Surgery on Saturday - scared

Good afternoon all
I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma 10mm, grade 2 ER8 PR5 HER2 negative, on 11 October. This was discovered during a routine mammogram. I am due to have the lump removed on 28th. They will also do a sentinel node biopsy although the mammogram and ultra scan showed no lumps under the arm. To say I was shocked when diagnosed is an understatement. I thought I was coping ok, but the closer the day of the operation gets, the more anxious and upset I feel. I think I am more worried about the fact, I will be having a general anaesthetic. I suppose I worry I wont wake up again. Has any one else felt like this. Sending everyone best wishes.

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Hello @dakota1
Welcome to the forums and the club no-one wants to join
Your anxiety is very understandable: I had a very similar diagnosis with a lumpectomy and SNLB discovered on my first mammogram
Prior to my surgery I think I’d only had one or two general anaesthetics and the whole thought of it filled me with dread.
I managed to get my head round it partly through a random conversation I had with a gentleman in a bloods waiting room who shared with me that he was going to have “another bowel operation” (he didn’t go into detail!) but certainly helped me put some perspective on my planned surgery
It might help you to feel calmer if you remember that the doctors nurses and all the surgery teams spend every day of the week operating: “it’s just another day” for them and they will all be very very experienced and know exactly what they are doing. You will be so carefully looked after.
I remember seeing the clock on the wall before going to sleep and remember asking the time when I came round and I had only been asleep for around 50 minutes and it was all over. I was able to go home the same day.
I really hope this helps and everything goes OK on Saturday, there’s lots of really helpful advice on the forum about what to take with you when you go in: personally I made sure I had plenty of different things to do whilst I waited (I knew I was “last on the list”) as my mind was all over the place whilst waiting
Sending you lots of love
AM xxx

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Thank you so very much for your kind response. Its a relief to have someone understand how I am feeling. :heart_eyes:

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Hi @dakota1

I’m a Health Care Professional and I can tell you that your fear that you won’t wake up is a very common one - it affects us HCPs as well .The staff will understand your perfectly natural fear of the unknown and hopefully will be able to give you some reassurance. I was scared though at the same time looking forward to getting it done as I’d had a long wait following a failed procedure under local as part of a trial. Worry about GA with my underlying health conditions was one thing that led me to have the trial procedure but my anaesthetic and surgery were perfectly straightforward.
It’s a little different for you as you have not really had chance to get your head around it all yet but if you were to wait much longer you would probably just be desperate to get it out .

It honestly sounds like you have been coping really well - but probably something was going to give a wobble and it’s often not the things you think it will be . Come back to us this next week and let us know how you are doing.

Lots of love
Joanne x

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Thank you for your kind response Joanne :heart_eyes:

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I remember the anaestatist saying I would feel a slightly achy arm. I said yes it’s feeling a little achy.
The next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery with a couple of nurses speaking to me to welcome me back, the op was over, just like that.
X

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Thank you for your reply. I am feeling a lot calmer after hearing about others experiences. :heart_eyes:

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Hi dakota1, I don’t blame you for being scared, you’ve been hit with a devastating diagnosis and all too soon you need surgery. It’s terrifying!
I’d be surprised if most of us going through this hadn’t felt the same, I did too, but I spoke with the anaesthetist before surgery and she was lovely, very reassuring ( unlike my surgeon :weary: )
You won’t be left unattended as you recover, you’ll have staff right there to look after you and make sure you’re fine as you ‘come to’, before you know it you’ll be waiting to get home. Hope all goes well for you (((hug)))
PS- funny wee story, I had a tonsillectomy when I was about 32, and when I woke up in recovery the nurse asked how I was and being a bit groggy I said " am I in heaven?"
As I regained proper consciousness I don’t think I’ve ever been so embarrassed! :sweat_smile:

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Hi Dakota1,
I was worried as well about not waking up after my surgery. I’d had surgery (d & c) many years ago so I tried to think positively. My tumour was 1.7 cms and I also had one sentinel node removed. On the report, my surgeon wrote that the operation took 27 mins. So everything done quickly!. :blush:

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Hi Dakota1, i can totally relate, in fact i could have written your post myself!
The others that have replied have already given wonderful advice. You will get lots of support and kind words from the nursing staff plus random conversations which i found helped to keep a smile on my face and take (most of) the worry out of the situation. To be honest, I can’t really remember having the anesthetic, it all happened so quickly and smoothly. All the very best

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Hi @dakota1 . I was in your shoes 7 weeks ago waiting to have a mastectomy and breast reduction. I was so nervous about the anaesthetic as many years ago in the 80’s i had one and I felt I came round during the procedure. I talked over my concerns with the wonderful female anasthetist who put my mind at rest, she explained things were a lot different these days and how they put sensors on my forehead to monitor how unconscious I was. She said it was one that would wear off quite quickly after the op and that recovery was quick. And it was! I honestly didn’t feel a thing. Big hugs and let us know how it goes xxx

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@dakota1 I think everyone worries about being under general anaesthetic; it is something we can’t control. I had my mastectomy and reconstruction on 11th October. My team were fantastic, so kind and reassuring. They understood how nervous I was.
A friend shared a link to a meditation produced by the Royal College of Anaesthetists which i listened to a few times before my op. It might work for you

Good luck and focus on your breathing to keep as calm as you can xx

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Hi. I have spent the last 18years working in recovery waking people after anaesthetic and funny enough when I had my breast surgery the anaesthetic was my biggest worry, so even though I had first hand knowledge that any problems under anaesthetic are really rare it was still a worry. Let me tell you that it was the best sleep I had ever had, one minute I was talking to the theatre team and the next I was being offered a cup of tea. I will never worry again it really was easy.

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Thank you for your kind reply. Feeling more more positive today. Xxx

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Thank you for reply. Will definitely look into this. Xxx

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Thank you for your kind reply. I am feeling more confident today. Xxxx

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Glad to hear it, but if you have a wobble before Saturday, there’s always a sympathetic ear here on the forum :hugs::+1:t2:

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Hi Good luck for your op on Saturday. I an having a single mastectomy on Thursday (Grade 2 oestrogen positive HER 2 negative) everyone on here has been so supportive. I’ve been very positive but like you scared of the op and the unknown but we just got to trust the process. The surgeons are amazing we are in good hands. Im dealing with everything in small steps which is really helping. I hope it all goes well xx

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I had my lumpectomy on 21st september.
I was thinking exactly the same as you.
I walked into the room before the theatre and was put at ease straight away. We even had a laugh at how high the trolley was and i needed a step to get on it. You will be fine and will wake up in the blink of an eye. I felt i had only been asleep for 5 mins.
The staff are very professional and really help.
Best of luck with your surgery and let us know how it went xx

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I had all those same feelings regarding surgery. I had never had surgery before, didn’t know what to expect and drove myself mad worrying about it. On the day of my OP I was put at ease by the nurses taking my vitals, the anaesthetists where very calming. One minute they were talking to me about what they where doing, the next I heard “Hello you can wake up now” I worried for nothing. Wishing you all the best for a similar experience for your surgery :hugs:

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