One week post surgery.

Hello,
I was recently diagnosed with breastcancer in mid July. I saw my Gp the beginning of July with a thickening two weeks later on Friday 13th had my results.
I have had a skin sparing mastectomy on rhs with expander/implant reconstruction straight away. I didn’t want to wait for more ops and went for the option that gave me the least scars.
Still cannot believe how weak I feel, although this has improved since cutting down on the painkillers.
The surgery doesnt look as bad as I feared and my family- husband and four children have been extremely supportive.
I still have one drain remaining fingers crossed that is removed tomorrow, but I have noticed what I think is the port for the implant sitting below the breast area right on top of my ribs there is a fair bit of discomfort from this as the skin is also very tight across it.
I am having to wait for histology results to see what further treatment will be given.
Along the way they have said they would answer any of my questions but we felt a lot went unanswered. Whilst in hospital I looked at my notes and it stated it was High Grade DCIS, I was never told this whether I needed to know i am not sure. It was also assumed that because I was told the size of the lump then I should have realised I would need a mastectomy.
I am a glass half full pesemistic.

Thank you for listening
Jaine

Hi Jaine,

Welcome to the BCC discussion forums where I am sure you will get lots of good, honest support from the many informed users of this site. To help you along I have put for you below links to a couple of BCC’s publications which I hope you find helpful.

www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/diagnosed-breast-cancer/breast-cancer-you-diagnosis-treatment-future-bcc44

www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/diagnosed-breast-cancer/ductal-carcinoma-situ-dcis-bcc39

There’s also our freefone helpline open Mon-Fri 9-5 and Sat 10-2 calls are free, 0808 800 6000

Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

Hi Janie,
Like you I’m really new to this site and this is my first post!
Like you I was diagnosed with high grade DCIS back on 1st of June and had a LH mastectomy with strattice and expander implant at the beginning of August. I think it’s pretty much standard to have a mastectomy for anyone with high grade DCIS. We are really lucky that we caught this disease in time.
I have to agree that the port part of the expander is quite uncomfortable, as mine still is, but it does seem to ease a little as the weeks go by. You can eventually have this implant changed for a silicone one if you wish, and I’ve been advised that many people decide to for aesthetic reasons i.e. shape. I’m definitely going to get mine changed just to get rid of the port!
Have you been advised about massaging the area as this really helps make things more comfortable and helped my skin where it had tightened. I used E45 lotion as I found it greasier than the cream/aqueous cream and better for massage. Did you have a sentinal node biopsy/lymph node removed? Massage really helps with this too if you did. It does take a few days, and obviously varies from person to person as even thought we’ve got the same disease everyone is different and ever breast cancer is different.
The best piece of info’ I was given whilst I still had my drains was to make sure they weren’t removed until they reached the minimum recommended level of drainage; 30ml in my case. A couple of the ladies who underwent surgery alongside me had their drains removed too early and are suffering from fluid build up which is quite uncomfortable. I’m sure you’re already aware of this so please excuse me if you are. I clearly remember what a pain they were but if you’re down to one I’m sure it wont be long before yours is out and you get your freedom back!
I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling so weak but I suppose it’s only to be expected after major surgery. I’m finding it all a bit of a rollercoaster ride in that I bounced back quite quickly but, am struggling with fatigue now. As you say, it’s great having a supportive family who can rally round and help with the stuff you can’t manage.
Following my surgery it’s been discovered that I also have multi-focal grade 3 IDC (grade 3 invasive cancer) and have to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I’m due to start the chemo next week. Although it’s all very scary, and the side effects are horrifying, it’s not been as much as a shock as the initial diagnosis and surgery was. The lump I found wasn’t ever biopsied as the DCIS was discovered and the treatment decided upon in the knowledge that anything else would be removed anyway. Obvioulsy, it would have been nice to know that I’d have to undergo further treatment, but maybe I’d just have worried even more. I just want to get attacking this disease to give myself the best chance.
Unfortunately, I’ve just come down with a sore throat, cough and runny nose so I’m hoping and praying that it clears in good time so I can start the chemo next week - fingers crossed.
Anyway, I’ve waffled enough. Best of luck with the histology results - if it was just DCIS you’ll be considered cured!
K xxx

Hi Kahala and welcome to the BCC forums

Along with the support and information here from your fellow users please feel free to call our helpline for a listening ear on 0808 800 6000 , lines are open weekdays 9-5 and Sat 10-2

You may find the following links to more of our services and information pages useful over the coming months:

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-services

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-information/treating-breast-cancer

Take care

Lucy

Hi Kahala
I felt really bad Tuesday night not sure if is was the equivalent to ‘baby blues’. Was questioning my choice of op and recon wanted to rip the implant out because if felt so uncomfortable.
My last drain was removed Wednesday but I believe I was still losing 70ml they had told me it had to be below 50ml.
Through reading some posts here I was able to speak to my consultant but he didn’t seem happy and said I shouldn’t have doubts and that basically his job was to get rid of the cancer as though the recon was a side. I asked about the port being removed they said it would be when no longer needed. Nothing has been mentioned about changing implants at a later date.
I know nothing of my op yet I did have the sentinel node biopsy which came back clear but they said that isn’t always the case.
So the day before mx I had the sentinol node injection. I actually found a lump and went to Gp mammogram showed calcium i then had vacuum biopsy following day, initial results put the lump at 7cm but the following MRI measured it as 9x4cm. Quite scary really wonder how long it had been there I was also having pains in that area a bit like heartburn.
Talking of pain if you put you arm into a backward position do you get a searing pain, feels like have been stabbed with something very hot.
I agree with you about the rollercoaster i didn’t feel sick before op and looking in the mirror still don’t believe that i have had to have radical surgery to remove something that cannot be seen. My husbands Aunt had BC 8yrs ago had an mx and chemo but is only just now asking about recon as she has moved to another area. 10 days after we got our news my DH mother phoned to say that she had just been told she had stage 2 womb cancer. She has since had full hysterectomy, they have told her everything removed but still going to receivre 6 lots of chemo. Not we know her outcome we can tell our children just couldn’t face telling them about me and their Nanna, initially our ops were booked for the same day what are the odds.

Keep smiling, its all a means to an end.
Take care
Jaine