• Just wondering

    Asked by little_fut on Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    Just wondering

    I will be going in for my lumpectomy and nodes biopsy next Monday. And as the days get closer, I'm begining to have a lot of anxiety. When does this "port" get removed? Does the surgery itself hurt? How long will I be incapacitated? When does actual treatments begin? I'm actually just wondering what to expect......

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      The port gets removed when you say it does. I've decided to keep mine indefinitely. You won't be awake, so no the surgery won't hurt. I guess it depends on what you mean by being incapacitated. I had a bilateral mastectomy and I didn't think I was incapacitated at any point. What treatments are you referring to? Chemo? Radiation? You oncologist will tell you that. I hope you have seen an oncologist for a treatment plan before going ahead with surgery.

      over 3 years ago
    • pressinfwd's Avatar

      I just had bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction 2 wks ago this thurs. Surgery does not hurt, but the drains ( if you have any) are a pain...I had four and hopefully the last 2 will be removed on wed. As far as being incapacitated, I needed help getting in and out of bed and showering for the first 2 days. I also had a lot of anxiety prior to surgery, but it gets better. Hang in there! Best wishes with your surgery.

      over 3 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I had a bilat, so my experience is somewhat different....by 2 1/2 weeks post bilat, I felt good and if I wasn't starting chemo I would have been ready to go back to work. I don't feel like I was incapacitated post surgery...yes, I did have about a week when I was really recovering....I did have a no weight lifting, no washing hair in the shower and no driving for the first week...then I could slowly start resuming all activities....As far as your other questions, I'm not quite sure what you mean by when does Tx begin....what Tx? I had chemo following surgery and I had my first chemo 3 weeks post bilat....I had my port removed 3 weeks after I finished chemo....

      over 3 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      As with any surgery, I understand your concern. But it's not that major of a surgery...I've had both a lumpectomy and then nine years later, a bilateral. The bilat wasn't too bad (hated the drains), but really, was much more significant than the lumpectomy. I had Percocet and used ice on the surgical site for the first two days--then ? I don't remember it as being painful at all by using those two things. Good luck & relax! It's really not a big ordeal worth your worry! :-)

      over 3 years ago
    • MollyAWelsh's Avatar

      I had lumpectomy with node biopsy. Never had a port/drains. I had lifting restrictions right after surgery. However, I was supposed to go for short walks right after surgery. I gradually walked further every day. The surgery itself wasn't painful because I wasn't awake. Oncologist wanted me to heal for about a month before radiation started. Never had chemo because nodes were not involved.

      over 3 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar

      I had that done in January this year. The port is attached to your muscle, and they have to make incisions to get the lump and node out, so you'll be a little sore afterward. You may be unable to sleep on your side for a week or two, but then you'll be okay. The port comes out when you're finished with chemo tx. Treatment should be starting for you in a week at most, I would imagine - check with your onco doc. Look. The whole process is wonky - sit back and take it as it comes; deal with each day's stuff as it arises; don't anticipate the worst because it probably won't happen. Before you know it, you're under way and the end of tx is coming closer.

      over 3 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      Some anxiety and apprehension is perfectly normal. Keep taking deep breaths and exhale slowly. My favorite information site is www.breastcancer.org. This will answer a lot of your questions. My Lumpectomy was out-patient and I had less pain then I anticipated. The incision under my arm hurt more than my breast. I found keeping a small pillow under my arm really helped with pain a lot! Also, if you ride in a car, a pillow across your chest sure helps too so the seatbelt doesn't hurt. I waited 30 days before I got my port put in a started chemo the same day. The port hurt a bit, but taking Tyelnol for a few days helped. You will be grateful to have it after awhile! I miss mine now whenever I get a blood test or IV! I never thought I would, but it sure saves you a lot of pain with needle pokes. Chemo was not easy, but it was doable. During Treatment, baby yourself & listen to your body. I had radiation too, which was much easier than chemo except for a burn at the end, which cleared up soon after. You can always talk to your oncology nurses, they are wonderful. Good luck to you!

      over 3 years ago
    • Xmom7's Avatar

      I did not have a port. I had double lumpectory, and nodes biopsy. Cancer in the left breast, build up of calcium area in the right. There wasn't a lot of pain, at all. More soreness, and swelling. Minimal low dose prescription meds. I took them for only 3 days, and switched to tyenol. I had surgery Tues.of Thanksgiving week. Was back to work on Monday. It's the not knowing that brings on the anxiety so bad. Look for a breast cancer support group now. The women are great. You get so involved with your own treatment, and the energies to keep it going, that it becomes overwhelming. Family members are supportive, but if they haven't gone thru breast cancer, they don't quite get the emotional impact that is involved. I hope that your lymph nodes are clear, and that you recover quickly.

      over 3 years ago
    • Bug's Avatar

      Hi, little_fut. I had a lumpectomy as well. I can't speak to the port issue. No, the surgery doesn't hurt because you're asleep. As I recall, I had some pain the first day (which was well managed by a couple of pain pills) but after that I just used Tylenol (or something like that - don't remember what for sure but it wasn't a pain pill I know that). I was moving a bit slow the first few days but it was partly due to the nausea from the anesthesia (I'm very prone to that - talk to your anesthesiologist if you are, too) and also I tend to be extra cautious. I had a lot of anticipatory anxiety leading up to the surgery as well. I just wanted to get in there and get it done. Again, I didn't have a port but the radiation treatments started about six weeks after my second surgery (went in for a little more margin two weeks after the first surgery). Not too log ago GregP_WN posted: "Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles, it takes away today's peace." I wrote that on a Post-it note and keep it where I can see it *often*. You'll do great, little_fut. Hang in there. Let us know how it goes (if you care to share).

      over 3 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      After my biopsy last April I had a lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy/removal and the catheter for brachytherapy inserted. I did not have a port at this time. My PCP, oncologist and surgical oncologist all thought this was the best way to go, radiation for one week after surgery and maybe chemo and an estrogen inhibitor for five years. The lumpectomy was not any worse than the biopsy I had had. I could also raise both arms above my head. Took pain pills only on the day I came home from same day surgery! I will say we were extremely happy with the immediate op report; however, when I went on Monday after the weekend everything had changed. Cancer in two of the sentinel nodes, brachytherapy catheter pulled out. The good news was no radiation, but mastectomy was my only option. I immediately met with my oncologist and he recommended a bilateral mastectomy for peace of mind! It took a month to get the mastectomy and the worst part was the drains, I had two on the cancer side and one on the other. My port was not placed until August 30th and I missed two days of work. Had four chemos over 12 weeks. Two weeks ago I started my reconstruction. Nothing I have been through has been horrible. The waiting was probably the worst! It is almost over and this cancer has been a blessing, bringing my family, friends, work associates and all the wonderful people I met along the way into a closeness that has been wonderful. God never closes a door that He does not open a window and He has made me look at everything in a better way! Good luck and don't worry about what is to come! We are here for you! Hugs and prayers coming your way!

      over 3 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      As my surgeon told me before my left side mastectomy, when I was scared beyond belief, the breast is outside the body, so recovery is so much easier. You will expect not to move the arm on that side too much until they tell you to start stretching it. Just take it easy and plan not to lift things. The port you are referring to is a drain, I had 2. .Not sure if you mean the port for chemo or not, but I'm unclear on this part of your question. It was helpful to have a special soft bra with little velco pockest for the drain (s). The bra won't go to waste after, I use it as a sports bra now. I was asked to monitor the fluid coming out and empy them. They will tell you you need to be below 10cc before they get removed. I got one out in one week and the other the week after. That was with full mastecomy. Treatments will be discussed with you once the final pathology comes back, depending on node involvement,etc. If chemo needed, that will be within 8 weeks, radiation after. Some folks only need radiation, just wait until you find out what is really needed before anticipate anything. Best of luck, you will be fine!

      over 3 years ago
    • suebo's Avatar

      Hi little_fut. I have gone thru this twice now. The first lumpectomy and node biopsy was in 2007. My second time around was other side and just had it done Feb 20th. Try to relax because this is a pretty minor surgery. Mine was done in an outpatient clinic and I was home by 2:00. I did have a longer recovery this time because i had a biopsey on my left side also. I did have a pain pill after surgery but never had to take another one -- definitely was sore though. Also I am a stomach sleeper and it was hard for the first few nights to sleep on my back. I did go back to work Thurs (Feb 28) and feel almost 100% -- in 2007 I went back to work 3 days later. So try not to get so anxious and take your time with a full recovery.

      over 3 years ago
    • Marshah's Avatar

      A lot depends on what the Doctor thinks is best in your case but usually treatments begin after you have healed from the surgery (lumpectomy). This could be around 4 to 6 weeks later. The port is in as long as you will be having chemo and for a while after the treatments have ended. The doctor will let you know. A lot depends on the blood test that are taken. If all treatments are finished and the doctor has not told you that the port can be removed, ask him if is ok to remove. If you have any questions through out your treatments (drug reactions or any other questions) talk to your doctor and also another excellent person are the oncology nurses. Most have been taking care of chemo patients for years and have had a lot of experience and will also relay your concerns to the doctor.

      over 3 years ago

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