Posted by MCoaster on Feb 11, 2020 1:58 pm
Many thanks and hugs.
Posted by Wendy Tea on Feb 12, 2020 11:19 am
Posted by ashcon on Feb 12, 2020 11:26 am
That's great that you were able to bump up your appointment to an earlier date.
Shortly after my surgery, my surgeon said that I could return to have any dog ears "tidied up" if I wanted.
As it turns out, it wasn't a concern. I had fairly small breasts to begin with, so my 'dog ears" aren't very noticeable at all.
mamaduck and pho3nix may also be able to offer some insight, based on their experience.
I hope you get support and agreement from your surgeon to do what you wish. Being confident in our new bodies is so important to the emotional side of our healing and goes far deeper than the physical healing from our treatments.
Let us know what happens with the surgeon!
Posted by mamaduck on Feb 12, 2020 12:57 pm
Thanks ashcon for tagging me
Mcoaster - you are a few months ahead of me for recovery. Because I was large breasted and just generally a bigger person I really stressed to my surgeon my concerns about the dog ears under my arms. So far it looks like he did a good job with the dog ears but again, my chest looks awful. I have a very large concavity on my right side and a smaller one on the left. It was only a month ago that I had my surgery and I can not even fathom putting anything on my chest but as I heal and the weather gets warmer, I am worried about what I can wear. My chest looks like a turkey carcass. I did see my surgeon and he said just give it six months to heal and let the swelling go down. I have been trying to research more about going flat and have just joined the "flat and fabulous" Facebook page so I will asking for advice there. I'll let you know if I find anything out (or private message me and we could be Facebook friends!)
Posted by pho3nix on Feb 12, 2020 3:30 pm
I must say I am very surprised and delighted that my body is doing it's own reconstruction too! It's very difficult at first to be able to look at yourself in a mirror and not be saddened by what your poor body looks like after all that trauma, but don't worry. It will slowly (and it does take time) begin to reform. Maybe I'm a nut, but I do sometimes talk to my breasts and tell them how well they're doing now! All I know is that it makes me feel better. But as I mentioned before, it takes time. I am looking forward to my new implants, because - quite frankly - the expanders are NOT the most comfortable thing. I can constantly feel them in there, they make what remains of my breasts look square in parts, and they make sleeping on my side a complex procedure. I AM, however, glad that I made the decision to get the reconstruction after all. After all is said and done, I believe I will be happy with the final outcome.
Whatever you should choose to do, whether to go flat or to go ahead with reconstruction, you just have to ride it out for a bit. Your body will heal, even though it seems like it's taking forever. Personally, I would allow the surgeons to do what they need to do to make it more comfortable for you, providing you trust them implicitly, of course. This is your life and your body, so make sure you are happy and satisfied with your surgeons. I figured that I'd rather get it done right even if it takes longer. I know it's difficult to make so many difficult decisions while you're going through all of this, but just try and follow what you really feel is the best course of action. Ashcon hit the nail on the head when she said, "Being confident in our new bodies is so important to the emotional side of our healing and goes far deeper than the physical healing from our treatments."
Love your body. It's needs you!
Posted by WeeNelson on Feb 12, 2020 8:24 pm
Some plastic surgery residents did the operation, under local anaesthetic which was quite the experience. I have no regrets - two years later I still look at myself in the mirror and think what a relief that that ugly thing is gone!
Posted by MCoaster on Feb 13, 2020 3:10 pm
Surgery under "a local" must have been quite the experience. I had my first cataract surgery last week and even though there was no pain, the sensations and sound were interesting. I'll know what to expect for the second one including my choice of music while they operate. Gregorian Chants last time but am thinking about bagpipes for the next one!
So glad that 2 years in you are happy with your healing. Keep healthy and happy.
Posted by MCoaster on Feb 13, 2020 7:09 pm
Wishing you good health.
Posted by JustJan on Feb 13, 2020 7:36 pm
Posted by Lauren55 on Feb 14, 2020 10:28 am
Posted by Treepeo on Feb 15, 2020 7:49 pm
I just had my bilateral mastectomy this past Tuesday. Prior to the surgery, I asked about dog ears. I was told that unfortunately, the surgeon would have to make a much longer incision to ensure I didn't get them. so we ruled that out. As I just had surgery 5 days ago, I still have bandages and 3 drains, so I have no idea what I will look like. But at this point, it is immaterial to me. I am choosing to remain flat. I belong to two online groups, Flat in Canada and Flat in Toronto and the GTA. Both have been great sources of information, support and friendship.
Just before my surgery, I got confirmation that my breast cancer has indeed metastasized to my lungs. So what I will ultimately look like pales in comparison. I have bigger fish to fry. At this point, I just want to heal from this surgery so I can move on to another stage of possible treatment.
I wouldn't worry about seeing a general surgeon, provided you feel comfortable with him or her. And feel free to ask about their experience with this type of surgery. If you are not comfortable with the answers you are getting, you can shop around until you find the right fit.
Posted by ashcon on Feb 16, 2020 9:06 am
I've been reading your posts for the last little while and just wanted to say "hello" and congratulations on getting through the bilateral mastectomy.
I had my bmx in Jan 2018 and, like you, chose to stay flat.
Have you started to scope out resources and support systems for MBC patients?
There's some good info from CBCN here:
Posted by Treepeo on Feb 16, 2020 3:45 pm
Yes, I joined an online group for people with MBC. I believe you can never have enough information and/or support. I learn a lot from these online groups. And I am a firm believer in women helping women.
For example, one of the things I was worried about was how I would handle drains after my surgery. But women posted pictures of what they looked like, and they also advised me about their own experiences. And because of that, I wasn't as afraid to have the surgery when the time came. And a few women told me they threaded yarn through their drains and wore then around their waist, and that is what I am doing. I feel much more comfortable having them secured around my waist as opposed to pinned to my clothing. So that was a great tip.
I know they don't like to do surgery if you have MBC, but my breasts and underarm hurt, and I was desperate to get rid of those tumours. I am disappointed that I had to wait six months to get it done. I wanted the surgery regardless of whether I was metastatic or not, but they wouldn't operate unless my lungs remained stable for all of those months. Just before my surgery, a new nodule developed in my lung. It makes me wonder whether that was due to the delay in this surgery. Having all of those tumours and lymph nodes sitting around getting worse could not possibly have helped my situation. But what is done is done. There is nothing I can do about it except move forward. Once I heal from this surgery, I think radiation will be in my future. Because you and I are triple negative, our options are somewhat limited. So I am willing to give radiation a go even though it is a really scary option. It's one thing to radiate lymph nodes. It's another to radiation nodes and lungs. Yikes. The thought makes me break out into a sweat. But I have to try. It's not in my nature to give up.
As they say, one step at a time. As long as I'm not in a lot of pain, I am down for almost any treatment. Let's see what they suggest.
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