Help - my mastectomy is next week

Hi my name is Sybil, I was diagnosed with breast cancer 19th Oct and my mastectomy is on 8th Nov. I am still in shock as my GP had said it did not appear to be cancer and to come back end of month and she will check again. My husband and daughters insisted i go back right away and ask for a referral to clatterbridge. My daughters 26 and 30 have been marvelous they have found this site for me, have been to m&s looking for post op bras, finding a wig company for if and when I need it, tears in their eyes as they do it but with positive thinking. My husband is most anxious as I am on warfarin for AF and have been advised to stop taking it on the Sunday before my op on Thursday. If anyone has been in the same situation and can reassure us I would be most grateful.

Hi Sybil,

Welcome to the forums where I am sure you will get lots of help and advise from the many informed users of this site. You may be interested in obtaining a copy of BCC’s resource pack, a publication for newly diagnosed people which has lots of tips and advice. To obtain a copy just follow the link below and a copy will be posted out to you free of charge.

Hope this helps.

Louise, Moderator
Breast Cancer Care

I am bringing this back to the top so that Sybil may recieve some support before her op next week.

Kind regards

Breast Cancer Care

Hi Sybil

Darlin I wish you all the very best. I am so glad to hear that your lovely daughters and hubby are there to help you.

Sending you as much cyber care and compassion as I can to help look after you and your family.

luvnhugs Carolexxx

Hi Sybil
Support from your family is very important & i am glad to see you have lots. I also have had lots of support from family & friends, before & after my bilateral mastectomy. If you have nurses like i did at the hospital, they will be caring & sensitive to your situation. Wishing you the best for Thursday, you will be back home before you know it.
Take care
Louise xx

Hi Sybil

Welcome to the site - you’re amongst friends here and the girls are brilliant. The support is amazing.

I’m 42 and was diagnosed back in April, have had my chemo and had my mastectomy on 3rd October. Was more worried about spending a week in hospital than losing my breast, which surprised me. I also had my lymph nodes removed. I can’t answer your query about stopping the warfarin, but be assured your Consultant will know what he’s doing, and you’ll be fine. You’ll be given exercises to do after your op, and my advice would be as much as it hurts, make sure you do them - I’m now 4 weeks post op and am still religiously polishing the door with my left arm (you’ll know what I mean).

Its great to hear you have such good support from your husband and daughters. You certainly find out who your friends are too! I take it you will be having chemo after your op ? In which case, I would get some headwear prepared ready. I think we’d all agree that this too is a traumatic time - but you do get used to it. There are some great wigs around, but I personally went down the bandana route. There’s some brilliant websites online and the service is really good.

Anyway Sybil, good luck for your op. Remember, if you’ve got any questions, there will always be someone on here to help.

Sending you huge hugs

Julie xxx

Hi Sybil,

I am so sorry you’ve had to join us but I’m glad you’ve found us! ‘Welcome’ to this most awesome site. You’ve come to the right place and I’m so glad your daughters found this site, rest assured we can all totally empathise with you.

I was diagnosed in March, age 34. I had a right mastectomy and total axillary clearance a week after diagnosis. As with yourself I had v.little time to get my head round things before my op!! I knew v.little about bc prior to daignosis and it has been a v.steep learning curve for me and those closest to me. Sounds like you have a good support network at home, thats so valuable! I couldn’t have got through this without the support and love of my boyfriend, family and friends. And this fantastic website of course!! I started chemo in May and finished 3 weeks ago. Starting Tamoxifen tomorrow and rads on Mon. Then its a years worth of Herceptin for me.

I found my mastectomy to be nowhere near as scary as I had imagined it to be. I made a fairly speedy recovery and found I was in v.little pain post-op. To be honest, the biggest nuisance were the 2 drains I had in!! I ordered the ‘exercises after breast surgery’ booklet from this site and took it into hosp with me. The exercises are great and compliment the ones the physio will give you nicely. Asda do a great range of post surgery bra’s and they are cheap as chips! I took loads into hosp with me then found I only wore 1 and that was on the day I went home!!

Bit of a hosp ‘survival guide’ for you (if needed!):

  1. Nice photo of your family to put on your locker.
  2. Ear plugs and eye mask - wards can be very bright and v.noisy at night!!
  3. Your own mug/cup - if you enjoy a brew and don’t fancy it in the horrid plastic cups.
  4. Nice foot/elbow cream and some smellies.
  5. Button through pyjamas - Tesco and Next do great ones!
  6. Mags and books - for those dull times between visiting hours.
  7. An mp3 player or nintendo DS type thing.
  8. Lucozade - awesome stuff!!!
  9. A non-wired sports type bra.
  10. Some small change in case you fancy something off the trolley.

If I think of anything else I’ll let you know! All the very best for your forthcoming op,

Take care and be sure to let us know how you get on,


Thanks everyone for welcoming me to this site, you all sound a great bunch of girls and so positive.

I had my pre op yesterday all went well, but I felt very sad coming home as I realized that I won’t have my left breast for
much longer. I know its to save my life, I suppose most of you thought that way and have come through it.

Anyway, my Hubbys birthday this weekend so I’m going to wear my lowest cut top and enjoy it maybe for the last time,( sorry the top I mean)

thanks again to you all and to the moderator Lucy

will keep in touch

sybil xxx

Dear Sybil

Tell your husband not to worry about stopping your warfarin for a few days. I too was in this position as I was waiting to go in for radio frequency ablation under Dr Gill at Guys and St Thomas’s in London. The procedure was put off whilst I went into Maidstone Hosital for my mastectomy (with immediate reconstruction - LD Flap). Following my op I was given injections of Fragmin and all was well. I was fortunate (if you can be fortunate when diagnosed with breast cancer) in that I did not have to undergo rads or chemo so can’t advise what effect this may have to warfarin. Further down the line I opted for a nipple reconstruction and tattoos and, again, experienced no problems with warfarin. So long as everyone is aware that you are taking warfarin, allowances can be made. The most important thing, following your op, is exercise, exercise, exercise. Good luck and as Julie says, there will always be someone here who can help.


Hi Sandra, thank you for your reassuring reply.

Hope I am as lucky as you in my treatments. I was hoping like you to have immediate reconstruction
but have been advised to wait.

Will let you know how I get on

Sybil xxx

Hello Sybil, I wish you all the best for your mastectomy next week, its good you have the support and love of your family, if its not offered enquire about support from the Macmillan nurses not just for you but you family my husband was told off for not contacting my Macmillan nurse when he found it hard to cope.
Another tip if you need chemotherapy you can ask for an ice cap to help stop loosing your hair, I dont like the idea but a friend of mine had it and still thanks me for telling her about it.
Yell for help if you need it we know what its like
bye Barbara

I had my mastectomy in June.
The night before I went into hospital my OH and I had a little party to say goodbye to my left breast. We told it how pleased we had been to know it and although it had been so good and tried it’s best ( I had a WLE 10 years go) It was now time to say goodbye. we told it how beautiful and that we would miss it always.
We drank to absent friends when I came back from hospital.
It sounds a bit bonkers but actually I think it helped us both a lot.

They hospital stay was fine and the breast loss was not half as scary I thought.
after the day after the op I got up every day had a shower and got dressed and went for a little walk outside. So as you see recovery is quick and the op with painkillers not particularly painful.

Good Luck I shall be thinking of you

Hi Sybil

I was diagnosed in April and had left mastectomy and axilliary node clearance as well in May. Surgery is not so bad. Not painful - just uncomfortable for a while. But scary. Your family sounds greatr. Rely on them for a while. Surgery is the easy bit! Chemotherapy is horrible but doable, if you need it.

In the meantime we are all here on this site for you my love. Any blood thinner like warfarin has to be stopped before an op. Blee d badly otherwise (she sayts, having had a mum on warfairn and a husband on various blood thinners for heart problems). They do monitor you closely so don’ worry.

Much love


Hi Sybil, I had a mastectomy this time last year, and I found this site great. We are all here for you and know what you are going through. Believe me it won’t be long before you are looking back and re assuring new ladies on the site that it is not as bad as they think it will be.
Best of luck. I have had reconstruction, and it is almost as good as before.
Hugs Heidicat