Dreading seeing what is underneath the bandages

Had surgery on the 12th, and asked to have a reduction after the cancer was removed rather than an implant. I know my nipple has been moved, and I have some blood on the dressings.  Obvioiusly I am going to have some pretty raw looking scar lines, and am not looking forward to seeing my nipple or the scars.  The thing is I know I can’t have what I want which is my saggy old boob, so I am trying to be positive and the surgeon has promised me perky new breasts, but I don’t want them.  I want my old boobs back, which is the one thing that is clearly impossible.  How silly of me when the important thing obviously is that what I will be left with is healthy tissue, and yet I am really afraid of looking at what is there on Monday.  I almost feel I would be happier with a completely flat chest rather than this funny, numb, swollen, sore thing that is going to have red lines all over it.  I know this is not the thing to be obsessing over - its more vital to get my results and worry about future treatments, but I can only obsess over one thing at a time, and this time it is Monday and seeing “what lies beneath”.  

I can’t give you any advice and I’ve only had a lumpectomy and lymph node removal so I will obviously have much less of a radical change. But I do understand the obsessing over the ‘small stuff’ - not that I think this is small, it’s just not quite as big as the cancer itself. I think that we can only cope with these things sometimes because the other stuff is just so big. This week I’ve gone into meltdown over a missed dinner, a late breakfast, and a faulty drain. Don’t think I’ve actually cried about the cancer itself ever!!
I know we’re all different and I suppose there is the option of avoiding looking at your boob on Monday, although I think I would need to see it - monsters are always so much less scary when you see them!
Good luck for Monday.
Sending you a hug

Hello Demi,

I hope my reply is of some help to you.  I had my Mx with immediate LD flap reconstruction and SLNB 8 weeks ago and initially dreaded seeing what lay underneath the strapping, dressings and steristrips.  I cried the first time I looked at my new breast minus its nipple, I disliked everything about it and wouldn’t look at it, it all just felt so alien and I wanted what I couldn’t have - my old boob.  My clever surgeon then told me that I had to massage the boob every day with bio oil to help the scars to heal and help the skin become supple to accomodate the expander implant I currently have.  As I felt I didn’t have a choice I did as I was told and over the weeks I have come to love my new boob, I feel sorry for it and everything it’s gone through and I feel like I do need to take care of it as I would any other part of my body.  I know that may sound ridiculous but massaging it has helped me to accept it, if I hadn’t been told to do that I’m not sure I would have wanted to look at it or touch it again.

I’m sure you’re feeling very shocked and scared about it all at the moment and I hope that this will ease for you with time, don’t be too hard on yourself, this is no easy thing to deal with but you will come through it xxx

Ok, so not as bad as I was expecting!  I was upset by the angle of my nipple, and it is not symmetrical anymore, and obviously there is now a very clear line between ordinary skin and nipple whereas before there was more of a gradual change, and the whole breast is a stupid shape, but hopefully will start looking less like something glued on my chest when the swelling starts going down.  The lines are not as livid as I thought they would be, but it all feels weird, both in terms of the changes that have happened and the large patches of changed sensation.  My nipple is driving me crazy!!!  It is so sensitive and when my bra moves over it is so tingly/agonizing. The rest of my breast feels hard because of the swelling.


HOWEVER, I had a bit of an epiphany overnight, I think all the talk at hospital about implants/reduction/end result had sort of blinded me to the fact that this was not a cosmetic procedure - this was done to save my life and then they have done a patch up on what is left.  I don’t particularly like it, but I might care less about that as time moves on and healing takes place both physically and mentally, but it is healthy.  Its a shame that it is not immediately a good match for its neighbour, but I hope that gets better and I don’t have to go for more surgery as I don’t particularly want to go through the operation, pain afterwards and having to do all this getting used to a new breast again.