My name is Kizzy and I have been lurking around the forum for a few weeks now.
I was diagnosed with DCIS in August 2012 and had it removed a few days later and due to not having a clear margin I needed a second operation two weeks later. Another two weeks later I had a third operation resulting in my mastectomy as, yet again, a clear margin was not returned.
My twin sister had a different kind off breast cancer to me and she died nearly 6 years ago.
I am still undecided as to whether a delayed reconstruction is for me (I’ve put a post on the reconstruction section).
My employer has been supportive regarding my time off and I’m going back to work next Monday on a phased return. For me this is another step up the recovery ladder.

Hi Kizzy my name is Mary I’ve had a similar experience to you I had two lumpectomies in august and september and eventually masectomy 5 weeks ago in November; I had a chest expander put in at the same time as the operation; I have had one session of them filling it up and it was uncomfy ; although inthinkmit was before they put more saline in! I am still off work as I find it tricky and uncomfy to drive for long distances and I also worry about people bumping into me! I am going to have an uplift on my other breast Thebes Symmetrical but that’s going to be around end of February as they need to over expand it first ; all this intakes it’s toll but I have tried to remain positive and hope it all looks good when finished; I opted frecon on at same time as mastectomy as I wanted to limit the amount of operations. Xxx. Stay in touch and keep positive ; xxx

Hello Kiz and Mary,
The same thing happened to me, there was pre-cancerous change in the margins after the first and second lumpectomies and so we decided to go ahead with a mastectomy. I had the first operation on 29th November and the third on 27th December! So was all quite fast but tiring too!
I am going to have a delayed reconstruction because I have to have radiotherapy after chemo. My surgeon says it would be in about 2 years time. However, I can understand why some people don’t bother with it as I am already getting used to life without my breast. But I know that I do want a reconstruction at some point, I am quite young and I have a very active job and I do want to get my body back…even if that is going to be a good few months down the road - I am waiting to start chemotherapy at the moment.
But it is true that every step is another on the way to recovery.
Best wishes to both of you,

Thank you Mary and Blue for your replies.
Mary, your chest expander sounds as though it was uncomfortable when being expanded. I do hope your uplift goes well next month. Do you have a date for when that will be done? You have been through a lot more than me, but I can understand what you mean by it all taking its toll on you. For me the tiredness/fatigue has been the worst. Although I still feel tired most days, thankfully it is easing.
Blue, I know what you mean about things happening so fast and being tiring. For me, I felt as though my feet hadn’t touched the ground in the six weeks from my first operation to my mastectomy. When I first had my mastectomy I didn’t want a recon then within a week I did. Now I’m back to thinking that a recon is not for me. One day I’ll make a final decision. For the time being I’m happy living with my prosthesis. I’m now on my second silicone prosthesis since my mastectomy and this one fits so much better and is for people who are active, which is just as well as I hopefully will be again soon. Good luck with your chemo, rads and delayed recon.

Hi Blue & Oyster

Yes the expander is not the greatest but its not dreadful either just ugly to look at and uncomfy! I now understand why people opt to have recon after as it was a long op and glad I had it all done at the same time.

Blue, I thought that you would not need chemo or radio if they’d taken breast, but it’s not the case! Is that because of spreading or in the gland or lymphs?
I don’t have to have anything apart from them rebuilding me back up lol.

I am going to the 'younger women’s forum 'wend in Bristol on 25and26th jan, this is such a good idea and gives you the chance to chat to others that have ‘been there’ … So pleased to be going and the fact that it is put on free for anyone who has been through or currently going through Bc in the last 3 yrs is so fantastic ;

Stay positive and keep us updated and good luck with whatever decisions you both make. X. Mary

Hi kizzy

Just wanted to ask how you feel now, how long has it been since mastectomy ? I am still off work and find d it difficult to drive but I had my muscle lifted etc, and that’s what is sore at moment, can’t even think about going back just yet.

Hi Mary.
I had clear lymph nodes. I think the chemo is just to make sure it doesnt spread/come back. I had a grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma, the chemo could be because it was an aggressive form and also because of my age - I am 33. So a combination of all that. The radiotherapy is because it was quite close to the chest wall so thats to help stop it coming back locally. Maybe it all depends on the type/grade of the cancer?
I may be going to the younger womens forum too so might see you there!

Kizzy, what is the name/type of prosthesis you mentioned? I am going to go for my first fitting next week or the week after (just have the soft form at the mo) and would be glad of any advice!

Hi kizzy

my glands were checked and cleared and I also had a high grade invasive tumour next to the dcis; it obviously depends on the individual - I was just interested to know. I am pleased I Dont have to have it ; although getting through the next few months is going to be a challenge! But nothing us women can’t handle xxxx. Be great meet at Bristol x where are you travelling from?

I’m not a hundred per cent sure I am going yet, depends on when I start chemo but if I can then I will. I think it’s a great oportunity for us to learn more and also to just get away and meet other people. I’ll probably travel by train, from the south. Xx

Hello Mary and Blue
Mary, it is 16 weeks since I had my mastectomy and I still feel tired during the day and often wake up during the night, but it is getting better. In the beginning I was no help all with things such as housework, walking the dogs etc, but now I can do these things again although not every day. For me going back to work is another step up the recovery ladder. My boss is very good and is letting me work the hours I feel comfortable doing, knowing that gradually I’ll get back to my full time shift work. You have been through a lot more than I have, so it is still early days yet for you. The Young Women’s forum sounds as though it will be interesting, plus you will get to meet some lovely young women who are in the same/similar position as you. I’m going to a Lingerie Evening in Cardiff on May 16th and am looking forward to it.
Blue, I’ve sent you a PM regarding my prosthesis. If you are going to wear a mastectomy bra make sure you get fitted for it before going to get your prosthesis and wear a light coloured top if you can. The lighter the colour the better! Don’t settle for any prosthesis, take your time and get the right one for you. My main concern was to get one that was comfortable. No good having a new boob if it is not comfy…same with your bras. For me comfort is everything. When I first got my prosthesis I could only wear it for a few hours at a time. Now I can wear it all day. They just take time getting used to.

Thanks again for the advice Kiz. Xx

Your welcome.