Dear Artemis 17, you are still young and am happy for you. I still have doubts etc. but for the time being I will settle for a prothesis and see how things go. Been shopping for more stuff, helps keep me going.
Hi Mandy, having my pre-op tomorrow (26th) had that before so not too worried. Sentinel Nodes biopsy on Monday, 1st July and op on 2nd - yours is on the 5th if I remember correctly. Good luck - keep smiling (I know it's easier said than done).
Just had coffee with someone who went through all these last year, she looks good and looking at her you wouldn't have known, so it was an inspiration.
Hi Diamond Lady,
So sorry that you are feeling down and it is so hard to know whats best for the future. I had a left Mx in may and because of radiology, herceptin etc i wasnt suitable for an immediate recon, however, i was given a tissue expander to keep the "skin envelope" and then at a later date will have a back flap recon as implants wont sit right on my slim frame and i dont have enough tummy for that to be used. At 45 i am still proud of my figure and have always kept fit etc so wanted to still feel like me.
As a result i will have to have my good side reduced as im naturally a c/d and will end up b/c but i see it as positive as i didnt want to wake up without a clevage. Apart from the obvious scar & missing nipple, in normal bras you cant tell one isnt "finished" yet and so i am really impressed with the expander, especially as i still have my beauty spot mole left 😉 as they seemed to leave most of my breast skin.
Im just giving you an alternative view, i know some ladies are happy living breast free or having a prothesis rather than more surgery but i still have many beach holidays to go on and my figure is part of my identity, but i wish you well with whatever route you take
I know what you mean, sometimes it goes completely out of my head and then, there it is again. I spent the afternoon with some older female friends and not one of them mentioned my impending op even though the afternoon was supposedly to be a get together before I went in. It was like the elephant in the room, and felt really strange. As we said goodbye, they hugged me and said that they would be thinking of me. Really surreal......or am I ultra sensitive?
Got my pre op assessment appt through so it's getting closer. Still waiting on appt to have my 'nipple' casts done, now that sounds fun heh? 🙂
Hi Starxgal and skigirl - thanks. Spent night in London hotel - felt good but today coming home it all comes back. So unfair but at least I will be 63 (the day after my op) - what a birthday present eh? I look at all the ladies, young and old, and most of them look happy etc. whilst I have this awful 'secret'. Everything takes time so I must keep reminding myself that in time I will accept whats happening. Some of you sound so sensible and much younger than me too.
It really is an extremely emotional time for you at the moment and I remember it well, and you have a massive decision to make, but the 'right' decision will be the one that you will make, if that makes sense. It has to be what you feel comfortable with at the end of the day. For me, I only wanted one operation and having nothing there wasn't an option for me, so I had an immediate DIEP reconstruction (the tummy one :)) following my mastectomy and I am more than happy with the results. The surgeon has managed to get very good symmetry and size and I will need no further surgery at all to either my breast or my tummy ('dog ears' seems to be a problem with the TRAM or DIEP), and I feel really lucky that that is the case, as there seems to be quite a lot of ladies that need more than one operation. From the very beginning, I only wanted to look 'normal' with my clothes on, but it's not a bad job without 🙂
I didn't consider implants as they need replacing after a period of time (I can't remember how long exactly, but every 10 years seems to ring a bell, but I could be wrong on that - you get so much information given to you at the time!). Only being 45 at the time, I thought that was quite a lot of 'maintenance', and I hate having anaesthetics!
Emotionally, in the year following my reconstruction, I can't say that it's been an easy ride. It took me a long time to stop 'grieving' for my real breast and even longer to like my recon'd boob. It took about 6 months to take any proper shape other than a doughnut and it just felt as though it had been strapped to my chest. But 14 months on, it looks and feels natural, although some days it does still cause me some discomfort.
Whatever you decide on, I hope that all goes well for you. There is a lot of support on this website, and it sounds as though you have a very supportive husband too. It is ok for you to be angry & sad. I can't say when it will end, because I still feel angry and sad on some low days. But I also feel incredibly lucky that my DCIS was found before it turned invasive and that I will get to see my family grow up and be there for them for (hopefully) a long time to come.
Starxgal (Mandy :)) - good luck to you on the 5th too.
Both of you, take care of yourselves
Funny, but I am a Mandy too Skigirl!
I was the opposite of you Diamondgirl in that when my BCN was showing me photos of ladies having undergone mastectomy without recon and those with, I was impressed with the look of those having had implants. Because I am on warfarin and will excessively bleed I am unable to have any tissue recon and will have two surgeons working either side to cut down on the length of the op. You just have to go with what your heart says is best for you. The only people who are ever going to see mine are me, my husband and medical staff! So you are in on the 2nd and me on the 5th. Wishing our time goes quickly now x x
Hi StarxGal and Mandy - thanks for your response. Been shopping again for 2 pairs of pretty Mastectomy Bras in M & S. Had a bad time last night accepting my situation, but like you said, things will get better I hope.
Mandy - am only considering implants as the other 2 types take longer (8 hrs for stomach - don't know proper term). 9 years ago I was on the point of being diagnosed with heart failure but the tablets now help, so I don't want to take risk, especially after 3 lumpectomies in 4 months. Mentally and physically exhausted. Also I was not taken with the reconstruction photo/result that I was shown. I still have the option of a reconstruction at a later date .
See how things go. I hope I have made the right decision.
i am having a double mx on July 5th in Exeter. I was diagnosed with DCIS in both breasts on 30th May, this came as a complete surprise following a routine mammogram a few weeks before. I am going to have immediate recon with implants as I am too 'tricky' for tissue/muscle recon......I had Hodgkins Lymphoma 35 years ago which was cured with chemo and radiotherapy but the long term effects of the mantle radiation have caused the damage to my heart ( I had an aortic valve replacement in 2008 ) and now the DCIS. Such a shame that the treatment that cured me and many others is now giving us secondary cancers years later.
Like you, these days since diagnosis and treatment decision have been hard on the old emotions.....very surreal, and keep thinking why is this happening to me again. It's a bit like the awful time between a death and a funeral, and I can't seem to get on with anything practical, just daydream the day away! But get on we must, face our demons and look forward. Things will get better.
Dear Tonsky (Toni) for those few words . My surgeon said it is better to hace immediate reconstruction but I just cannot face being anymore operations. Been shopping for mastectomy bras today - I am so upset when I put on my thin straps top and looked at my cleavage, no more cleavage very soon ... Took photos last night to remind me what I look like though that would only cause me distress.
I am not whingeing but very emotional and distressed, probably lack of sleep. I do appreciate I am one of the 'luckier' ones when there are others worse than me, after all I have not got Invasive DCIS so please excuse me. When will all the sadness, tears, anger and feelings of being a 'freak' after the mastectomy ends?? Incidentally my husband is very supportive but he is at a loss how to comfort me, apart from the reassurances.
I had left breast MX on 9th may i had no choice due to high grade DCIS and 7cm in size and being only a 34 B lumpectomy was not an option.
I too have not had a recon they could not guarantee i could play netball again if i did and at only 32 im not ready to give up my life. Most people i spoke to said it you dont do a recon straight away but do it later your actually be happier with the results
Had my softie for 5 weeks and got my prothesis on Tuesday and i love it perfect match to my right breast, its not heavy sits well in a mastecomy bra and comfortable
Hi Jasminflowers, Thanks for responding. The first lumpectomy supposed to be 'IT' and I was just so relieved that was all that was needed. Then the 2nd surgery and the surgeon said 'this will be it ' but when told to have a 3rd lumpectomy I asked for a mastectomy as I couldn't cope with anxiety etc. but he was adamant 'no need for MX as this is just a tiny dot and you may not have to have radiotherapy'. I had to ask him at our last meeting how, after all the positiveness, I am in this situation. I shouldn't perhaps but I was upset. Got the usual reply that they couldn't see under naked eye which I understand but I do think perhaps medical team should not give too much positiveness unless they can deliver it. Had I known I would have opted for MX at the beginning when I could have reconstruction and be well on the way to recovery by now.
I am sorry to hear that you are in this position and you have to go with what feels right for you. You have obviously been through the mill and I am wondering why you have had to be put through 3 lumpectomies. Has mx been on offer to you as an option from the beginning? I hope you don't mind but I have sent you a private message.
After a week long deliberation I decided NOT to go for a reconstruction, at least for now. The BCN was wonderful, but after looking through a few photos of Implant reconstruction I did not think the result was as good as I had expected. Also after having 3 lumpectomies in 4 months and also some 9 years ago I was on the verge on being diagnosed with heart failure (this is being treated now), I was not too sure if I wanted to put my body through more operations etc. for now.
Have I done the right thing? Mastectomy (one breast) on 2nd July so I may have time to change my mind and have immediate reconstruction.
Have taken picture of my boobs to remind me what I have/had. Almost like saying RIP to it. Very tearful and unsure, sleepless nights. There is just no other way, my consultant whom I saw yesterday did say immediate reconstruction would be preferable than a later one on account I would use my breast skin but very understandable when I opted for non reconstruction.