Going in for surgery

Hi, I was diagnosed with breast cancer just before christmas and going in tomorrow for breast surgery, just a lump to be removed rather than a masttectomy so I feel abit of a frauld after seeing all the comments from you ladies that have had to go through with this, but I still feel frightened and unsure how i’m going to feel afterwards. I been trying to be brave about this as we have a 10 year old daughter but have found I’m quite weepy this last two days which I don’t understand why. I’ve been told the tumour is small and we have caught it early, I should be feeling more postitive but can’t, is this normal?

Hi Taz,

So sorry you have had to join us and what a rotten time of year to get dx (diagnosed). I was dx Dec 09 and had same op as you WLE (wide local excision) Its really quite normal to be weepy and scared. Its early days for you yet and as time progresses you will get more used to things. The women on these forums are a fantastic source of help. Try not to read to much though,or to far ahead, you’ll just end up scaring yourself. Deal with one thing at a time. Op first, then results, then treatment. After op I just had to have radiotherapy, then Tamoxifen for 5yrs (hormone treatment). 1 yr on and I’m doing well.

As for the op, you will probably have to have drains for a few days, just until the fluid that goes through lymph nodes finds another way round body. Its a little uncomfortable but not a problem at all. I had very little pain afterwards and just needed to take paracetamol for a few days. They will probably give you some exercises for arm, as it can be quite stiff at first and feel a bit numb. Please don’t be alarmed by this its normal and takes a month or so to feel right again.

Good luck for tomorrow and please come back and let us know how you go on. If you have any questions please feel free to ask, there is always someone here to help and offer support. We all understand how you are feeling.

Take care
jjane123 xx

Hi Taz,
This is my first post on the forums which I’ve been finding really useful. But I just wanted to say that my surgery was fine in the end - I was diagnosed at end of November and had a lumpectomy + SLND just before Christmas and had to have another wide excision done yesterday as one margin wasn’t clear. So its all quite fresh in my mind. I have been very up and down, and that’s not surprising so don’t worry about that - its good to express your emotions. But you will be really relieved when you get home from hospital even if you are sore and swollen! Both of my excisions were done as day cases. They went absolutely fine - and I just had large dressings in place (no drains) which I removed myself after 48 hours. First time round I wasn’t actually told much about what I should do when I had removed the dressings and as I didn’t feel the wounds were healed enough to be left open, I had to rush to Boots to try and get some more similar dressings (Mepore) which I kept on for more days, especially on the under arm wound which I felt was more vulnerable to rubbing & infection. This was something I wish I had been warned about. Just take it as easy as you can for as long as you can get away with it!!
Good luck - its the next step along the way…

Hi Taz, like you I was diagnosed before xmas and have felt all sorts of emotions primarily because much was out of my control, not a place I like to be and letting my imagination run riot! however having had lumpectomy & sentinel node biopsy before xmas and then another wide local excision this week I am learning to be kind to myself with the support from family and friends. I now await further results and will plan the way forward with the Breast Care Nurses, Doctors and others in MDT. I wish you well on this rollercoaster of a ride.

hi taz i too had snb and wle 1st dec, i thought i was dealing with it ok but im now on my 6th rads and at times feel as though my whole world had crumbled, my onc referred me to the pyscho-onc and she has been brilliant, my advice is to accept all and any help you are offered (which if your like me will be difficult in itself)and just listen to your body if you need to rest then rest if you need to cry then cry if you need to shout then do that too. i am also one of the ‘lucky’ ones in that my cancer was caught v.early and my nodes were not affected(its also tubular)but it still doesnt take away the ‘what ifs’. these ladies on the forum will be a great source of info and support. hang in there
sue x

i had wle done, too. Will be thinking of you,

Hi taz,
I to had WLE and SNB on 6th Nov. It was very small, grade one, excellent margins, no spread. I too felt a bit of a fraud reading others experiences. But at the end of the day you,like me have breast cancer. We’ ve just had it caught early. The surgery will be painful, theres no point pretending otherwise and you will be sore for a few weeks. Everyones different, everyone experiences pain and recovery differently.

I presume you’ll need radiotherapy afterwards? I’m on no9 tommorrow. as far as I’m concerned in my own mind I’ve been cured by the surgery and the radiotherapy is just an extra insurance policy.

My kids are older, the youngest is 13 but I found being honest the best policy with them.

good luck and bestw ishes


I had a WLE (wide local excision - or lumpectomy) and SNB (sentinel node biopsy). You will only need a drain if it has spread to the lymph nodes and they remove more than just the sentinel node(s). I had no drain. My hospital has equipment to test the sentinel node during the WLE and if clear, they don’t remove any more, hence no drain.

Good luck all you ladies waiting for surgery and results.

Ann x