Hi i am new to the group and have a single mastectomy on Tuesday. I have just turned 50 and it all seems very surreal. Looking for some advice and positivity on my cancer journey
Wishing you all the best for your surgery … I had a single mastectomy in June this year and have been amazed at how quickly the body handles this intervention and how it’s healed over the 4 months.
Will you be having reconstruction of any type?
In terms of post surgery recovery, take it easy on yourself for the first few weeks. Your body has been through a lot and not to mention the mental side of processing losing a breast and how things will look a little different from now on. You’ll feel a huge sense of relief after your operation I’m sure. I found doing the exercises they give you to do also helped achieve movement again.
You don’t mention your diagnosis - are you having to have follow up treatment post surgery?
It’s great you’ve joined the forum - I’m sure you’ll find it a safe and friendly place to share.
Good luck for Tuesday x.
Thank you thats made me feel a bit better. I have Grade 2 oestrogen positive HER2 negative cancer. They said treatment will be decided after operation when know how many lymph nodes affected. Another wait I guess. I decided to have the recon at end of all treatment as i had my spleen removed many years ago so advised to wait and use back tissue and implant. Ive been so positive but feel nervous today about the op. So good to hear you are doing so well. What treatment are you having ? X
Hi vez. My mastectomy was 4 weeks ago tomorrow. I felt exactly the same as you, as probably everyone else on here did.
Take it easy for as long as you need to. Do the exercises to help get movement in your arm. I got my partner to wash my hair, with me kneeling on the floor, since I couldn’t raise my left arm. Just mind you don’t lean against your scar on the side of the bath!
Take advantage of dry days to get outside, for a walk or mooch about the garden.
My diagnosis was similar to yours, but grade 3.
Good luck x
Hello, a mastectomy is frightening. I know, I had one in January 2021.
I found it the easiest part of my treatment - I knew I was having chemo and rads. In and out the same day.
It didn’t really hurt - just sore. Nothing paracetamol for a few days couldn’t fix. The drain was a bit of a faff. My hospital gave me a little bag to carry it around.
I found a V shaped pillow gave great support at night for back sleeping. Again the hospital gave me stuff - a soft heart shape pillow to help support between your arm and op site.
And they gave me a softie bra and (a bit hopeless at 1st until my proper one) prosthetic.
Front opening gym bras with pockets worked for me. I was back in underwired ones a few months later.
I didn’t/haven’t had a recon. I wasn’t overly bothered about looking at my chest post-op. The brusing was pretty! It healed quickly - lots of water based moisturiser as soon as advised. I think that when the stitches came out.
I get really lumpy scarring. Not this one - OK it’s visible (not hugely) and nice and neat.
At the end of the day, I see it as that my mastectomy saved my life. The rest was to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.
As for what follows your op, your team will create the best plan for you. Trust them. You’ll cross that bridge when you come to it. So focus on your op for now.
I hope it goes well. Good luck.
Hi again Vez007
Glad my comments helped a little .
Well my treatment … I had my first mammogram when I turned 50 in January this year and they detected high grade DCIS in my left breast. It was non invasive early stage breast cancer and a preventive mastectomy was recommended due to its size, and the risk of it returning… it was alot to get my head around as I’d had no symptoms. Because the cancer was contained in the milk ducts and hadn’t spread, surgery was the only treatment required. All lymph nodes were clear.
I maintain I’ve been extremely fortunate through early detection and a fairly smooth treatment plan.
As I mentioned, the physical aspect of a mastectomy hasn’t been nearly as awful as you would imagine, the surgical teams do everything they can to make it as comfortable and reassuring for you as possible and like many others, the odd paracetamol was the only pain relief I needed afterwards.
Now it’s about getting used to physical changes with a new breast and up and coming nipple reconstruction.
I’ve learnt this is a very personal journey and small steps, seeking support when you need it and asking questions to your medical team will see you through … xx
You have already had some excellent advice from the other ladies on this site, remember one day at a time with lots of TLC take all the help offered.
Wishing you well going forward, with lots of health and happiness.
Biggest hugs Tili
Hi there, im the same age as you and i had a single mastectomy and node clearance this time last year, for grade 3 Her pos, er neg cancer, 10cm and 3 cm tumour and 9 lymph nodes.
I knew i would be having chemo and radiotherapy afterwards, and at some point i hope to have a reconstruction.
At the time i remembered that friend who had been through similar said it had helped her to come to terms with her mastectomy by looking at it very regularly, just for a few seconds, during the first week post op. I decided to try the same and i think it really helped my brain catch up with what had happened as i didnt want to wake up each morning feeling like i still had 2 breasts and then having to realise all over again that I hadnt. It wouldnt be right for everyone, but it felt positive for me.
The other good advice I had in respect of all the treatment and ways of dealing with it was to ‘do it your way.’ I kept repeating this to myself as there is a lot of information and advice out there, and it was good to remind myself that I could pick and choose, and lean into whatever feels right for you.
All the very best to you with it all, julie xx
Thank you so much everyone for all your advice and tips. I really appreciate it. You are all amazing ladies x
I had my usual mammogram end of Jan this year, within 4 days I got a call-back letter. 2 weeks later I was told I had cancer and needed a mastectomy.
Huge shock as I had no idea I had cancer.
Had op mid-March after which I was told no signs of any cancer elsewhere so no further treatment needed.
My physical healing has been ok but I’m really struggling to accept what’s happened.
I attended a (virtual) fatigue clinic for several weeks after my op which was really helpful.
I also attend a lymphoma clinic (ongoing) which I find really supportive.
However I’m not coping with ‘getting back to normal/ getting on with my life’
I’m prone to very weepy days and constantly worrying that I will develop 2ndary cancer elsewhere.
Been to see my GP but no real help there.
Am writing this as I thought I had booked onto a "Someone Like Me " session today but can’t find any joining instructions so obviously got that wrong too!
My best advice:
Take all/any help you can get or are offered.
Be kind to yourself and don’t expect too much, you will need to allow time to adjust.
Life is very different these days, but I am grateful that I’m still here and that the NHS acted so quickly in dealing with my cancer.
Keep smiling and keep looking forward.
Hi. I had a single mastectomy on 6 September. I can honestly say that the operation and recovery wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I came home on the same afternoon as the operation. I was awake and walking about the ward as soon as I came round from the anaesthetic. My first words were “I need the loo” and “Can I have a cup of tea please!” I was shown the scar before I left and thought it was very neat. I did come out wearing an enormous padded dressing looking like the Michelin man so take something roomy to wear.
I didn’t experience any pain and was up and about the house the next day. It’s important to do the exercises to restore movement but I’m fine now and have full mobility. On second course of chemo now as I did have cancer cells in lymph nodes.
Is your surgery tomorrow? Lots of luck. Take care xx