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Wednesday, December 09, 2009 stepaheda, Community Member, asks

Q: Discomfort when the weather get Cold (after Breast Reconstruction)?

My question may sound a little silly. But I noticed last year during my reconstion process that when the weather got cold, that my chest would feel very tight and it would be hard for me to breathe. At that time I thought (Oh, its just because everything is still so new, still healing). Now I completed my reconstruction in (09/2009), but I notice that now that the weather is getting cold I'm having that same problem again. So around the house I wear a warm vest, and when I go out I really have to make sure my chest is well protected. My question is: Is this normal has anyone else out there had this problem??? My daughter who works in the medical fill, keep telling me "Mom" your body is still trying to heal this is normal, just take is slow. But I feel like I've lost 2 yrs of my life already, I have things to do.Cool But all joking aside, Is this a normal part of healing, I've had a lot of surgery in my chest area. Hope there is someone who can shine some light on this.

 

thank you in advance!

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
12/ 9/09 11:33am

Stepaheda, remind me - did you have implants, or body-tissue reconstruction? Your daughter is right - it DOES take a long time to heal!! But perhaps, if implants, the silicone is somehow reacting to the cold? Readers, has anyone else experienced this? PJH

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stepaheda, Community Member
12/ 9/09 2:23pm

Hi PJ,

I had implants. And I'm sure you and my daughter are correct. I just want wondering if anyone else had experienced this, and if so what did they do to help make going out into the cold a little bit easyer to handle. It not like I live in NY or Montana. I live in NV, so it's not that cold, but the moment I breath in a bit of cold air, my chest tighten up. My boy-friend reminded me that the P/S told us on our final visit that it sometimes take 2 to 3 years to completely heal. That just sounds like such a long time to be reminded of this experience. Ok, I'll just wait to see if there is anyone else out there who has faced this little bump in the road.Cool Thank you PJ, wishing you and your family a happy holiday season!!!!Kiss

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
12/ 9/09 3:38pm

And happy holidays to you, Stepaheda! I wonder, though - this sounds like an asthma symptom. Could it be just coincidental, and you're dealing with asthma not related to your reconstruction? Might be worth asking the doctor... PJH

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stepaheda, Community Member
12/ 9/09 6:54pm

No I don't have Asthma, but I do have every allergy you can think of, and year roung sinus problem. But this is a bit different, and I'm fine till I go out into the cold or if I let my chest and back get chilled in the house. So I usually wear a little fannel vest around the house, just to make sure chest and back keep warm. Maybe it's just me, always something new to add to the side effects of Breast Cancer.

 

Take care, and have a great week end.Cool

 

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
12/ 9/09 7:32pm

And happy holidays to you, Stepaheda - hope you spend it with family. PJH

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stepaheda, Community Member
12/10/09 11:11am

Thank you PJH,

you and all they ladies on this site are God's Blessing's!!! I don't know what I would have done without all of your loving concerns, and wisdom. May the New Year bring many blessing to us all.Cool

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Angi, Community Member
12/11/09 10:37am

I haven't noticed any problems with the cold and/or tightness.  The main things I've noticed is like a gurgling sensation when I walk on the treadmill or use the elliptical.  It's a weird sensation, and not one you would think you'd actually feel since it's silicone gel and not saline water.  But I suppose that anything is possible.  I was actually thinking the cold and tightness might have to do with all the nerve endings that have been severed throughout this process.  I remeber I used to get phantom breast pains for years after my mastectomy, and have just recently gotten some of my actual feeling and sensation back in areas of my chest.  So perhaps it's the nerves reacting to the cold?

Good kluck and happy holidays!

Angi

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stepaheda, Community Member
12/11/09 6:13pm

Hi Angi, that sound really good. I'm sure you are right. I have to keep reminding my self that I have a lot of cutting done to this little cheast area. Cry That one of the reason I did not one the P/S cutting on me any more trying to fix something. Sometimes it work better if you just leave it alone and give it time to heal all on it own. So thank you so much for your inpput.

 

Now, tell me how did your last surgery go? and are you done with treatment and surgeries??????

 

Here is wishing you and all your family a happy holiday season!!!Kiss

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Angi, Community Member
12/12/09 9:47am

My surgeries went well....getting ready to have a revision next week.  My left implant has shifted.  My treatments have been done since last summer.  I've 'officially' been in remission for a bit more than 18 months.  My doc says remission starts with the first clean scan, which was right after they removed the tumor from my chest wall, before I actually started radiation.  It works for me.  Sounds so much better than only a year!

Hope you are well!  Happy Holidays!

Angi

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stepaheda, Community Member
12/12/09 10:06am

I'm so happy to hear that all is well at this time. I was given the thumbs up in Oct. of this year. Now every 6 mos will have ck up for 2yrs, then fromt there we will see. But I am feeling fine, just a bit fatigued all the time. I think I've found a job, maybe starting the first of the year. It will feel so good to wear real cloths again, and talk to people about other subjects other then cancer. Kiss Isn't it funny there is always something, it is my left best also that gives me lots of concern, tight uneven, etc. But I'm just happy to be alive, I'm 51yrs old now and happy to be hear, so what the boobies are a little off. It's not like I'm going to a nude beach,Cool So after 3 attemps to get it right, my boby is just doing its on things. I told the let's give it about 6mos to a 1 yrs to see if the skin and tissue have settled in. Anytime there is plastic surgery it takes about a year or more for the skin, tissue to set, so if you too much surgery back to back, you only make matters worst. Before I got sick I worked as a make-up artist, and esthetician (skin care). At my last p/s visit I mentioned this to the dr, and he said oh yes your right. They will keep doing surgery on you as long as you let them, so sad.  But let me stop, I don't want to start preaching from my soap box.Sealed

Wishing you and your family a happy holiday season, and of course a great New Year!!!

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MM, Community Member
1/ 6/10 12:50am

I have this same situation and asked others.  The best answer I heard was that because there is no actual blood supply inside the silicone implants, your breasts feel extra cold.  I, too, have the same tight feeling in my chest - similar to a muscle spasm - and I think it's just that the implants aren't getting warmed by my blood supply.  Does that make sense?  I had my double mastectomy in March 2009 with immediate reconstruction with the expanders and the final implants were put in in late July 2009.  I'm hoping that this sensation goes away as it's not at all comfortable in our COLD winter weather!

 

Best of luck to you!

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stepaheda, Community Member
1/ 6/10 6:46am

OMG!!!! I can't believe it that there is another person out there who is feeling the same discomfort. I live in the west NV, so it's not as cold as the East. But this year and last they tell me is the coldest winter in the last 20 years, just my luck. Thank you so much for sharing with me. What I have found to help a little is even in the house to wear a warm vest over my tops and a scarf around my neck, if I can keep my body warm it seems to help a bit. I even some time heat up a pad or towel and lay it across my chest for a few mintues it seems to help relax the tighten and discomfort. I feel better now knowing that I'm not alone in this. Keep in touch if you learn more.Kiss

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MM, Community Member
1/ 6/10 9:20am

I've been wearing silk thermal underwear tops under my regular tops (it's not as bulky as the traditional thermal underwear) and the scarfs, too.  I've found myself living in turtlenecks this winter because we've had an extra cold one so far (I live in Missouri and our HIGH temp is supposed to be Zero on Sat.!).  I used a heating pad on "low" for a few minutes last night when I came home from work and that really helped.

 

Here's to dreaming about a warmer spring and summer and thanks for all of your helpful advice!

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stepaheda, Community Member
1/ 6/10 12:21pm

Glad to be of Help. Just happy that I now have someone to relate too! Silk sound nice I'll try them. I've been using bamboo, because for some reason the Derm doctor said that my body is over reacting to the implants, so it seems that all fabric make me breakout and itch all over. So we've changed most of my clothing to natural fabrics. that's the reason why I said slik sound nice. I start a new job next week, so I'm sure that will be nice under my clothing. Thanks for the tip. Kiss

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MM, Community Member
1/ 6/10 7:39pm

Hope the silk works for - sorry you're having other issues such as the allergic reaction to fabrics - yikes!  I might have to double up on my "silks" - the high here on Friday is only supposed to be 2 below zero! Uggh!  My husband had double knee replacements in late May and his new metal knees get really cold, too!  We're quite a pair! :-) 

 

MM

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MM, Community Member
1/ 6/10 7:40pm

Hope the silk works for you - sorry you're having other issues such as the allergic reaction to fabrics - yikes!  I might have to double up on my "silks" - the high here on Friday is only supposed to be 2 below zero and we're getting more snow right now - Uggh!  My husband had double knee replacements in late May and his new metal knees get really cold, too!  We're quite a pair! :-) 

 

MM

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stepaheda, Community Member
1/ 6/10 9:32pm

Sorry to hear about your hubby knees, but at least the two of you have understanding for each other. My massage lady has breast cancer, and about 2 yrs ago her husband had prostate cancer. And that what she said, he's ago with everything I'm going throught because he's already had to face it. So that's one way of keeping it on a positive note.

 

I shared with my daughter and boy-friend that you also was having the same issue, and they both were glad that I had someone to relate to.Kiss

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MM, Community Member
1/ 6/10 10:11pm

Time for some warm weather for both us!  :-)

 

Take care!

 

MM

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Candace, Community Member
1/ 7/10 11:33am

The old gurgle phenomen! I too experienced this for a period of time, except that mine was a mini-symphony of gurgle, burp, cough, gurgle, burp cough. Fortunately for those around me it went away after a couple of weeks. The P/S said he had never heard of this series of symptoms. It was very annoying as there was a wierd sensation during the gurgle part of the sequence.

 

I too have a tightening with cold. I am in AZ for the winter so it isn't very cold, but sometimes my muscles are very tight.

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By stepaheda, Community Member— Last Modified: 09/04/14, First Published: 12/09/09