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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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  • 1 Post By Nash
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Late Introduction - Hi, everyone

Old 08-05-2012, 01:00 PM
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Late Introduction - Hi, everyone

Hi everyone,

I've been late to provide an introduction....mostly because I wasn't really sure how to begin...
My story is a little different than most that I have read on this forum so far, though I really really appreciate the experiences that I have read here, and have found the site to be EXTREMELY informative & helpful...especially during my post-op weeks, when I felt like I was 'flying a bit on the blind side'.
So to begin... let me just say that I have always thought about, and wanted to have a breast augmentation. I was the 'tall, willowy' girl, school...the one always waiting (and hoping) that one day..my 'girls' would blossom. In high school, I was painfully thin (Size 1-3 pants). I hated this, and I always felt inferior to the other girls in my class. Add thick coke bottle glasses to the equation...(my mother felt so sorry for me on this point, and got me contact lenses when I was 13)...and well, fill in the blanks. Brainy, geeky, awkward. Moderately pretty face. Painfully aware of my AA boobs. <ugghh>
As I got older, and after two kids...I graduated to a 'B' size. But in my head...well...always felt so self-conscious. I remember when the 'Wonder' bra came on the scene..and it was actually somewhat legal to wear a padded bra. Yeah! I had a whole drawer full. But still....not the same, right ladies? Mmmmmm....
I had actually researched Gummy Bear implants (Dr. Adam's website). As someone that has had issues with immune system disorders, as well...I was very interested in the newer style in clinical trials, that will not leak. I got braver..but it was still a lot of money, and by this time, I'm married, with a blended family of four. Very difficult to justify the $$$ with this equation.
Fast forward to Jan 2011. I go in for a routine mammogram. I get the dreaded phone call for a 're-screening' with reassurance that it's usually 'nothing' (80% of cases). This was followed by stereotactic biopsy (ok...I'm scared by this point, but still not 'alarmed'). Results came back as 'Ductal carcinoma in situ, (DCIS), cribiform-type, and intermediate nuclear grade, with calcifications and necrosis. Estrogen positive (99%) Progesterone positive (95%). Uhhh....I'm scared at this point.
Translation... DCIS = 'in situ' means 'in place', or hasn't spread beyond the ductal wall.
Intermediate nuclear grade = on scale of 1-3... aggressiveness of cancer is a 'medium', or '2'
cribiform type = not the worse kind...but not the least ominous form.
Estrogen positive (99%) Progesterone positive (95%) = the cancer uses estrogen\progesterone for 'food', so every menstrual cycle will provide 'food' for this cancer.
I know I'm going to need surgery to remove it. Fortunately, it's a small area.
Well, because the ducts in our breast tissues are a bit like 'spaghetti', (think 'long thin tube'), it is difficult sometimes to find the 'beginning and end', so my surgeon took conservative approach...in effort to save my breast tissue, as much as possible. The results came back with unclean margins on two sides. So 2nd surgery scheduled. this resulted in 'almost clean' margins..but not enough of a safety zone...so 3rd surgery followed.
Next came one of the most difficult decisions of my LIFE.
Bearing in mind, the lifelong struggle I already had to accept the breasts I was born with (which for the record...weren't unattractive..just very small)..
My surgeon told me (and four other doctors)...that based on my 'score' I needed to choose between having a mastectomy or radiation.
Mastectomy meant...no breast
Radiation meant...no reconstruction without using tissue transferred from somewhere else on my body (e.g.: transflap).
I was so depressed. I put the decision off for as long as possible. Fortunately, I located Dr. Jewell, who was participating in the clinical trials for the Mentor\Allergan (gummy bear) implants, which I had already researched, as explained above. I had a consult, and ask him about the possibility of implants after RADS. He told me to come back in a year, after the RADS, and we would see.
I went thru six weeks of radiation (and managed to keep working through all of it.). I waited and waited. My skin seemed to have held up pretty well. I went back for consultation. Dr. Jewell seemed to feel like my breast tissue had held up well (though the RADS did seem to make my left breast a bit 'higher', compared to right side).
It was hard, because of all of the trauma I had already had in previous year to get up courage to do it, plus the risk that it wouldn't work. Everything I read on the internet was so discouraging, especially because of the MUCH higher risk of capsular contraction & chance of poor healing. But the 'form-stable' characteristics of the gummy bears reduce this risk greatly.
Also...the fact that I am 48..meant I had to work thru the feelings of "Am I too old for this?" "Am I being vain to take this kind of risk?
I went for it. Had surgery on June 19th. Though the recovery process was a bit more arduous than I expected, I couldn't be happier with results.
My left breast is still a bit higher than my right, but I'm hoping over time that this will even out. Dr. Jewell lowered the 'crease', so right now there is a bit of a double bubble effect, but over time, I think it will improve, as the implants 'drops and fluffs'.
There is my story, girls. It took me a while to write it, because it was emotional, and a bit long (sorry for that).
So I have a unique perspective:
1) I have one breast that has had RADS and one that has not
2) I have gummy bear implants in both
3) I am older than most of the women on this site

Thanks for letting me share my story.... Warm Regards to all. Lucy Lane
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:46 PM
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I held my breath as I read your story in the beginning because I shared similar feelings & experiences (I was stuffing "chicken cutlets" enhancers into a wonderbras! Even "lost" gel enhancer during chemistry class senior year but didn't think anyone noticed until male teacher stop teaching class to point it out... Humilation doesn't begin to describe it!).
As I continued reading your post, I held my breath out of concern for you and all you've been through, but I am so very glad it seems that you are doing much better & so happy for you! Your children are very lucky to have such a strong momma and I wish you continued happiness and great health!


***less than two days away, 15 yrs in the making

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Nash View Post
I held my breath as I read your story in the beginning because I shared similar feelings & experiences (I was stuffing "chicken cutlets" enhancers into a wonderbras! Even "lost" gel enhancer during chemistry class senior year but didn't think anyone noticed until male teacher stop teaching class to point it out... Humilation doesn't begin to describe it!).
As I continued reading your post, I held my breath out of concern for you and all you've been through, but I am so very glad it seems that you are doing much better & so happy for you! Your children are very lucky to have such a strong momma and I wish you continued happiness and great health!

***less than two days away, 15 yrs in the making
Oh wow...that is funny story. The things we 'do' vanity, right? I have lots of 'cringe' stories, too. Before Wonderbras....there was always the ever convenient 'toilet paper' wad. I remember being 'outted' in six grade by a brat of a kid who pulled a wad out of my bra (guess it was showing?)...There are no words.... <lol> How did we ever survive school?

I do have to say, that looking down the 'barrel' of my life, I never would have imagined that I would have ended up actually getting an augmentation...I only dreamed about it. And though I would never, never recommend the path I took to ultimately get mine...it was nice to get them 100% paid for!

That said...if I hadn't had the other challenges in life that put my longing in 'second place' (I didn't mention the 2 step-children also...not just the two biological kids)...I would have gladly paid for them.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:57 PM
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Hi Lucy,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. As I read it I knew it was probably very difficult to write. I know I don't know you, but I had tears in my eyes from when I read about the first re-screening call you received. I can't even begin to imagine how scary the whole process was for you. I am so glad everything worked out for you and that you are happy with your new breasts.

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by its4me View Post
Hi Lucy,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. As I read it I knew it was probably very difficult to write. I know I don't know you, but I had tears in my eyes from when I read about the first re-screening call you received. I can't even begin to imagine how scary the whole process was for you. I am so glad everything worked out for you and that you are happy with your new breasts.
Thank you for your kind words. Very much appreciated! ( I didn't realize that it was going to turn into such a long post when I started it. )

I really like your login name 'Just4Me'. That is great!!!

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Old 08-08-2012, 11:03 AM
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Thank you for sharing your story! I can't imagine how scary that must be. I freak out every single time I find a lump. I have a history of cysts, but I always get them checked. Glad you posted this. I had my yearly with my gyn 6 weeks ago but have not scheduled my mammogram. I'm going to do that TODAY.

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Old 08-08-2012, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Nikki View Post
Thank you for sharing your story! I can't imagine how scary that must be. I freak out every single time I find a lump. I have a history of cysts, but I always get them checked. Glad you posted this. I had my yearly with my gyn 6 weeks ago but have not scheduled my mammogram. I'm going to do that TODAY.
Good idea! Also, I 'skipped' a year in-between screenings, and wish I hadn't.
I created a chart that shows over time, how long it takes for a cancer cell to grow large enough to detect, and what it would look like, over time. Granted, it takes a few years, but the scary part of it, is what happens once it is big enough to be detected.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:45 PM
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Another thank you for sharing your story!! I want you to know how much I admire your strength and courage for making the decision you did. Not an easy one, I'm sure!! So glad things are going well for you now. And you are NOT that old, sweetie. I was over 50 when I chose to get my 1st set of implants, and I'm not the only one on this forum who is over 40 or 50. As we always hear (and it is true!!) age IS only a number. It does not define you. Don't we deserve to take care of ourselves at any age? What's wrong with a bit of vanity? Enjoy your new look. Mostly, enjoy your health and your life.

Slinky

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Old 08-14-2012, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Slinky View Post
Another thank you for sharing your story!! I want you to know how much I admire your strength and courage for making the decision you did. Not an easy one, I'm sure!! So glad things are going well for you now. And you are NOT that old, sweetie. I was over 50 when I chose to get my 1st set of implants, and I'm not the only one on this forum who is over 40 or 50. As we always hear (and it is true!!) age IS only a number. It does not define you. Don't we deserve to take care of ourselves at any age? What's wrong with a bit of vanity? Enjoy your new look. Mostly, enjoy your health and your life.

Slinky
Thank you...you are correct! And yes, I am enjoying my 'new look' very much LOL
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:25 PM
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Thank you so much for sharing your story it was very touching and I am glad that you are sharing it! You are a very strong women and I am glad that you have found a sort of outlet for it!!! I am glad that you are happy with your results!! Good luck in everything!
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:04 PM
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I just joined the forum, but wanted to say thanks for sharing your story and I hope all is well with you. Kudos to your courage!
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