mastectomy

Hi,my first time on here,quite nervous,as,I have never taken part in any type of online discussions,b but then I’ve never been told ive got .bc.wad diagnosed on the 15 december 2011,after disbelief,the why me?the many tears,the feelings of positive thoughts,and the lows of wanting to step out in front of a bus,and end it quickly,the loneliness,despair,I won’t go on,you all no these feelings,it was discovering this forum in the days that followed,reading comments from all of you,at different stages of this awful disease,that has given me strength.always thought of myself as a strong person,but at that time,I folded.I already work for the nhs,so attending hospital,for what seemef like everyday,and also continuing to go to work was hard,I’m now at the point where I havebeen told I need a mastectomy,which is to be done this Tuesday 10th,I know I have no choice,but am terrified,of my body image,and how I will cope,1 day from now I will have 1 breast,logically I’ve accepted this,mentally I’m being tortured,and I know I should have mentioned earlier,that my bc is primary,dc,invasive,at present no lymph node involvement,touch wood,I think what I’m craving is reassurement,everthings happening so fast right now.

Welcome, Sandy, I hope you will find the support you need here, We have all been through the highs and lows of this unplanned journey and no question is too silly! Yes, there are many wonderful women here and a few men too.

It’s a rough time, but here’s the good thing: in two days the cancer will be gone :slight_smile:

Hi Sandy

Sorry that you have to join us on here but you are in good company. I was diagnosed at the end of May 2011 and started on Chemotherapy first and then I had a mastectomy in December. I had 6 months to get my head round the idea of losing one of my breasts and haven’t had any problems dealing with it so far. My best suggestion for you is to read the posts on here and then you will get an idea about the treatments that other people have had and how they have dealt with the experiences.

You will cope. If you have any questions, ask. There is no such thing as a stupid question. And try not to think too far ahead. All you have to deal with is NOW - take it one step at a time just make sure the steps you take are moving forwards.

best wishes

Debbie (aka Supertrouper)

Omg,thankyou so much for posting back to me,just by reading your comments back,I broke down cryimg,what is wrong with me,LOL,every time I think,come on stop the crying,and get on with it I keep crying,think I need stoppers in my eyes,met with my bcn on Friday to discuss op,she was really supportive,but I think I need to meet people in my position.told very little to anyone,didnt want to upset people and make it an issue.your so right about thinking too far ahead,since my diagnosis I’ve been accused of this more than twice,thankyou so much again for your responses,I will let you know how I get on.

Sandy - hope the mastectomy goes well and am sure it will be a smooth procedure. I had chemo over 4 yrs ago prior to surgery. I actually had my surgery 4 yrs ago TODAY (!!) - just realised that bit - and had a mastectomy and removal of all lymph nodes as some were still affected even after the chemo. I didn’t have reconstruction as a)it wasn’t offered at the time, possibly as I have bone secondaries, and b) I didn’t want one anyway.

I have been fine since surgery and managed with a prosthesis on that side but have now asked to have the other breast removed to even me up. Surgeon has agreed to do it and I sign consent bit next week and then op should be done by the end of Jan. I am looking forward to it and hope that my experiences will help you come to terms with it a bit.

Ask any questions as you think about them and let us know how you get on. PS - there is a thread about Jan mastectomy ladies which I’ll try to find and bump up for you.

Liz

Thankyou all,I’m starting to realise,its the unknown,which is the worse part of all of this,thankyou again all,will b talking to you all soon,all your comments are reasuring me,HUGS to you all.

hi sandy 45

just wanted to send you my love and lots of hugs. you will get through your op on tuesday, like you have just said dont try and think too far ahead and rush things, a day at a time is what you need to do. this is really difficult i know and i have to still remind myself to do this and i was dx in november.

the ladies on here are brilliant and will give you the advice and support you need. the helpline on this site is really good too and you can speak with them about anything, they are truly great people who are there to help us through this.

lots of hugs TTM xxx

Thanks,who ever said words are cheap,obviosly in these cicumstances was wrong,I’m gonna allow myself a bit of positivity,hug you all back

Big hugs to you Sandy45. My MX is 9 days after yours so please let me know how you get on. I’d be grateful for any tips as I don’t know anyone who has had one.

Will be thinking about you Tuesday. All the very best and good riddance to the bad bits!

Twinky x x

Hi Sandy45 - we are all terrified at the beginning , it’s a lot to take in. I had my mx in October after chemo , now getting rads and on tamoxifen. I never thought I would see the end of treatment , never mind with a positive outlook, but here I am. This site will help you, the women on here have a wealth of knowledge about every aspect of this hellish disease. So keep talking
Tahoe care and be gentle with yourselves

Lorna xxxxxx

Hi Sandy,

Sending you a big Hug and will be thinking of you on the 10th, I had MX in September, having Chemo on the 10th so will think of you, stay strong and you will find a lot of support on this site, ask you questions and everyone will try there best to answer and support you.
Here,Here to the "Good riddance to the Bad Bits " xx

Hi Sandy - sorry you’re having to face mx - its c**p but try to keep yourself as healthy and strong as you can so you can heal quickly. I had double mx (no recon) nearly two years ago and now feeling good . There is a lot of life to be had after this…
Best wishes for Tuesday
Maggy x

Hi sandy,
I had mx in november and was dreading it too. Like you say, mentally I knew wat was happening and why but emotionally it is so difficult. Although I looked at the scar as soon as I came round from the anaesthetic , it takes a long time to accept the new you. Body image is such a big deal. I,ve spent most of my working life scrabbling around in grubby men’s type clothing as I,m a gardener , with my hair under a hat, but it still mattered a lot that part of me that made me feminine was being taken away,suddenly and forever. Trying to rationalise it , or being told , even by my OH that it didn’t,t matter didn’t,t help, it mattered to me. But, it will get easier to deal with, You will gradually get your head round how u look and stop thinking about it all the time. I thought I was a strong person, but for a while I felt very vulnerable and self conscious whenever I went out. just be kind to yourself, your mind needs time to heal as well as your body, but you will be ok. Take one day at a time , I,ve just started chemo and Nov seems a life time away already,
Wishing you all the best
herbi x

Hi Sandy

I had Mx three years ago there is a life afterwards - at first I
was very self conscious about it but I went out with a friend
and she had forgotten which side it was and could not tell with
clothes on. At first you are very self conscious and my husband
must have got extremely fed up with me saying " is this alright -
can you tell" You soon get a little more confident and begin to feel
more confident about yourself. It takes time - do not beat yourself
up it is a very big step and one you cannot imagine having to
take. I went to one of the specialist shops (luckily I live
about an hours drive from one) and they measured me and
were very particular about bras and how they fitted - they
may be a little bit more expensive but they do give you
confidence. I now buy a M & S bra (cotton) which is about £16
but with the VAT off (Mx bras are VAT exempt) the price comes down.
Please take care there is a life after although at the moment you
may feel as though a big black cloud is above you.

Best wishes Pat

Hi Sandy,

I assume you are probably home now, I hope it went well.

I had my MX on Nov 29th, and although I don’t like it and will probably go for a reconstruction once allowed in about 1yr, if no recurrence- I’ve got used to it.

Often don’t wear a bra, but wear a baggy jumper or a long scarf to hid labk of boob.

M&S do quite nice post surgery bras with matching Knickers, got a nice purple one 2 weeks ago,

Hope you are doing well and coped OK.

Fiona

Hi girls
had my mastectomy end of November following 6 months of chemo. I start my rads on 23rd of this month and have been suffering from cording in my arm and terrible tightness in the armpit. I should say that i had full clearance of lymph nodes in armpit along with masectomy. 9 out of 21 were still affected even after all that chemo, i just wondered if thats quite common, it is really worrying me, as i cant seem to get that info out of surgeons, doctors or nurses. Just looking for some support i guess and hope someone here can help. Just found the website today so this is my first time. Reading all your entries as made me feel that i am not alone and you all seem so lovely, wishing you all the best where ever you are on the treatment journey.
ally xxxxx

Hi everyone,just like to say thanks again to everyone on this thread,YES IT’S DONE!sorry hav’nt been back sooner,came out Thursday evenong,still adjusting,walking round with drain in takes getting use to,visitors,fone calls from relatives,yes still adjusting,but all in all spanked,just taking everything step by step,its the only way.my feelings have certainly now changed from one of despair to onwards and upwards,even tho on the morning of the mx,I was not wanting to go through with it and told this to my OH,at one point refusing to get out of bed.Anyhow common sense prevailed,you can only go forward with this disease,I’m learning fast.Anyhow yes op over,initially waking from anaesthetic,looked down,realization it had actually been done was a bit of OMG theyve actually done it,not shock or horror,for me quietly in my mind acceptance,rationally its not arm,leg thats gone,I can still walk,talk,and with time move my ARM as I want,oh yes sorry,4 nodes removed for exam.surprisingly I’m coping,a lot better than I ever thought,the drains a bit of a nuisance right now,but drainage gettin less,district nurse been this morning,pls but in her experience would like t leave in a bit longer,was forced t look at myself in me first shower,looks obviously odd,mixed feelings,so glad main cancer gone, will find out on the 25th,wot my treatment will b,Jus trying t get use to softy,but right now ,no likey,likey lol,everyone ,professionals hav said prosthesis will b a better fit,so yes thankyou to everyone for your help,its been fantastic for my mindset,MASTECTOMY is doable,it helps that my OH,has been supportive.

Well done, the hard bit over and you’re so brave looking at it so early on…I managed to avoid that for two weeks.
On drains, yes a pain, but though my nurses felt my breast drain should stay in anther day, a doctor said it could come out. It made it easier to get about but I regretted it afterwards as what hadn’t drained stayed with me for so long…better out than in in terms of fluids.

Take it easy, do your exercises and you’re on the right path.

Careful hugs,

Nonsuch xx

Hi everyone,breast drain taken out about an hour ago now,feel a bit more mobile now,hoping no seroma develops,but have been told if it does to contact ward at hospital,even though I think I’m coping ok,mixed feelingsl,still had thoughts,wish I had my breast,only cos I couldn’t get my softie to stay in my bra the way I wanted it to,I’m thinking even before i know what treatment I will be having,more about can’t wait for prothesis and eventually reconstruction.I realise its still very early days but I still miss my breast.

Hello everyone - I had my mastectomy on 9 November and had the drain in for about 3 weeks but 2 months on everything is good now and I have prosthesis and am looking forward to a reconstruction in a year’s time. I have been waiting and waiting for follow-up appointment with oncologist and finally today they rang and have given me an appointment for tomorrow - eek! There had been a mix-up with my notes. During surgery they tested lymph node and it was clear but the further tests found a microscopic cancer cell in the node so my choices are further surgery to remove all nodes which will almost certainly result in me developing lymphoedema, a course of chemo or hormone drugs. I SO don’t want chemo as I don’t do nausea or vomiting so am scared for tomorrow. Wish me luck! X