• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Breast cancer/mastectomy/reconstruction

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Breast cancer/mastectomy/reconstruction

    Anyone gone through this? Need a plastic surgeon that understands that my end goal is to be as active as before, not big cleavage!
    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

  • #2
    When I was worrying about this particular aspect of the whole stinkin' business, I went on line and found some pictures of some brave women who were willing to share what they looked like after reconstruction.
    I recommend that. It helped me decide what was right for me.
    There are definitely some methods that I felt would interfere with my rapid return to the saddle. I was able to ride 10 days after my surgery, which was very important to me.
    Good luck. PM me if there is anything else or you need any support. You will get plenty here.


    • #3
      Oh boy do I ever. I've had three plastic surgeons for three different reconstructions starting at an early age. Did not get it right until the third, the first two definitely had an agenda and one look at the photos of their wives told me all that I needed to know.

      What kind of reconstruction are you considering? I've had implants, and a DIEP flap.

      If you feel more comfortable feel free to PM me. I'm a physician as well as two time cancer survivor


      • Original Poster

        I am a candidate (according to my second surgeon's opinion but not my first) for one step implant. That is what I am planning right now. Would love any comments on that procedure.

        This is my second time around with BC. I had a lumpectomy with radiation in 1996. The lumpectomy was no big deal, but the radiation wears you out.

        Second tumor, same breast, in 2009, which is why surgeon is saying mastectomy. Already had tumor removed as outpatient, went home, took nap, put on two bras, and went riding. But now I am being strongly urged to get mastectomy. They will not do radiation a second time on same side.

        I love hearing about the quick recoveries... so would love any such tales. But I need to hear the bad too I guess. I have a good BC forum, but I really want to hear from horse folks.
        Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


        • #5
          I have been through it and found my best solution was to seek out a lady plastic surgeon. I had all lady doctors and found them to be very sympathetic/understanding and a lot easier to talk to. I was a big girl and couldn't believe that I was going to be able to shed chest poundage and make riding more comfortable! I now have little perky ones! I would recommend that you check out Dr Susan Love's book or website for information on options and straight poop on the disease. http://www.dslrf.org/
          I was determined to be back riding quickly and had no real problem doing it, but with some pain. I had the implant put in at the same time as the mastectomy and it was gradually inflated over the course of a few months. This was, in my view the quickest way for me to be rid of the whole experience. The gradual stretching of the muscle over the implant was what caused the pain, and I would have had to endure it, had I ridden or not. So - I rode and made myself feel better for a bit. I made the choice to not compromise my pelvic muscles by having flap reconstruction . Anyway good luck to you, and make sure you learn a lot about the possible treatment options and do what YOU WANT TO DO even if it means changing doctors etc..
          ... _. ._ .._. .._


          • #6
            I see that you're in Texas! My BF's mom had breast cancer and they did a complete mastectomy. She went to a Dr. in Fort Worth who did an AMAZING job with the reconstruction. Minimal scarring, etc. She looks awesome now!

            PM me if you want the Dr's name.


            • #7
              Yes, I have gone through this experience. I chose the saline implant because recovery time was quick, and it didn't compromise my abdominal area(flap method)---with riding, you need your core! My reasoning was--why mess with a healthy area of my body (abdomen)for cosmetic reasons?
              I did the one-step procedure, where they start the implant process at the time of the mastectomy--there's one less anesthesia involved this way.
              Be clear with your plastic surgeon about who you are and what you want.
              Good luck! Feel free to e-mail me privately if you want.


              • #8
                I am interested in hearing these responses too. I have a very strong family history of BC (mom, grandma twice, great-grandma, and aunts are younger but one has already had some issues). It has been recommended to me that after I have children, I have a double mastectomy and reconstruction to minimize the risk I will ever get BC.

                What's this flap thing about?


                • #9
                  Breast reconstruction

                  I am much like Equibrit had a lumpectomy/radiation Then 9 years later there was a re-occurrance in the scar line.

                  This time I had to do the chemo and mastecomy. i felt that my breast bas a bad actor and willing to just be an Amazon. But after riding for 6 months i found that I was sitting crooked and protecting myself when riding--not too effective. Then when giving a leg up to another rider I got kicked in the chest hey with no padding that hurt. SO after consulting 2 surgeons I got an implant. OK it is not perfect but it is numb and has a nice tattoo on it. My docs discouraged me from the flap technique given my active farm life.

                  Cleavage be damned but find a solution that keeps you balanced in the tack!

                  Now 7 years out and Life is good! Some times I even forget I ever had cancer. I never forget I love my horses!!


                  • #10
                    I'm sorry you have to go through this, but the wonderful people here give great advice and are really inspirational. I had a double mastectomy with same day reconstruction in May 08. Your recovery period and how fast you can get back on a horse will depend on how long your drains stay in and how much they bother you. I thought the drains were the worst part (mine were in for three weeks), that and not being able to sleep on my side for awhile made me very tired and cranky. My doctor did not want me riding until about two weeks after my drains were removed. I know some people here have said it didn't bother them to ride with the drains, but there is a risk involved. I had permanent saline implants put in after my chemo was finished and was only out of the saddle for a week.

                    The flap thing is where they take a chunk of muscle from your belly and put it in your breast. The recovery period is months long. They say you get better results that way but you really are limited during the recovery period to doing only "very light housework".

                    Good luck, we are all here to help and encourage.


                    • #11
                      Well, I had a mastectomy and radiation and I chose NOT to have reconstruction. I just could not fathom putting myself through more surgeries to implant something that was not supposed to be there. I just could not deal with that and I felt it would always be on my mind, that the implant would hide something. So I wear a prosthesis. I am used to it and don't think about it at all.

                      Maybe in the summer, it is hotter than a real breast. And it has to be replaced because it can break down and leak too. I am in Canada and the government picks up the tab (1/2 for replacement) and my insurance picks up the other half (once every 3 years). Of course, this time it failed 2 weeks past warranty and only two years... so I had to pay.

                      My cancer was 10 years ago and reconstruction has probably improved quite a bit since then, but I still don't think I would do it. I was 49 at the time and I don't ride, but horses helped me a lot during that time.


                      • #12
                        I had bc and reconstruction back in 2001. Interestingly, when they took off the breast they found another, smaller tumor, only 3mm, which didn't show up on the MRI. If there had been no mastectomy, that little bugger would have grown and caused a recurrence. Anyway, had the saline implants and the first reconstruction looked great. About two years later, I was in the shower and looked down and said, "Where's my boob?" The implant had deflated. Had an abscess with the second implant - man, now I know how horses feel when it's in the hoof. The third time has been OK so far but there is a lot of scar tissue and it doesn't look so great. I always wear a protective vest when riding, for general protection and for the implants should I land on them. Don't really notice them anymore - they're just part of me now.


                        • #13
                          lolalola, you are another example of how tough and funny we survivors are! You made me laugh out loud!
                          I opted for no reconstuction, only a pain in swimwear. I use a light cotton filler thing in my regular bra, comfortable for riding.


                          • #14
                            There's an article today in the Cincinnati Enquirer on a rider with a double masectomy. The article talks about the problems that transplanting abdominal muscles caused her.

                            HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                            www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog


                            • #15
                              I work in healthcare and am on the Cancer Committee at my hospital. All of our surgeons think that it's best to do the mastectomy and reconstruction as separate procedures. They do not recommend doing it all in one procedure. Get the cancer treatment over with before worrying about reconstruction. Also, I don't think they're too big on the flap method. FWIW.

                              *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*


                              • #16
                                There is a flap procedure that doesn't involve the abdominal muscles and is supposed to be much easier.
                                It is called the Diep flap.



                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks for the replies so far. I am not having the flap type reconstruction. I am thin and small breasted, so they are doing the one step with a small silicon implant. They will do some minor surgery on my "good" breast for symmetry.

                                  I am very very lucky that I will not need any additional treatment, such as radiation or chemo. Maybe tamoxifen, maybe not. I do not take drugs without a fight.

                                  I am expecting about 3 - 4 weeks of no riding. That is annoying, but it will be January and the horses can rest. I am more concerned right now with how long it will be until I can do things like lifting feed buckets and putting on blankets. Luckily I have only three horses, and lots of helpers.
                                  Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                                  • #18
                                    It may take a little bit longer ---maybe 6 weeks ---before you are up to riding again, as the mastectomy itself really is a major thing to heal from, and you want it to heal well, without infection. Your general energy level will be low because your body needs all your energy to regroup and repair---our mind wants to go faster, but we really have to be gentle and caring with what the body requires at this time. Use your helpers, enjoy staying warm and resting! Be kind to yourself.

                                    The final surgery where they put the implant in is VERY easy to deal with, and you'll be ok to ride within a week or so, probably.
                                    I went through this about 18 months ago...really wish you all the best! It's no fun!


                                    • #19
                                      ToTheNines, it sounds like you are going to have a fairly simple go of it. I wouldn't be surprised if you were up and lifting buckets and such right away. The most annoying thing you'll probably have to deal with is your drain and being tired. I got a bunch of sport type tank tops with a built in bra and that kept my drain in place and gave me some support without being too tight. I found even right after surgery I needed something to hold everything in place.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        I will post this to help complete the thread, in case someone has the same questions in the future. I am the OP, and a week ago, I had a simple mastectomy of one breast (lymph nodes were removed in 1996). The plastic surgeon placed a small silicone implant during the same surgery. It is the new "gummy" type that does not leak. It even has a moderate profile. The "good" breast underwent some minor cosmetic surgery for symmetry.

                                        I had a very easy time of it. I only spent one night in the hospital. I took pain pills for three or four days, but am off them now. I am moving around fine, and already feeding the horses. The only things I don't want to do quite yet are cleaning stalls and blanketing, but I have help for that. I had two drains, and one was removed when I saw the plastic surgeon three days after surgery. The other will go out in two days.

                                        All in all, it was much less traumatic than I expected. My new little fake breast will look pretty good -- it has to settle down a little bit. The plastic surgeon did as we agreed and placed the smallest implant he could that would look good. I will not need any exchanges or expansions. No more surgeries at all, knock on wood. I am very grateful to have it all over with. I am lucky that no chemo or radiation is recommended. The big question now is when can I ride? I expect maybe I will get on and walk around next week if plastic surgeon ok's (maybe even if he doesn't). I have some great close-front sports bras. Thank you everyone for the tips and support!

                                        During all the stressful time of decision-making, other options were presented, such as double mastectomy, no reconstruction, and other types of reconstruction. I do not have a very agressive cancer, so I saw no need for double mastectomy. Once I decided that, I was willing to try reconstruction because it was only one side to deal with. Finally, the one-step implant surgery was a good choice for me. I can only hope the next gals have it as easy as I did.

                                        I do not expect any of this to affect my riding long term. The only muscle that is sore is the muscle across my chest (pectoral), which is partially placed over the top part of the implant. I have been taught that if a horse is heavy or pulling, your strength comes from an appropriate balanced position, a smart elbow, and from the muscle on the back of your arm just above your elbow. I do now feel like any of that strength is affected. My horses are quiet anyway, although one can get heavy on the forehand.

                                        Finally, I highly recommend the discussion forums at breastcancer.org for great information and people's stories.
                                        Last edited by ToTheNines; Jan. 12, 2010, 09:20 AM.
                                        Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.