Operation HI all

I was dx with a 6cm tumor inside of a cysted in December 2006 at the age of 32years.
I did all of the fec chemo and started the taxotere chemo to which they had to stop after the second as it made me disabled in my left hand due to it hitting all of my nerve endings. They have said that it should come back in time.

But that is the least of my worries as i went to see the consultant today and he had said that my tumor was now 8cm and that he will have to do a masetomy to make sure that he gets it all. He did say that he was taking all of my nodes at the same time. He also said that it could be the cyst that has grown and not the tumor. But i am still not sure.

Can some one please tell me what is going to happen with the operation and the recovery side and what about the bit to replace where the breast was. As i am beginning to panic as my op is the 6th June and nothing has been explained to me yet.

I am really sorry if this all sounds silly. But i suffer with panic attacks and i find that if i have all of the information i can try and cope with it better.


Hi there Leanne

Sorry to hear your story, i was dx at 35 so understand the shock of it all. Ive just undergone chemo, op then Rads. I had a recon done at the same time as my mastecomy. I had a tram flap recon.
Have you been given the option to have a recon, and the different types of recon? It sounds as though your very much in the dark and i think you should be having a talk to the surgeon with your questions.

I would be panicking to if it was me, its a big shock to loose a breast at our age and any age. And no more apologies no question on this forum is silly and everyone that’s given me advise are fantastic and understanding.

best wishes


Factsheet Dear Leanne

If you feel that you need further support during this difficult period please don’t hesitate to contact our helpline on 0808 800 6000, the helpliners can provide information and advice and a ‘listening ear’.

It is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-2pm.

I have also added a link to a publication on Your operation and recovery that I am sure you will find helpful


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Breast Cancer Care

Hi Leanne

Like you my lump was 8cm, originally it was only 2cm when I first visited the BC but it took them 2 months to diagnose. Due to the rapid growth it was decided I had to have emergency mastectomy and SNB but during the surgery this turned into full node clearance. The BCN who was present questioned chemo first but my surgeon refused due to the delay and I was never offered immed recon as firstly the plastic surgey is not carried out at my local hospital and my surgeon was pretty sure that I would need rads and this has a reputation for damaging the skin and tissue.

After the OP I was in pain but found it manageable on the painkillers given to me by the nurses, I was groggy the first night but applying makeup and brushing my hair the next morming. After loads of emotional blackmail to my surgeon I was allowed home after 3 days (with 1 drain) it was Christmas Eve and straight away I cut down on the painkillers and had a couple of glasses of wine instead. I had to go back to the hospital christmas and boxing day to have my drain checked then taken out and 2 days later walked into our local town to gently hit the sales with my sister. I did my exercises but still managed to get quite a bit of fluid so had to have the area drained twice, but other then that recoved quite quickly, however was not able to drive for about 6 weeks due to lack of shoulder movement.

My scar and chest wall are literally skin on ribs as the plastic surgeon puts it, I now have a recon date of 31.10.07 which personally I think has been too long but at least I will have finished all my treatment and hopefully my body will have its strength back.

I hope all goes well and you receover quickly.

Debbie X

p.s. I did taxotere too, it is a hard one.

Hi Leanne,

Please contact your bcn or surgeon to explain exactly what’s going to happen during and after your op. I also suffer from panic attacks, so know how you feel.

Most people agree that the mastectomy doesn’t hurt, it’s more uncomfortable than anything. Since you are having nodes removed, they will more than likely put drains in (to drain off blood, fluid etc). They will stay in for a few days after the op. They don’t hurt. I had an 8" scar after my op. I didn’t have a reconstruction, which was my choice. I was rather emotional seeing my wound site for the first time, but it does get easier. One piece of advice, take pajamas that button down the front when you go into hospital.

You will be shown exercises to do to keep your arm moving after the op. You should expect to stay in the hospital for up to 5 days. Since you are having nodes removed, you will feel quite numb as nerves are disturbed during the op.

Gosh, there’s so much to tell, but hopefully you get fully briefed by your team. Don’t be afraid to ask them - that’s what they’re there for!! The fear of the unknown is worse that the actual event. Will be thinking of you. Please let us know how you get on.

Big (((hug)))

Jacki xx