New to the forum

New to the forum

New to the forum Hello all

I was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in early january and I have just had my fifth lot of chemo.

I am due a mastectomy in June and I am very nervous. I am seeing the surgeon on Tuesday, but really have no idea what to expect.

My tumour had shrunk from 10cm to 6cm, but apparently I will still lose my breast.

I know everyone is different, but what should I expect in terms of pain/ discomfort? What about recovery periods, how long before I can wear a bra? And the unmentionable - do I get to keep a nipple? Why does it matter?

Getting strength from the tales on here, and can deal with it now after the initial fear.

Thanks Kate

Breast Cancer Care Publication Dear Phardy

Welcome to the forums where I know you will receive lots of advice and support from the other users.
I have posted a link to a Breast Cancer Care publication on Breast Cancer treatments, there is section on breast surgery that you may find helpful. Cancer Care_treating06_0.pdf

Hope you find this of help

Kind Regards
Forum Host
Breast Cancer Care

new to forum Hi Kate,
I had a mastectomy 3 weeks ago and I have been amazed at my recovery rate. I was up and about 5 hours after the op and I have not needed any pain relief. I only had a special plaster over the wound whilst in hospital and there were no stitches (other than under the skin). I had a shower the day after surgery. My op was on Thursday morning and I went home on Monday morning with my bra on, a soft pad inside, without a drain and without any form of dressing over the wound! I have been slightly uncomfortable this last week or so as it feels like a bruise around the wound. I went on holiday (to my caravan) 1 week after the op and everyone said how well I looked.
I hope all goes well with your op…and I hope my experience helps to ease your nerves. take care

Nipples! Hi Kate

I’m afraid I don’t know of anyone who has had a mastectomy and managed to keep their nipple. I think it is because there is too much of a risk that there will be cancer present in the nipple. I know, however, that plastic surgeons are really good nowadays at creating new nipples for you, using your own skin. I have seen pictures and they are amazing. I have also seen pictures of tatooed nipples which are like works of art. You have to be up really close to know that they are just tatooes.

I’m sorry I can’t provide a link as I’m a complete technophobe and don’t know how but if you search around on the internet you should be able to flag something up.

Lola x

Mastectomy I had a mastectomy 4 weeks ago. I had three lymph nodes removed also. I wasn’t in pain really, just discomfort. It was hard lying on my back (I sleep on my left side - same as mastectomy). I was in hospital for 5 days - everyone is different - but I live on my own so no one there to help.

I’ve brought a soft mastectomy bra but I find most things rub and feel too uncomfortable. I just wear soft camisoles (but then I’ve always hated bras anyway!).

Not sure, but if you have a mastectomy I should think you’d lose the nipple. I’m sure someone more knowledgeable than me will answer that.

I have learnt to be kind to myself and listen to my body.

You have a bit of a wait for your mastectomy - don’t let your fear make it into a monster thing (easier said than done, I know!).

All the best!!

Jacki xx

chemo and mastectomy I too had chemo before my mastectomy. I was diagnosed in October and just had my surgery on the 13th of April. I minded the wait! Anyway, the surgery is over, went well. Not painful for sure. I am due to have rads starting next week. Good luck on your treatment and surgery.

Thanks for the information guys - very helpful and comforting!

I am trying not to think about it, but as the chemo seems to have made me paranoid, things tend to play on my mind!

As well as the mastectomy I am going to have all my lymph glands removed (sounds fun and I will spend so mcuh less on anti-persperant)

I guessed that I would lose my nipple… I do not really mind, just want to know. Initially I had no desire for information and now 4 months after diagnosis I seem to want to know everything.

My cancer is class 3, was 10cm, well estabished and aggressive, but now shrinking - wehay!! As I have a double d cup a breast reduction was always wished for - just not quite this severe or one-sided! Plus as I am always dieting - at least i will lose weight!

Have to look on the plus side!

Wishing those of you who have just had mastectomies a speedy recovery and thanks for the information - I am managing my fears!

wanted to allay some of your fears-had mastectomy 3 yrs ago and it was not as painful as l had expected.the drains are uncomfortable but not painful-unless you leave bag behind and pull them!l took a top opening handbag -reccomended by breast nurse-put drain into it and it was less obvious when up and about and didnt get left behind.Depending how big boobed you are you may feel more comfortable for first few weeks wearing just camisole -or a soft sports type will get a soft false boobie to tide you over for bout first 6wks as wound heals-unless you opt for immediate reconstruction.If you get the foam softee boob a tip is to pin it into bra-as they creep out otherwise-within first 2 wks ld been shopping ,got home and LOVELY-NOT neighbour pointed out it was in middle of my chest -was mortified-after l pinned it and was safer!!!
Its all a process of finding ways to cope-now 3 yrs later l can laugh about things but cried at the time!!
come here and we will try to help-on good and bad days
thinking of you sharon x

Drains The nurses at my hospital gave me a pretty gift bag to carry my drains around in while I walked around. Looked like I was going to a party in my dressing gown and Snoopy slippers!!

Jacki xx

Easier than I thought! Hi Kate

I just wanted to add to what all the girls have said previously. I had my mastectomy at the start of January this year, after 4 cycles of FEC chemo. I was petrified about the op and possible pain afterwards.

I had my op on the Wednesday and was out of bed the next morning with very little pain but really just some discomfort. I had 2 drains in situ which I carried round in a little bad, they were slightly uncomfortable. I had to stay in for 11 days, but that was because I had a wound infection and ended up on IV antibiotics for longer than planned. Even with that I had no added pain just a rather smelly and yucky wound!

I managed to get 3 weeks recovery (I did light chores, ie housework, cooking, shopping, etc) post op and then was back into my normal daily chores of mucking out 2 stables and 10 kennels every day, I was also able to ride 4 weeks post op. I stopped taking the paracetamol the day after I came out of hopsital as I really had no pain.

I did struggle wearing bras for quite a while as the wound was sore to the touch (I think that was due to the infection?), in fact I only really managed to wear a bra about a month ago! I can’t wear the prosthesis I was fitted for as it is too uncomfortable and tends to move north easterly regardless of the bra I wear! So I tend to stay one boobed at the moment.

Good luck with our op.

Lynn x

hi hi i just had a mastectomy my tumuor was a grade 3 up to press i have found it painless a bit of discomfort but you must keep up the exocises i start my chemo in 4 weeks i think but will know more when i go back to hospital in 2 weeks i bit scared of the chemo because in myself i feel fine but i know when i start chemo i wont