Hi Cindy and others, Thanks for your response ... you're a very "real"' person and honest. Your husband is so very lucky to have such a "cool" wife. A few days ago, I responded to a Louisiana plastic surgeon's "ad' on-line regarding other breast reconstruction techniques. (just curious!!) He indicated there are other newer techniques than breast implants such as using one's own fat and tissue from the tummy and the butt region to build a "breast" mound. Am not sure if I would be a good candidate because if I have the implants removed, I should give the entire region a chance to heal before trying anything else. The technique does NOT use the muscle from the body. After my mastectomy, I used breast forms and 2 bras that I ordered from a special breast cancer "fitting" specialist ... and still have them in my dresser drawers. They made clothes fit better and seemed "natural." What's new with you and others on this site this week? Work?? Hope the early November weather is good where you live. Hang in there everyone! : )
Dear DorieRachel ... I feel for you! What is going on with the "flat pancake" breast? Is that the one with the implant? Did you just have one breast removed in surgery? Did you have an expander on one side and surgery on the other to balance both breasts? Your plastic surgeon should order tests (MRI, CT scans) to determine if the implant has somehow deflated. Did you go through the expander process? Since expanders, then 2 silicone implants, I have had non-stop pain and fluid buildup. They appear like an "A" cup, but the left breast is slightly larger then the right. THAT is the LEAST of my worries ... because I'm in so much pain all the time. My choice is whether or not to get both of them removed ... then I will REALLY look deformed! You're a nurse ... you must have some good friends in the "breast cancer" arena. What do they say? Write back when you are able. Keep in touch ... Welcome ...you have a lot of company on this site! : )
Thanks for your support Cindy. I take it one day at a time.... distractions do help. Am having difficultly making a decision about having the implants removed. (my husband wants them removed!) It is such a drastic step and life changing. Like I said before, everyone on this site has their own individual issues. Sometimes there are shared issues/concerns, but each woman is different. Hope you enjoy the weekend. "Hang in there."
For the pain, I HAVE tried acupuncture ... didn't work. Also was on Neurontin for about 2 years ... didn't seem to make a difference one way or another, so got off it. Tried physical therapy for almost 2 years ... the massage and tens unit felt good at the time, but the exercising hurt. The pain clinic doctor gave me shots of Botox and another steroid .... they didn't work either. Hydocodone seems to work for a short time ... just take 1 a day, sometimes 2 if I have to go out in the evening ... I understand the implications from too much of that drug, however. ( it's in the media about every day!) My Mentor, smooth, silicone implants are only about an "A" cup ... that's okay with me. I was an "A" cup before I had a baby, then, with weight gain and nursing, I jumped up to a "C!!" After the reconstruction surgery, I lost about 30 pounds ... but that was because I was in so much pain, I didn't have an appetite. Am still in agony with the constant buildup of fluid in the entire chest region and also the poking sensation that goes with it. My last "test" was in Jan. 2013 ... maybe one of these doctors will okay another one. Previous CT scans and MRI's show "normal" breast with implants ... no fluid, no scar tissue. Go figure!! Does anyone on this site have similar issues with pain/discomfort after breast implants? Would love to start a dialogue about this. I realize I can have the implants removed, but there are no guarantees that the pain will go away. Every woman on this site has "issues" about breast cancer ... that's a given. Hang in there everyone ...
Hi Cindy and others, Good to hear from some old friends ... Cindy, You and I need to lose those 20 pounds but it's going to be difficult with the holidays coming soon! : ( I don't walk as much in the cold weather ... might have to walk at the malls. Am so proud of you for continuing to work full time ... no easy task. Sometimes, though, it helps to have distractions to get one's mind off whatever the present ailment is! My fluid build up in the whole chest region (under the implants and down the torso) is driving me crazy ... but I don't want the implants out yet. No guarantees that I will be pain free. Am frustrated that the tests (last CT scan was in Jan. 2013) don't show fluid build up and to me it is so obvious. The doctors are "calling" it nerve damage because they don't know what is truly causing the pain. Only people who "walk in your shoes" can relate. Would love to hear more from you and others on this site. We're all here but have different issues. Am thinking of everyone .... hang in there.
Dear Kiwiallright and others, Thanks for your response and information. You're right ... I know I have scar tissue. My plastic surgeon told me that he saw it and removed some during his 2 implant surgeries. (expanders, then later silicon implants) Fortunately, I did not have radiation ... but did have chemo for about 4 months. The problem is if I have surgery to remove the scar tissue, more scar tissue will form from THAT surgery!! You can't win. : ( My biggest problem is fluid build up around the implants and now down my torso. Maybe the implants are foreign objects that my body is somehow rejecting. Has ANYONE on this site ever heard of that explanation? Have tried swimming .. in the water no pain is felt, but afterward is a different story. I hate to be so negative ... this is so unlike the positive, up-beat person I used to be. (cheerleader, homecoming court, avid golfer and tennis player, retired teacher!!!) For now, I don't want the implants removed ... there is too much coming up and I want to enjoy the holidays without recovering from more surgery or anticipating surgery. Thanks for listening ... many of you do truly understand. We always support each other in difficult AND good times... "it takes one to know one!" : )View Thread
Dear Sam ...My last evaluation for fluid retention was in Jan. 2013. Have had a couple of CT scans, MRI's and ultrasounds and fluid has NOT shown up.(according to the radiologists) It is very difficult for me to believe that there is no fluid build up in the chest area. My original plastic surgeon has not helped much ... he just says everything "looks" normal. Even went to 2 other plastic surgeons ... the last one said to have the implants removed, although there would be no guarantees that the pain/poking sensation would go away. Tried about 2 years of physical therapy ... the exercises hurt too much, but the massages felt good. When I wake up in the morning, the whole region is hard and poking, stinging ... after a shower, and lying in certain positions, then walking around, the hardness seems to "break down" a bit and I am more comfortable. Pain meds help take the edge off. As far as I know, there is no infection ... no fever, and the breast region is not red or hardened. Does anyone on this site have a similar experience? Sam, thanks for taking the time to respond ... what's YOUR situation?View Thread
Dear Stellinator, My situation is similar to yours. I HOPE you respond because I have not communicated with anyone like you who has similar issues with implants and pain. In Oct. 2009, I had a double mastectomy, chemo followed, then in April 2010, had chest expanders. I was in constant pain/discomfort with each fill ...In July, my plastic surgeon put in silicon implants. Since that day, I have been in pain/discomfort 24/7. It feels like massive fluid build-up and poking in the entire chest region and down the torso.Am sure there is a lot of scar tissue too. Have tried CT scans, MRI's, physical therapy, Botox/steroid injections, acupuncture, countless visits to the Pain Clinic, bc support groups, pain and other meds, and just recently went to a plastic surgeon at the University of Michigan for a consultation. He told me to get the implants removed or just learn to live with the pain. (no guarantees though!) Sounds like radiation might have caused some of your difficulties. I always thought that if a woman had radiation first, she was not able to have implants ... the skin in the chest changed/thinned out after radiation. I thought women like you could have other breast reconstruction procedures, working with your own tissue and muscle. I see you were last on this site a month ago .... don't know if you read other threads daily. Would really appreciate hearing from you or anyone else who is going through challenges with managing pain.View Thread
Dear Sadblossom and others, It has been a LONG time since I posted on this site. I miss all of the wonderful women who share so much ... breast cancer changes a lot about a person. When I saw your discussion about Arimidex, I thought I'd add info. about my experience. Like you, I've been taking Arimidex for 3 1/2 years. Had a double mastectomy on Oct. 5, 2009, chemotherapy, then later delayed reconstruction. (silicon implants) Constant pain STILL ... but that is another story related to reconstruction. Like you, I have gained weight ... about 20 pounds! My fingers and ankles appear swollen when I wake up in the morning and throughout the day. Because of dryness, sex can be very painful. My oncologist wants me to stay on Arimidex for 1 1/2 more years, but am hearing that the doctors now recommend taking it for a total of 10 years! Right now, I'm cancer-free and am grateful ... 4 years since my diagnosis of stage 1 and 2 Lobular bc. (both breasts) Luckily, I'm retired and can be home most of the time. Don't have much energy .... just do the minimal around the house. My son and husband have been so loving and supportive ... they seem to just accept the "new" me. Hope this has helped ... I don't feel the aches and pains that you and others describe ... just horrible pain/fluid build-up under/ around my implants!! Please know that you are not alone ... you have the understanding of so many on this site. Keep in touch ... have missed all of you "oldies but goodies." : - )
Hi Cindy! (other warriors too) Am so happy for you and your new tattoos! (last week)Sounds like it wasn't a very difficult procedure and the outcome was excellent. I still need to schedule my tattoos ... just seems like there's never the right time. Haven't been on this site for quite awhile. Am STILL uncomfortable most of the time ... seeing doctors and my physical therapist ... her, twice a week. Thought I would be totally healed by now. (no pain or discomfort) Am always trying to find someone just like me ... so far, not much luck. In the mean time, am going out every chance I get. This includes church, movies, concerts,speakers, dinner in restaurants, coffee with friends,lunch with friends,drinks/dinner with other friends, daily walks with my husband and meals with my husband and son. My main goal is to play golf this spring/summer ... I will play even if I'm in pain, darn it! : - ) Keep in touch Cindy and others. Spring is almost here!!