help!! Ive just been told I need a Mastectomy

Hello. I am a 38 year old single mother - I had a lump in my left breast since 1992 and have been for regular checks at the hospital about once every 2 years - or whenever I suddenly had another worry about it. Each time I was told it was a cyst and just keep checking it for growth etc. In February I went to the docs for something else and mentioned the lump had grown bigger - she examined me and referred be again to the breast clinic. They (FINALLY) decided to to a biopsy and decided that due to its size - about 10cm x 12 cm it would be best to removed it. That happened 2 weeks ago and I went back to the hospital yesterday - happy that it was all over and to have the dressing removed… or so I thought. I was told that the lump showed signs of malignancy and they felt that unless I have the mastectomy I had a 40% chance of reoccurance and cancer. I know I am lucky in that I dont have the cancer and Im sorry if this is not te best place to discuss my issue… but I am so scared of this operation - they plan to reconstruct at the same time in East Grinsted. I just wondered if anyone could assure me its ok and 7 hours in an operation is normal etc etc . My eight year old daughter is my prime concern and I just panic about her and my demanding job and how I will get through it etc etc. Will I still have any cleavage, how will it look? how will I feel?

My daughter had a mastectomy and recon last November at 33. She was surprised how well it went and with absolutely no pain whatsoever afterwards. The worst thing is having the drains in for about 10 days. Honestly she was really surprised and is pleased with her new breast …even two days later when she dared to look she couldn’t believe how good it looked with just a little bruising … she had a skin sparing LD Flap recon and everything was done through the nipple area and so to look at her breast now the only difference is that she has a white piece of skin covering that area otherwise you would never know. She also has a scar running along her bra line at the back which is really neat. That is where they go in to get to the muscle. If thats the op you will have then they will explain it to you. She can wear low cut tops and no one would ever know etc.
Please don’t get worried about it … its wonderful what they can do now and with no pain. By the way Lisa was in op about 6 hours but she knew nothing about it.

Hi Jennyg,

I am sorry that you have had to join us on this site but you will find lots of information and support I am sure. Although
I had a mastectomy in december 07 I didn’t have a reconstruction so can’t advice you on that area.
However I’m sure that you will get lots of information and help from others who have had a similar diagnosis and also had a reconstruction, there are certainly a couple of very positive threads on the subject on this site.
Sometimes at the weekend or on a beautiful day like today responses are slow coming in so don’t despair and keep in touch.
Just a thought there may be support groups in your local area, also there is a thread about where do you come from. I wonder if its worth looking at that to see if there is anyone undergoing treatment near you?

All the best

Magsi

thank you so much for your reply - since posting my message I have been reading other peoples messages etc and it giving some comfort. I have been advised to go for the reconstruction with fat from my stomach - hey I get a tummy tuck too! I have only just dared to look at my newly operated breast where they did the wide local excision to remove the lump ( phyllodes tumor ) and it looks ok-ish - you can tell the nipple has been removed and stuck back on and the skin is puckering a little bit round the area where they cut. I think its a combination of fears that I have; the seven hour op itself - just the feeling of being out of control, the recovery and how I wiill feel as a woman - what it will look like etc, the fact that I have just accepted a big promotion at work as a manager of a sales office and now I am going to be off AGAIN for 4 - 6 weeks, and being a mum to a beautiful daughter - just… I dont know … Im all over the place at the moment - no idea how I feel really! Im scared that men wont find me attractive physically and I will always be single from now on, although I know that shouldnt really be a concern. My breasts have been one of my best features and I have always been very proud of them! I am due back to the hospital on Wednesday morning for a further chat with my ( lovely, kind) surgeon as I was unable to really take it the news yesterday so I will save my 100 questions for him then! Thank you for replying zotam - I have a feeling I will be on this site a lot in the run up to the operation in July.

I am from Worthing in West Sussex - I will look to see if there i anyone near me having the same sort of thing done. It would be lovely to ‘buddy’ up with someone for support etc

Hi Dawn - I am going to Worthing on Weds unfortunately - am due to have the op in East Grinsted in July :-(. thank you for the offer though - so kind. I would love to meet anyone going through this who is local to me

Hi Jenny
There is a really good book that has just been published by BCC which is free from their publication site.
Its a story about a mum diagnosed with bc, and covers chemo and rads.
You may find it useful with your daughter.
The following link will get you there:-

breastcancercare.org.uk/content.php?page_id=12225

All the best

Magsi