ArizonaDiva's Journey with Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Patient: Breast Cancer > Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 9 years ago, Female, Age: 53

  1. 1
    about 9 years ago
    ArizonaDiva's Avatar


    Oh No

    I was a 38 DDD with dense breast tissue. I did not have a mamogram for 8 years and did periodic self exams however because my breasts were so dense and already very fibrous I didn't feel anything unusual. I also have Systemic Lupus and one day at work thought I was having a heart attack so I went to the emergency room. They ran an ekg and a cat scan beliving that I may have a blood clot due to the Lupus. When all the tests were complete the ER doctor came in and said we have good news you do not have any heart problems but we found a lump in your right breast that you need to get checked out right away. What did you just say? The beginning of Oh No!

  2. 2
    about 9 years ago
    ArizonaDiva's Avatar


    Procedure or Surgery

    I have been diagnosed with systemic lupus for approximately 10 years and pressume this may also be why I feel my recovery is slower than anticipated. I had a skin sparing mastectomy with an expander inplanted on the mastectomy side of my right breast and a lift and reduction on the left side. The left side is healing beautifully and I must admit it is wonderful to have the weight off the 38 DDD that I used to have. The right side on the other hand formed a quarter sized blister filled with fluid 4 days after my surgery that easily burst and opened up to raw skin that later spread to an open wound around the incision area. My PS has been treating it with Silverdene and vaseline for 6 weeks now and although it is getting better it has been a very slow process and not close to being healed yet. The wound is so large that I cannot clean it or change the dressings by myself and the pain is quite overwhelming. I'm allergic to NSAIDS so I have been on Percocet to stop the pain. Today I saw the PS and she debried part of the recovery area which has made the wound area bleed and even more painful. I've been seeing her every two weeks to keep an eye on it. My next appt. is in another two weeks which we will talk about skin graphs. She said the skin graph will facilitate the healing otherwise it could take up to a year to heal on its own. She is going to take the skin from a horrible incision on my lower abdomen from a hysterectomy I had years ago. She said she would also fix the scar. My Oncologist will not treat me with and chemo if need be until it has healed. I meet with her May 2nd to go over the pathology report from the mastectomy. It appears I am HER2 positive although I do not appear to have invasive cancer. She has sent it out to a review board as it was VERY contradictory it didn't even list a grade of cancer so I made not need chemo. Has anyone tried any alternative treatment to chemo? Like at any of the clinics in Mexico? Just curious.

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
  3. 3
    almost 9 years ago
    ArizonaDiva's Avatar

    Rejection of transplant

    Side Effects

    I was nearly almost finished with the tissue expander when all of a sudden I started feeling kind of blah...(tired, had a post nasal drip, then fever). I also have systemic lupus so these symptoms are cause for concern especially when the fever reaches 101 that was a Friday night by weds I had a fever of 102.5 and chills, redness and swelling where expander was located. Plastic Surgeon admitted me into the hospital for IV antibiotics. I was on IV antibiotics for 5 days when I told the PS to remove the expander. Everything I had read online while in the hospital said that the expander should be removed and the area should heal before continuing with reconstruction especially for Lupus Patients. Also, It was never comfortable and when it became swollen and infected it was HORRIBLY painful, I literally could not move (breathing included) without feeling it rubbing against my chest. The best way to explain it is as if a brick was rubbing against my chest wall!! The difference was night and day as soon as it was removed. Although much more comfortable the appearance is what bugs me. The breast area now looks like a deflated balloon. I was just fitted for a prosthesis which helps a little but the convenience of the reconstruction was what I realize now is what I really want. The prosthesis is not water proof so I cannot wear it with a swimsuit or do to the size under strapless, or spaghetti strapped outfits. I am very frustrated and although I would like to continue with reconstruction once I completely heal, I am very afraid my body will reject the actual implant an heaven forbid my PS says that I need to put the expander in again. I have been looking into fat transfer as a safe alternative just in case.