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Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

83 REPLIES 83
Lizzie
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

I'm feeling so much better today. I had a really good chat with my bc nurse yesterday - the first time I've been able to speak with her. She gas,signed me off work for another week and I feel so relieved - I love my job but not ready to go back yet. She also spoke about some further physio for my arm - it was all very positive. I'm now looking forward to getting back to normal in my body and head without rushing it. The radiotherapy and hormone treatment seems very minor in comparison to what others on here are going through. Hope all you lovely ladies are doing ok - Flying archer, your post yesterday made me full much better, thank you xo
Maximiliana
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi Ladies, 

 

Just got back from my appointment. I'm eating chocolate cake right now. 🙂 One can only drink so many green drinks! lol 

 

The Oncologist said that I could use polysporin on my incision sparingly and gently. Showering is okay now but I have to completely dry the area. ( I've been taping a cut plastic bag around my breast when I shower. Good to know I don't have to do that, although I might continue just for a few more days.) Then the oncologist showed me how to gently massage my breast. 

 

I'm trying to remain calm about the treatment part. The though of treatment scares me. I may have to do 16 rounds of rad. They are not sure about chemo so they are sending my tissue to be analyze for an Oncotype score. 

AliOG
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Thanks, Lizzie. I've baked a massive fruitcake this afternoon so feel better already. If nothing else the sugar rush will help! X

 

Flyingarcher
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Ti've got a pile of Things To Do as high as an elephant's eye but rubbish tv calls!  

 

 

A cold compress under the arm really helped with the golf ball feeling.  I have a squidgy freezer pack that I wrap in a towel and lob under there for ten mins and then on my boob.  

 

we have just had major surgery.  We are ALLOWED to feel grotty.  Normally we are the ones running around making life better for everyone else but we can't so wallow in the safety of knowing we are justified in not having to do stuff because, for once, we have a whopping great, justifiable reason for sitting and watching rubbish tv.

 

it does take a while to get anesthetic out of your system.  If you have an infection then that will make you feel reaally grotty.  My boob is hurting more today and the skin reaction to the dressing has gone a bit bonkers.

 

hope you feel better soon (passes virtual cake).

Lizzie
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi Aliog,

Sorry you are not feeling so well at the moment.

Yes, I definitely had brain freeze like you - I love reading and had a few books to read but couldn't concentrate.  Instead I've looked at lots of frivolous magazines and watched countless episodes of 'rubbish' tv - escape to the country, four in a bed etc.

I wanted to be really motivated and had it in my head i would do lots of jobs around the house, declutter, paperwork etc but in reality have done none of it as have not felt up to it at all.

Stay strong and do what feels right for you - I hope you hear what the next step is soon xo

AliOG
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hello ladies,

 

Just checking in with you all to say hi as I've been quiet for a few days. I'm still struggling with seroma in the SNB wound and a bit of an infection in the scar too. I feel as if I've got a golf ball under my armpit! I've tried to be a bit more active this week as I hit a real slump last week and definitely got the 'glum' feeling that you've talked about. I can't even contemplate going back to work yet and I'm not sure how I'm ever going to manage that. I'm still waiting to hear if I need chemo or not. Had convinced myself they would say "straight onto rads" last week but they didn't so here I am waiting waiting waiting. Still doing the "everything's positive" routine for friends and family which is a bit exhausting. Trying to make the most of my time at home by reading novels but finding that I can't keep a word in my head. Anyone else suffering brain freeze? Xx

Lizzie
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Flying Archer, 

you are definitely doing the right thing - concentrate on you, your family and your coming holiday.  It makes a lot of sense to go back to work having had more time to heal and get your head back to normal.  

That's how I am feeling - I've had fantastic news but that doesn't stop my boob and arm from aching and also feel I need to get back to normal in my head - does that make sense?

Have a lovely holiday - you will definitely be ready for it xo

Flyingarcher
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Yes, you phone GP and they organise it.  I've got a telephone appt booked for Tuesday and will discuss it then but I've woken up really tired this morning and quite achey so the thought of work is not on.  I work in a school and it's really stressful and full on.  When you are with students you are essentially being proactive all the time and it is utterly knackering.  I went straight back after the extensive biopsies 

I had done and really suffered - felt very spacey and peculiar.  They've had their pound of flesh from me over the years and I am very rarely ill so I am trying not to feel guilty.   I will access emails from home so will start doing that mid next week.  We realy need this holiday and if I go back, I know I will catch something off the kids and I can't risk that.  Husband is running on empty at the mo and I need to think about him and my lads for once.  

 

I tried to cut up some chicken last night - it was painful!  Going to tackle a few bits of paperwork and house stuff today.  

 

Once I start radiotherapy, then I will see how tired I get.  I think I'd probablly be able to do the first week but I have a long drive to and from work so have to make sure I am safe to do that.  

 

I may be stir crazy by next Thursday though!

 

 

Maximiliana
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

 

Queenbee happy your visit with the nurse went well and that your mind is more at ease. 

 

Flyingarcher that is fantastic news! I'm Her2 negative also but I didn't know that that means no chemo. 

 

I went back to work on Tuesday for half day, Wednesday for most of the day and today (Thursday) for a full day). I felt tired and pains now and again. I spent a lot of time on Tuesday and Wednesday catching up with coworkers. Only a few of them knew why I was away from work. Some thought was on vacation the whole time but I just didn't correct their assumption. I was on vacation for two weeks and then had the surgery as soon as I got back. It felt really strange going back to work. It might be a bit soon but I wanted to go back. 

Lizzie
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Flying Archer - great news - saw it on the other thread. How will you get the time off - do you just get a sick note from your gp? In theory I could now go back but not sure I'm ready.
queenbee
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Maxi. Everything is fine. She could felt the lump I was on about and said she is 100% certain it's just all going back to normal. My scar is quite red but she said I've probably been over stretching so that's where the pain has come from.....
I'm not really thinking about it... I try and not get to worked up over my appointments now as it stresses me and I get upset and I'm trying to keep positive. I've a few sad films to watch so will try them and cry it out that way x

Flyingarcher.... so so pleased that you are now cancer free and you don't need any treatment. What a weight to be lifted..... yes have some more time off to just get back to being you again.... and I would of had a pint 😉😊 xxxx
Flyingarcher
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi ladies

 

got results toda and I am Her2 negative so no chemo.  Husband did that sighing and eye rolling thing of 'I told you not to get so worried'. Bless him.  He's been a rock and is absolutely shattered himself.   All the cancer is gone.  There's a micromet on one of the nodes but she'd cleared out more than she thought she had.  I assume the little blighters look like bladderwrack seaweed.  Anyway.  Hopefully, that is it although they haven't discussed me in The Monday Briefing so it could potentially change.  

 

Been thinking about work.  Was going to go back next Thurs and Friday but feel I owe it to my family to be proerly well for half term holiday so may book off next week and then do week of phased return after half term (half term not counted in my sick pay).   

 

treated myself to a half of Guiness at lunch.  Tis medicinal, doncha know.

Maximiliana
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi Queenbee, 

 

Before the hematoma came out of my incision the upper part of my chest sounded hollow. I had pressure on my armpit then too. You might not have the same thing but don't be shocked (as I was) if you incision leaks fluid. It took a lot of the balloon pressure that I was feeling off.  

 

Tuesday... hmmmm :(. Hope you can keep busy to give your mind a break. I read ficition novels and watched movie after movie. Sad movies too to give me something else to cry about. *smirk*. 

 

Good that the nurse will check on you and hopfully she will change your dressing (If you still have it on). Hope you feel better and the nurse visit will give you pease of mind.

 

 

queenbee
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Maxi no although I rang my BCN yesterday as had a few niggles going around my head and she said to come in today to just get checked out as I'm still quite swollen and pain in armpit. Plus very lumpy, although that is still all healing it's peace of mind. They have meetings and discuss there patients on a Tuesday so my appointment don't be till after then now x
Maximiliana
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Flyingarcher happy you had a better day.  🙂

 

Queenbee is your appointment set yet? I'm feeling apprehension about my Friday appointment. 

Flyingarcher
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Max, that's brilliant.  You are now free of cancer.  Yipppeeee!

 

having a better day today.  Driven myself out to a local NT property and had a nice potter round and cake.  You can't go wrong with cake....

feelthefear
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi Annie.
I've only had it drained once so there are probably more to come. 😳
I read in the booklet my bcn nurse gave me that while in hospital they try to get you to do the exercises every hour, so I thought I should stick to that. I do have full use of my arm, shoulder etc now and I'm only two weeks post mastectomy and full lymph removal so I'm sure they did some good. The seroma isn't painful, but swishy, and tight. Not very nice. X
Anniej
Community Champion

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Poor you, Feel the fear. Hope it is cleared up now as I believe they are very painful. Sorry my post was misleading , but I was being self congratulatory on having neither a seroma nor Lymphodema.  You were certainly very assiduous in your exercising. I just stuck to the recommended three times per day, and at times that was jolly hard work ! X

feelthefear
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

I just want to add, yes the exercises are very important but they won't prevent you from getting a seroma around your wound area. I'm proof. I started my exercise regime the morning after my op. On the hour, every hour. Once your drain is removed, if you're going to get a seroma then you will. Unfortunately all of the exercises in the world won't prevent this.
Maximiliana
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Good to know. I'm more motivated to do the stretches more often, thanks to all of you. My mobility is pretty good most likely because my nodes/lumpectomy was done on my right side. So I've been moving my arm a lot naturally and do the stretches.

 

@Queenbee, That's terrible that your appointment was cancelled.

 

My appointment today was really short. I was told they got all of the cancer and that my stage of cancer was/is 1. My nodes were clear. The surgeon checked my incisions and then a nurse put a new dressing on. I will find out the treatment options/recommendations on Friday. I hope it wont be anything aggressive. 

 

@ Flyingarcher, hang in there. Keep your family and friends close and talk to the ones that will let you express your feelings. Knowing and not knowing is scary. 

Anniej
Community Champion

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi Lizzie and all other lovelies on this thread, I'm eleven weeks on and I can't stress enough the importance of arm exercises as prescribed on your exercise leaflet . I fought through the stiffness and pain and was glad I did as the tests before I could have chemo included being able to raise my arms above my head for prolonged lengths in scans. The exercises also get rid of the fluid build up when the lymph glands are excised, and I had full lymph node excision. At times it felt as though I had Niagara Falls inside my arm, but absolutely back to normal now. No seromas, and no Lymphodema. X

SandraSussex
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Flyingarcher

My arm is painful too ....trying to do the exercises! It's the underarm muscle! Ouchie!

Lizzie
I have some complimentary therapies through the Sara Lee trust at our hospice! I have aromatherapy, CBT/ counselling. May try acupuncture or reflexology!

Take care
Sandra x
Lizzie
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

I don't know anything about complimentary therapies being offered - certainly no one has mentioned it to me. Feeling glum is,a good description - I'm not sure I'm ready to go back to work next week.
I will look into the therapies and you're right doing something normal is good - great to be able to drive again
You've reassured me about the pain/ flexibility in my arm - hopefully full movement eventually comes back. Take care xo
Flyingarcher
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi Lizzie and Sandra.  My arm is also painful when extended particularly upwards.  Can only get it to about two o'clock.  If I'm ok tomorrow, I'm going to drive somewhere for a walk or possibly go up to the hospital and go and get a complimentary therapy from macmillan centre.  

 

felt very glum today.  Think doing something normal would be good.

Lizzie
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi Ladies, I've just been catching up on this link - no wonder you are feeling frustrated.

I've been feeling the same - even though I know I should be feeling positive as I'm hoping for radiotherapy and medication.  The waiting is a bit of a killer - Thursday afternoon can't come soon enough.  

I drove for the first time today and it was absolutely fine, was great to be mobile again.  

My arm is still very sore - more painful than my boob - does anyone else feel like this?  I struggle to fully extend it.

Stay strong girlies xo

SandraSussex
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Queenbee!
Good Luck with your results! Another step! x

Flyingarcher!
Let's hope neither of us needs chemo but if we do we can do it! I am terrified as I am on my own a lot but I won't say no!

Sandra X
queenbee
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

@flyingarcher sorry that you got the shock of being Her2 positive. My BCN cane out with that I was too so was told rather than 6 lots if chemo I would need 18 lots! Meaning rather than 18 wks would put me to 54! Huge shock but then it is what it is if I want to zap it all out! I need to go through genetic testing aswell which might mean a different outcome at the end of it all for me as may mean more surgery! We all have bad dark days and when you go for your appointment and it's explained better you may feel better xxx
queenbee
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

@sandrasussex they said something about the pathologist results weren't back yet so no point in going in. They want to discuss me at the meetings they have on a Tuesday so it will be towards the end of next week now. I was disappointed as had geared myself up for it plus wanted to see my BCN but will ring her now tomorrow instead!
Flyingarcher
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Thank you.  Just driven to pick up ironing and it was nice to do something normal.  Just was so hoping to dodge the chemo and just astonished that this result was never mentioned to me.

SandraSussex
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Flyingarcher

Bless you! It's tough isn't it!

I am a teaching assistant and thought I would be back for term 6 having a lumpectomy and SNB Lymph nodes looked clear on ultrasound.

They found 1 micromet on sentinal node so I opted for full axillary clearance which I had on May 3rd.

I haven't got my first oncology appt until 19th June! It was just going to be radiotherapy and tablets ....now who knows!
I was knocked back to square one with anxiety and depression.

Feel a bit better 3 weeks on and so will you!

Sandra x
Flyingarcher
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi,  just in need of a hand hold as having a really bad day today.  Yesterday, felt great, drove for the first time, did bits, took off my dressing and was ok with the scar.  It leaked a tiny bit in the night so I redressed it.  Had hleft a message for bc nurse as to when my appt would be.  So she phones today and my appointment is on Thursday but the results aren't back yet but should be back by then.   Feel a bit wobbly about that but hey ho. Then she drops in 'well as your HER2 positive results are borderline, they will have gone for further testing.'   I know this is stupid of me but whenever they talked about treatment it was lumpectomy and radiotherapy unless the calcium thingies came back as positive in which case it would be mx and chemo.  They were begnign and all the way along its been lump and radio.  I know that if the results come back dodgy that might mean more surgery and possibly chemo but no one has mentioned the HER2 stuff.  My husband doesn't recall this either.

 

i've looked at my results and she's right, it is HER2++ borderline.  I just feel devastated.  I know it's not the end of the world but feel like this has been jumped on.  This hasn't been part of my mindset and no one has mentioned this before.  I now feel that Thursday is going to be bad news and this is going to be the long haul whereas in my head, I was back to normal for September.  Working in a school environment means the side effects become very visible to a very wide audience.

 

sorry, just feeling weepy and back to square one.  Haven't felt like doing anything today and where I was really positive now thinking doom and gloom.

SandraSussex
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Queenbee

Sorry to jump in but I think that cancelling your appointment is awful....we all have such anxiety building up to these appointments.

I hope you get your results soon!

I am waiting but a different stage!

Sandra x
queenbee
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Maximiliana how did it go? X my appointment was cancelled 😠😠
Fee70
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Thanks feelthefear, I had an allergic reaction to the dressings and blistered under the clear tape so they took the dressings off on Friday and it's been undressed since then but not had any leakage as such but when I woke up this morning it's been leaking a fair bit and is still weeping under my top only aware of it really because it's coming through into my clothes xx I'll maybe give them a call thank you xx
feelthefear
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi fee. Yes, that's normal. You might want to ring your bc nurse as they may want to dress it. Mine was trapped under the stitches. They drained 580 mls out yesterday. 😳
Apparently it's the same as the fluid build up when you get a blister. It's very common. If there's a space around your wound then it will often fill up. X
Fee70
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi, I'm a week post op (lumpectomy) but have started leaking from my wound since last night has anyone else had this a week on? Not sure whether to get it checked or if it's just part of it healing xx
Anniej
Community Champion

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Maximiliana, you should have a leaflet from the hospital with exercises on it . These are to be done three times a day to prevent lymphodemia, which is NOT nice! Also, you may have to have CT scans etc so need to be able to lift and bend your arm under your head. The tendons tend to contract, especially if you have had LN. excision where they've had a good old rummage round. If you haven't been told about this I would definitely ask tomorrow. X

Maximiliana
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

That's good info! Feelthefear, your exercising? Wow! You are hard core. I'm lucky if I can do a stretch. 🙂

 

Queenbee, my visit is tomorrow morning. I'm trying to remain calm. I had a node removed and I have invasive ductal cancer too. I'm not sure of the type yet. I know you are scared, I am too but we will get through this. I will hope for the best possible outcome for us. xo

feelthefear
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

I also found out today that some surgeons do something called quilting instead of the usual stitching. If you have this, then you won't get a seroma as there's no space left for the fluid to build up. Apparently some surgeons don't bother with it as they'd rather operate on more people over the day than waste time doing the quilting stitch. So it's a case of whether your doc decides on quantity over quality. Even though I'm going through this, I do understand why a surgeon would want to fit more ops in over the day rather than ensure we don't get a seroma.
feelthefear
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Just in case anyone else is unlucky enough to develop a seroma. I felt as if my boob was going to burst this morning. Hubby had to put a holiday in at work to take me to see my bcn. She says she's glad I went. It was big. She drained 580mls from it. 😳😳
I felt like a new woman when I left. Relief. Apparently I may need another 5 or 6 drains before it disappears. I've been exercising like crazy since my op. On the hour every hour. I'm no expert, but I definitely know it got bigger the harder I worked on exercising. I know this is an extremely important part of our rehabilitation but I think I may of over done it. I've read some interesting studies online that back this up. I'm certainly not going to stop, but I'll be sticking to three times a day from now on. X
queenbee
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Maximiliana (great name.. My son is Maximillian😊) do you have your diagnosis already? I'm not sure what questions to ask. I was diagnosed grade 2 invasive ductal cancer and her2+.. so lumpectomy and then chemo afterwards. I have alot of questions when I see the omcologist. I am nervous tomorrow as they removed lymph nodes so the results from them aswell and hopefully everything they got from the actual tumour was correct from the biopsy! X let me know how you got on xx
Maximiliana
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi Feelthefear, 

 

I hope the tight bra works. Now that I think about it, I was wearing a tight bra for a few days before I started to leak fluid. So it might work for you too. 

 

Hope you are feeling better today.

Maximiliana
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi Queenbee, 

 

Just found out that I'm getting my results tomorrow. I'm nervous too. I feel like I'm studying for final exams. I'll spend most of today researching treatment options and listing my questions. 

 

It will be good for us to know our result so we can move forward. 

 

queenbee
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi all, welcome Maxi. I have been doing okay, getting breathless a lot if I walk about a lot or do things I know I shouldn't! I get extremely tired around 4/5pm... my arm and breast is very tender and still painful and lately when doing my exercises it's painful and get a stretching feeling in mainly my armpit! I'm at the clinic tomorrow for my results which I am quite nervous about. And then hopefully will get an appointment to see the oncologist about a date to start chemo! 

feelthefear
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi maxi.
They've advised just to leave it and it will eventually reabsorb. Apparently wearing a tight bra 24/7 can help the process so fingers crossed it will work for me. It's the swishing that's the worst. I feel as though there's at least a litre in there. 😳 It's not particularly painful, just a really horrible weird sensation. My bc nurse says it usually takes about a month to clear up. X
Maximiliana
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi Feelthefear,

 

It was a terrible experience but its only after that I realized that it was a good thing. Not to get too graphic but it looked like old blood. The look of it, the volume and the truma of being in a busy emergency room and waiting hours to be seen. It was a nightmare! 

 

Sorry to know you are in a smilar situation. What is the plan to get the seroma out? Hope its not too uncomfortable. Did the nurse mention if there is still a chance that it could drain on its own?

feelthefear
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi maxi. The leaking fluid sounds scary. I have the fluid but it's trapped around all over where my boob was and under my arm. Apparently it's a seroma.
It's so big I've nearly got my 34D boob back. Ive actually got a cleavage. Not what you want when you've just had a mastectomy. It's not painful but feels horrible. My bc nurse doesn't want to drain it as she says this carries a high risk of infection.
The things we have to go through. 😳
Lizzie
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hope you are feeling much better xo
Flyingarcher
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hi Max.  The fluid thing sounds scary - poor you.  As my mother keeps saying 'you have just had major surgery'.  Not so long ago you were kept in hospital for a week.so don't rush back to work.

 

i seriously overdid it two days ago by walking into town so I did nothing yesterday and felt better.  Was fine this morning and went out but then had to have a sleep this afternoon and finding things a bit tiresome this evening.  Will totter out for a walk later on.  

 

 

Maximiliana
Member

Re: Surgery tomorrow (4th May)

Hello Flyingarcher, 

 

Hope you are feeling better today.