Anxious about operation/general anaesthesia

Hello everyone!

I was diagnosed with BC last week. The lumpectomy (incl. taking out up to 4 lymph nodes) is scheduled for 1 October. I am a rather anxious person generally (e.g. suffered from panic attacks a few years ago and still have moments of intense anxiety), and the idea of the operation and in particular of general anaesthesia worries me. On a rational level, I know that the risk of complications is generally low, and I really want to get the OP over with and do whatever treatment is necessary. On a more irrational, I’m simply scared. Did anyone feel like this? And did you find a way of dealing with this anxiety? I’d appreciate any help and advice (and feel bad for being such a chicken).


Hi Rapunzel,
Goodness, what you describe is quite usual, we’ve all been there, so don’t beat yourself up over it.
Yes, you’re right, the surgery is straightforward & as ever, the prospect is far worse than the reality.
As my date got closer, I just concentrated on the fact that I was getting rid of the little sod & felt relieved when the day came.
Feeling anxious is normal, but it’s also the first major hurdle out of the way on the path to recovery.
You will be fine.
ann x

Hi Rapunzel
I am on day four post lumpectomy
The run up to surgery I was nervous , however ok the day , I was pretty much excited to get it out of me , all my family and friends were nervous for me and yet I was smiling as I went down , I think the relief that it was being removed and I felt like my fight started that very day
I joined this group only last week but it has helped me immensely reading posts on here x

Hi Rapunzel (great forum name btw). I was the same as you. I’d never had surgery before and was utterly terrified of it all. I got myself in such a state that I became convinced that I would not be reunited with my glasses after surgery and this became a major worry. Everything was fine for the two lots of surgery I had (mastectomy and immediate reconstruction which involved a two night stay in hospital and post-chemo I had full node clearance). Both times I was amazed at how easy it was. The anaestheists that looked after me both times were all lovely. They are so good at putting you at your ease. One minute I was ranting about government cuts to the NHS with them then the next I was waking up in the recovery room. So much less traumatic than I expected. 

It’s a horrible time you are at now but you will get through it and life will be good again.

Let us know how you get on.

Ruth xx

Hi Rapunzel

I was diagnosed 1yr ago yesterday.  I had my Lumpectomy and Sentinel Node Biopsy on 18/09/17.

Like you this was my first ever operation.  I didn’t think about the op - the only thing that worried me was getting a tube down my throat for breathing - I hate anything alien going near my throat :smileylol: - I sometimes gag when brushing my teeth.  As has been said before the nurses etc were all lovely - I remember talking to the anaesthestist (sp) then next thing I was waking up in the recovery room.

I had 6 FEC-T chemo and 19 radiotherapy and finished treatment on 29/03. 


Hi Rapunzel,
Don’t worry about the tube, the anaesthetist will intubate after you’ve been put to sleep, so you wont know anything about it.
The next thing you know, is being told it’s over & would you like a tea or coffee, toast etc.
As you say, just take it a step at a time.
ann x

Hi Rapunzel
I was diagnosed the 13th September
And my operation on 28th
Just before yours
I don’t like operations but had a few (4) in the past while having IVF. At the moment I just want this thing out of me. Don’t really care what my boob gonna look like after. I will be nervous of course. Before operation. We all do. But as other said there is nothing yo worry about, You wake up feeling a bit tired and sleepy. But in a couple of hours will be fine. I am sure.

I am petrified of chemo. As well. It gives me huge anxiety.

Hi Wantolive

I personally found chemo to be easier than radiotherapy.

I still had side-effects from Chemo but I found them easier to deal with than radiotherapy as I did not like lying on the one position for so long - as they seemed to have to do scans just about every day during rads which takes longer that just being positioned and zapped.


Like others said you will not know about the tube (you might not actually need tube down your throat - I only had that as the anaesthatist said “as you are a slightly larger lady lol” it was a tube down throat

Take care




Hi Ladies,

My surgery is Wednesday and I too am terrified at the thought of general anaesthesia. I’ve never had any kind of operation before. Surgery has been a long time coming with other complications getting in the way but now I’ve only got 2 more sleeps ???. Thankfully my mum is coming to stay with me for a few weeks so I’m not going to be on my own.

As much as I want everything over and done with I still feel really scared, I have to stay positive and this time Thursday it will be all over and that’s what I have to focus on. I also have fertility treatment starting the week after next which I’m also anxious about - one positive step at a time!

Sending lots of hugs Rapunzel2018 we can do this!!!


Hello Dear Rapunzel
I had my appointment today about surgery and everything. It turned out I am ER positive my lump is about 2-3 cm. They saying it’s 3 cm most likely. I still gonna have lumpescopy. They said they couldn’t see anything bad in my nodes but I still could have something there. Only can find out 2 weeks after surgery.
I don’t know about chemo. But most likely I will have it. Also because of the size of my tumour. And radiotherapy. Will have to drive from Doncaster to Sheffield for it. For 3 weeks. But as everyone saying we should take one step at the time. It’s all do scary and every time I feel like I am in another world. But there no way back to normal life. But we have to keep positive. Hang in there my dear

Dear Maggy I envy you your operation on Wed
And all this nasty cancer will be removed. Please don’t get too scared. Surgeries this days are so much better you will be absolutely fine. I will say prayer for you on the day if your surgery. Keep in touch. X

Thanks I love hearing positive experience with chemo. It makes me feel better. I hope you doing well. How are feeling now after all this treatment?x

Thank you Wantolive, I’ve been doing a little bit of meditation and that’s been helping, keeping me grounded. I’ll definitely let you know how I get on.


Hi Wantolive

Today is one year exactly since I had my OP.   I was just finishing a wee cup of coffee and a sandwich around about now this time last year.  I got out of hospital at 415pm after the anaesthatist and surgeon had seen me and I had been to the toilet.

This week is one of my best week’s so far since Chemo and Rads finished.  I feel as though I am getting slowly back to me again.  I still have some pains from the Chemo but not as bad as it has been.

My cancer was Triple Negative - no further treatment apart from 6 monthly Zometa infusions for 3 yrs - next one is 08/10

Good luck with your treatment



Hi Maggie
How are you doing? How was the operation? Hope you are fine without much pain and going back home the same day. Keep in touch. Hugsx

Hi Maggie

Hope your OP went well and you are enjoying your cup of tea.


Rapunzel - regarding getting to the hospital for Rads can you not ask for hospital transport.  I know when I was going through my Rads at the Beatson in Glasgow they had a service for People without transport.  They where called Friends of the Beatson and would pick up people and take them home again after treatment.  Might be worth asking about.  I had 19 rads and one planning scan so was there for 20 days (all weekdays)




Hi Ang
Yes they did offer transport like little mini bus and I most probably will be using it as my husband works and would be crazy for him driving me every day. I just can’t wait for my op. Just want to get rid if this thing in my breast. How was your experience with radiotherapy any side effects? X

I had my glasses on so I could see what was going on (can’t see anything in focus without them} and my teddybear with me. The anaesthetist was lovely, got a cannula into my vein and next thing I remember is coming round on the ward with my teddy carefully tucked in beside me!

I’m 47 and had a mastectomy and sentinal node biopsy.


Hi pastassmisus
Did you have your surgery recently? Glad it’s all done for you already x