Recovery after Recon bilateral diep

Diagnosed with stage 3 her2 left breast cancer june 2017 at 50, had single mastectomy, and 9 rounds on chemo (many issues on chemo, stopped 3 times, hospitalized, allergic reactions and chemo changed 3 times) then discovered I have braca2 gene so ovaries removed when they also discovered abnormal cells, which I am going for further treatment for. Im still on Herceptin and taking letrozole.
Getting further mastectomy hopefully in August with bilateral diep reconstruction. Need some tips and positive stories, realistic recovery time (would to do a cruise early November?)
Been told i wont be same breast size i was (despite chemo kilos). Worried as its a long op (11 -12 hours) am I selfish putting my body through this for breasts? But im struggling with prostethis on single mastectomy side. Self confidence non existent, even though I know I should be grateful for my treatments and the fact Im still here. X

Hi Sib


It’s Emily here from Breast Cancer Care.


Thank you for sharing what’s happening for you so far, and what’s led you to where are you now. While you’re waiting for responses on here, I just wanted to let you know that we have a telephone volunteer who has had a bilateral DIEP reconstruction and can share their tips and positive story with you.


If you’d like for us to arrange a call with them, feel free to give us a ring on 0345 077 1893 and we can put you in touch.


Wishing you all the best in the meantime, and I’m hoping you receive some responses on here too.

Emily at Breast Cancer Care


Hi Sib, I have just had a left mastectomy, right was done in 2015 and double DIEP reconstruction, 2 weeks post op. I was thinking the same as you about being selfish but was so fed up with problems with prosthetic and clothes and self esteem that went for it! Surgery was 10 hours in Morriston, Swansea. All good, few dramas but all in all making a good recovery, this weather not helping as have to wear a corset and pressure bra and Ted stockings for 6 weeks. I was told I could fly after 8 weeks if all ok, as we want to go to Spain. So far I am glad I made the decision to have op, so good having two boobs and no breast tissue! Added bonus of tummy tuck!! It’s hard but not as bad as I thought it would be, pain ok only took paracetamol and brufen once home. Had op on Monday, home on Friday, walking properly but surgeon says good 8 to 12 week recovery. If you need to speak you can always contact me. Sue xx

Thank you so much for your reply Sue. Im relieved to hear you are doing so well. I am patiently (not!) waiting for my operation date so I can start planning for life going forward.
My operation will be in my local hospital in Scotland, which is a plastic surgery/burns unit specialist centre so I am confident I will get good care with the best possible outcome.
I would love to hear how your recovery goes.
S xx