Hi there I am now 10 days after my mastectomy (no recon) and I agree with the lady who said she was surprised by how little pain she felt. The mastectomy part itself doesn't hurt at all - for me there was a bit of soreness in my armpit from the sentinel node removal but even that has gone now.
Paracetemol was definitely my best friend (as well as Cadbury dairy milk) and I took that regularly every 4 hours but only for about 4 days.
I also came home with a drain which was a bit cumbersome (get a cross body bag to pop it in - my mums friend who had been through this gave me hers). I got rid of the drain today and I feel so free!!
Good luck - I hope it goes well for you
Although most people are sent home the same day that doesn't always happen. I stayed in overnight as the nurse didn't think I looked well enough to go home.
Good luck with your op on 28th mine is on the 3rd November, which is 6 weeks after my diagnosis which I think is a long wait under the circumstances. I too am being sent home with drains on same day seems like that is the normal. Like you am concerned about the pain after and having to take codeine (cause of side effects) so hope I can manage with just paracetamol.
Yes covid test booked three days before. Not looking forward to being sent home same day and with drains but I’m sure I will cope.
@3colours - Ohhh, sweetheart. I'm soo sorry you're having such a "meltdown" with it all. It's soo fffff-lippin hard, isn't it. It's hard enough dealing with the initial god awful BC diagnosis, without having to make surgery choices, at the same time. Whatever you go for right now, there are often other "options" available further on, IF you aren't happy with what you choose NOW. But . . . Bear in mind, the latest surgical techniques are quite amazing, should you wish to opt for recon later. I opted for the initial "get rid". approach, especially with the second, just less than a year after the first. Was just very unfortunate there. But it happens. I sooo wish you well with and through it all, sweetheart ❤️
Hi @ritam - To be honest, I was shocked at how LITTLE pain I felt, immediately following the ops, with both my masts and ANCs, going back to 2006 and 07 now. Codeine tends to "zombiefy or dizzy" my head. So made sure I took my trusty Para's before going to bed, so wasn't woken up by "ouchies" when moving around in my sleep. Kept up with the para's all through the weeks of exercising afterwards. Should have bought shares in them!! 😊 Whatever your favoured painkiller, the secret is to keep taking them regularly (every 4 hrs) to keep the "levels up" in your blood, even if you AREN'T in pain at the time. Because you can bet your bottom whatever ??, that if you don't, you'll be woken up.
Speedy and quick recovery wishes for the 28th, darlin. ❤️
Lots of love to EVERYone on here, Dellywelly xX❤️Xx
Best of luck for the operation. You mention isolating yourself, do you have to go for a Covid test beforehand as well?
You asked about the pain afterwards. I found it more uncomfortable than painful. I took paracetamol a couple of times. The hospital gave me codeine tablets to bring home but I didn’t need any. Obviously everyone responds to pain differently, so I can’t guarantee it will be the same for you, but I hope you find it manageable.
I have phone call this morning confirming my op on 28th Oct. glad it’s not too long to wait, got to isolate now until then and even have to isolate from husband for three days before the op. Seems over the top as neither of us is going out. Needs must I suppose.
im scared of the pain afterwards. Can anyone tell me what it’s like after a mastectomy?
3colours ❤️Please do ring the number on here and speak to a nurse 👭❤️ Seeing things in black and white in the letters can wobble the magic carpet ride this feels like you are on with breast cancer diagnosis and this on top of your two close family bereavement (so very sorry to hear this sad news) it’s no wonder you have had a cry. Sometimes the tears do come they just flood out from nowhere and you aren’t expecting them ❤️They do happen ❤️ Be kind to yourself you are doing amazing even if you don’t think you are, you are ❤️💕💕✨✨Shi xx
Seems to be lumpectomy +radiation or single mastectomy without reconstruction. I think endocrine therapy was with both options but I may have misremembered that.
My head is starting to spin with it all. Was thinking that I was coping reasonably well, but an out-of-the-blue call today from my GP who'd just received the consultant's letter floored me and I ended up crying uncontrollably down the phone which isn't really me. Had two close-family bereavements this summer and I think 'everything' is just making me unravel a bit.
To be honest had I been given the option of a lumpectomy or mastectomy I would still have the mastectomy. Okay I don’t want to have the unevenness but will get a prosthesis and put it in my bra, just want this cancer out of me whatever it takes. Am scared but have no choice as I see it. So what are your choices now?
I hope the pre-op goes well for you tomorrow Jaynie. It's hard emotionally when what you think might be options just aren't for whatever reason.
I heard from the breast care nurse that the surgeon doesn't think I'm suitable for the therapeutic mammoplasty so my choices seem to be about degrees of unevenness, but at least still some degree of choice I guess.
Sorry to hear you are going through this. I have also been diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Cancer but is Grade 3 and hormone receptive, luckily the HER2 is negative. I can fully understand your feelings regarding being uneven. I was told by my consultant that I can’t have reconstruction (for medical reasons) and even if this was possible because I am quite large breasted that the reconstructed side would not match the other. I don’t have the option of a lumpectomy, only mastectomy and also was not given the option of a double mastectomy. My operation has been booked for 3rd November, have pre assessment tomorrow
My immediate reaction was get rid. Go for the mastectomy then you won’t have to worry again. But that’s what I did and I still got secondary bc. It’s a lottery unfortunately. A mastectomy is no guarantee that bc will never bother you again because it’s the cells that can continue to be a problem, not the breast.
I’m happily monoboobed but I’m only 34C/D (34B before hormone therapy and it won’t go down even though I no longer take it). There are logistical problems, mainly that, no matter how good your bra and prosthesis are, things will always drift to the weight of your natural breast. This means constantly but subtly swivelling things back into place. If you go au naturale, it’s way more comfortable but it’s surprising how it draws people’s eyes to your chest, when they’d never have given a thought to it before. It’s also more difficult to find the right clothes that won’t draw attention. It angers me that I am aware that my persona choice makes some people uncomfortable. Tough!
Personally I’d ask your surgeon of the long-term advantages and disadvantages before committing yourself to surgery, one way or the other. S/he must have the statistics. You aren’t over-reacting, this is a massive and no-going-back choice. A mastectomy should bring you peace of mind but it’s not a guarantee, unfortunately.
Sorry to be such a negative responder but I’m being realistic. I hope you are happy with the choice you make xx
Hi @3colours I had a 2cm tumour in my left breast and opted for a therapeutic mammoplasty with reduction on the right breast at the same time. The operation was longer, but as you are out for the count it didn't matter! Whilst operating on the 'healthy ' breast they found a small DCIS which hadn't shown on the mammogram, so I am very lucky! To be honest the sentinel lymph node wound and numbness has caused me more pain than either breast.
I think the recovery time is a little longer, but I had healed enough to start radiotherapy after 4 weeks and now at about 10 weeks am doing well.
I went fron GG to I think DD, though its hard to tell just yet as I have some post rads swelling in the left. I am delighted with the outcome, and looking forward to enjoying the rest of my life with smaller, perkier breasts!
Happy to answer any questions you may have, I know it's a tough decision to make at a time when your still reeling from diagnosis.
First off, nothing you're thinking or feeling is ridiculous - it's your body and your health, you have to be comfortable with the decisions made.
In case it's of any help, my story involves 34H boobs and a bilateral mastectomy. The surgeon took one look at me and declared, "implants don't come in your size!", so I started off with a reduction (or, yes, mammoplasty). I was terrified, and there are negatives, but if there has been a silver lining out of all this cancer nonsense, it's going down 5 cup sizes and a permanently perky future 😉
I was classed as high-risk, so I didn't have to fight for the double despite my fears after hearing so many stories. From what I gather, it can be difficult to get a healthy breast removed, and they will want you to talk to a psychologist first. On the other hand, lean *hard* into the whole size thing: being heavy-breasted is difficult normally, and being lop-sided at that size can cause back and neck problems. I know it's tough, especially now, but if you know what you want then I say push for it.
Re: on going pain, it should improve but may take years and it’s possible that I will always have some level of discomfort. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like I’m in constant pain but if I go for a run or accidentally knock it can hurt for a while. Some days are worse then others and I’ve just had to get on with it. But overall I’m happy with how they look. To be honest In my case I think the radiotherapy caused a lot of internal damage/scaring which is still healing. Due to positive lymph node I had to have radiotherapy regardless of whether I had lumpectomy or mastectomy.
If you decide on a mastectomy can you not push for the double?
Thank you, that's really helpful. The perky boobies made me smile. I think I'm being a bit unrealistic in hoping I can get everything over and done with in one surgery and then carry on as before like nothing has happened!
Has your surgeon indicated that your pain will ease at all over time or is this the new normal for you?
Hiya, I just came across your post and thought I’d let you know that I had a lumpectomy with therapeutic mammoplasty 18 months ago in April 2020. I had G cup breasts and my cancer was 45mm HER2 positive. One positive lymph node. I had chemo first and had a pathological complete response.
I didn’t have the other boob done at the same time as my surgeon said I had to wait for a year to see if my boob (cancer side) was affected by the radiotherapy. As breast shrinkage can happen months after treatment. Anyway… I had a breast reduction and lift on the other one in April this year. I now have two perky DD boobies. Obviously the scar is a lot bigger than just a lumpectomy, with me they removed the nipple then an (anchor cut) down and all the way along underneath and then the nipple is put back on. I’ve healed well and the scar doesn’t bother me. I do still have some on going pain in my cancer side breast and my surgeon said that it’s due to the reconstruction/ manipulation, nerve damage and some fibrosis from radiotherapy.
Making a decision about the type of surgery is stressful and you’ve got to do what’s right for you, don’t feel pressured into anything until you’re happy, anyway just thought I’d share my therapeutic mammoplasty experience.. if you have any questions let me know.
Thank you Shi - I have just googled and the mammoplasty sounds really interesting.
Ritam - I hope you managed to come to a decision that sits well with you. It's so hard to know what to do for the best and so much to take in.
Sorry you both find yourselves on here ❤️Also look into Therapeutic mammo pasty with levelling up of other boob. It is such a shock to get diagnosed and be having to make decisions about operations. Do what’s going to be right for you and what you know is decision you can move forward with post operation. If you can do therapeutic mammoplasty get levelled up at same time. Do use the ask the nurse facility on here and talk to a nurse. Others will be along to offer ❤️And support. 💕💕✨✨Shi xx
I’m the same but Grade 3. Have to tell them today my decision and still in two minds. Anyone got any guidance, my cancer is 49mm
I was diagnosed today with a grade II invasive ductal carcinoma in one breast and have been given the options of lumpectomy and radiotherapy or mastectomy. Still waiting for results on hormone receptors. The consultant seemed to be pushing the lumpectomy option more and noted that because my breasts are large, reconstruction would be difficult.
All that is running through my mind is that I want the cancer gone. I really don't care about losing a breast as I hate being heavy-breasted, though the thought of being asymmetrical is bothersome. I think if they'd given a third option of double mastectomy that would have been preferable.
Has anyone else had these feelings? I don't want to conserve tissue for it to be a constant source of worry. Am I overreacting?