Missing my breast

Missing my breast

Missing my breast Is anyone else having the same experience as me? I am naturally massively breasted, but perhaps even just ordinarily heavy-breasted women might know what I am talking about.

I underwent mastectomy nearly 6 months ago on 24th June 2004. Not a day passes without my experiencing a series of psychic shocks when I unthinkingly make some habitual move to do something with the breast, e.g. try to lift it to wash beneath it in the shower, or feel to adjust it into position when dressing, or sidle round a narrow passageway to avoid bumping it on a projection - only to get a fleeting feeling of puzzlement and simultaneously the sickening realisation that it’s not there.

Also I now have a stupid solid lump of inflexible cold rubber that sticks out in an unnatural shape from my chest and whenever that knocks into something unfeelingly, or hinders me moving my arm across my chest, or prevents me leaning forward properly when eating at table, etc. then I get another sickening reminder of the new reality.

Just to rub it in, I still feel occasional stabbing pains in the breast which is now just cremated ash in the pot in my cupboard. I think I shall never get used to being without the breast which was part of me for 50 years.

No breast You’re not the only one! I usually go to put talc under mine as well as washing underneath it in the shower. At present I’m not wearing a bra because of soreness from radiotherapy but when I did, and have my prosthesis in, I also had the reminder every time I squeezed past something or put my arm across my chest.

I told my husband that I felt ugly with only one breast, he took me out to buy some feminie tops. Trying them on in the changing rooms was also upsetting; you keep catching site of your changed, naked shape in the mirror, and you have to look at the ‘cleveage’ (non-existent at present!), the side view, etc to ensure you are covered. I always considered my boobs to be perhaps my best feature, I’m not well-endowed but tight fitting tops looked good, and a piece of rubber is not the same no matter how normal it looks to an outsider.

I suppose it will be something we will get used to. If you do something regularly for 40+ years, it will take longer than 6 months to do something different.

Oh, yes, the talc … That’s several times a day, after washing and later on to soothe the remaining breast now lying uncomfortably imbalanced in its hammock, when I unthinkingly go to do the same the other side. (And, yes, although they were simultaneously a blessing and a curse, the extra-large bosom always got me noticed, whereas now I can’t help wondering if it’s noticed because of the peculiar one-up-one-down shape.)

Yes, I miss my real breast, even though I’ve had reconstruction and was average size and I’ve been without it two years now. I think I’d miss it more if I hadn’t had reconstruction - mainly because of the bony chest feeling and appearance. It was a part of me that I was fond of (as was my husband) and it’s gone forever.

Me too! I also miss my breast…I even cried this morning when I caught sight of myself in the mirror unexpectedly. Most of the time I accept that it has gone and thank God, that the Cancer has gone with it, but the loss of my breast has taken away a lot of the confidence that I once had.
I am due for reconstruction this year, although this is a big ‘op’, I know i cannot, like some of you ladies, just carry on with one breast.
I also get stabbing pains in the removed breast area…sometimes I think that it is still there…wishful thinking!!!
I am sure, with time, I will get more used to having one booby, but for now…I’m looking forward to having reconstruction.
Best Wishes & Happy New Year
Marie X

And me… Between my mastectomy in October 2004 and my reconstruction 4 weeks ago, I don’t think a single day went past that I didn’t miss my breast.

When I heard I’d need a mastectomy I thought it wouldn’t be that bad, and was happy they were able to treat the cancer. Living with it has been much harder than I expected though - and I definitely lost a lot of confidence, made worse by losing my hair to chemo too.

When I tested positive for the BRCA1 gene and decided to have another mastectomy - this time with immediate reconstruction of both breasts - my consultant wouldn’t let me go ahead with this until I’d seen a clinical psychologist. This made me really angry - why was no support offered to me when I lost my first breast? That was far more emotional than the reconstruction.

Thinking of you all & wishing you all the best for the new year,


— I feel quite differently from you! I had a lumpectomy followed by mastectomy in June 2005 and I am glad to be alive. I don’t miss my breast and don’t think about it at all untill it is time for bed and I have to take my bra off. It is slightly boring having to scrub my prosthesis for 3 whole minutes every night ( I have the sticky on sort). Once I went to bed with it on, I just forgot all about it!
I never really imagined that breast cancer would be something that happenned to me, but I decided over 25 years ago that if it did I would not be upset by this operation, or think that it reduces my femininity even though I hate the thought of loosing any part of my body (tonsils, appendix, uterus).
Breast cancer has allowed me to view the world in a different light. I appreciate every single day and I am determined to make the best of the little time I have left. It has made me realise that none of us know how long we have and that life is wonderful.( even without a breast!)