I am now day 19 since my mastectomy, still rather up and down. I cannot look at myself. The serum is quite uncomfortable and sore, I am looking for any advice that may help me with this, I am keeping pressure on day and night as I was told to but any other tips would be welcome.

Hi Kay, sorry you are uncomforatble - is it a seroma? I didn’t have one so can’t help with that - have you asked the helpline?

but I did have difficulty looking at myself like you said- in the end I just decided I would have to do it so snuck a peek whenever I was in the shower / getting changed etc - now , two years on, I am totally at ease with the new shape, and have even started changing in the communal changing room at the swimming pool!!!
take care of yourself, we all adjust in our own ways and I didn’t find it easy I must say
…oh and the funniest thing was when i showered for months afterwards I would do what I used to do when I had two breasts which is kind of bring my hands up under my breasts to soap underneath - for weeks I was surprised to find I didn’t have one of the left - it got me for weeks!!! Poor old brain, it got used to it in the end,
really take good care, Nicola

Hi kay sorry you feel you cannot look at your wound, i had mine done in feb and looked with my hubby, i did cry and still do occasionaly but it is a necessary evil and in a year or so i will have a new one. Have you spoke to your BCN i had a seroma which was drained a couple of times and it did settle eventually on its own.

Hi Kay

I never had a seroma but I did have problems looking at myself after my op and use to burst into tears everytime I did. Today I know thats normal - it is normal - breast cancer is not just a massive thing for any women to cope with it leaves you drained and your hormones all over the place. I hope it helps to know I am six years down the road from losing my right breast and all my lymphnodes to BC. Today I can look at myself with no upset and that is without reconstruction. Time is a wonderful healer and your op is only 19 days ago. I think you are doing marvellous to come on here and talk about it. B C C helped me so much in the early days if you have any concerns please ring there helpline. In the meantime I wish you all the very best June

I’m from California and will undergo a mastectomy of my left breast without reconstrucction on May 7th, 2012. Could you and others please tell me what to expect following surgery? I would really appreciate it.
Fondly, Charity

Hi Charity and welcome to the BCC forums

In addition to the peer support here I am posting a link to the BCC ‘Treatments’ web page where you will find a publication about undergoing surgery called ‘Your operation and recovery’ which I hope you will find useful:

Best wishes

Hi Charity,i have my mastectomy on may 3rd, with no reconstruction either, hope all goes well for you x

Mine is on May 2nd

good luck on the 2nd, am not looking forward to it one little bit,have had a bad day today,emotions everywhere and whatever people say to me i find patronising or else i think they are carrying on like nothing matters ,sorry for rant ,good luck again on the 2nd x

Thank you - you are not alone, I have had the same kind of Sunday! I have been through health crises before but nothing like this…

Take care,we can check in with each other afterwards???

Sending the very best of wishes to you ladies that have just had or are about to have Mastectomies. I had a mx in july last year. I was originally a g cup so at the same time as my m. I also had a reduction on my good side ( to the size I will be reconstructed to) and had all my nodes removed. I was actually able to look at my scar straight after the op and can honestly say it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I stayed in hospital 1 night and although I was uncomfortable for about 10 days, I didn’t hAve much pain at all. I did have some fluid on my chest but it gradually disappeared. 9 months later and I have just returned from a 2 week holiday in Barbados. I was able to wear strapless dresses and swimsuits and felt confident to do so. I’ll be having my delayed recon towards the end of this year but have managed much better then I ever thought I would. Much love and the very best of wishes to you all . Please pm me if you have any questions,am more than happy to share my experience
Lisa xxxx

Mine is on 4th May :frowning:

Lisa, I’m keen to know how you got on with strapless dresses. I have quite a few with maxi dresses etc and Im wondering how I’m gonna wear them.

Libra lady- I took a variety of bras and prosthesis on holiday with me. For strapless dresses, I wore a bandeau bra (I did get a couple of specialist bandeau bras for prosthesis from an American website but To be honest, the bandeau bra I got from mataram was just as good. I couldn’t wear my normal prosthesis with the bandeau as it was too heavy so I used a lightweight swim prosthesis. I also found some bandeau tops in new look which I wore under strappy maxi dresses . They were really good too. I felt so much more confident than I thought I would and still managed to wear some pretty dresses. Where there’s a will, there’s a way :slight_smile: xx

Hello, I had a right breast mastectomy 12 months ago, and the scar does’nt bother me too much.I feel that my whole attitude towards everything has changed so much and am so very happy to be here ! I have almost forgotten the trauma and depression I had at diagnosis time. I went to a seminar on reconstruction , and thought another few hours op wasnt necessary for me, it s all such a personal descision, am very happy, apart from not having a cleavage, my femininity is still very much in tact.I sometimes wonder whether I should have gone for the lumpectomy , which I was offered,but my thankfulness for the diagnosis/treatment far outweighs any doubts .love to you all, Maggie.

HI, I had a right mastectomy in February of this year and had a post op wound infection (needed twice daily visits from the district nurses to do my dressing) and seromas after it, which needed draining a couple of times, but, it is now May and the wound has settled right down. The first few weeks it was so sensitive with shooting sort of pains I was beginning to worry it would never settle, but it has. I am now able to wear my prosthesis all day and am happy with it, really don’t think I am going to have a reconstruction because I am coping with the new me. There’s no getting away from the fact that the first weeks after my operation were awful, I was crying most days and just couldn’t cope with all my emotions; I struggled to even look at my scar but now I can. Time is a healer…I’m just glad that my cancer has gone

Hi Ladies

Lisa x, firstly thanks for your advice a few posts back on wearing strapless and maxi dresses, its appreciated.

Well I had my op - im about 14 days post op. Its a bit sorer now than it was the first few days. Some serious shooting, pinching pains and some burning. Im pleased to read that its not uncommon but id still like the pain to go. I have quite a large seroma, its more swollen under my arm area though and when I walk it “wobbles” lol - the fluid inside must knock against the inside of the wound and it hurts! Im still taking painkillers and I consider myself to have a high pain threshold but this is quite uncomfortable.

Im ok lookig at the scar - I think im just the type that accepts what happened and moves on quick - but my head just says its 12 months and I can have it fixed up again. I dont particularly like what I see, but ive accepted it had to be done and so many of us have to go through it.

Im sure in a couple of weeks I will be here saying its all OK now but the getting to the point is just LONG!
I hope everyone else who recently had Mx’s are doing OK

aka Libralady

Hi everyone

I’m new here and wanted to ask a few questions about the surgery. I am having a right sided mastectomy and full lymph node clearance on Friday 25th May.

I’ve been told by the surgeon that I can come home on the Monday following the op as long as I feel ok and am comfortable coming home with drains in. Just wondering what everyone else here did that have been through surgery.

Also, wondering about bras and clothing. My bcn fitted me for bras and I have two but I don’t think they look as if they will be comfy against a scar initially. Was thinking about getting the Royce silver bra, any good advice would be great. Have also bought some new tops with patterns to try and disguise my new fake booby.

Katie x

Hi Katie

Welcome to the BCC discussion forums where I am sure you will get lots of good honest support from the many in formed users of this site.

To help you along I have put for you below the link to one of BCC’s publications you may find helpful. Also please do use the helpline here, they’re here to support you through this.

Take care
Jo, Facilitator

Hi Katie

Just read your post…so sorry that you are having to have a mastectomy. I had a right mastectomy in February of this year and was in hospital for 2 nights. My drain was removed on the day I was discharged as it had drained only a little amount BUT I almost wish I had been allowed to keep it in longer as when I got home I developed a wound seroma and this needed draining 2 times in all before it settled. Still, it did settle after a few weeks. With regards wearing a bra straight after surgery, I was given a softie prosthesis by the BCN but found my wound was simply too sensitive to wear a bra and it was several weeks before I could tolerate one. However, I am now able to wear a bra and prosthesis all day but can still only tolerate non wired bras. To disguise my lop sidedness in those first few weeks after surgery I wore dark, patterned tops and this was quite effective, also loosely slung light scarves can hide a myriad of things!! With regards clothing I wore the loosest I could find for comfort…
Hope everything goes well for you this Friday, I’ll be thinking of you xx