LEAD UP TO OPERATION My story so far, I was dx on 16th April with DCIS be told by a very unaring doctor that I my results were back and I had cancer in
my left breast.

I saw the specialst on the 27th who could not advise treatment
as they had only biopsied my left breast the day before but worse
case scenario was a double masctomy.

When I requested reconstruction straight away I was referred to
yet another hospital, where I saw the palstic surgeon on Tuesday
of this week. Shock I was expecting to be told my op would be
a while yet and was advised I was penciled in for next Thursday.

I am now gettig terrified at the entire prospect and am trying to confince myself I am coming down with a cold so I cannot go in.

What I am asking ladies does anyone have any tips in keeping as
calm as possible, I’m sleeping reasonably well getting about 5
solid hours a night which is not bad for me as I normaly only sleep
for 6. But on a daily basis I can feel myuself getting het up inside
and still have five days to go.

Any thougts tips would be a great help, as I fear I will back out of
next week and end up on the waiting list which is the last thing I
want to happen.

Carol xxx

Hi Carol

I would say you are very lucky to be taken in quickly like this. The longer you have to wait the worse it is because with every week it’s on your mind and you just get more wound up. I tried to practise yoga breathing to calm me down but couldn’t get my mind off everything. I think you have to accept you are going to be het up ( I didn’t sleep for the last two days which wasn’t good because they kept me awake with checking every half hour for 3 days after the op). I kept myself very busy. We had a couple of days away and two days before I went in I arranged to take a meal for all my family on the beach and the night before we all went to the pub( I didn’t drink) and then I did a bbq for everyone. Just keeping busy helped a bit. While I was waiting to be dx I found rescue remedy helped as well as calms for sleeping.
I can’t believe how unfeeling you dr was. I had a survey sent to me after my op asking me everything about how I was told I had cancer including was the nurse sympathetic, was I standing or lying, dressed or undressed etc because they want to improve things. I would suggest you tell your hospital they do the same. I’m sure all will go well next Thursday and next week at this time it will all be over. What kind of recostruction are you having?

Take care of yourself.

Dear Carol

I can’t offer any specific tips on relaxation but I have just been through a similar experience (left mastectomy and DIEP flap) so maybe that could help reassure you a bit?

My progress from diagnosis to surgery was almost as quick as yours and I chose to interpret it as a welcome sign that the NHS could sometimes act quickly (I was braced for an anxious wait on a waiting list). I went into Broomfield Hospital in Essex and had the op on 19th April when the very first suggestion that I even might have DCIS (routine scan) and needed further investigation had been on 1 March.

I am truly shocked by your doctor’s attitude, but don’t let it put you off your stride. My other tip (which with hindsight I could have followed more rigorously myself) is to keep asking questions about what they are going to do and what you can expect. Also say exactly what you want them to do (e.g. I want to be the same size, this particular size, smaller, larger, whatever). They are very wary of making promises and of course I understand why. But that shouldn’t get in the way of them making likely scenarios clear to you.

I had absolutely no pain at all whilst in hospital (except backache!) though of course no two cases will ever be alike. A bit of queasiness for a couple of days (probably the IV antibiotic, not the anaesthetic), but they have a pill for that and if it doesn’t work, insist on the injection. I was never sick though. The lady next to me got bad migraine and indigestion - but she was prone to those anyway. The message might be that if you have any minor chronic problems you may get a definite dose of them post op when your defences are a bit down?

Just keep telling yourself that it’s a blessing that it’s all being sorted out so quickly and you can soon get on with just living your life again.

All the very best and good luck


I only had a mastectomy not a reconstruction.

My advice is to keep as busy as possible before you go into hospital.

I was painting the living room the day before I went in.

You are doing better than me, I had difficulty sleeping before the operation and it was constantly on my mind. I only had my operation on the 26th April and am recovering well.

Try Avon Sleeptherapy - spray it on the pillows and when your head touches the pillow 9/10 you will be asleep in no time.

I wish you all the best.

Thinking of you.


Type of Reconstruction Hi Beverley

Thanks for your reply, have decided to go for the diepflap as
using parts of my own body seemed to be the best option in
case of further treatment.

I am going away to the coast this weekend so hope that this will
help me relax a little.

I keep thinking this time next week it will all be over.

Will let you know how things go

Carol xxx

Calm Hi Carol,
I was a bundle of nerves before my operations especially the mast and recon last July.
I’m not a great believer in taking tablets for no reason but my wonderful GP gave me diazipam to take in the days before each op, which helped a lot and I didn’t need to take them after the operations as I was okay and they are not adictive as I was only on them for a short while.
Best wishes for you op, Michelle.

Hi Carol
I hope you had a lovely weekend away. The weather was great here. I had a DIEP done last July and the results are very good. The nipple will never be as good as my nipple but the rest of my breast is a marvellous shape and more like it was pre-kids. The fact that virtually all my skin was left helps. Lovely flat tummy as well. The op itself is not too bad and the only irritating thing is the constant checks afterwards when it would be nice to sleep.
Hope all goes ok on thursday and you will soon be up and about.

Hi Beverley

I had a lovely weekend with some members of my family, although
brother is being a pain still will discuss the situation.

I have to ring the hospital tomorrow to make sure the bed is
ok and then its all system go. The operation itself should be
Thursday. Still getting very apprehensive and now not getting
much sleep. A little fed up with people keep on syaing you’ll
be fine they have no idea of how I am feeling inside outside
I can put on a very brave face.

Still trying to be as positive as possible

Will let you all know how it goes next week



You are bound to feel anxious, nervous and worried. It is only natural. Just try and relax as much as possible.

I hope the bed is available to you and everything goes well.


Thinking of you.


Hi Carol,

I go in for my mastectomy tomorrow - Thursday 7th - I can honestly say…up to now…I’m feeling fine about everything.

I’ve ‘half’ packed my bag which is keeping me busy thinking…erm…have I got this, have I got that, do I even need this, do I even need that, so as you can see, I’m totally confused…

I’m not having a recon…well…not yet I’m not.

When I was first told about my mastectomy, I couldn’t sleep at all, so I did get some sleepers from my doctor, but to date, I haven’t used any.

Keep yourself busy Carol. I’m making sure everything is clean and tidy in the house for my return and preparing meals for my family, so to be honest, I haven’t really had time to be worried.

I’m not worried about the operation I know I’m in safe hands, so relax and think about recovering from the op and getting yourself on top form again.

Take care
All the best
Linda xx

BACK HOME AFTER OPERTIONS Hi all just wanted to say a big thank you for your replies.

Got back home on Thursday after spending eight days
in hospital.

Had several panic attacks the night before the operation
but everything was fantastic right up until they took me in for
the anasetic. The operation took longer than anticipated as
the vein blew at the last minute and it all has to be redone.

I am really pleased with the end result there is a lot of brusing
at the moment and trying to find a comfortable position to
sleep is proving quite difficult.

The district nurse is coming in to see me as some of the
wounds are still open and weeping so have to be changed
everyday so its quite calming for an expert to see me everyday
and notice ant changes. So far all is looking good.

For anyone having to make to decission reconstruction or
not I say go ahead and don’'t wait.

Hope you are all keeping well.


Carol xxxx

Hi Carol

So glad to hear all went well with the op. I have been wondering how you got on. Take care of yourself and don’t over do it.

hi there I had just moved house a week before I was diagnosed with breast cancer we moved from Birmingham back to Scotland after 25 years. The move was quite distressing for me and then finding out I had cancer. I had to go and registar with a new doctor who didnt know anything about me. I got an appointment within a week and was diagnosed all in the one day.Then my operation was booked for the next week. I was thinking like you will I say I have got a bad cold and then I thought god its near Christmas so I decided to go in and have a masectomy and I am glad now I did it wasent as bad as I thought it would be and the medical staff was fantastic I then had to have 8 sessions of chemo I have had 6 now only 2 to go and then I have to take the tablets for 5 years. So I would advise you to go in and get it over with I was terrified just like you and also being here in a new town. If you prolong it your treatment will just take longer and you wouldnt want that I wish you the best of luck You Take Care Linda x