Angie - I should be starting chemo just before Christmas too - but am nowhere near organised when it comes to shopping. I've normally got half of it done by now, but nothing this year! I've tried the line of 'you get me for Christmas, aren't you lucky?' but I've just had a look of disdain from the teenagers and the little ones sigh and then direct my attention to yet another blo*dy advert...
Thanks Sophie for your post.
It certainly is reassuring hearing from others going through the same thing. I should have joined here a while ago. As for my boobs, don't worry I was thinking the same myself anyway! I'm not getting any younger and breastfeeding 3 children doesn't leave them so perky!
I hope all goes ok with starting your chemo. I hear today when mine is going to start. Just in time for Christmas! At least I've started Christmas shopping now online so I don't have to think about it nearer the time and even cooked some things to put in the freezer for Christmas day. At least if I'm out of it my hungry family have got something to eat on the day!
Take care xx Angie
Just thought that my comment about boobs post three children sounded terribly rude... I'm basing it on my own body, which after four children is def. not the vision of gorgeousness I would have wished. (But then, in all honesty, it never was that gorgeous before, either!). My boobs definitely headed south... Yours were probably both perky still, so apologies for any assumption making!
ang1969, this is such a scary time, with so many questions and emotions to deal with, I'm so glad you've spoken up here!
I had an mx 11 days ago, and no, it's not particularly pretty! I've been fortunate (touch wood) no seroma, but it is puckered and a little scabby and def. rainbow coloured - so I do know what you mean about not feeling attractive. I bit the bullet almost immediately with my OH, as I really wanted to know how he'd react (and I figured he deserved to suffer along with me..hehe, I never said I was nice!). I got him to help me take my vest top off the evening I came home from the hospital, and although the wound was still bandaged at that point, he did have to face the fact that where my left breast had been... it was flat. His only comment was that actually, the right boob now looked like it had been stuck on....
He saw the actual wound itself for the first time a week post-surgery, when the dressing came off for good, and I think it was a little shocking for him, but he was very quick to give me a hug and a kiss and say that the only important thing was that I got through this.. with or without breasts, it really didn't matter. I'm sure your OH is feeling very much the same way - he didn't marry you for your breasts, surely (and he wouldn't have hung around so long, after three kids, if your breasts were the deciding factor!). Trust him a little, tell him how you feel, and how frightened you are of not being attractive to him anymore - let him reassure you, he is probably longing to, but doesn't know what to say. Once you understand that he still loves you, mono-boob and all, your own self esteem will start to pick back up. You are just as beautiful as ever - and you still will be, even with no hair to add to the equation!
My chemo starts in a couple of weeks, so I'll be facing baldness/no eyebrows/lashes too - and if any of my family dare snigger, I'll be sneaking into their bedrooms in the middle of the night with wax strips...
You'll still be able to hug your children throughout.. don't worry.
And as for recon - I did double check that both boobs would be done, and yes, they will be. I haven't looked into surgeons yet, but I have to say that so far the care I have received from the team at Salisbury District Hospital has been amazing.
Can't answer any more at mo, but please post again with any other worries.. we're all here to share and support each other - we all need picking up now and again 🙂
Thanks for that lella. I haven't actually started the chemo yet. I see the oncologist on Wednesday so I'll know a bit more then.
I will show my other half but at the moment it keeps swelling up with seromas so I want to wait until it settles down.
Hope you got on ok with your surgeon today. xx
Hi I really understand how you feel - however loving & supportive family & friends are, it helps to talk to someone who 'really' understands.
I hope I can answer some of your questions.
Re chemo - you won't have to stay away from your children - I was advised to not be with people who were unwell as the immune system is comporomised.
It depends what chemo you are on I was on FEC + TAX - hair started to fall out about 10 days after 1st treatment. I had bought a wig and scarves beforehand so that I was prepared.
I had a bilateral mx with immediate reconstruction and my OH saw it within minutes of returning from theatre as surgeon came to ask if I wanted to have a look - didn't have much choice and most of the staff on the ward asked if they could look too as they'd not seen a bilateral reconstruction before!
Not much help to you I know but I would advise you to show your OH as soon as possible so that it is one less thing for you to worry about. Your OH sounds lovely and he is possibly bothered that you don't want to show him. I noticed that my OH hadn't touched my reconstructed breasts so I asked him why and he said he was frightened of hurting me. Of course you're not being vain - having BC means losing all your womanly 'bits' - I still feel sad at the loss of my hair.
I was told to wait 6 weeks before lifting/pushing/pulling/driving. - very difficult!
If you have one side reconstructed the surgeon can operate on the good side to match though this is often done at a later date. I'm not sure how long you have to wait.
I live in the North so can't help about surgeons though I'm sure someone here will be able to advise you. I googled breast cancer reconstruction surgeons and there are websites that give info on doctors qualifications, experience, specialities etc.
Re mammograms - that is something that has been worrying me - I'm going to ask that very question today when I see my surgeon.
Hope this helps a bit - Sending lots of hugs x
I had a mastectomy 3 weeks ago and have been trying to hold it together for everyone around but finding very hard when I'm on my own. I've got so much support from friends and family who are being amazing but I'm beginning to feel lonely as there's no-one apart from my husband who I can tell my real feelings to. He's trying to say all the right things and is being fantastic but I still need to ask questions to others who have been or are going through the same thing. I've been searching and I can't seem to find the information anywhere on a number of things. I'm heading for both chemotherapy and radiotherapy and wondered if you had to stay away from the children for a certain amount of time after both of these. With the Chemo how long did it take for your hair to start falling out after the first treatment?
When did you show your partner your mastectomy scar? I was so bruised and swollen initially that I thought I'd wait until it looked a bit better but the longer it goes on I think it's developing into a bit of a problem. I think the issue is I don't feel sexy anymore so I think he won't think I am either although he assures me he does and that he really doesn't mind what I look like. I didn't think I would be this vain about it - it's ridiculous. After all I've had 3 children and am over 40 so they probably weren't that fantastic in the first place!
How long after the chemo and radiotherapy have ended are you able to consider surgery for reconstruction? Also is there any particular surgeon in the south of England you would particularly recommend to go and see? The other issue I've been thinking about is the fact that if you have the reconstruction do you have the good side operated on to match as it's heading south a bit! The issue with this is that future Mammograms on that side are seemingly going to be difficult and more painful. Has anybody got any suggestions about this? Also after a reconstuction, how long are you not allowed to lift for?