Looking at scar

I had my mastectomy 5 weeks ago, and have had trouble with healing, and still needing regular dressing changes, but the nurse said part had healed now and she could leave the dressing off today. I asked her to put another dressing on, I can’t stand the thought of looking at my ugly scar and empty chest.  How do you cope?

@emma6789  - first of all, welcome to the forum. I hope you find help and support, but do ask any questions any time.

I had a mastectomy and reconstruction but am very squeamish so I too didn’t want to look at my scar and changes to my chest. In the end of course I had to, but it was a gradual thing. Like you I tried to keep dressings in place as long as possible, and after that I would shower without looking at my chest and would make sure I was always dressed in front of any mirrors. But very slowly I started to look and am now used to it. It really is an individual thing, there’s no easy fix unfortunately. All I would say is give yourself time to adjust, don’t beat yourself up about not looking or being upset by it. We have gone through a big change, had a big shock diagnosis, and this new chest is a constant reminder. So getting used to it is all part of dealing with the mental side of the diagnosis.

I’m not sure that helps at all, but I just wanted to reassure you that what you are feeling is very normal. Have you got a prosthesis or some other breast form so that you look more even when dressed? I think there are various support groups for those who don’t have reconstruction that you might want to join. Or try searching on the forum - the search box is just above this message, but make sure you search the whole forum not just “this board”.

I’m happy to chat more about this, or anything else. Sending hugs, Evie xx

Ahhh Emma, I am so very sorry you have had to go through it as well. I remember having a proper cry with my mum sitting in the bathroom looking at my chest and scar for the first time, breaking my heart. I’m 5 years down the line now following mastectomy and radiotherapy and I promise you that things do get easier, you can hardly see my scar line now as it has faded so much. When you are fully healed and can start to bear touching it, maybe treat yourself to some nice organic creams/oils and gently massage it regularly, it helps with tightness, smells amazing and made me feel a lot better about it as for quite a while I showered in the dark and avoided looking in the mirror. I think it is absolutely normal. It’s early days and you are getting used to it. Big hugs xxx

I know this feeling so well. It’s been 7 months post op for me and after my op I had an infection, it was awful. I found I ignored my mastectomy, gave it no attention at all. Even having a bath was very quick. I can say when it starts to look better, you will feel better about it. I still ignore it, but I hate it less and less. Its becoming me though, not completely as I know that will take time.



I can totally relate to this. I couldn’t bear looking at my chest following a mastectomy and this wasn’t helped by the fact that a hole appeared in the stitching and I had to wear plasters for weeks. However I got it into my head that I would face it one day and as the the sixth month anniversary of the operation grew near, I knew I was ready. By then the scar had faded somewhat and didn’t look so angry. I’m massaging bio oil onto it twice a day now and am feeling really proud of myself. So, don’t beat yourself up and just know that one day sooner or later you’ll be ready and this time will be different for everyone. Hope this helps as this is my first contribution to this site.