Here I go, op's in 2 days!

Hi Girls.

Well the time is nearly here, I have both the Sentinal Lymph Node biopsy and breast WLE of the nipple and surround area done on Tues 19th. You have all been great help and support so far and I thank you for that. To say the least I am getting very agitated today, worried and every other emotion you can think of. Just want it taken away now, the bad bits gone!!! Just worried about the results of the lymph node tests, I don’t get those for another two weeks after my operation. More waiting…

Don’t know what to expect with WLE, what will it look like? Will it hurt? What can I do? What can’t I do? When is it a good time to go back to work? Will this be it, all over? Sorry, questions, questions. The unknown. Just want my future back and to look forward to things, occasions again, feel very numb today.

Any help ladies, would be very much appreciated. You have helped me to this point so far.

Thanks again,
Ladela xx

Hi Ladela

The specialist nurses on our helpline team will be happy to talk to you about the concerns you have regarding what to expect from your surgery. You can contact the team in the morning on 0808 800 6000 the opening times are Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Best wishes

Hi Ladela
I do really understand your anxiety. It is not an easy time. I had WLE over 4 weeks ago and SNB, I was terrified. Little pain, just discomfort. Results took nearly 3 weeks, dreadful time. SNB clear thank goodness. I still have another little op. this coming Friday and yes it bothers me but I am doing my best to try and get on with things. I was initially signed off for 6 weeks, thinking I would start rads this week, but of course that has been put back for a bit. I am a teacher so job very physical and also difficult to dip in for a day hear or there, don’t want to mess up the students. I do keep in touch with work. I was worried about work but I think you need to just take one step at a time, I know it does of course it depends on your finacial situation also.
I really wish you all the best for Tuesday. I did drink a lot of wine before my op. but drank little since, not sure it is what the doc. would recommend but it made me feel a lot better, amazingly did not suffer any hangovers!!!
Take care,
love Alicexx

Hi Ladela,
I remember very well experiencing all the feelings you describe pre-op! In the event the actual thing wasn’t anywhere near as bad as my imaginings. I had WLE and SNB last November 14th, I went back to work mid December, then off on holiday to Australia on Dec 18th, came back in Jan and started straight on radiotherapy.
My WLE took a 14cm diameter lump, and I had two scars one at the side of my nipple about 10cm and a smaller one just where the top of the breast meets the armpit for the lymph nodes(2 removed). This top scar was the most troublesome as it pulled when I moved, and was in an awkward position for bras. I used vit E oil on it as soon as the dressing came off (about 1 week) and it is fading fine now and not painful at all. The other scar on the actual breast is still rather indented, and as I have only just finished radiotherapy the breast shape is still changing.
Immediately post op the pain was not as bad as I thought it would be. I had morphine the first night as a routine, and the second night I asked for a another dose because I wanted to get some sleep!. (you are usually written up for this, but they don’t always tell you - you have to ask for it if you need it - don’t be afraid to ask if you are in pain). I got out of bed the morning after the op as I was keen to get mobile ASAP, and went home on Day 3.
Hope some of this is helpful, and wishing you the very best of luck for Tuesday, post as soon as you can to let us know how you are.
Lots of hugs

For me WLE discomfort for a few days esp when turning over in bed,had to support boob with hand and turn slowly.You must do the exercises they will give you every day to reduce risk of lymphodema and to restore full mobility to your arm scar is about 5 inches long with a sort of T shape at one end where he sampled lymph nodes.The worst part of the whole thing for me was waiting to get the results.I only had to wait a week and they were clear.All the very best for your horacex

Thanks, Jojo, Alice and Katie.
I certainly will let you know how things go after the op, (as soon as I can type!) thanks for being there.
Ladela x

Hi, just signing in to wish you all the bes for the op. I had different op, so can’t help with answers, but was amazed how much more quickly I got better than I thought I would. The waiting is not easy, but I found the time waiting for the op harder than the time waiting for the results.

Hi Ladela, just want to wish you all the best for Tuesday - I have SLN biopsy on Weds with mastectomy date to be arranged. I don’t remember being told how long the SLN results will take, the days since dx on 8 Feb have been quite a blur so I hope the days waiting pass quickly, for you too. It’s such a help having contact here with people who understand.


Edited to add that the leaflet on SLN supplied in the folder does say results in approx 2 weeks, I’ve looked at all this information so many times and I’m not sure any of it is actually sinking in!

Hi all you lovely ladies,
Well had my ops last week, not very nice I have to say. Never mind over and done with for now. More painful than I thought it would be. Having steri strips taken out on Friday, not looking forward to that. Have to wait until 11th March for the Sentinel Node Biopsy results, its going to be a long couple of weeks or so. How long was it that you girls felt semi back to normal? How long did you all leave it after a WLE and SNB to go back to work? I look forward to your comments and hope you are all doing well. Please let me know.

Thanks and my very best of wishes to everyone out there.
Ladela xxx

Hi Ladela

I have been keeping an eye out for you and glad you are back in the land of the living. It took me about 3 weeks to feel back to normal but I got a really bad throat out of the op too so dont know it that helped. I was given a sick note for 3 weeks by the hospital and have now started my rads so was given another for a further 2 months to cover the whole time. My BC nurses said if possible (financially) stay off until treatment has finished. I am 4 rads down with 15 to go and expect to be back in work 14th April ish and even then my GP is asking me to go back part time for a month or so to ease me in. I think its more of a mental issue than physical although with all the drugs and rads I am feeling wiped out by mid afternoon this week.

Some people in here are amazing and are working through chemo and rads. I wish I had the strenght of character and body to do it but like I said just a bit wiped out. You have to do whats right for you.

Good luck with everything. Shonagh xx

thanks Shonagh that has helped a lot. Keep going and stay in touch. Good to hear from you.
Take care,
Ladela xx

Hi Ladela
I am pleased that you have got through the op. okish, sorry you have had quite a bit of pain with it, hope you are feeling a bit better now.
Yes the waiting for results is awful, 11th March is a long time for you to wait, I really sympathise.
In terms of feeling normal, for me I would say 4 weeks before the swelling went down after WLE and SNB. I had one wound since my lump was at the side close to armpit. I had a lot of swelling in second week, retaining fluid, felt like half a tennis ball under my arm. Anyway all nicely healed before the second op. so sore again now, but less uncomfortable. Oh also there were areas of numbness, mainly around the area of the wound, and a bit up the inside of my arm, I believe this is due to nerve damage. I still do not know about returning to work. It is confusing isn’t it? Really depends on how you are feeling, physically and psychologically and of course what you can afford, whether you can claim sick pay etc. mad isn’t it.
Hope Friday goes ok. Are you getting it done at your local practise with the nurse?
Anyway wishing you well
love Alicex

Hi Ladela

I had my lupectomy and 5 nodes removed on the 10 Janauary 2008 and was back at work 3 weeks later but only worked 4 hrs a day as I found I got very tired, had to have more surgery on the 21 February as clearance was not good enough, I have now decided to stay of work till all my treatment is over with, guess its how you feel I now relise that I went back to soon after last operation.

Money may mean you have to go back to work although this should not be a issue it is in my case only bought my house last march and only me to pay the mortgage and of course never took out critical illness policy so when my 6 months full sick pay ends I will have to go back to work but hopefully my treatment will have finished by then.


Hi Alice/ladies

Yes Alice my local practice nurse is coming to the house on Friday to change/take off dressings and take out steri strips. I’m wondering if she will then leave off the dressings? Anyway not looking forward to that bit, can’t wait for it to be over. I’m still very sore, especially near the arm pit, don’t know quite what to do about work yet because I only get SSP as I’ve only been there for 8 months, no critical illness insurance either (ho hum). But again I don’t feel that I could cope with work quite yet, there is a lot of moving around with work and moving heavy items/books so I don’t think I will be up to that quite yet. I wish I could get the results sooner but they won’t budge, the 11th it is and also with another consultant as mine is on holiday! I just want to look forward to things again, that’s what I hate most is what this damn thing has taken away from me/us, it’s taken the shine off of looking forward to the mundane things in life, do you know what I mean? I hope your swelling goes down Alice and you are feeling relatively ok soon. Also I have read on this site how some ladies have had full MRI scans, is this always the case? If so I haven’t been offered one?

Sorry Debra to hear you have to have another op, it’s not fun to go through it again. I wish you the best of luck with the second op, let us know how it went. Take care.

Take care all of you and thanks,
Ladela xxxxxx

Hi Ladela
How are you getting on?
Hope tomorrow goes okay with your practise nurse.
love Alicex


Second op went well in fact not as bad as my first op althought I am a lot more tired after this op but guess its due to haveing 2 ops so close togeather, will get the results next Wednesday, 3rd operation is next thursday to have my ovaries removed this will be my last for some time so cant wait to get it out of the way.

Hope all goes well today with the nurse, when I had mine taken of I was pleased with the scar and it did not hurt at all so hopefully it will be the same for you, I know what you mean about the arm pit but it does get better the feeling in mine is getting better as each day goes on and I now have sensation back there. On the MRI scan I have not had one and not been offered one yet but I am due to have Radiotherapy soon so not sure if I will have one before this starts.

Let us know how you go today

Take care
Debra x

Hi Debra/Alice/Ladies

Feeling sorry for myself tonight, the nurse was here today and she took the stitches out which at the time wasn’t too bad, a bit “ow” as I call it but bearable. But tonight I keep getting this pain deep in and around the breast which isn’t too nice, probably just the bruising that has been disturbed today, hopefully it will settle down for tomorrow. The only trouble is I have to go back to the doctors surgery on Monday to have the ends cut off the line of stitching (dissolvable) that runs from one end to the other, can’t remember the technical name, begins with an ‘S’. The district nurse today couldn’t remember if they were dissolvable or not, so again on Monday I have to disturb the wounds and have these cut off. I just wish everyone would stop touching that area for a while and let it heal, it is still quite sore, and still getting short, sharp stabbing pains around the area.

Anyway that’s my moans and groans over with, how are you both? (Alice/Debra), I bet you can’t wait to get the op’s over and done with Debra, how long do you have to stay in for? Have you got a good rallying family/friends around you? I’m sorry for asking a very stupid question, but why are they taking your overaries out, is it because of your hormone outcome (I still can’t quite get me head round that bit!) Sorry to sound dim, but there is still quite a lot I don’t understand about this horrid thing we all have. Anyway my thoughts and best wishes are with you all and keep in touch and moan and groan if you want to, to me, it will give me something else to think about…

Anyway take care, speak soon,
Love & Hugs Ladela xxxxx

Hi Ladela
Good you got most of the stitches sorted, I think we all get odd pains post surgery. It is okay to feel sorry for yourself. Hope you feel better this morning, that is if you got any sleep through the very spooky blustery night!
I am fine(ish), fed up with the waiting and feeling very unmotivated at the moment at want all this out of the way and behind me. I still have not got an appointment though for results of last op. yawn…
Hi Debra
Yes like you my second op was less problematic than the first remembering they were not touching nodes and no radioactive injection etc and not as deep… the scar is less neat but cannot complain really, I feel lucky it is at the side of the breast. Your tiredness is probably accumulative, I feel similar in a way.
The overies op. will that be key hole surgery? Hope this goes smoothly. Will that be day surgery? I am amazed at how quickly people are in and out of hopital, this is a good thing. I thought I was in line for hyterectomy but seems now not on the cards, just will keep an eye on things as they think I am not post men. but peri men. say I am too young, I am 48! I do not really understand.
Hi Shonagh,
Hope you are enjoying you w/e with no trip for rads for a coulpe of days, how are you feeling today, not too sore I hope, have read your progress on other threads.
Going to make an effort to do something today which will make me feel better about me. Not sure what that will be as yet, but I will think of something.
Take care all
love Alicexx

Hi Ladela
I had a lumpectomy 15 feb and have the pains you mentioned, i think its probably the inside healing and probably bruising.
They did not take enough lump and need to do a second op. so expect to feel worse and that might lead to a mastectomy.
Hi alicein wonderland
why would a hysterectomy be necessary? I am 59 so would not be worried about losing the womb except its another op. in fact if they took my ovaries it might stop the hot flushes i’ve had for 4 years, hey theres a positive

keep well


The short stabbing pains are normal and do settle down mine was a lot worse with the first op than with this so could be due to nodes being removed and nerve damage. My scar is not to bad this time round and is down the side of my boob so can be hidden with a bra but as you say Alice its not as neat as the first scare.

My consultant has said that I will need to have further surgery as they have removed so much that my left boob a little deformed but I can have that operation at any time so will leave it till next year.

I am fine today and feeling much stronger although the hot flushes I am having at night are driving my mad, I have been having these since my implant to turn of my ovaries had the second one on Tuesday thankfully the last one, the operation to have the ovaries removed was offered instead of chemo as my bc was ER+ and my aunt is currently terminal with ovarian cancer so had a higher than average chance of getting ovarian cancer, having my ovaries out reduces my chances by 80 % as you have some ovarian tissue high up that is left behind when you grow into a women, it will be through key hole surgery and I will be in and out on the same day if all goes well will be so glad when this operation is over and done with as I am getting a little feed up of them now although I do keep reminding myself that these operations are to save my life so I should not complain to much.

I’m not having my womb taken out as they feel that this is not necessary as I will be monitored for possible womb cancer as I am on tamoxifen for 5 yrs never thought at the age of 42 I would be saying good bye to my periods but I cant wait have always suffered with heavy periods so the fact I will have no more is a plus.

Ladela feel free to ask question someone will give you the answer I learn something new from this site most days

Take care to you all
Love Debra x