• I had a mastectomy and reconstruction on May 24th.

    Asked by Valentinegirl on Friday, July 13, 2012

    I had a mastectomy and reconstruction on May 24th.

    About a week and a half ago, I fell, which seemed to cause some of my abdominal incision to re-open. My second chemo treatment was cancelled last week, and again this week due to this. I was told that with an open incision and continued chemo, I could develop a systemic infection which could be very serious. On the other hand, I am terrified that without treatment, my cancer is spreading. My oncologist is on vacation, and the covering oncologist told me that there will be no problem waiting a few weeks, and that sometimes, patients need to wait for three months after surgery to begin chemo. If I need to wait for a few weeks to resume treatment, this will put me within that time frame. Has anyone else experienced this? Has anyone else had to wait up until three months to begin chemo? I was told that although I am in an early stage, that I would need aggressive chemo, and now they are telling me that it's okay to wait. I'm not trusting my providers.

    2 Answers from the Community

    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Did your surgery produce clean margins? Since you are early stage, there would be no metastases and unless they were unable to get clean margins with the mastectomy for some reason, the chemo is an adjuvant treatment to reduce the risk of recurrence. Conversely, the risk of infection is high, even under the best of circumstances during chemo. If chemo were continued and your re-opened incision became infected, the consequences would be worse, likely resulting in having to be admitted into the hospital again for treatment of the infection and even longer delays in the chemo.

      If you and your regular oncologist did not have the "precautions you need to take while in chemo" discussion before you started chemo, you need to have that with him ASAP. Communications and trust are two way streets. If you do not understand the medical reasoning behind your treatment plan, you need to ask.

      over 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      what nancyjac said!!!!!

      she's right on.

      please ask!!!!! you should have all of your questions answered. if you can, take a trusted friend / family member with you and ask that person to take notes! write down your questions and check each one off as you go through the appointment. this is super effective. my health care team seemed to appreciate my list and always were patient as i would look at the list to see what had been and what had not been covered.

      good luck. i'm so sorry you are dealing with this. i hope it's not to painful and that you heal up FAST!

      over 4 years ago

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