Surgery left mastectomy and axillary clearance 18th August

Hi all, I did post to say hi in the new to the forum area so sorry if I repeat ;-), I have locally advanced breast cancer and have just completed my 6 cycle of chemo. (Thank goodness that bits over!) surgery is now booked for the 18th of August and if I’m honest I’m terrified, not so much the surgery as have been under general before but it’s the after bit. I’m worried about how I’m going to react/cope with the loss of my breast and knowing that I can’t have reconstruction for another 12 months after radio is bothering me too. My mum also went through this 5yrs ago and although I have her support it’s just a little different for me as I’m only 35 (not that age makes a difference but I have a 4 and 6 old that I’m not sure how to explain things too. My husband is very supportive but I’m worried he will look at me differently after and my self confidence I know is going to be shot, even now if he touches my left side and all I can think about is that’s going to be taken away. Everyone says I should just concentrate on the fact that the cancer is going with it and I it’s true that yes rather the boob than me, I’m just finding it hard to come to terms with it. I’m sure there are lots of you that have been through this so any story’s or advice would be great, thanks so much Nay x

I know how you are feeling. I have just finished 8 cycles of chemo and have the same op scheduled for the 11th Aug. I am 41 and I worry about how I will feel, how my husband will react, what if my prosthesis slips, how can I go swimming etc etc… Just thinking about loosing a breast makes me want to cry even though I know its better than keeping it and dying of cancer.

I cant offer you any reassurance as I haven’t got through it yet, but I know lots of women have and mostly people adjust well. I am sure we will cope when we get there - its worse before hand as your imagination is in overdrive.

good luck with your op and hopefully in due course you will beat this disease - and that is what really matters!

Hello all. I had a mastectomy and lymph nodes removed on June 12th. I had very little pain following the op, and any pain/discomfort has been under my arm, not the breast area at all. I had a drain in but it was removed a few hours before I left hospital, which was 36 hours after my op. I have had fluid build up, and been back to clinic to have it drained a few times - painless and only takes a few minutes. The scar is very neat - I have a long one which curls up into my arm pit, but I gather from some of the bc nurses that others have a separate scar.


I can’t help you with some of your worries, as my husband and I are much older than you and don’t worry as much as we might have done when younger about important parts of ourselves not being as they were - grey hair for us both, glasses too, a hearing aid for my husband etc. But we both looked at the scar together a few hours after my op and were quite impressed by it. My remaining breast is very small and a poor shape due to 4 lumpectomies in the past. I might have that removed in a year or so, as I probably won’t have reconstruction and matching up to my remaining breast would be difficult. For now I’m content to know that the cancer has been removed and haven’t put a bra on yet as I’m comfortable without. The ‘softie’ the bc nurse gave me is fine, but far too big to match the other side if I did want to wear a bra. Anyone who has a ‘normal’ breast on the other side would be absolutely fine, I’m sure.


I know that BCC has booklets for help with explaining to children about your cancer, which might be useful to you.


It took a while for me to be able to lift my almost-3 year old granddaughter, but she gave me a gentle hug the day after I got home and it’s been fine changing her and having her on my lap to read books etc, although I was very aware of my scar for the first couple of weeks, but she knows about being gentle. I lifted her after about 4 weeks, but we had plenty of cuddles before then. Hope this helps.


Best wishes for those of you who will have ops before long. Gentle hugs, Jo x