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Mastectomy how do you cope

20 REPLIES 20
sheriparkes
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Hi Horsemad
I expect you have had your op now, I had a mastectomy in 2006 followed by chemo, and I was driving the day they let me out of hospital, and doing my horses, so I hope you are too! I am more careful now with the horses and do not do any jumping or lead a horse that side, but no-one would now and at least I can still ride. I also did a sponsored ride whilst having chemo and it was fine, just carry on as normal.

Good luck

penn1
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

The best piece of advice I was given was to wear a silk scarf over the area - I have to say it is 5 months after my mastectomy and I am still wearing my scarf. It has been a life saver and allowed me to wear a bra (over the scarf). I could not have managed without it - it is soft and does not rub like other materials. Hope it helps you too .

Horsemad
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Thanks Pauline, reasssured me a bit. So sore at mo cant bear anything touching it.

ForumMember
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Horsemad

I too had an area on my back was sore. It was just under the armpit but around the back. I'm very pale and it was definiately a different colour. When I went to my first 6 month check up and the surgeon specificially asked me about my back and whether I still have any sore spots (I don't). We have had major surgery and it takes a long time to settle down. I still find that I need to do my exercises daily or every other day otherwise I start to get stiff.

take care

Pauline

mandy2310
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Hi Horsemad, I am due to have my mastectomy on wednesday and I am worried, not for the op itself but the aftermath, I'm comming to terms with what is happening and hopefully now with Chemo shortly after I will be on the long road to a full recovery. From diagnosis I too was initially shocked in knowing I had Cancer but happy that after a lumpectomy and some Radiotherapy I would be clear by Xmas and this would be a short lived problem. However in surgery on finding not one but lumps, the next stage was a mastectomy followed by chemo, so a few weeks of treatment has now turned into 6 months. Trying to think what other bad news can now be given - surely this must be it.
Glad to hear you are coping as well as can be expected - I hope for you the worst is over and that you can try and move on from this horrible thing and get on with your life. All the best. M xxx

Horsemad
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Hi everyone, thanks for your posts. As you might have seen from another post I had my mastectomy last week. Still trying to come to terms emotionally but physically not been too bad, except that my skin on my back near shoulder feels as if its been scalded. So sore, but nowhere near op site so bit concerned. Dont feel as if I have an infection or anything so maybe this is normal? Waiting another 10 days for results now.Just hope nothing further found as I really am struggling with not being able to get about my lawful business ! OH being v good but beginning to feel a bit smothered now, think he is over compensating for problems of past months. Margaret I have two guinea pigs only. Can manage them OK !

MargaretC
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

I dont have horses. But I have cavies (guinea pigs for the unititiated) About 150. Which we breed and show.
Thanks to a supportive OH we managed to keep them going last year after I had been dx with BC.
For me it was neccessary to keep them going as they were my lifeline when all I could do was to get up and put some in runs then have to rest before I had the energy to go back to bed.
I had many offers to rehome them as others "decided" for me that it was not a good idea to keep them because of the risk of infection while I was on chemo. Thank goodness I didn`t take any notice.
I just took extra precautions while handling them and didn`t have any problems.
When we are diagnosed we have enough to cope with. Its not a time when we want to lose anything else.

Best wishes to all......XXXXXX
Margaret

sharon2
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Hi Horsemad, I know what you mean about each time you saw your consuktant the news was worse than expected as that is my story exactly. I eventually has a mx with reconstruction ? (which was not on the agenda initially)at a later date ("as it is better to have life saving surgery than cosmetic surgery).

The mx recovery was better than I had anticipated although I do not have life stock bit a lively 7 year old to contend with!

I hope you get your date soon so you can move forward with your treatment.

Sharon xx

meggiemay
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

I am like you due to dcis ... I can completely understand where you are coming from and the vast emotions experienced! I am due to see surgeon next week...not sure whether reconstruction is a possibility or not within my time frame and the nhs
try and keep strong- keep smiling
big hugs
meg

jantharra
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Hi Horsemad, I dont have horses, but have high maintenance dogs!!

Although I 'fostered' my two youngest for a couple of months due to them going through a coat change which meant bathing and drying every 4 days or nightmares, all was normal in about 8 weeks and I could could bath and groom all of my 4 (they are Afghan Hounds) with no problem. The chemo was hard though, due to joint pain, but I coped with that too. So it's ok you can get on with you life post mx. In fact I was surprised at how quick I recovered.

Wishing you all the best

Nikki

Horsemad
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Dont know about further treatment yet, rads were mentioned but I suppose it depends on what else they find that hasnt shown up on teh memo. Seems mostp eople have
additional problem areas. Having a really cowardly day today, bit of a panic attack.
now op day is getting closer.

palomino98
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Hi Horsemad, sorry not been on for a while.

I know exactly what you mean about keeping sane for the animals... hateful as it sounds, my kids are 16, 20 and 22, not little, and my ex is very supportive - but he wouldn't take all the animals and on my blackest nights, my old pony has been the reason to face tomorrow morning. Just clipped them so I feel obliged to keep them busy now, hope it's not misplaced end-of-chemo optimism.

It's nearly 8 months since my op, the abdominal work for the recon is where I still feel real weakness, my tummy struggles to lift a bag of feed but the work 'up top' has healed very well and I don't feel any pain or weakness there. Do you have a date for surgery yet? And do you know if you will have chemo? That is another issue as far as tiredness is concerned.

Do try to rope in help with the physical work, and look forward to next spring!

Horsemad
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Hi Palomino, thanks for your post. I am not having recon yet so hope recovery will be quicker, I also hope they dont find anything else while theyre rumaging about. Every appointment Ive gone for so far something else has been found. I also have a dead quiet nag, although 16.2 so would have to get someone to tack up for me! He has come in for the winter now,. farmer doesnt allow them out at night after September.
It all so vague this bc thingy, at least if your having a gall bladder op or hysterectomy once its done its usually done. Im 60 by the way, and opnly keeping sane because of the animals, no family unfortunately. Best wishes

palomino98
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

I'm 52, dx Jan, had mastectomy and immediate DIEP recon in March, will have the last of 7 months' chemo next week, then rads and will start Tamoxifen in November.

The abdominal work for the DIEP took longer to recover than the breast surgery, my tummy is still quite weak despite regular physio, but I'm too old for pert Barbie Boobs and didn't want to sacrifice muscle, so DIEP was the most appealing option. The difficult side effects have been crashing tiredness - from just being VERY slow and inefficient, to taking 3 hour naps. I've had horrid tummy upsets during chemo, dx with irritable bowel syndrome and managing that well enough now after keeping a food diary and identifying what triggered the pain, also acute diarrhoea after each chemo. And weight gain, I've put on 2 stone, which doesn't help the sluggishness.

Our 4 horses are at home, thank goodness, as I couldn't drive for 6 weeks, and my daughters did the heavy work when I was getting over the op. I still have trouble carrying full buckets, can't lift hay bales and struggle with feed sacks. But I rode our dead-quiet old 14.2 about 4 weeks post-op, and he has kept me sane! At least, until he stumbled on a grass headland 5 weeks ago, probably because I'm too heavy for him, and I fell off, breaking a rib on the opposite side to the breast surgery... it's ok and I'm walking him out again. He lines up beside a stile for me to mount and dismount, can't drop down to the ground off him yet!

Can you get help with the horses, you won't be lifting or sweeping for a while, and even leading in and out could be challenging if you have one that pulls. I couldn't throw rugs on for at least a month. Hopefully if you haven't clipped they could live out for a bit?

Hope it works out well, all the best.

chebsy13
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Hi there Horsemad - I had high grade dcis over large area and had mastectomy. Was offered immediate recon which after much debate i decided to go for- had to have snb to check were all clear - overnight stay in hosp - my consultant here in Cornwall won't do a recon unless you go through this procedure to ensure there is definitely no need for rads at a later date, which , as he said might spoil his handiwork! All was clear so went ahead with mx an immediate implant recon and reduction other side - delighted with result as I had bigg boobs - double FF and am now D cup.

However they did find a wee aggressive tumour grade 3 in removed breast - sure they got the b*****d all out but am having chemo as belt and braces- have had 4 FEC - 2 to go - yippee.

My main thought was that if I hadn't had mx they wouldn't have found tumour as didn't show up on mammogram - so feel very lucky.

But I didn't mean to rabbit on about me - the op is very doable and I look great - have you been offered a recon -

Thinking of you and all on here
good vibes and love x

vertangie
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

the trick to rapid recovery seems to be little and often, ie don't push it too hard but a little of the excersises as soon as you feel able. I recovered really quickly and had both sides done at the same time. I didn't do reconstruction which I believe does take longer to recover from though.

sharon2
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Hi Horsemad, sorry to hear your news and although it is devastating it is not too bad. I had mine in June and the worst bit was the drain, pain was ok, nurses great and how it looks well that is ok as well and I thought of it getting rid of the lump(I had 6cm IDC.

Good luck to you Sharon xx

nik50
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Hi.

I have had 2 mastectomies some years apart and for me both times it was not really painful at all. A few hours after coming round from the anasthetic I gave up pressing the pump thingy they give you for pain relief and didn't even need as much as an asprin. I must add I am no hero and if it had been even a tiny bit painful I would have swallowed anything I was given. I think many women find the same. It takes a few weeks at least for your arm to be properly usable; that aspect can be much more variable. Best thing is not to push it but to try and use your arm as normal within your own comfort limits.

As for the look, well not nearly as bad as you think it will be. Obviously I would rather have boobs but you can get used to anything when you need to and the prothesis, when worn in a proper fitting bra -whether pocketed or not - are fine and you soon forget about it. I am thinking of getting a bigger size, the choice is mine now:-) Perhaps big ones for best and little ones for everyday?

Seriously, all the best and take it one step at a time.

Nicola

bugnut
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

Hi

I it scary when you first find out, but honestly it is not as bad as you think. I had my operation in June and it was not as bad as I thought. I was in a bit of pain for couple of days then sore. I was so scared of looking at the scar for the first time, but it was so neat it wasn't shocking. I was driving once I had drains out, but I have automatic. The prothesis are really good no one would ever know. Just take each day at a time and I know its hard but you can have reconstruction and it could potentially save your life. Be strong and hope all goes well.

b

x

Horsemad
Member

Re: Mastectomy how do you cope

sorry entered on two boards, couldnt find other post and thought it had not gone through as have very old computer!

Horsemad
Member

Mastectomy how do you cope

Have been told I need a mastectomy for DCIS, totaly and utterly shocked
and scared. What will it be like, how painful is it, when will I be able to drive and get back to lifting things and more importantly looking after my horses, which at this time of year is physically very hard work, ALso how do I cope with the look of the operation. are prosthetic breasts any good