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Old 01-13-2010, 09:43 PM   #20
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Victoria, BC - Canada
Posts: 21
Re: Bilateral mastectomy support group

Hi Diane,

I too chose the prophylactic option with my other breast. I chose not to do any reconstruction immediately because I wanted to be sure of my choices ~ and what if I was comfortable with being breastless? Unfortunately I did develop a chest wall abscess after surgery and do have a ridge scar. Prosthetics would probably not fit well or comfortably, and so I've never been bothered with those either.

So, here I am 2 1/2 years later and I'm still breastless. I went from a double D to a flat chest. And guess what? I'm comfortable being naked around my husband and being in public, at work, etc. I do struggle with tops and I do sometimes have moments where some lingerie looks really good - on the hanger, not on me.

Recently I began to explore what reconstruction would mean for me and the fact is, any surgery at this point would be one to three procedures: tissue expanders, surgery for the build and possibly surgery for final touch ups. Not the least of my problems would be the adherence to the chest wall at this point. The truth is, I should have done it a lot earlier than now. And I wasn't surprised or disappointed. More importantly, I decided it wasn't worth any more surgeries. I've had enough.

On the other issue of sex, my sex life has toileted but I don't believe that's because of my chest, it's because of the drugs I've been on and the fact that I am now menopausal (had a full hysterectomy too). I will say that I had an opportunity to attend a workshop in at the World Conference on Breast Cancer in 2008 with Dr. Anne Katz. I shed many tears there. But I came away with a game plan. My husband and I began with touching - getting to know my new body and being comfortable and we progressed from there. It's mostly about his release.

All the best.
Live Strong
IBC dx August 9/06
ER/PR +2

HER2/neu +

chemo August 11/06 - January 8/07

herceptin - 17 treatments, every 3 wks - end Jan 2008

IMRT rads 5 weeks

surgery May 1/07 bilateral mastectomy (left modified radical, right simple)
prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy March 2008
letrozole, 2.5 mg daily, start June 2008
lymphedema, left arm, April 2008
osteoporosis, lower spine, August 2010 - fosamax 70 mg

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