mastectomy

I am to have a mastectomy on the 19th feb and am feeling pretty miserable about it- even though I know that I am one of the lucky ones who has DCIS and therefore in theory the mastectomy should be the end of the treatment. I have a friend who had a mastecotomy a couple of years ago and she is extremely positive and helpful but I still feel miserable. I am very fond of my breast and don’t want to lose it - feels a bit pathetic really when so many have so much worse. Anyone out there recognise this - ie i ought to and do feel lucky but…

Hi luckys
Just wanted to say that I think any of us who have faced having a mastectomy will know how miserable that feels, whatever our dignosis-it is a big thing to face, and where you are now is horrible. It isn’t this awful for ever, and I’m sure your friend’s positivity will be really helpful in the days to come, but don’t feel bad about feeling sad at the moment. All the best.
C

Hi luckys

It is very normal to feel as you do. I think you need time to get your head round things. I had a mastectomy in Dec 2006 and recovered very well. A few years down the line after treatment had finished I started to think about reconstruction. I finlly went ahead and had Tram Flap reconstruction in Dec 2010 and I am thrilled to bits with my new breast. Give yourself time to heal emotionally and physically. I hope all goes well with your op.

Love and best wishes

Carolyn x

Hi, I had a mastectomy 19th Feb last year and I remember all the feelings you are describing. I too was one of the ‘lucky’ ones with DCIS and mastectomy would also be end of treatment. I almost felt I needed to mourn for my breast if that makes any sense? I was terribly upset about it and people telling me how ‘lucky’ I was didn’t help one bit. I knew it was the sensible option but that said - it is very very hard to come to terms with and I can recall shedding a lot of tears this time last year. However, I can tell you that it wasn’t as bad as I feared. The pain and recovery weren’t as bad as I’d anticipated. I had a reconstruction at the same time but I was out of hospital in 4 days and back to ‘normal’ within a month. In the summer I was able to wear a bikini and no one could have guessed that I’d had a mastectomy. I haven’t been restricted in any way at all. To be honest, apart from the odd twinge, I don’t even think about it most days now.
You will get through this I promise and this time next month you will be well on the way to recovery.
Good luck
Val

Hi, I was in exactly the same position as you in October 2008. I couldn’t understand why I was being told by the medical staff that I was “lucky” because I had very early bc (found at my first routine mammogram) but then I had to have such drastic surgery - I didn’t feel very lucky!

I was so scared about having the mastectomy that I thought I might jump off the trolley and do a runner on the way to the theatre! By the time the operation came around I was just glad to get it over with. Like the other ladies have said the operation wasn’t as bad as I expected.

I was very emotional and weepy for a few months after. I found it easier to have a cry on my own in the end because I didn’t want to upset my OH.

I took my time sorting my underwear and breast form out and I am now confident about them. I do have to be careful of my neckline (but I didn’t wear low necklines anyway before my op) and I use body tape to secure some tops if I am worried about them gaping.

I don’t think I will have a reconstruction (although I could have one at any time if I decided to). I have come to terms with the mastectomy. I hardly ever think about it when I am dressed.

It isn’t easy but you can learn to live with it if you decide not to have a reconstruction and life can be good again.

Good luck
Maude xx

thanks everyone for replying and for your support - it really helps and you are quite right - I do need to mourn my breast. I keep thinking - this is the last time my breast will be going to eg choir practice. It has almost become a separate person! I know I’ll be fine I am pretty sensible most of the time and just get on with things - so it does help to hear that others have had a similar response.

all love

luckys