Finished with all surgeries, finally!!! - SHARE Breast Canc...

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Finished with all surgeries, finally!!!


I was diagnosed with stage 2 infiltrating ductile carcinoma in September 2012 just a few weeks before my wedding. I was encouraged to go ahead with the wedding and the honey moon, so we shared vows on 10/15/2012 and I had my first lumpectomy on 10/25/11. I was advised to take an aggressive approach for treatment since the cancer had begun to infiltrate from the ducts into the breast tissue. So, I began radiation treatment (5 days of treatment for 7 weeks). The breast tissue was so damaged from the radiation that I had days I felt like the nipple was going to fall off. I couldn't even tolerate a fleece house coat or a light shirt. Following radiation treatment, I started reclast infusion and arimedex to prevent the return of cancer. I noticed very quickly I had difficulty with normal memory. My cognitive functions continued to decline the longer I was on the medicine. Then 6 months following the end of radiation, I had my first post surgery mammogram. The radiologist found anomalies, so I had to have an ultrasound. (I had to wait two weeks to get the ultrasound, then I had to wait a week to find out the results of the ultrasound). They said there was just scar tissue. Next mammogram, 6 months later, I had similar results, and then another lumpectomy to remove tissue they had inadvertently left the first time. The results were negative. I celebrated. 6 months later another post surgery mammogram, and again more "anomalies". This time they added MRI and then another 2 weeks later MRI guided biopsies. It took a total of 3 months to determine I didn't have cancer that time. This went on for four years in total. I finally had my care transferred to the University of Iowa Hospital and after a lot of review of my case the decision was to have unilateral mastectomy due to "radiation effect" (healthy breast tissue had been badly damaged by the aggressive radiation. The specialists at the U of I told me that every mammogram would reveal new anomalies and I would have to go through all of the same tests every time, and with the tissue having been so badly damaged, there was an increased risk of new cancer. On June 8, 2015, I had the mastectomy and DIEP Flap reconstruction. I have had several additional surgeries since then to correct some plastic surgery issues. I had my final liposuction and fat grafting surgery on January 25, 2018. I'm now considered cancer free and finished with all surgeries. It has been a long and difficult journey, but I am a survivor and that's what really counts.

9 Replies

Wow! You have been though a lot. I'm glad to hear you are now cancer-free and finished with surgeries. I'm sure you'll be a wonderful resource to others on this site who are struggling with some of the ordeals you have undergone! And a great source of hope to women who feel there is no end to their cancer woes.

Thank you for the kind words. I hope to be of service if just to encourage others to seek support

What an ordeal u have been through to say the least!!!!! Thank u for sharing your story. Bless u and stay well.

VickieLT in reply to Epinto

Thank you and the same healthy wishes back to you.

Dear Vicki, you have certainly been through a lot - you are truly a survivor -- with such a positive, optimistic attitude. I also had a DIEP flap reconstruction (in 2013) and have been very pleased with that decision. I hope when all your healing is done, you will feel the same. So glad you are now cancer-free - you are an inspiration to others. My best to you for continued good health,


VickieLT in reply to nrollman

Thank you for your response. I also wish for you continued good health in your post cancer journey.

Greetings:Sister/Warrior you have fought, and faced many challenges. Now it is time to exhale, and C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E many more milestones with your family, and loved ones. As a part of this community of fierce Warriors I am singing and dancing with you. I pray for our Sister/Warriors who are fighting, and facing challenges currently. I am waiting to hear your great future testimonies. God bless us all. Happy palm Sunday. XoXoXoXo

Thank you for your encouragement and support.

Sounds like you have been through the wringer. Reading this makes me glad I opted for bilateral mastectomies from the start. Mine was triple neg, invasive ductal. I was spared the radiation and did chemo. I did reconstruction and the last was in July. My debate right now is does the "side boobs" I have now bother me enough to have more surgery. When I think as long as my arms are down nobody will see it why bother. Jury is still out. I wish you well and hope it's gone for good.

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