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judystrauss
February 12th, 2007, 10:06 PM
Hi All,

I am a recent breast cancer survivor. I'm doing very well with no detectable cancer. In May 2006 I had a mastectomy and in September I had reconstructive surgery. I was able to swim at Worlds this summer and I'm now trying to get back into shape to swim at Nationals. I'd like to get a group of people together that are swimmers that have had chest surgery or injuries so that we can share some insights of what helps. I think there are a lot of us out there! Any takers?

Judy Strauss

SwimStud
February 12th, 2007, 10:09 PM
Hi All,

I am a recent breast cancer survivor. I'm doing very well with no detectable cancer. In May 2006 I had a mastectomy and in September I had reconstructive surgery. I was able to swim at Worlds this summer and I'm now trying to get back into shape to swim at Nationals. I'd like to get a group of people together that are swimmers that have had chest surgery or injuries so that we can share some insights of what helps. I think there are a lot of us out there! Any takers?

Judy Strauss

Judy...thankfully I've not had to deal with anything like that but it's great to hear you're looking to just keep right on doing your thing! Awesome! I wish you the best.
Rich

runner girl
February 13th, 2007, 09:17 PM
If you don't have any success finding people on this forum, you might want to contact Team Survivor. I don't know much about the group, but I do know they have a large group of women in the Seattle Danskin Triathlon every year. http://www.teamsurvivor.org/ or http://www.teamsurvivormarin.org/

Congrats on continuing to swim after everything you have been through!

FindingMyInnerFish
February 13th, 2007, 09:47 PM
I wish I had more specifics to offer but I also want to congratulate you on being a survivor! Wish you the best in your return to competition!

merritr
February 14th, 2007, 01:00 AM
This is a pretty good thread. It is great to hear that you are now cancer free!

While my surgeries weren't quite as extreme I can join you in your club of chest surgeries. I have had a few... my situation has been rather weird I think...

My first fibroadenoma (a type of benign tumor) was discovered my junior year of college during my physical for the swim team. It was fairly large and noticeable, that is noticeable once someone pointed it out to me... I had the mass surgically removed to be sure of its nature.

A year after the surgery I still had sharp pains in my breast. It was very uncomfortable. It turned out that another fibroadenoma was present in the same location as the previous one (or perhaps it all hadn't been removed and it grew back... I don't know...). I had another surgery to remove the mass.

After the second surgery I had already transferred colleges and I hadn't been swimming. I recovered from everything well and I started swimming in college again. I only had one more year of eligibility left. I didn't even make to the end of the season before I was in incredible pain. Another mass forming in my chest made swimming, driving, and even breathing extremely painful. It happened to be positioned right on my rib cage. The more I pushed it in the pool, the worse the pain became. I couldn't do anything to reduce it except rest. It was months before I had surgery to remove the mass. I had to go through many tests and lots of waiting. Even after surgery I had to manage my pain level because the scar tissue caused inflammation.

It has now been almost two years and I haven't had anymore chest problems! Swimming feels great right now. Better than it ever did in college. There doesn't seem to be anymore lingering pain in my chest. It took a very long time to stop bothering me at all though.

I would also love to hear anyone else's story.

judystrauss
February 16th, 2007, 08:06 PM
Wow! I'm glad to hear that you are swimming without pain! Sometimes I think things just take time. Did you have any physical therapy after the surgery? Did or do you lift weights? Thank you for sharing.

Peace,
Judy

merritr
February 17th, 2007, 12:49 AM
You're right about sometimes things just take time. Unfortunately that time is never a good time...

I didn't have any physical therapy after my surgeries, well specific therapy that is. During all the stuff with my chest I also had shoulder surgery on my right shoulder (everything was on the right side). I did have specific therapy for the shoulder. Getting my shoulder back into the swing of things also provided therapy for my chest.

I have also always lifted weights. I scaled things back according to how I felt at different time periods though. I also ran a lot for cardio when I hurt too much for swimming.

judystrauss
March 1st, 2007, 12:36 AM
Hi All,

I am a recent breast cancer survivor. I'm doing very well with no detectable cancer. In May 2006 I had a mastectomy and in September I had reconstructive surgery. I was able to swim at Worlds this summer and I'm now trying to get back into shape to swim at Nationals. I'd like to get a group of people together that are swimmers that have had chest surgery or injuries so that we can share some insights of what helps. I think there are a lot of us out there! Any takers?

Judy Strauss

Hi All,

Well, February is over and I'm slowly getting back into shape. I was able to swim 50,000 yards this month and I'm finding that it's getting easier as long as I honor how I feel. In the past if I was out of shape and wanted to get back into shape, I'd just workout. Now I'm learning patience. It is great to be swimming though. Let me know what you know, we can learn from each other.

J

SwimStud
March 1st, 2007, 09:51 AM
Hi All,

Well, February is over and I'm slowly getting back into shape. I was able to swim 50,000 yards this month and I'm finding that it's getting easier as long as I honor how I feel. In the past if I was out of shape and wanted to get back into shape, I'd just workout. Now I'm learning patience. It is great to be swimming though. Let me know what you know, we can learn from each other.

J


Judy that's way more yards than I got in! I think you need to move this to the attagirl thread ;)