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patty

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Reply with quote  #1 
I had taxotere and cytoxan and was planning on having a bilateral and implants afterwards. I changed my mind about the bilateral so my surgeon did a lumpectomy to clear the margins and remove the lobular tumor instead. I had two tumors. One was ductal and one was lobular. He only removed the ductal tumor when he did the large biopsy. The lobular tumor really got small. It measured less than a centimeter. It started out at over 3 centimeters. I felt so good about the positive result from the chemotherapy I figured that the bilateral may not be necessary.

I have been told that if I do go ahead and get radiation my ability to have implants will be limited.

Do you have any thoughts on this topic?

Fancy

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Reply with quote  #2 
Exactly right!  Raiated skin doesn't stretch well to cover the implants.  I know lots of doctors do implants anyway, but.....

There are lots of little details that doctors don't tell you.  For example, LAT and TRAM flaps destroy muscles.  If you are an atheletic person, you may not be able to do the things you could efore the surgery.  This is especially true if you have a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction.

In general, doctors recommend the type of reconstruction they are comfortable doing.  A doctor who never does a free flap won't suggest it.  Before you decide on a reconstruction plan, look the various types up on the web and see what they're like. 

I had a DIEP flap reconstruction.  Very few surgeons do them, many insurance companies try not to pay for them, but they're the best if you want to be able to continue your physical activities (tennis, swimming, riding horses, skiiing, etc.) after the surgery.  Get a second, even a third opinion before you decide.


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Karen1956

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Reply with quote  #3 

Patty - rads definitely make recon more difficult. I had bilat w/ expabdersd followed by chemo and rads.  I had exchange 7 months post rads (almost 13 months post mastectomy).  Have had to have recon redone twice due to radiation fibrosis.  Last surgery was July 1st. PS is now  watching me quite closely.  I did not really have many other options due to size and did not want to travel for surgery. Like Fancy said, explore all your options. Doctors only recommend what they know and do (regardless of speciality).

nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #4 
Karen and Fancy are correct.
I have had a bit of a long road with my recon. I am not done yet so I can't comment. But, let's just say that because of rads I have had a really difficult time. I am normally a very fast healer. Not with skin that has been radiated.

I didn't have a bilat when I had my first dx and I have often thought about how much I would have saved if I had done it in the beginning and never had to go through cancer a second time and then the surgery and rads just like I was starting from ground zero again.

Karen, How are you healing? Are you happy with the revision??

Fancy girl, did you get a box from me yet?


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Fancy

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Angel
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Reply with quote  #5 
Gina--yes, I got the box.  It was waiting for me when I got home Monday.  The fun part is, my heart sisters cut off my hair this weekend.  It's about 1/2" long now.  I tried everything on--had a great time doing it.  My fave was the baseball cap with the pony tail.  Thank you SOOO much.   When I'm done with them, I will send them to some other sister who needs them, unless you want them back.

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the Frog's Princess
12/05 ILC 1C NX M0

4/1/08 Stage 4
and looking for NED
Karen1956

Goddess Forever
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Posts: 1,218
Reply with quote  #6 
Gina - I saw the PS on Monday - he is pleased so far - no more sticking out sutures.  Two sides are fairly symmetrical.  PS is watching me quite closely this time around.  I see him again in 3 weeks. I do like these implants so much better than the other ones - they look more like "me".  It is amazing though how much softer the prophy side is than the radiated side.  I have also made peace that this is it and whatever happens happens.  Craig told me today that he likes seeing me in a bra as it makes me look more "normal". Anymore I don't mind until it starts to get uncomfortable.
Sure wish you didn't have to do more recon.  Prayers that this is it. Do you have a date yet?  Hugs, Karen
nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #7 
Fancy, that ponytail can be undone and worn straight.... but i braided it like that to try to match a picture I saw of you once with your long ponytail.
I am so glad you got everything.


Karen,  that is so great that this pair is working for you. You went through the mill to get here!

I have a date for Sept. 23. If it doesn't work then I am stuck without recon.


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