Double mastectomy.. Healing time? Advice?

Facing mastectomy and having a really hard time dealing with it.

Hi, i had lumpectomy and 3 nodes removed. equivalent of 29 sessions of rads. Almost 12 months on i am facing mastectomy. I keep getting internal infections in my cancer site and node removal site. Every 6-8 weeks i end up in hospital and have drainage done. My breast goes bright red and hard and the pain is unlike anything i have ever felt before.I am terrified, i am so angry that i have comne this far and been thru treatment and now am looking at losing my breast anyway. I have decided if 1 goes they both go. Has anyone had a similar thing? anyone know healing time for double with NO reconstruction? Any advice pre or post surgery? Anything?


Hello Jane
Sorry to hear that you’ve been through so much and still have the mastectomy ahead of you. My situation wasn’t quite the same because from the very beginning (after a routine mammogram) I needed one mastectomy plus a lumpectomy plus lymph nodes on both sides - and so I chose a double mastectomy and was very firm and content with my decision. It just seems simpler, and more balanced. I am not interested in reconstruction. My operation was early October.

The mastectomy healed readily. I had more problems with the node clearances, but I don’t know if you’re having that done too? I was certainly swimming again five weeks after - very gentle lengths of the pool, with a view to stretching my arm and shoulder muscles. I had cording in one arm and swimming helped with that.

I had radiotherapy in January which put a stop to swimming and also to any soft tissue massage that I was having to soften the scar tissue. Hoping to go back to that soon. I live close to the hospital so the horrid tiredness that lots of women have with rads didn’t seem to affect me as much.

So I would say that being very certain about your decisions makes a big difference to how you cope. And I did the exercises three times a day for four months (until physio pointed out that I could have reduced them ages ago)! And rest lots. Are you able to have time free of work? Take as long as you can and don’t rush back. And work out some nice quiet things that you’ve never had time for before and look forward to doing those. And keep in touch! The forum is brilliant and you can rant or wallow or whatever, and we all understand, having been there too. Happy to answer any specific queries if that helps. x