Mastectomy 25/9

I had surgery on Tuesday morning and came home the day after with a drain.
to be honest I feel better than I expected. still have the drain in which is the worst part for me.
I had 2 different types of tumour so surgery was best option. The also only removed one sentinal node as nothing seemed to to show in any others.
awaiting results in 2 weeks fingers crossed its clear.
feel a bit lost at the moment, but its good to know others here understand.
not sure how I’m supposed to be feeling if I’m hones. It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever been through

Hi Aeani

Just a quick reminder whilst you’re waiting for others to reply, that if you feel it might help to talk to someone, you are welcome to give the Helpline a ring. They can direct you to other sources of support and information, or just listen if you need to offload.

They’re on 0808 800 6000 and open 9-5 weekdays and 10-2 on Saturday.

Kind regards.

Louise, Facilitator

Hiya Aeani,
I am so pleased you feel you are doing better than expected following your MX. I had mine 29/8. Yes, i agree the drain is the worse part. mine felt uncomfortable and it was difficult to sleep. I felt relieved when it came out. My pain and discomfort now is ok, and surprisingly much less then I expected at this point.
I do understand what you mean about not being able to pinpoint how you are feeling, the breast cancer trip is so enormous that I think it takes time to process and understand what we have been through. I think you should not force your feelings but just accept all feelings as they come, be they: fear, numbness, relief, sadness. You may find that you have many conflicting feelings. accept those too. This will help in your recovery. Do not let others ‘talk you out of what you feel’. That is something we do not need.
In time hopefully, your emotions will settle. But, If you are finding it just too much, then there are many agencies that will support you and help to soothe some of the anguish and disorientation. They, too can help bring us to a brighter future. It may however, be slower than we would like.
Best Wishes

Hi Aeani,
I agree it is scary, but so good to see that you are coping better than you thought. I can relate to that having been through mastectomy earlier this year. In fact I think the worst part was waiting for the mastectomy and not knowing what to expect. Once it had taken place I coped better. Same with chemo actually, for me.
I am amazed that you are already home as I was in hospital for over a week. I agree too that drains are horrible. It will feel great when that comes out.
I hope you continue to do well.

V x

Hi Aeani,
Had my Mx on 18/09 and was also out next day with drain. Once the drain’s out it will feel better, just look after yourself and prepare for the road ahead. I will just reiterate what Wintersocks has said. easier said than done but that’s the boat we’re all in. Awaiting my results after the two weeks this Tuesday so understand what you are going through. My thoughts are with you.
Take care

Thank you for all your replies its all comfortimg to know Im not alone.
well a little update!

its a week on from surgery now and to say things changed a lot.
i had the drain out on Monday not as stressful as I thought it would be. Now a few days later and the surgery area is hard and a little swollen. All normal things that happen im led to believe. It’s painful now.
Hopefully someone else has experienced this and can assure me?
Had to call the nurse out last night due to the drain wound opening and leaking. Totally shocked me.
But all said and done this journey I am on is not so daunting as expected.
Still feeling positive.
I so hope things are goi g well for other too.
Thankyou for letting me get my words out on here it’s the only place I can be myself without hiding.


Hi Aeani
Just browsing the topics and saw your post and wanted to drop you a note.
I had mastectomy 10th September & it is hard knowing what is normal and not normal! Just wanted to encourage you to say it does get better! My surgery site is still quite hard, but am now moisturising it with a bland cream and that helps (but waited for the ok from the nurse before I did that!).
Started driving a few days ago and gave myself a setback with the pain, but think we need to listen to our bodies I guess!
Anyway, just wanted to reassure that people were reading your post and supporting you. I agree this site is brill!
Sue (Little Bear) x

Hi sue
Thanks for the reply its very reassuring knowing it will get better.
I braved a shower yesterday and feeling so much better. not sure I feel upto being more adventurous than that right now.
Sorry you had a set back but I agree listen to your body it knows best! Easier said than done. I’m mot used to this taking it slow and steady.
Once this wound heals I will feel much better. It’s not as dramatic as it may sound. The hardness is so etching to get used too.

Annie x

Hi Annie
I had my mx on Thursday last week but I got lucky and they took the drain out before I went home on Friday. I have spent the weekend in bed, and like you, I’m not entirely sure how I feel. I have two boys at school and so I have tried to concentrate on getting their schedule organised and lifts for school and football. Managed to have a shower this morning and shave my legs so felt a bit more of a person rather than a patient. Was glad to be out of the hospital as I was unable to sleep with all the noise in the ward.
Tomorrow I am planning to do a short walk but I am a bit slow moving round the house. My hairdresser is going to visit to wash my hair too. Expecting dressings to come off on Thurs. Think my emotions will be all mixed up that day!
Love from Jen x

Hi Aeani
I had my mx on Monday 20th August and decided to have reconstruction at the same time. I was in hospital for 8 days. All four drains were removed whilst I was in hosp. I too was very slow when I came home, but looking at your picture I’m much older than you. It’s so daunting at first and quite scary not wanting to express my feeling and worry the family. It was 6 wks last Monday and was advised I could drive again, so beginning to feel a bit normal again. I had a LC flap reconstruction. Having to wear a sports bra 24/7 which is soooo tight, but surgeon said this was necessary for quite a few months. Just feel as if I’ve got a straight jackets on at the mo because of the muscle being moved from my back to the boob. I must admit things are gradually starting to improve ie movement is quicker and am able to do light housework again. I was lucky my glands were clear, so I don’t have to have any treatment. It’s just on my mind all the time, is it going to come back. Please God it won’t. It’s so good to hear how other ladies are feeling. It doesn’t feel quite so daunting knowing are with you!! Take care Aeani and Jenny12m.
Love from capital x

Jen your recovery seems to be going brilliantly, just remember though when you go for that walk listen to your body honestly it knows best! The dressings coming of is daunting, but in my experience it wasn’t quite so bad as my mind had decided it would be xxx How did the walk go?

Hi capital,
im still walking around like a truck hit me 2 weeks on. have had problems with my drain site leaking so still having district nurses each night. Mine got infected but antibiotics are doing there job now so all looking a lot better.
under my arm stings a lot and the whole thing feels very hard, assuming that’s normal though.
Not complaining at all. It’s all very neat and tidy. I get e rest of my results this weds so a bit daunting till then, praying all its well and no more treatments…
I think we are all very brave travelling this journey. Positivity really has helped. I thank you all for letting me share this with you.
im always around if anyone feels like a chat.
Annie xx

Hello ladies, thank you for your support. I love everyone’s positive attitude on this site. I was diagnosed in May this year with IDC and have had three operations to have lumps and lymph nodes removed but the recent DCIS diagnosis was the reason for my fourth op which was the mx. Annie, sorry to hear about the infections, a local friend of mine had an infection and she was treated with surgery and antibiotics but one year on, is looking and feeling fantastic.
I have still not worked out how I am feeling. I think I feel the same as after the previous ops, even though this one is bigger and has wider implications in terms of falsies, softies and prosthesis. I was reading some really funny posts about ideas of what to do with your prosthesis and getting it out at parties, taking it out to lose pounds at weighwatchers made me laugh too.
I had complications with previous ops such as leaking wound, 3 seromas in my arm pit and a haematoma on my main wound, but this one seems to be going OK. No leakage, no pain - although I am still taking the ibuprufen and paracetamol. I had to stop the codine though as it makes me constipated. Had a poo now so happy about that.
Had a walk with my neighbour this morning and held onto her arm as I walked, I had to tell her to slow down a couple of times as she was going too fast for me. Had a lie down for an hour when I got back though. Loved the fresh air.
Sending lots of positive vibes to everyone. Thanks for listening.
Love from Jen

Glad to hear your walk went well Jen. It’s amazing how a bit of fresh air can feel.
I didn’t realise your journey had started so soon and with so much already sorry to hear that .
The walking was something I thought would be simple how silly I was .
I have laughed about things in and off. Both my sister and myseldid is slimming world before I had my mx, and she calls it a disadvantage for her that I get to lose weight within a few hrs that takes her two weeks!!
i had a bit of a wobble yesterday as I’m finding it too painful to consider a bra as yet so when I dress I can see the huge difference and that messes with my head a bit. Hopefully it will get better.
My drain wound is still leaking and I have a Seroma under my armpit which will be looked at tomorrow and I still have a big swelling on the breast area looks like I have a cleavage so that will be looked at also. Still positive from everything.
Im sure after I know exactly where I’m upto I will begin to take all in.
Hoping we all have a healthy speedy recovery xx
Annie x

Hi Annie
I know what you mean about bras. I have two local friends who have been through this in the last year or two, and an excellent bcn who has the most amazing patience with all my questions like ‘what bras shall I take into hospital?’ One friend recommended a crop top from Primark (two for £4) after my first surgery and these have been excellent after each of my surgeries. I also have a cheap Primark bra, not underwired which I took to hospital last week. When I first changed into my nightie at the hospital, I was a bit taken aback by the flat side (like you say, messes with my head), so a nurse helped me put on the cheap bra, positioning it at an angle so it was between my main wound and the site of my drain. Then I stuffed the bra with my spare pants (I took 5 pairs in case I was in hospital over the weekend). One side was a bit lumpy and small, but it got me through the evening and a visit from my mum, brother and two boys.
The next day the bcn brought along two sofites for me. Did you get these in hospital? She took another new bra with her and fitted the softie to the new bra. I have not yet been able to wear the new bra (too tight), but am wearing the crop tops with the softie held in place with a safety pin - advice from the bcn again, every day since.
Sorry to hear about the wound leaking, my other ones have all leaked and I have had the dressing changed at home (by a friend), at the GP surgery, and at the hosital, but this one seems to be OK.
Morning walks have been going OK, but I do hold onto the arm of my walker each day.
Love from Jen x

Hi Annie,
I had my op just over 4 weeks ago and I think I had similar reactions to you…
I didn’t have a lot of pain afterwards, but was really sore for some time and I also had a leak from the wound which needed dressing daily. Fortunately, my lovely daughters were happy to help me with changing the dressings and their attitude to my ‘flatness’ really helped me to get over the fear of dealing with that.
When I saw the surgeon for my 2 weekly report, she got the nurse to drain off as much fluid as she could through the leaking bit which helped, but boy was I sore afterwards! Even paracetamol struggled to deal with that…
The leak has now stopped and the would is healing rather well, I think anyway! But as a result, I am only now feeling that I can stand to wear a bra. I spent the first few days wearing camisole tops under a shirt and didn’t even use the softie until last week.
Stay positive, cos when you look back, all of this is happening in the space of just a few weeks, which is pretty amazing really.

I had my mx in May 2012, with immediate reconstruction - dermal sling and implant. The drain became infected 2 days later, so a week to the day I lost my boob for the 2nd time.
I found post surgery bras from Asda (£6) invaluble, and only had to use a softee if I was going out. They’re quite supportive but soft and I could fasten it over the dressings without much discomfort.
The tissue expander was put in in August, which has now been filled to 400ccs. I’m npw waiting for a date to have it exchanged for another implant, then another long wait for breast reduction. I now find I’m used to the sports bras I had to have after the 3rd op , and at £30 each (one G cup, one not really sure but prob C/D) its wear one, wash one!!
The pain varies depending on what I’ve been doing, and its frustrating not being able to spend hours digging in the garden and decorating, both of which are my passions, but I do try!!! I try to stay with paracetamol and ibuprofen for the pain, but occasionally have to resort to Tramadol. I think the dermal sling has moved to the right along with the expander, which is almost under my right armpit now.
On the whole, I have stayed positive, but I’m only human, although there are times when I get thoroughly fed up, and I’ve had one major melt down.
If anyone has had a dermal sling and /or expander I’d be interested to hearing about it