Decided against recon at moment

I have just visited the bc nurse re decision on reconstruction or not. Must admit booklets and info on recon scared me, but also was not too thrilled with the prostheses she showed me. Is anyone out there using stick on breast forms or the "wet mud texture " in your bra type. Can you advise me of your thoughts and experience of these? Grateful for any advice. Am booked in for end of October, (thats if I have the guts to turn up)

Hi Horsemad

Just wanted to reassure you re recon. I had recon in May this year and am really happy with the results. Gives me a completely normal shape in clothes and I still have cleavage so unless you see me naked nobody would every know and there’s no worries of prosthesis slipping or showing and I just wouldn’t have been able to cope with the scar instead of a breast. I know everybody has to make the decision that’s right for them but if theres anything I can answer for you just ask.

Hi Horsemad (I love horses but never owned one - just a wonderful dog).

I saw your other thread, so I’ll answer both thread in one, if that’s ok! I had mx at the beg of Sept without recon. My surgeon did however leave enough skin for me to have the recon at a later date (in fact he recommended I had one). I don’t think i could have coped with everything being done at the same time - this is just a personal view.

The mx itself was straight forward - no pain at all, just paracetemol for a few days. I was in 7 days due to drains (didn’t want to come home with them in as the dog could have caught them etc etc). I was driving after 2 weeks (norty!) and went to work after 3 weeks (only part time). I was doing household chores etc the day after I came home, but do avoid heavy lifting still. I would think mucking out may be a bit too strenuous for a few weeks, but hopefully you can get a bit of help.

The one thing I would say is get your arm moving as soon as possible…little and as often as possible. I could get my arm above my head by the time I came home, which I made me really happy.

You will be fine…just try not to think too far ahead. I did that, being the controlling type that I am, and it was a total waste of time.

I wish you well…

I decided against recon too and have a pair of the stick ons. To be honest they do feel strange at first but they warm to your body temperature and you can forget you’re wearing them. I hardly ever wear them as I’ve got used to just being the way I am actually.

I can have recon in the future if I want but I wouldn’t want perfectly good muscle used, or implants and I’m not too happy with the idea of maybe having to have futher surgery in the future etc. Maybe one day when there’s other options I might change my mind but right now I hate the idea of surgery for cosmetic purposes and the mastectomy scar is healing so nicely it almost matches the skin around it now (8 months since surgery). So if you don’t want to do recon right now please don’t feel you have to, some people including some surgeons are actually quite pushy about it!

I’ve also read that it’s often best if you’re going to have rads to have recon later as it can have an effect on the muscle or implants that are under the surface. Not quite sure how much this applies in reality but it’s something to ask about maybe.

hi Horsemad

I just wanted to say that I was in the same position as you just a few weeks ago and I couldnt decide wether to opt for reconstruction or not and I posted on here for lots of opinions- it seemed to swing from one end of the scale to the other.

I had my mastectomy on Monday the 13th and decided to opt against reconstruction. So far I havnt bothered with any prosthesis (letting it all heal up at the moment- also i am an A cup in other breast so nice and small). Im glad I didnt bother and my scar is so neat. I had to imagine the weeks before myself without the breast and it didnt bother me the thought of it away.

I know everyones different but I know when I had made the decision not to go for reconstruction I was happy just to have something less to think about.

I had read about some of the possible problems attached to recon (although I know there are so many benefits and positive stories) but for me it just wasnt worth putting myself through anything extra.

Yvonne xx

A different view …

I counted every day until (delayed) reconstructive surgery. I could NOT live with the absence but the LD flap has been a bloody disaster and has disabled me. I would still do it again, avoiding my current surgeon of course. If you go for the so-called reconstruction then ensure that you have a PS involved.

Hi,

Just thought I would add my experience here to see if it helps you Horsemad on this and your other thread.

I was offered a choice between mx alone and immediate recon. I felt instinctively that I would cope better with all that was being thrown at me to wake up with 2 boobs so opted for immediate recon, the only 2 I believe were mentioned were LD and whatever the tummy one is called. I ummed and arred for a bit but as the surgeon I was sitting in front of only did LD and I would have to wait a week or so to see another surgeon re the tummy one I went for the LD on the basis that my OH and everyone thought I should be more concerned about getting the bleeding C out than how I would look. No-one mentioned expanders to me.

Now 4 weeks post surgery I would say I have no regrets. I have had times when I have thought, why didn’t I just have a mx and thats due to the not to be under-estimated issues with suddenly finding a muscle in your body somewhere you wouldn’t expect and on reflection a scar I wouldn’t have had (my back). That being said as I had a skin sparing mx and only (to look at) lost my nipple I don’t know whether had I not had immediate recon how they would have left it - perhaps someone else knows?

I am still not 100% healed though only tiny bits of necrosis and I had a secondary bleed 10 days post op which means I have ucky stuff inside which regularly tries to escape (through a scab), I have a fab looking boob (so EVERYONE tells me) and I firmly believe with a nipple recon and the slight uplift and boost my other boob needs, will have a great pair in 6 - 12 months and look good in anything I wear!

I do still find myself reluctant to touch my “new boob” and am not “attached to it” fully yet, its hard and I can’t imagine anyone squeezing it without me freaking. It doesn’t move when I lie down and jumps in preparation to act as a muscle when I least expect it too!

Who knows, I am not posting this to help you decide one way or the other, just to give you information. I don’t regret my choice and me and my boob will learn to get along.

Best of luck in whatever you decide, xx

Seems to be between the devil and the deep blue sea really! The nearer I get to my date the wobblier I am, I did go and shop for boring button through stuff and easy to get on trackie bottoms etc, and got truly depressed buying stuff I wouldnt normally waste money on. The only thing I bought I liked was a pair of slippers!

Hi Horsemad

I didn’t opt for an immediate reconstruction. I’m 36A and find that I can wear pretty much anything I used to. Although having never owned a cleveage it’s been easier for me (but still hard!). I find that V-necked things are fine and that I can wear quite tight fitting Tshirts without any problem. You do have to try clothes on though because a prothesis doesn’t give quite the same shape and certain fabrics and shapes show this whilst others do not. I had a port fitted and I find that the scar is still quite noticeable so that has prevented me from wearing certain tops more that the mastectomy.

good luck with whatever you decide

Pauline

I’m a 32DD - small frame but a full bosom, and oh how I loved my bosom! Yet I’ve elected to live, and make friends with, my scar as I really don’t relish a big op and muscle taken from elsewhere in my body. An implant would mean that I would have to have reduction to my remaining breast - being slim means I won’t have enough flesh to stretch to a DD cup! (or so I assume), and therefore more scars!

No-one can tell I wear a prosthesis, On the whole I can still wear most of my pre-mastectomy clothes (apart from very low cut necklines), I feel I still look attractive and anyway, having a pair of breasts isn’t the be all and end all of my femininity! If my prosthesis should slip out of place (it hasn’t so far), or if I bend over and my top gapes to reveal one side flatter than the other, who cares? I’ve been through months of surgery and chemo and still having treatment (Herceptin), to get this far, and certainly don’t feel my life is lacking just because I’ve lost a breast.

By the way, If anyone had told me at diagnosis (when I was devastated at the thought of a mastectomy) that I would be writing such a post now, I wouldn’t have believed them!

Good luck in whatever path you choose…xxx