Post Op and in need of some support

I am 48 years old and I found a lump a week before christmas and rather than look a fool waited to see if it was hormonal.  It never changed just got more and more painful so beginning of February I went to the doctors and she suspected a cyst and said pain was good and she couldnt feel anything but because of my family history she would send me to a breast clinic.  My consultant never seemed worried when a mass was found on my mammogram and scan but a ultrasound cone biopsy was done painful to say the least.  I was told I would be called back in two weeks.  A couple of days and I had my appointment but for 3 weeks, after a week I had a bit of a melt down but then pulled myself together with the thought if it was bad then I would be called back.  I have tried to stay strong and have great support so cant let them know how scared I am.


I went along so sure all would be ok and before I even sat my consultant said sorry to tell you but you have breast cancer just like that, they then called my daughter (19) in whilst he was explaining the op to test sentinel nodes and hopefully remove the cancer.  He then looked at my daughter and said you dont know whats going on do you, she replied no and he said your mum has breasst cancer.  She broke down I comforted her and he asked did I have any questions.  God no not at this point wasnt even sure what planet I was on.  My breast care nurse took us to another room and asked any questions but I just needed to get out, she gave me contact details and we left.


I received my operation date through the post along with my pre op.  At this the nurse said if I had any questions my breast care nurse was on holiday and no one was around in clinic so to ring the number and another breast care nurse would help.


I work in exams so to me everything is done to a strict timetable and this is a whole new experince which I am finding hard.  The day of my op arrived and whilst I was having the guide wire and radiation injections my surgeon came round and told my OH that I would go down around midday. The doctor who done the guide wire wrote on my notes second lesion found but I only saw this when having the injections so no one to ask so missing talking my surgeon was a pain and a worry.  I set myself up to go down midday stupidly but I handle things in time frames.  The time came and went only to be told sorry he fitted someone else in first but your next.  Then told would not be til 2.30 as lunch.  At 2.30 he decided to take someone who was last on his list next and I then had another melt down.  My breast care nurse was called to calm me down and apologise and explain that is how he works.  They took me down next at 3.30 to wait down there half an hour, I think to settle me that I would be next.  My surgeon took one look at me and said its left isnt it and said no more and I was asleep.  When I came round I was taken back to the ward at 7.30.  They sorted some pain killers and a letter for my doctor and told to get my would checked in 3 days and I was discharged 9.30.  The next day I rung my nurse to find out about exercises and again she apologised and said they should have shown me before I left but use the ones in the leaflet with my primary breast cancer pack.


I had my wound checked on the 3rd day and all ok but by day 5 has leaked a little and is getting more painful and the exercises harder to bring my arm down properly.  Is this normal?  I dont see any one now until the 23rd when I get my op results and this will be my surgeon who scares the life out of me. I will have to ask all my questions then but how do you get through this time waiting for what could be awful news.  I have been so positive but now its all caved in on me and I am fearing the worse. Why do doctors have to make this harder than it already is?


I never feel I have a right to ask for help but I am breaking down inside I feel scared of my surgeon and haven’t had the chance to ask him anything. All I know is what I read and the unknown is by far the scariest thing I have had to deal with. I havent taken any time of work as its my busy time so has helped and the op was done at the start of the school Easter holidays so now off but its doing my head in.  Trying to keep strong for my family but I dont feel strong at all.  I thought by putting it all down on here you would all know what I mean and how I feel whereas others around me dont.


Like others on here I thought I would sail through the op and probably only need radiotherapy, but then the second lesion no one has even mentioned.  The scar is right across my left boob from near the nipple towards the armpit not around the nipple like some have and I have the scar under my arm. This is now playing  on my mind that it may have been worse than suspected.


Sorry this is  so long  winded but I so need to get it all off my chest.


Thanks  x

Dear Roxie65

Welcome to the BCC Forum.  I’m sure other members will soon be along to offer you some support.

You might also find it helpful to talk things over with one of our helpline staff.  They will be able to offer you practical information and emotional support.  The opening times are 9-5 on weekdays and 10-2 on Saturdays.  The number is 0808 800 6000

Very best wishes


BCC Moderator

So sorry to hear you’ve had such a hard time Roxie65


if your wound is starting to leak and hurt I would see someone. If your BCN is not around then I would see a doctor.  I started to have problems on day 10. It’s a 60 mile journey to the hospital so I ignoted it, convinced it was ‘normal’ and ended up in hospital having another operation to remove an abbess. 


As for the hospital situation I can sympathise,  I went for my pre-op two days after dx and the nurse very cheerfully asked when my op was as she had not been given any file, I almost walked out. 


Was told I was first on the list when I went for op, taken down to get my wire put in and the nurse at ultra sound didn’t even look at me. Told me to take my stuff of and put it on a chair. I just said what stuff? I’m wearing a hospital gown. 


Half an hour before surgery (2.30, so much for first) the anethastist came and asked if I knew what my height and weight was.


I’m not quite as organised as you but I requested copies of my pathology reports and all doctors letters, they told me things I didn’t take in at the appointments. and things I was never told.


There are loads of leaflets on here, I posted questions, and have phoned the helpline when I need something explained. I changed my breast care nurse to one at my local hospital. 


I have made very few actual decision regarding my treatment , but I have slowed things down to my own pace. To me, my emotional and mental health is the thing I have to look after, the doctors and nurses will look after the rest.


it’s good that you are able to loose yourself in work just now, if it benefits you it’s a good thing.


I made an extra effort with the puncuation and spelling in the circumstances. 


Take care



Hi Roxie65

I’m sorry you’ve had such a bad time, but do get the leak checked out.  Iam fortunate my care nurses, surgeon and hospital nurses could not have been nicer and more helpful.  I hope all goes well with you and you find some support.

Hi Roxie

I think we (well me) take a lot of energy and time making sure our illness doesn’t hurt the people close to us. I don’t share my feelings too much with my family as I can see how much it worries them. 


I have been on the other side when my mother had leukemia 20 years ago so I am prepared for all the hospital delays etc but I only really come clean about my feelings and frustrations on here or with my partner.  He is a psychiatric nurse so is trained not to judge or take it personally.


I feel like a teenager in that one day something is the end of the world and is forgotten about a week later when something else comes along.


We are all on a conveyor belt, the people I come in contact with are all great. But most of my questions and concerns come into my head about an hour after my appointment. 


Take care 




Hi Roxie

I am a nurse (previous ward sister) if you are unhappy with your surgeon you have the right to request a different surgeon…and all of your comments would support the change 100%


To help set your mind at ease…the scar maybe larger to ensure they had clear margins around the tumour…(although this should have been exlpained to you prior to your operation) they usually x ray the area removed from your breast while you are in theatre…this too takes time while you are still under anaesthetic

The scar under your arm would be usual for lymph node removal…

I know it is easy to say…but their poor bedside manner should not reflect their abilities and their proven abilities…

Try to think positive and know the cancer is removed and your treatment will begin …usually after 5 weeks…this felt like forver for me.

Ihave just completed my second chemotherapy course… it is not too bad so don’t listen to other peoples stories unless positive…your journey is yours and different from everyone lese xx Take care and good luck

This breast cancer care website is brilliant for information on everything and has help me get through the process and stay one step ahead so I feel like I’m in control.

I’ve also found it helpful to carry a pen and pad around with me all of the time to write down all of my questions for the next appointment I have.

It is a roller coaster of emotions but the more people you tell, the more people can give you the support you need. Don’t feel like you have to keep your fears to yourself find someone to share them with as I’ve found it does help.

Good luck with your treatment x

Glad you’re feeling better Roxie65.


After you get your results you might never see your surgeon again,  hopefully your next doctor has a better manner, 

take care.



Thanks Roxie

I got my tattoos yesterday at my planning session.  The sun was out and every field we passed was full of skipping lambs. Some days are are just glorious. 



Hi Roxie
The following information may help you to understand more about treatment options/reasons:

Take care
Lucy BCC

Sorry to hear your news Roxie


you prepare yourself for one thing then have to start all over again, at least no more visits to your surgeon. That part is done.


Take care.