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Jenny in Florida

Sorry to keep bugging everyone, but . . . Breast cancer treatment?

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I’m so glad your Dd was able to visit for a couple of days!  Glad your drains are due to come out soon as I know that was a boost to how my mom felt.  Hopefully you will be able to leave the oncologist’s office with a plan..........sending hugs.

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2 hours ago, Jenny in Florida said:

I hope you are recovering and feeling well, too!

 

Thank you. I finished 9 out of 15 of my radiation treatments so far. Glad you have a great time with your daughter.

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Theme park therapy, what a great idea! 

A lot of people are thinking of you and wishing you the best on this journey 

Kitty Hug GIF - Kitty Hug ThisIsAHug GIFs

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I'm glad you had a good visit and are recovering well. I do hope you get your drains out this week. I know that will be another step forward. I'm sorry pathology news wasn't better. Hoping you leave the oncology visit feeling confident with the plan. 

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Just in case anyone is wondering:

I did get the drains removed at the second surgical follow-up, which greatly improved my quality of life. 

Both the medical oncologist and the surgeon's MA were concerned about the swelling in my legs and did both blood work and an ultrasound, all of which was unremarkable. I was prescribed diuretics, which seemed to do the trick. It's nice to see my ankles again.

The best news so far has been that I will not need chemotherapy. Apparently, the MammaPrint shows that adding chemo for my particular type of cancer would increase the long-term survival rate by only 1.5%, which is not even statistically significant. So, we're looking at 5-10 years of hormone therapy, but no regular chemo. 

I will be doing six weeks of radiation therapy, beginning in early December. 

In general, I'm still feeling more tired than usual, and my left arm is still tender to the touch in some places and numb in others. The chest and arm muscles on that side are sore, too, especially when I try to stretch or extend the arm. So driving tires me out more quickly than normal.

Because any potential reconstructive surgery would have to wait until after I finish radiation, anyway, I can use the next couple of months to ponder that question. In the meantime, I have made a few visits to the euphemistically named "spa" at the hospital's cancer center and been fitted with a combination of bras and breast forms that feel reasonably comfortable and should allow me to continue wearing most of my existing work wardrobe. 

I am scheduled to return to work on Monday, and the HR rep has already reached out to discuss the possibility of having me work remotely when necessary to ease me back into the swing of things. 

So, things are moving along.

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I am so glad you get to escape chemotherapy! Yay! 

I’m also glad your work is cooperating with you in ways that facilitate recovery. 

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5 hours ago, Jenny in Florida said:

Just in case anyone is wondering:

I did get the drains removed at the second surgical follow-up, which greatly improved my quality of life. 

Both the medical oncologist and the surgeon's MA were concerned about the swelling in my legs and did both blood work and an ultrasound, all of which was unremarkable. I was prescribed diuretics, which seemed to do the trick. It's nice to see my ankles again.

The best news so far has been that I will not need chemotherapy. Apparently, the MammaPrint shows that adding chemo for my particular type of cancer would increase the long-term survival rate by only 1.5%, which is not even statistically significant. So, we're looking at 5-10 years of hormone therapy, but no regular chemo. 

I will be doing six weeks of radiation therapy, beginning in early December. 

In general, I'm still feeling more tired than usual, and my left arm is still tender to the touch in some places and numb in others. The chest and arm muscles on that side are sore, too, especially when I try to stretch or extend the arm. So driving tires me out more quickly than normal.

Because any potential reconstructive surgery would have to wait until after I finish radiation, anyway, I can use the next couple of months to ponder that question. In the meantime, I have made a few visits to the euphemistically named "spa" at the hospital's cancer center and been fitted with a combination of bras and breast forms that feel reasonably comfortable and should allow me to continue wearing most of my existing work wardrobe. 

I am scheduled to return to work on Monday, and the HR rep has already reached out to discuss the possibility of having me work remotely when necessary to ease me back into the swing of things. 

So, things are moving along.

I think this is a great update!  Thank you for sharing and have a great weekend.  🙂

 

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I totally agree having the drains removed was great for ease of mobility.  

For radiation therapy, being there every weekday meant that the front desk checked me in as soon as they see me like more than 10 meters/ 3 feet away. The radiation staff were all very friendly and most are chirpy :)  Moisturize like you would for a bad sunburn and you should be okay. I was given a list of moisturizers that are safe to use and I went with Vaseline because I already have it at home. Aquaphor was also on the list and I would have used that if I had that at home as it worked great for my DS13 when he had flaky skin. 

I drank so much coffee and green tea that it might have indirectly cause my edema around my ankles to reduce fast 🤣

Thankfully you don’t need chemotherapy, so happy for you, less side effects to worry about. 👍

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1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

Moisturize like you would for a bad sunburn and you should be okay. I was given a list of moisturizers that are safe to use and I went with Vaseline because I already have it at home. Aquaphor was also on the list . . .

 

 

The info sheet from my radiation oncologist is very specific about recommending a combination of two moisturizers, first an aloe-based one and then something oily on top. It's on my to-do list to research the options and figure out which ones are cruelty free.

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FYI: Breast Implants - Certain Labeling
Recommendations to Improve Patient
Communication
Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff
DRAFT GUIDANCE
This draft guidance document is being distributed for comment purposes only.
Document issued on October 24, 2019.
https://www.fda.gov/media/131885/download

The related MarketWatch article: ‘I was not fully informed’ — FDA recommends breast implants with ‘black-box’ warning labels about potential hazards
https://on.mktw.net/2pdKwPF

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17 hours ago, Arcadia said:

FYI: Breast Implants - Certain Labeling
Recommendations to Improve Patient
Communication
Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff
DRAFT GUIDANCE
This draft guidance document is being distributed for comment purposes only.
Document issued on October 24, 2019.
https://www.fda.gov/media/131885/download

The related MarketWatch article: ‘I was not fully informed’ — FDA recommends breast implants with ‘black-box’ warning labels about potential hazards
https://on.mktw.net/2pdKwPF

 

My husband says I should print this out and carry it around so I can show it to people who ask why I am not interested in using implants for reconstruction.

I should clarify that I know people who have implants who have had good experiences and no issues and who are happy with their choice. Given my history of autoimmune issues, though, this information would only make me more cautious.

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