November 22, 2000
Hello!! I'm so glad I found this site , for the past 5 years I thought I was going crazy.
Here is my story
My first mastectomy was in 1989, modified radical with 25 nodes,none of them positive. Had chemo & radiation & tamoxifen for 5 years, this surgery has never been painful except for some numbness in the area.
5 years ago I decided to have my other breast removed since it has become very large and I was afraid of a recurrance after stopping the tamoxifen . When I woke up from the surgery the pain was there and its has been with me for 5 years. I developed a seroma in the incision that had to be drain every day for 2 weeks. I talked to the surgeon since this never happened with my first surgery and he kept telling me that compression on the surgery site will take care of it. I need to say that I was in a military hospital at the time and kept seeing different Drs. They all send me home with a supply of Xanax and some kind of pain medication.
A year later tired of military Drs. I went to a plastic surgeon who redid the surgery , he open the incision, clean all the scar tissue and tighten up all the lose skin I had around the surgery, but guess what the pain is still there . I have this burning sensation at all times and the pain radiates to my back, I'm still taking pain medication and Xanax. 2 weeks ago I went back to the plastic surgeon , he told me he is reluctant to do another surgery and doesn't understand why I'm in pain
All this time nobody mentioned that I may have nerve damage, maybe Drs are reluctant of saying that they cause the damage during surgery, I'm not blaming anybody just myself for not being more informed and having the unnecessary surgery but cancer can be a scary thing and makes you do crazy things
After reading your comments I'm going back to my Dr and we will have a long conversation about nerve damage. He will listen to me this time and hopefully I will not have to live with pain the rest of my life.
Thank You All
The Post Breast Therapy Pain Syndrome Information Handout
by Cancer Supportive Care