mastectomy

This is the first time I have joined a forum.I have been reading these discussions for the past hour and I feel a whole lot better. . .I know now that I am not alone. . .so I have decided to join in. Cause you all sound like the people I will feel comfortable with. Thanks Eleanor

Hi Eleanor, and welcome to the forum

You don’t say exactly where you are ‘at’ at the moment, but you can definitely be assured that you are not on your own!

I had a right mastectomy in Nov last year and am currently undergoing chemo & radiotherapy. The forums have been an invaluable source of advice and tips for me - whatever my concerns there has always been someone who has gone through something similar who is ready to help.

I hope you can gain the same from them.

take care

Margaret x

Hi Eleanor

Welcome to this site and all the wonderful people. I myself had a mastectomy last Thursday and am awaiting my results and plans for future treatment, any questions you have fire away and someone will answer your query with their wealth of knowledge plus lots of support and understanding.

Sending you hugs

Karen

XXX

Thankyou both for your kind words.

I am from the north east.

There are all kinds of things I need to ask like do you wear a bra after a mastectomy operation, does it not irritate? I am having axilla clearance too so I would have thought it would be uncomfortable. What will I wear to come out of hospital ,there is so much to ask. I am only asking these type of questions at the moment ,'cause I am a bit scared of thinking deeper, if you know what I mean. . .

Hi Eleanor,

I had my mastectomy on the 15th Jan 08, personally I never wore a bra at first as I was scared it would rub - but I am only an A cup so it didn’t really matter too much. I wonder whether ladies with larger busts would find it more comfortable to wear a bra, obviously one that is’t undewired and quite soft would probably be better if you do chose to wear one - I’m sure the other ladies on here will be able to give you loads of advice.

As for what to wear when you come out of hospital, I found loose-fitting button front tops best - I pinched quite a few shirts from my brother’s wardrobe (don’t think he’s realised yet!).

Good luck with your operation, and if you have ANY questions you know where we all are!

Tracy xxx

Hi Eleanor,

My mastectomy was not nov 07 it was nov06 . I then had chemo and radiotherapy which I finished in May07 , anyway hope my previous advice was helpful.

caro x

Hi Eleanor

After my mastectomy and axillary clearance I wore a sports bra (basically a piece of stretchy cotton with elastic edges lol!), along with the ‘comfie’ that they give you. The comfie is just a shaped piece of wadding in a puch - please ensure they give you one that is the right size (I’m a 36c and the first comfie they gave me must have been at least a 44 !). Now I just wear ‘normal’ un-wired bras which are fine.

With regard to clothes afterwards, I just wore loose fitting t-shirts - button up shirts are easier on the arm, but I preferred normal crew neck ones. With regard to the arm - please please do the exercises they give you after your op - they are very hard to start with, but it does make all the difference to how quickly the mobility in your arms returns.

If you have any questions at all, small, minor, trivial, deeper lol - please post them - someone will be sure to come on with an answer and some reassurance for you.

take care

margaret x

Thanks everyone. . begining to feel like I belong here. Such response is so reassuring.
Been a bit low today as I feel the time is fast approaching. . i go in to hospital on Monday night for my op Tues morning. I go in the night before as i have spinal problems and use a wheelchair. [nothing to do with the cancer] So its easier than getting up through the night to pull myself round to travel to hospital.
I was in the same ward in september as I had a triple prolapse so I’m just recovered from that.
Since I have read on this forum that the pain from the surgery isn’t too bad it sounds like it will be easier than that operation in september. I had to have a bowel repair and my womb and bladder put back into place. I hope I can write soon to you all with the cheerfulness that I am recieving.
Thankyou all

It does help a lot

eleanor x

Hi eleanor

I’m booked in for a double mastectomy at Carlisle later this month. I’ve been assured that the pain really isn’t that bad and I’ll be up and moving the following morning (maybe a little reluctantly, I don’t *do* mornings generally :wink:

My Mum reminded me that lots of women have operations that aren’t 100 miles away to have boobs enlarged which puts it in some perspective.

Have they shown you the drains and things yet, I was worried about that but now that I’ve seen them I’m not. I wonder who chooses these names sometimes. I was on the phone to me breast care nurse talking to her about them a couple of weeks ago and realised that I was staring at the guttering thinking I hope they’re not that bad… the things you’re mind does eh :wink:

Good luck with it, it’ll be over soon and then you can start recovering. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I’ve also been reading far too much about cancer diets and forcing myself to eat fresh mango and brazil nuts etc. That’s cheered me up, if you like mango etc it might work for you too.

Thanks margaret never thought of the shirts what a great idea! Actually I think they can look quite good with a pair of jeans. . .saves a bit money for nice things to wear afterwards too.

Now to the lady who has told me she needs a double mastetomy in Carlisle this month. . .Heres me whinging about one and you have to get both done and you sound so upbeat! Makes me feel ashamed about worrying. There are so many people in the world worse off and I think sparing them a thought , sort of puts things in prespective too.

Your mum sounds like a very good down to earth mum. Its good to have family that are strong and there for you.

No I haven’t seen the drains yet, I never gave them much thought to be truthful,

I started wieght watchers a month ago but have give it up for now. Not eating much anyway. Afterwards I will probably be like you reading all the cancer diets trying to get healthy. Quite fancy the brazil nuts, never tried mango to be honest.

I do hope things work out well for you for your op. You don’t live more than a hundred miles from me, its all around us really and all we have to do is reach out and we can all be there for one another.
love eleanor x

Hi Both

I keep trying to find a decent healthy diet - unfortunately - I don’t like anything healthy much - I don’t eat vegetables at all, and never have in all my 46 years! I did try them when I started the chemo - I had hoped that as everything I liked tasted absolutely awful, maybe everything I didn’t like would start to taste nice - it didn’t work unfortunately! I don’t even like fruit much - just the basic apples & bananas I’ve been trying to eat more by making smoothies, but I just can’t get into them at all. SO - chocolate it is then !

Would appear that we are all close - I’m only 44 miles from Carlisle, in south-west Scotland - which way are you eleanor - north or south of carlisle?

take care both

Margaret x

Hi

Margaret I make loads of home made vegetable soup, youngest son likes to know what is in it - bit of a veggie so leave his lumpy middle son doesnt so I blend his and he eats it all, eldest son no comment. Try doing this as it is a good way of getting the veggie goodness, if you dont like soup put some of the stock into your gravy.

Eleanor, when I came out of hospital after wle and snb I wore my tankini tops under my clothes and found the tightness gave me support without affecting my arm. This time after mastectomy I am wearing comfie bras with a softie. The softie is wonderful, really nice and soft and everybody looks at you and they cant work out which boob is the false one.

Make sure you do the exercises that is really important.

Sending love and hugs

Karen

XXX

Cheers Karen - I might try the soup (well blended!) - funnily enough the only way I can eat carrots & onions (but not in any quantity) is if they’ve been done in a stew, so maybe I could cope with soup? I’ll give it a go.

Agree about the softie Karen, people quite often say to me ‘oh I thought you’d had surgery’ - the comfie confuses them no end and you can see them looking, whilst trying to look like they’re not! Its quite amusing sometimes (and quite annoying others, depending on my mood lol).

Margaret xx

Oh Margaret I’m sat here chuckling at your comments about people trying to look whilst making out they are not looking ha ha Dont you just want to say in a very loud voice sorry can I help you!!!

Karen

XXX

Hi,

It is funny when people do the staring thing! A few of my close friends have just come straight out and asked if they could see my ‘scar’ (I recently had a mastectomy), and to be honest I don’t mind. I am wondering what the reaction will be when I go back to work, and have been dabblig with the idea of ‘flashing’ at the staff meeting - at least I’ll get it over and done with!

Best wishes to you all,

Tracy xx

I’m chuckling too now !! When I first had my mastectomy I’d flash my scar at anyone who looked vaguely like they curious (I asked them first I hasten to add).

When I was 18 I worked with a lady who had breast cancer, and I think she knew I was curious - I had no idea at that age exactly how they removed a breast but had some really awful visions. She asked me if I would like to see the scar, to put my mind at rest. I did - and I was sd surprised !! I think I had had visions of them just slicing it off anf leaving a massive round scab lol (bear with me I was only young lol).

Because of that experience, I have always ‘volunteered’ to show off my scar, because I don’t want people thinking I look like some half sibling of Frankenstein.

I also have a very nice t-shirt, that says ‘One is real, One is false. But I’m alive - so it doesn’t matter!’

That tends to stop people staring !

Margaret x

Hi All

As if we havent got enough problems it seems we now are about to turn into flashers he he. Margaret absolutely love the T-shirt.

I do think it all depends on how you feel about your scar doesnt it, I was really worried before surgery, but now I feel fine about it - Stange really.

Sending hugs and chuckles

Karen

XXX

Hi eveyone

Busy this weekend as had company, been glad of it to tell the truth as I go in tomorrow and get the op tuesday morning.
I am now going to have Quality time with hubby. Its nice to hear all the comments and I can assure you I have taken it all on board.There are plenty of good tips girls and feel I am more equipped with your knowledge.

By the way Margaret I live in the north east of England about 8 miles south of Newcastle. In between Newcastle and Sunderland. Its a nice place to be [well I think so] like they say east west homes best!

Think I may go looking for one of them t-shirts too !

Love and best wishes Eleanor

Hi Eleanor

I’m going away for a few days tomorrow to visit my sister down in Shropshire - so I just thought I’d pop on now and wish you all the very best for your op - I hope all goes well - will look forward to hearing from you after your recovery!

Enjoy your quality time with hubby ! then let him spoil you rotten haha

take care

margaret xx

Hi everyone
Just got back from hosp. about two hours ago.I feel worn out but pleased the surgery is over.

. Thought it would be worse than expected but pleasantly surprised ( trying to sound cool! ) Actually it wasn’t that bad. Had a gyny op last september and that was worse!. Been tearful, but then again who wouldn’t be.?

Get results next wed as far as I know. Fingers crossed.

Hope you enjoyed Shropshire Margaret.

love Eleanor xx