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I was taken off of Arimidex to monitor my blood pressure, which has never been high but went up while on Arimidex. During this time, my pain level subsided significantly. While the raise in blood pressure turned out to be a non-issue relatively speaking, the oncologist offered to make the switch. I guess my fear is that I will experience more of the same or worse with femara (letrozole). Am hoping that those who have made the switch will report fewer side effects. I worry about switching around too much.
I am experiencing a lot of joint pain and achiness from Arimidex. I am reading about Femara (letrozole), often the second drug recommended for estrogen positive breast cancer if one has problems with Arimidex. Has anybody switched? Would love to know if your experience was better or not with this drug. Thank you!
Thu, Jul 20 4:21pm · What can I expect having a Mastectomy of left breast in Breast Cancer
No, we are in Los Angeles.
Thu, Jul 20 4:20pm · What can I expect having a Mastectomy of left breast in Breast Cancer
We use Kaiser in Los Angeles. I vetted my doctor carefully. Columbia Medical School grad, 15 year experience.
Thu, Jul 20 2:17pm · What can I expect having a Mastectomy of left breast in Breast Cancer
Hello Running Lakes 🙂 I had a mastectomy on my right breast April 28th. Like Cindy, I can honestly say it was a pretty simple and straightforward procedure. My surgeon (who’s wife is a breast cancer survivor and was terrific), explained that there are no nerve endings in the tissue and the procedure is relatively painless. I went home the same day. I was up the next day having breakfast with my family and at the movies the following day. Three days later I was out walking. I had a Sentinel Node Biopsy. He removed the lymph node closest to the cancer and tested it, with the understanding that if it was positive he would have to remove the rest and I would need chemo. Fortunately, the lymph node was fine and the cancer was localized. I am very happy with my decision to have the breast removed. Having a second lumpectomy (had one first to find the cancer) would have meant radiation and chemo. My tissue is dense which would have meant always second guessing my screenings. I had a huge support group. People were signed up to bring dinner for 3 weeks. I cancelled after the first week. Really, I felt fine and just wanted to get back to my “new normal”.
I am not the first in my group to have breast cancer. I was out for dinner and drinks the week before with my friends. Lots of calls and texts. I worked out up until the day before my surgery. I was also very open about it. Often, the first instinct is to internalize but being open and honest with my friends, family, and clients was very positive. The day my bandages came off, my surgeon called me and my girlfriends brought me desert and wine. While a bit of a shock, he did a great job and I quickly moved on. You will too. In three months I have gone from thinking this was going to permanently alter my life to leaving my prosthesis in the car and not losing my mind over it.
One suggestion that really helped me: Order a drain holder. I had a mesh version to wear in the shower so I could use both hands, and a nice floral version that I wore EVERYWHERE. This was a game changer for me ~ I was at the grocery store, in a sushi bar and at the mall a week later and nobody could tell I was wearing a drain. Here is the link for mine. The woman who owns the company is a four time cancer survivor and she gets it.
http://www.medicaldraincarrier.com/about.html. This pic was taken 5 days post surgery on a walk. I am wearing my compression bra and foam insert.
I wore a compression bra and foam inserts which were very comfortable. It you get swelling from lymphadema or a seroma you can order a swell spot cushion to place under the bra when you sleep which I used. I had a seroma drained (painless) from working out and had to forego any upper body exercise for an additional 3 weeks. If you opt for reconstruction, and do not have it right away, save everything. You will need them again for reconstruction.
I am having a reconstruction – chest expander followed by implant. I opted not to have the procedure at the time of my surgery. I wanted to heal, and my daughter was coming home from college for the summer. The chest expander goes in August 7th which is step one. Approx 2 months later they will remove it and insert a implant.
I want to wish you the best of luck. Get your rest, take time for yourself and know there are a lot of people who have been there and are OK. xo Denise