caught it in time and there is no need for chemo or radiation!! Hugs!!

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Old 07-18-2012, 09:11 PM
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Big hugs to you!!! I'm so glad you did not have to go through any chemo or radition. Saw my mom go through it and it was not pleasant. She evenutally lost her battle, so it is a HUGE blessing that it was caught so early.

Also {{{{HUGS}}}}} for your loss.

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Old 07-18-2012, 11:46 PM
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I also had breast cancer (left breast). Took three surgeries to get clean margins, then 6 weeks of radiation. After waiting almost a year, I got gummy bear implants (June19). Very happy that I was able to do this!
Lucy Lane

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Old 08-02-2012, 10:07 AM
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WOW!!! What a strong soul you are! I envy the strength you have. I can not imagine what you have been through. Keep your chin up, a smile on your face and a positive attitude I'm glad your doing well and moving forward in your life. I know there is no words to take away the grief you must feel about your son but know your in my heart. Keep up the good work!!

B

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Old 08-03-2012, 08:46 AM
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Stix,

I fully understand what choices you were confronted with and also...how quickly you had to make them.

It's overwhelming. That said...I really hope you are enjoying your new 'girlfriends' (gummies).

I have a friend who had such an incredibly difficult time (4 years before my own ordeal). At age 39, she had a collapsed heart valve (same thing that John Ritter died from). She barely survived that...then years later...breast cancer, and double mastectomy. She didn't get clean margins after first surgery,...as it had advanced so far on left side, that they had to take the underlying muscle (looked like a golf ball sized crater. They had to take a skin graft from her leg to cover that, approx 3 X 3 inches. I took her home from the hospital that day, as it was 'day surgery' and I just remember asking the nurses..."How could they send someone home in this shape?" They replied..."You'd be surprised what we see...go home every day"
She was so sick from the trauma\anesthesia, it took a while to just get out of the parking lot, before I could get her home.
Then because of the prior issues with heart valve..she had to be very conservative with her reconstruction options,as she needed to preserve any arteries that might be used at a future time to replace the faulty heart valve (they used a large one from her leg, the first time. Typically, they have to be replace every ten years.)
She then endured nine months of chemotherapy. Very hard time.
She was determined to replace her breasts, as this was extremely important to her (something that I came to understand a few years later). But because she lost the muscle under the breast on her left side...they had to relocate a back muscle, to the front chest wall, to hold an implant.
My friend is an amazing example of survival. I can't believe it's been 6 years since all of that happened. Now...she is working full-time, caring for an invalid husband, a 26 year old son who has aspergers, and her mother-in-law. Sometimes I get extremely angry with her husband. I know he has 'back problems', and this can be severe...but I also feel like he kind of 'checked out' when he lost his job, and just left my friend to take care of everything (not fair!!!). He just zones out on his morphine, does nothing all day, and waits for her to come home and cook dinner. Grrrrrr!!!!!!
Sorry this is such a long email. There are just some situations in life that make you crazy. She is such a good person, and friend, and I wish I could find a way to help lighten her load a bit. She was really there for me through all of my cancer treatments..though by comparison, my situation was a cakewalk.

Lucy Lane

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Old 08-03-2012, 09:14 AM
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So sorry to hear about your son. And thankfu to hear that you are on the road to recovery! Cancer runs in my family and that is never too far from my thoughts. You just never know when something like cancer will hit regardless if there is history or not.

You are a strong woman! This I know.... I hope you have a speedy recovery!

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Old 08-08-2012, 07:44 AM
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Having no family history of breast cancer definitely doesn't take you off the at-risk list, it just makes you more at-risk. So make sure to perform self-examinations every month and visit your doctor regularly for a screening.

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Old 08-12-2012, 06:03 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by LucyLane View Post
Stix,

I fully understand what choices you were confronted with and also...how quickly you had to make them.

It's overwhelming. That said...I really hope you are enjoying your new 'girlfriends' (gummies).

I have a friend who had such an incredibly difficult time (4 years before my own ordeal). At age 39, she had a collapsed heart valve (same thing that John Ritter died from). She barely survived that...then years later...breast cancer, and double mastectomy. She didn't get clean margins after first surgery,...as it had advanced so far on left side, that they had to take the underlying muscle (looked like a golf ball sized crater. They had to take a skin graft from her leg to cover that, approx 3 X 3 inches. I took her home from the hospital that day, as it was 'day surgery' and I just remember asking the nurses..."How could they send someone home in this shape?" They replied..."You'd be surprised what we see...go home every day"
She was so sick from the trauma\anesthesia, it took a while to just get out of the parking lot, before I could get her home.
Then because of the prior issues with heart valve..she had to be very conservative with her reconstruction options,as she needed to preserve any arteries that might be used at a future time to replace the faulty heart valve (they used a large one from her leg, the first time. Typically, they have to be replace every ten years.)
She then endured nine months of chemotherapy. Very hard time.
She was determined to replace her breasts, as this was extremely important to her (something that I came to understand a few years later). But because she lost the muscle under the breast on her left side...they had to relocate a back muscle, to the front chest wall, to hold an implant.
My friend is an amazing example of survival. I can't believe it's been 6 years since all of that happened. Now...she is working full-time, caring for an invalid husband, a 26 year old son who has aspergers, and her mother-in-law. Sometimes I get extremely angry with her husband. I know he has 'back problems', and this can be severe...but I also feel like he kind of 'checked out' when he lost his job, and just left my friend to take care of everything (not fair!!!). He just zones out on his morphine, does nothing all day, and waits for her to come home and cook dinner. Grrrrrr!!!!!!
Sorry this is such a long email. There are just some situations in life that make you crazy. She is such a good person, and friend, and I wish I could find a way to help lighten her load a bit. She was really there for me through all of my cancer treatments..though by comparison, my situation was a cakewalk.

Lucy Lane
I am so glad your friend has you in her life. You are a blessing! I am so glad you are doing well too! You look great!!! God bless!!

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Old 08-25-2012, 08:33 PM
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Thank you so much for sharing such an important message! I am so sorry for the loss of your son and your diagnosis. I wish you the best of luck with everything from here on out!!
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:43 PM
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As far as nipples, I heard that a reconstructive way of getting real nipples was to use vaginal tissue. I know that sounds weird, but apparently it has the same texture. Have you heard of this?

Anyway, good to have you here. Sorry you had to have a BA that way. How did you find out you had cancer anyway?
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:17 PM
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Unhappy

Sending you a hug. You have been through so much and it made me realize how much we take for granted. Hope you have an uncomplicated recovery.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:21 PM
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Hey so happy to hear a good success story regarding cancer! It's kind of rare, but always good to hear!

Originally Posted by Scorpioempress View Post
As far as nipples, I heard that a reconstructive way of getting real nipples was to use vaginal tissue. I know that sounds weird, but apparently it has the same texture. Have you heard of this?
This might sound crazy, but what about maybe nipples from an organ donor or is that just not possible?
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:27 PM
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Much love to you! You have been thru a lot. I fight everyday for cancer awareness and have a non profit organization for advocacy for cancer survivors. There has to be a cure for all cancers somewhere in the future, until then early detection is key to a higher survival rate. I lost my father to pancreatic cancer and my sister whom I loved dearly to ovarian cancer. A lot of families have been touched by a loss to cancer. Take care and wishing you a fast healing!
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:17 PM
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Oh my goodness, I can't believe all you've been through. First I want to say, I'm sooo sorry you lost your son to cancer. Makes me so sad. It's wonderful that you beat cancer yourself and are able to move past this and keep going in life. My bff's Mom found out just a month or so ago that she too has breast cancer. She will be having a double mastectomy soon too. Thank you for sharing your story. I think it's so important to get the word out there that we all are at risk for breast cancer and are not immune to it even if we don't have a family history of it.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:51 AM
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I too had ductal carcinoma insitu with a very small amount of invasion. I had 650cc salines 2 years before I was diagnosed and my girls were a beautiful 36DDD. I didn't have any family history of it either. I had bilateral nipple and skin sparing mastectomies in 2011 with immediate reconstruction-800 silicone hp bringing me back to a DD. Reconstruction is totally unlike augmentation. Many woman think they are the same but absolutely not true. I just had my 5th surgery to try to get more aesthetic results. I had rippling, sagging, no cleavage due to lateral displacement, was lacking a lot in projection and so much more. I hope this is my last surgery. I had strattice with 800cc extra high profile. My PS sutured the strattice to my rib cage and was excrutiating for a couple of weeks. I'm 3 weeks out now and waiting for several months to see my results.....keeping my fingers crossed!

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