Just had surgery

Hi. I am new to all this…been trying to register for a while with no luck, but anyway here I am - another statistic!

I was diagnosed in August and underwent a mastectomy last Wednesday…one week later here I am back at home and feeling totally different to how I imagined. My care was excellent - and I am so glad I didn’t take the private route. I have had no pain and have found coping with the whole thing so much easier than I ever imagined.

I suppose I just want to say to all you ladies out there who are waiting for your surgery not to think too much into how you are going to cope…the uncertainty is much worse than the actual getting on with it and dealing with it. I felt relieved when my breast was removed…I was over the biggest hurdle of my life (so far) and it meant my tumour was in the bin, so to speak.

I am waiting for results now…chemo is my absolute nightmare, but hay…a month ago mastectomy had that title.

I don’t know if I have said anything much in this little ditto, but I know it has made me a feel a bit free-er from some of the things you can’t actually tell anyone without putting into words.

Home is just feeling great. Got back last night. Today I have given myself two targets…the first is getting in and out of the bath and the other is making myself sit down and relax.

My reward? A big glass of ice cold white wine before dinner…which, by the way, I fully intend to prepare for my wonderful family.

Thanks for listening x

Good for you, your comments are spot on. It is amazing how we do actually cope. Make sure you do sit down and relax tho’!
I had my surgery at the end of July and my second Chemo is due on Friday. I’m not looking forward to it but it’s been do-able and so long as it’s doing its job!!
Love to you and your family, enjoy your glass of wine!

HI there so glad that you have come through your operation and by the sound of it they didn’t remove your sense of humour,
Yes you deserve to relax and a nice big cold glass of wine.
You sound as though you have a very supportive family and i really know that helps so much,don’t know what I’d have done without them.
please let us know how you are getting on enjoy your day and relax relax relax and then relax some morexxxxx

Thanks for your comments. So far today I have had the bath I longed for and managed to get in and out without any bother…and smothered myself in my best lotions etc, just to feel like ‘me’ again. I had a visit from the DN who changed my dressings and I’ve managed to sort the laundry… OH has been fantastic - took the dog out for a walk and is now doing the ironing. I’ve had two beautiful bouquets arrive too.

I am really fortunate in that I have most of the movement back in my arm and can hold my arm more or less straight in the air, though it feels very tender and isn’t comfortable when I sleep flat. I have devised my own exercises - I even find myself doing them in the night when I wake up!!!

These are early days…but one thing I have learnt is to tackle one hurdle at a time. Worrying about results wont change the outcome (and we’ve all been down that road waiting for our initial diagnosis) so I am just trying to be as positive as I can and not waste my days worrying about what might be.

And best of all that glass of wine is only a couple of hours away!

Hi Pheebster,

I was dx last July and have just finished all treatment, 8 chemo,3 ops, rads and am now on tamoxifen.
I was advised and have def found it best to tackle one thing at a time, glad you are getting movement back in your arm, def keep up the exercises, you will get there, the chemo is a challenge but doable, the support on this site is amazing, even at night time sometimes I could not sleep and someone is usually here. My husband too has been brill and I have a great network of family and friends,
Good luck with the rest of your treatment
Take care
Dawn x

Hi Pheebster

Hope you enjoyed the wine!! Make sure you dont do too much - even if you feel you can. Think of chemo as an elephant - needs to be eaten slowly, one bit at a time and you will get there.


I suppose because I feel so well I am just waiting for the fall… Perhaps we have just been conditioned to think that way?

I’m just getting ready to start my 2nd day back home…bath, bit of make up, fresh track suit and watch some daytime tv. I have been wearing my bra with cushion pad since Saturday and that definitely makes me feel a million times better, and the BCN has arranged for me to pick up a couple more infills.

How did all you girlies cope with your prothesis (is that the right spelling)? I have been told there are lots of different ones to choos from…being a 34F I quite fancy the idea of something lightweight (haha)! I’m not thinking of reconstruction just yet, but the surgeon has recommended it, and left all the surplus skin so I can have it done when I am ready …the most important thing for me right now is to get better first.

I’m trying to decide what my two goals will be for today…any ideas? Maybe washing my hair and a slow walk to the shop for another bottle of wine ?

Maria/Kharga/DawnCr: You are all an inspiration…thanks for your replies. It’s good to know we have all have the same fears at some time.

Hi phebster, gald to hear you are taking care of yourself. I had my mx at the end of June and had 2nd op to remove rest of nodes 3 weeks ago and the greateste thing to do is to listen to your body and rest when you need to and try not to do too much (easier said than done sometimes) remeber rome was not built in a day.
You are right about waiting for the results you cannot change what will be and that is how I deal with this. I see the prof on Mon for treatment plan and this will be ?7 chemo sessions and then rads and then hormone treatment but I CAN AND WILL beat this, tick the surgery off and next step please ( I am scared but needs must)

Have a good day Sharon xx

This seems to be turning into a bit of a ‘Dear Diary’ but each morning it makes me think positively and work my day out…hope you don’t mind listening?

Day 3 home, and just had my staples out. Didn’t hurt at all and I must say my scar looks less like a railway track now, but still a lovely yellow and purple colour. I’ve noticed some fluid builing up so off to the BCN this afternoon for her to have a look at it - am paranoid it may become infected if I leave it too long.

It was harder deciding my two goals for today but the first was to have a good look at my scar in the mirror and get to grips with my new look. That was fairly easy funny enough, as immediately my cancer was diagnosed I hated that left breast - weird as that may sound! It became my worst enemy

My second goal is to wander to the shops with my daughter after school, and maybe treat her to something nice (she has been a little star these last few weeks) and sit outside and have a coffee.

I must say that this vile disease has taught me how to appreciate the most simple things in life.

Thanks for listening and I hope you all have a positive day and stress-free weekend



Didn’t realise when you posted on another thread that you are so recently recovering from surgery yourself! You sound very positive and upbeat and two goals each day is a good idea. I have visions of me sinking into too much Jeremy Kyle and not doing my hair so I think I will try the same approach as you.

Have you felt this well and positive since the surgery or since leaving hospital? I only say because it is possible you will have an emotional or physical crash and I don’t mean to be a darker voice but if you aren’t aware of the possibility and it happens it will be harder to come back up, especially if it creeps up on you.

Can I ask how you felt looking in the mirror without your breast? I haven’t really got very upset since my dx on 18th Aug except the one time intimate with my hubby when it hit me like a brick. I like my breasts and that hasn’t changed since my dx, I have lost some weight over the last year to 18 months (perhaps a little too much) and am feeling really comfortable in my skin and with myself at 39 and am concerned with how I will cope with adjusting to my new boob let alone me without hair etc.

Hi Ostrich…To be honest I am waiting for the fall…for when the novelty of being home has worn off, and the luxury of putting things off until I feel better is driving me mad.

My worst time was when I was diagnosed…crying, shaking, unable to eat feeling like I was stuck in a tunnel and couldn’t get out. I used to have a dream I was in a vacuum and falling down a big tunnel. As soon as I didn’t have anything to do I would see my first consultant’s face (since changed consultant) casually telling me I had cancer and asking if I had any questions…that haunted me for days.

I became more positive when I met my current consultant and he put things into perspective for me. I also work in the medical world so I was getting lots of conflicting advice - people all meaning well, but confusing the hell out of me.

I was adamant that I wouldn’t sit around moping after surgery and wanted to be up an moving as soon as possible. I remember doing my exercises laying in the bed the night after surgery. I now have close to full movement in my arm (though not lifting anything more than a hairdryer). I was able to blo-dry my hair today which was something i though I wouldn’t be able to do for weeks!

My scar is long (34F cup) - longer than I imagined but it is neat. The surgeon left enough skin for my recon, when I am ready. I could have had it all together, but I think that may have been a bit too much for me to get my head round at this stage.

Looking in the mirror isn’t as hard as I thought…firstly you will have bandages on so nothing too gruesome. Just bruising. Get used to that first and accept it…this is just temporary…it’s not forever. I wouldn’t let OH touch my left breast since my dx…in my heart it didn’t exist anymore. I have a strange sense of humour (some would say it’s a bit sick I suppose) and it definitely helps to be able to see the funny side of things.

The chemo things is terrifying,I have great hair and cannot imagine losing it. I’ve not been told I need it yet but I am conditioning myself to expect it. I think the scary thing with chemo is that there is no hiding it…the whole world can see what you are going through. Knowing they may be pitying me? I hate pity…hate negative vibes.

Sorry…I am waffling now, but I hope I have answered your questions x

Sorry to hear how you struggled when initially dx Pheebster, as I said on other posts, generally I’m a bit fine, too fine perhaps. I do think about it every second of every day but am too busy trying to carry on as normal telling everyone “I’m not sick” so perhaps it will hit me more post op.

I have to say I think working in the medical world would be a bit scary too - too many people with lots of bits of information all trying to help! My job is fairly male dominated (I am the only female on my team bar a new part-time sargeant) so most of my lads don’t mention it unless I do which is quite nice and as most of them don’t have kids or wives or some with only long term girlfriends they don’t know that much about it and certainly don’t ask for gory details (except one who paled when I told him I wouldn’t have a nippled until they rebuilt me one down the line!).

Keep up your positive attitude and daily targets. I am off to work shortly for my last shift with my team as I am on a week’s days for training next week before going off for my op so will miss my lads lots.

Two goals I hit today…

  1. I had my first all over shower today…fabulous! Just wondering when I can start to use deodorant again - anyone know?

  2. Took a trip to M & S with OH as we decided we would dine in for a tenner tonight! Also whilst I was there i returned the hammock posing as a post-mast bra which I bought a few weeks ago but somehow could just not bring myself to wear!

So all in all a good day - £25 back for the hammock and dinner for a tenner!!!

Have a nice evening everyone x