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Breast Cancer - reconstruction after Mastectomy for T1 Diabetic

Discussion in 'Other Health Conditions and Diabetes' started by Tracyserajian, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Tracyserajian

    Tracyserajian Type 1 · Member

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    I was diagnosed with having Breast Cancer 3 weeks ago. I have been told today that I require a single mastectomy. There is a lot to take in, but I wondered if anyone has first hand experience of having immediate versus delayed reconstruction? I know us T1’s have slower healing properties and would appreciate any help or support from members who’ve gone through breast cancer and reconstruction please. Thank You. Tracy
     
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  2. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to read your news. Your message reads as if you are taking it very logically and planning ahead.

    Thankfully, this is not something I have experienced. However, I have recently had surgery and my healing and recovery was much faster than most people.
    I have heard that diabetes (not just type 1) can slow down healing but I have always understood this to be the usual "if you have prolonged high BG you will" .... experience slower healing. If you are otherwise fit and healthy (in mind as well as body), recovery should not be overly affected.
     
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  3. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    What sort of reconstruction have you been offered/ are you considering @Tracyserajian ? Something like a tram flap reconstruction (taking tissue from the back/stomach to make the breast replacement) will be a much bigger operation than having implants inserted. Are you having adjuvant therapy post mastectomy? Chest wall radiotherapy is supposed to happen pre-reconstruction and may impact on what type of reconstruction is available because it may have an impact on skin quality/healing.
     
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  4. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 · Oracle

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    So sorry to read your news, but well done for being pro-active about it all.

    I was diagnosed with an aggressive (HER2+++) breast cancer in December 2013. I was "lucky" (if such a diagnosis can ever be termed lucky) in that it was caught early on a routine mammogram so I was able to avoid a mastectomy. Before I knew I could have breast saving surgery the breast cancer nurse went over all the stuff about reconstruction and I knew it wouldn't be for me. But that was a personal decision. So I'm unable to help with any of that. However, I did have everything including the kitchen sink thrown at me with the treatment following surgery, so if I can be of help there all you need to do is ask.

    I can say, however, that when I was diagnosed I did not have diabetes but 12 months down the line, I did have diabetes (Type 2), and I attribute this for the most part on that 12 months of stress and worry, chemo, side effects, Herceptin infusions, radiotherapy, and eating foods I was told would help ward off the chemo side effects, not to mention all the comfort foods I ate. For this reason you may need to plan ahead with your insulin requirements and take some advice on this.

    My main piece of advice is take control of your own health and treatment decisions made by the oncology team. Ask for print outs of all blood tests and more importantly, any lab reports on biopsies and post surgery. Check these on Google if you don't understand the medical terminology. If you need chemo, make sure your team is prescribing the recommended protocol for your type of tumour and for your age. Knowledge is power. I found the Breast Cancer Care forum an excellent place to be for support, advice, information and friendship. The Macmillan website is also an excellent resource.

    I wish you all the best.
     
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  5. Snapsy

    Snapsy Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  6. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    Hi @Tracyserajian

    I would advise joining https://m.facebook.com/groups/1457523584513644

    It is a closed group and has people on there before tgey go for reconstrucion and people that decide not to.
    Some change from wanting to not wanting.

    I am very sorry to hear that another T1 lady has bc. It is another new journey for us to undertake.

    I decided not to have reconstruction at all. I had cancer in one boob. I had radiotherapy that almost killed me from poisoning.

    First thing I would say is to ask your surgeon to ensure that you are given antibiotics during op and tablets to go home with too.
    I've known too many people (without diabetes) that have had infections.
    My 2nd op that I begged for as it was a supposedly healthy boob healed fantastic (different hospital and a Professor for 2nd op). He knew the hell I went through first time round and he pumped me full of antibiotics throughout op, after and when I went home.
    My healthy boob that I begged to get removed wasnt healthy and I am a fantastically healthy happy proud flattie that never worries about being a flattie and never bother with prosthetics at all.

    We do have risks of infection but other non diabetics also get them.
    If you get seroma, and have to have it aspirated away or a drain or a port for chemo these are all extra chances of infections... so the best thing to ask for is antibiotics during, after and at home.
    They dont normally give antibiotics so it is something that you will have to request. Please feel free to use my examples of almost dying when I wasnt given them and being absolutely fantastic with having them.

    As for reconstruction. I never wanted it. So not able to answer regarding anything with that. I do know that I would have needed my uniboob changed too because they wouldnt have been able to get my shape boob. I never wanted it, I know I am so intolerant to tablets and meds that there was no way my body would tolerate the implants or flaps. So with me I was stitched up without allowing for future implants and have one absolute perfect scar from Professor and having to have my bodged up 1st op redone around Christmas after I see the Professor again next month.

    Flat friends do give support to UK ladies that are going to have a mastectomy and support them as well if they are considering reconstruction. If you have reconstruction you would have to leave the group when you have that done.

    There is a definitive set procedure for when and how they do reconstructions and that does depend upon what adjuvant therapy you have.

    Are you a pump user or MDI?
     
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  7. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    Totally agree with @Bluetit1802 about asking for copies of everything.

    Oh, and also when you feel able to there are some fantastic cancer therapy centres around that help with everything from applying for a grant from Macmillan if you are financially stretched, art therapy, acupuncture, relaxation and makeover sessions and one to ones.
    If you have one near to you its good to talk to people at these centres and get help with your journey...
    I would not be here without the help that I received on my journey.

    I have got a big, big glowing light at the end of my tunnel now and I hope you will have the same but a shorter tunnel than mine!

    Knowledge and support as well is a huge benefit on this joyrney you are about to begin.. i wish you well... xx
     
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  8. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod · Moderator
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    Hi Tracy - I'm grateful to say I don't have any specific information for you, but I did just want to wish you well.

    Please stay in touch and let us know how you're getting along
     
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  9. Tracyserajian

    Tracyserajian Type 1 · Member

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    Hi there, thanks for your reply. I have no idea what I’m having yet! After being told today, the nurse specialist (who will tell me my options) didn’t have time to go over them with me, so I have to go again on Friday!! Also, my consultant hasn’t had the multi disciplinary team meeting yet, so I don’t know what they recommend, or if my nipple is able to be saved. It’s all very much up in the air at the moment. I do have a date for surgery (19 October), so just over 2 weeks.
     
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  10. Tracyserajian

    Tracyserajian Type 1 · Member

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    Thank you all for your lovely, kind words, help and support. I’m a bit in limbo land at the moment. I’d like to have reconstruction, but I do worry about the healing. The antibiotic suggestion is really good thank you. I’m actually going to see my GP tomorrow, as I think my boob is infected after the 2nd biopsy I had one week ago. I will discuss this with the consultant. Thank you all xx
     
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