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Reconstructive Surgery or Not?
lukeperry posted:
Hi Ladies,

I had stage 3 breast cancer, had chemo, radiation and finally a mastectomy. I finished my radiation treatments 2yrs. ago, and now I'm scheduled for reconstructive surgery on Wed. I'm feeling very anxious and I'm not sure whether to get it or not. Do you think I feel this way because I'm associating this surgery with my mastectomy? I thought maybe God didn't want me to do it, even though I'm not doing it for vanity reasons. I want to be whole again, the way I was before the mastectomy. Before my mast., I was planning on having this done, but this is the 1st time I've been able to even think of somebody touching my breast again. Does anybody know if it hurts very bad and for how long? Thanks for your help.
jenna291 responded:
Hi Luke, nice to see you posting again. I would think the anxiety comes from having another surgery and yes, associating with the mastectomy. Just remember, though, you will feel so much better once you move past this. I did not have a mastectomy myself but a lumpectomy, but my best friend did and once she healed from her reconstruction, she said it was the best thing she could have done for herself. I know a few other women with the same feelings.
Hopefully someone will respond with first had experience.
I wish you all the best and keep you in my prayers ~
lukeperry replied to jenna291's response:
Thank you Jenna for answering me. I'm really happy that you told me what you did. After I wrote you, I knew that my anxiety was being caused by the mastectomy. It went away as soon as I wrote it down and I became sure that I should do it. Thanks again and God bless you.

rachael67 replied to lukeperry's response:
Aw, Luke, as I often have said: Sometimes we are blessed and cursed because we have choices!!

Try and recall how ,when you were faced with your original diagnosis, you carefully researched all your options, weighing the benefits against the risks. I'm sure you have done the same this time...And I don't think a benevolent God would want to fill your heart with angst, but would, instead, be right beside you, holding and reassuring you!

I agree with Jenna that the pre-surgery nerves are difficult for all, but once you are beyond this, you will feel much better.

Know that we will all be aboard Pinkie for you on Wednesday...Fully prepared with nail polish in every shade of the rainbow! Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
lukeperry replied to rachael67's response:
Thank you Rachael, for your words of wisdom. I should have written you all, a month ago when I first decided to do it. I was very excited for the 1st two wks., then I started wondering how bad and for how long it will hurt. Will anybody on here please tell me about the pain? I'm still going to do it, I just want to know what I'm in for. (I'm sure the doctor won't tell) One good thing that he did say was "I don't believe in pain, I'm going to give you something when you leave and if that doesn't work, I will keep calling you in something, until it does work." He said that I can not move for 7days or it could mess up the procedure. I think it's great to know my doctor doesn't believe it pain. I'm sure, all of you have met the other kind, the ones who don't give a damn if you hurt or not. Thank you all for your prayers and please pray for me on Wed., just knowing that y'all will be praying with me means a great deal to me. Love you all.

Love, Luke
Maura666 replied to lukeperry's response:
I have had reconstruction surgery on both sides. They did one side at a time because they wanted to see how the areas that were radiated reacted. The pain is more of an ache but with some minor sharp pains, (nerves trying to regenerate). I could not drive for about 3 days after each procedure and yes there was pain but it was nothing pain medication would not help. I had 8 different surgeries because they had to reconstruct the chest wall. I did feel week and no lifting also I had to sleep in an almost upright position. You will be bandaged and have stitches but when you do take the bandages off you will have a light-weight bra that hooks in the front for mild support. No under wire bras. Recuperation time is individual but just remember no lifting and treat yourself good. The best of everything to you and speedy recovery!
lukeperry replied to Maura666's response:
Thank you for so much information, that's exactly what I needed. My doctor is doing them both at the same time and without expander's. He's using the new gummy bear implants and I will need 2 to 3 surgery's. He is going to use my own stem cells, where a machine takes the fat from you, puts it threw a machine and back in me, without any air getting to it. He went to Japan to learn the stem cell treatment and is teaching the other plastic surgeon's in Jacksonville how it's done.

He didn't talk to me much about the pain, so I was freaking out about that. I was afraid it would be like my mastectomy and hurt like hell. So far today, every time somebody writes me, I feel less and less anxious. I want to thank all of you for taking the time to answer and make me feel so much better. Now, I have my brave suit on and I'm ready for anything!

Love, Luke
cindy12345678 replied to lukeperry's response:
I had chemo and bi-mast and reconstruction with
expanders and silicone implants. I didn't have much pain
with the placement of the implants. It was nothing like
the bi-mast. Sounds like a very interesting procedure.
Please keep us updated on how things go. I am glad
I had reconstruction. It helps me feel put back together.
We will pick you up on "pinkie" we will all go with you!
lukeperry replied to cindy12345678's response:
Thanks Cindy,

I will write about the procedure as soon as I'm aloud to type. He showed me on his computer how it's done. The fat goes out a tube and through this machine that gets rid of the cells that are useless and he puts the good cells into you. He said I'll get a tummy job at the same time.(Great!) I think he said, most doctors use tissue from pigs or cadavers and he asked me which one I wanted. I, of course said, "my own." I can't remember exactly what he said.(chemo brain, oh that's another great side effect!) After talking to all of you, I'm really getting excited!

Do any of you still have chemo brain, yrs. later? I think I read that for some people, it never goes away. But that's a small price to pay for our lives. God bless you all.
cindy12345678 replied to lukeperry's response:
I can't wait to hear how it goes! I think I still have chemo
brain . It's been 2yrs. It comes and goes. Some days
are better than others as far as chemo brain. Yes all
those little things don't really matter we are still here!
I am glad that you are getting excited. Good for you!
This is a positive thing. A part of healing. I am so happy
for you!
Flygirl0304 replied to lukeperry's response:
I have had the procedure you are speaking of several times and have at least three more to go. Basically it is liposuction first, then they clean the fat and then they inject it where it is needed.

After a failed reconstruction I felt that I needed a new doctor. I have the added problem dealing with the Veteran's Administration . The hardest part of this procedure is the liposuction. But it is manageable and after being told that I was not able to have a trans flap I felt wonderful that there was something out there for me.

I think that for me the nipple creation and tummy tuck are going to be the challenge. But you are strong! Look at what you have already gotten through. You no matter what deserve to have a complete reconstruction. Stand profundity we your sisters we are with you. Good luck and Good Bless. I am here for you.
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