I'm now almost 2 months on from my 2nd mx and don't regret having it for a single moment. My orig mx was 4 yrs ago and as I had needed chemo first and there was still cancer in the lymph nodes at the time, they said they would rather let me recover from the first mx before considering a 2nd one. Plus the minor detail that I do have bone secondaries!!! Having spent 4 yrs being uneven and thinking that a 2nd mx would even me up and perhaps help my posture and therefore the spread in my spine, I approached the surgeon and he and the onc both agreed to do it as I am stable at the mo. They have classed it as prophylatic and helping phsycologically. I have felt the benefits immediately, have my 2 new prosthesis and will remain eternally grateful to the surgeon for doing such a brill job. It's also nice that I can decide whether to spend the day 'flat' or with a cleavage! Plus my clothes all now fit so much better....If I can help anyone with any questions, just shout! Oh and when the removed breast was tested, the good news was that there was no sign of cancer in it. Liz
Woo-hoo, finally had mx done yesterday!! I say finally as it was pencilled in for Feb 16th but an urgent case cropped up so I was moved to 1st March but then the hospital cancelled all routine surgery for 2 weeks as their A&E is in a mega-mess - along with lots of other areas of admin. I was fuming to say the least but it is now done and sorted and the surgeon has been lovely again. He was furious about the way I had been cancelled too. I'm home now and feel fine.OH looking after me making tea and doing washing-up etc. Just have a drain in and the district nurse will (hopefully) be coming tomorrow to check that and the dressing. Back to see consultant for a check-up in 2 weeks.
Hope you are doing ok.
Good luck tonight!!! Just go out how you feel most comfortable - if they accept it, then great, and if they don't then they're not worth bothering about. Have fun......
Thanks for the update, how frustrating to wait but it will be worth it!
Always best to be on the safe side though.
I'm all fully better and still not wearing prostesis! And feel so liberated, have a good line in scarves and long necklaces going though.
Have a first date tomorrow night, not sure what to do, stay as I am or get out the foam boobs from post surgery?
Quick update from me.
Delay in op as I have to have it at my nearest hospital which has ICU rather than the usual one they do breast surgery where there are no emergency facilities. All due to high blood pressure found at pre-op assessment - never normally checked - and they need to be on the safe side with me. Very frustrating but necessary! Surgeon operates at this one every other Thurs and as mine isn't urgent, I won't have it now til 15th March. There was a chance it could have been done today but obviously that slot has been taken by an urgent case as I never had a call back. Hope someone drops out in 2 weeks time and I'll be in like a shot!!!
Glad everything is going as you hoped, iswhiz!
Been to see surgeon this morning and signed the consent forms as my onc had also agreed I could have the mx at a MDT meeting. Given usual warnings plus those that say I will be at higher risk of infection/dvt etc because I have secondaries but they will give me higher doses of drugs to be on safe side and monitor me a bit closer. Have to go to pre-op assessment unit next Monday for their tests and then wait. Apparently the bc unit was very busy with urgent cases before Xmas so they are fully booked til March but if there is a cancellation beforehand, my name is there. If I haven't heard within 2 weeks, then give them a call - certainly will !!! - as they expect a vacancy before mid-Feb. Sooner the better in my book so I can start planning my social life again.....
Will keep you posted.
Great news on getting the appointment, make sure you keep us posted on how you get on. I'm still so happy and have only worn prothesis twice! To be honest can't be arsed the rest of the time, I have found that wearing flouncy scarves hides the missing boobs to most people and this includes going to the office!
Always hated bra's so not sure why I would wear them now I don't need to!
Had a letter today with date for my pre-op appt with surgeon and it is on Jan 16th so that has been dealt with speedily. I imagine the surgery will be the following week if everything is ok. Good news!!
Was going to search for this post to report back! Iswhiz - I am so pleased you are very happy with your surgery.
Saw the surgeon y'day and he will do mx. He checked what treatment I am on and that my bone mets appear stable. He could see my logic in balancing myself up and agrees it may help my posture and spine. So it was a matter of when did I want it doing - he's away second half of Dec and I'm away mid-Jan for a few days so it looks like it will be towards the end of Jan. I asked about recovery time and when I might be able to fly again (city breaks/short trips away to plan!!) and he said if it all goes ok and as well as last time - that was after 6 months chemo - then about 4 weeks. Good enough for me!!
So it's all systems go now and I'm looking forward to being even again.
Keep letting us know how you are getting on Iswhiz and I'll do the same.
So here I am 6 weeks after surgery and yet to wear a bra! I love it... Always hated wearing bra's anyway 🐵
I did shed a tear or two when I finally took the bandage off and saw the scar in the mirror for the first time but that is to be expected and after that I'm happy again!
Friends still find it a bit strange but I just say two boobs - great, one boob - not so, so no boobs best! But they will never fully understand how,after breast cancer your boobs never mean the same to you again.
Hope appointment went well lizcat?
Interesting to see this thread again as I have finally got round to ringing the breast care unit here and asked to see the surgeon to discuss mx with him. The nurse did ask on the phone if I was wanting recon too but that's a big no-no for me. I just want to even and balanced and have the option of having a cleavage or not. Have an appointment on 12th Dec. Fingers crossed he won't say anything that will put me off. I'll then be able to plan when to do some mini city breaks and fit the surgery around that.
If anyone has any questions they think may be useful/relevant/something I've not thought of, I would be most grateful to hear from you. I do have bone mets so this surgery is purely a balancing-up exercise!!!
Sorry, also wanted to say that I have been thinking of a 2nd mx for ages, never seems to be the right time, but I might still go for it as it would be great not to be lopsided any more - like Iswhiz have been like it since 2004 + further surgery on same side after recurrence.
Mx scars do take a while to settle down. They will look different depending on the type of mx. Mine was black and blue (and yellow and green) from bruising for quite a long time and even when that was gone was still far from aesthetically pleasing! And yes, my scar was crooked, looked like a depressed mouth! Yours may still be settling, but have you mentioned it at a check up? If it is a real problem there may be something they can do... all the best, Mo x
Hi There girls
ive got something on my mind and hope i can get some feedback of you lovely ladies . I had my MX on 28th september, basicaly ime worried about the state of my MX site , has any of you ladies got issues like this , it still looks horrible , all lumpy and uneven and very concaved , ime not sure how it should look but i dont think it should look this untidy . it isnt in any way neat surgery and my scar is all over the place.
thanks girls xxxx jackie
My consultant was very firm with me that it wouldn't reduce any risks with the disease as if it came back in that breast it would be a new DX. I did it purely for symmetry reasons so that I match the side of the MX 7 years ago.
He wouldn't do the op till I got the disease stable and I've had two clear scans since the end of chemo so he sanctioned it.
Also the fact that I was having an op to remove the ovaries anyway meant he was happier as I was having general anesthetic anyway.
Hope that helps?
im in a similar situation at the moment. i am 31 with bone mets and another tumour in remaining breast. up until now my consultant has refused to do mast as he said there was very little evidence to say i would benefit. however 2 week ago he said that its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other and said i can go ahead if thats what i want!! I would be interrested to know what your consultant views are as i really want it done but worry im putting myself at risk for not much benefit. does any one else have any words of wisdom?
Wanted to update you all, had my second MX last week and despite being a bit sore and tired I'm so pleased!
To be even after all this time is great and I can't wait to swim, run, walk etc with no hassle of sports bra's etc.
I suspect that most the time I won't wear prostethis but will go shopping for some anyway, will be fun deciding what size to chose!
Thanks for your words of advice and experience, really helped make the decision.
I had MX on one side in 2009 - I am quite small chested so I have not found it too bad and I bought the swimming prosthesis from Amoena which i wear all the time as it is lighter than the NHS issued one, I can imagine if you are big breasted the weight must be enormous!
I am considering a 2nd MX to reduce the risk of recurrence and will discuss with Dr next week, but does anyone have any idea how likely this is to reduce my risk?
Thanks for all the input! I'm seeking out my breast cancer nurse to chat to her as well.
I'm fairly large chested so really hate how lopsided I am!
I'll let you know if I make the decision and how it's goes.
If you could get 2 ops done at the same time that would be a bonus Is !!!
Yep, the bra thing is a pain - wouldn't have believed it was so difficult to get one to fit and look half-decent and not let the prosthesis move too much. I always look lopsided as none of the prosthesis I've had fill in enough as I had a lot of tissue/chest wall taken too.
If I did go ahead, I would be hopeful the same physio services would be there as were first time round. The surgeon would be the same one who did my original op and he was so good I would insist on him doing it again.
Thanks for your input ladies.
Interesting thread! I had my mx done this Jan, but I am big busted, also TN and after talking to BN last month, she has booked me in to see surgeon in sept to discuss having other one off, felt relieved after talking to her, as worry about reacurrance as been a concern, but also the visual look, can't find bras that fit comfy etc.
Hi to you both
I had a double mx done at time of diagnosis and I'm really pleased I did. On one side this was a risk reducing mx. My surgeon was happy to do it for a number of reasons including because I was very big busted and he thought it would have been difficult for me to manage.
Since then I have opted to have very small prostheses so they are lighter and I don't have so much weight on my shoulders. I had shoulder and back problems long before my diagnosis so it made sense to me. I think those problems were in no small part due to the weight of my breasts. Glad I did as I have developed a bigger shoulder problem following all the surgery.
I wear my prostheses when I'm out but at home in the evenings etc I don't and it's great not to have to wear a bra.
The only thing I would say having spoken to physios since is that the body then needs time to shift and readjust. I don't know how this would be for you with the bone mets and whether it would help ease things straight away or would make it a bit more uncomfortable initially.
Perhaps it might be an idea to have a chat with someone on the helpline who has the knowledge and expertise?
Hopefully other women will be able to help too.
take care to you both, Elinda x
The things we do for 'balance'!
I plan to have surgery in Oct anyway to take the ovaries out so was going to ask to add it to that as I'll be there anyway?
Thanks for your comments! Help a lot
Snap!! Well, nearly. I was diagnosed 4 yrs ago with bone mets at same time as primary, had chemo, mx and full anc, then rads. Was 42 at time and honestly losing one breast wasn't an issue for me - I thought it was better than the alternative! My spine mets got a bit worse late last year so I had a one-off zap that helped lots. However, I have been thinking over the last few months that perhaps I should ask for a 2nd mx to balance me up. I wondered if it may take a bit of pressure off my spine as I am leaning towards the right-hand side where I still have my breast. I asked at my last checkup which was with the bc nurse and she said she could see the logic and was certain the surgeon would be 'happy' to do it for me. I haven't pursued it any further at the mo as I am too busy enjoying myself but think it may be a winter thing to do as it would take a chunk out of my life with recovery etc. I'm back at onc in Sept too after a routine bone scan so the results from that will obviously have a bearing in case it's got any worse and I need more rads or spine strengthening cement.
It's a dilemma but I'm going to see how things go the next few months and make further enquiries and take it from there.
I had a left mastectomy back in 2004 (at 29 years old) and have lived lopsided ever since as I could never find the time in my life for reconstruction and the only op available to me was high risk of failure, long recovery time.
I've now got secondary BC and finding ways of making life easier for myself. After struggling with clothing etc for the last 7 years I now hate wearing bras and it's made worse as the vertebra where the bra strap goes has collapsed.
So I was thinking of asking for a second mastectomy then I could go bra free when at home, sport etc and us contact prostethis etc when out and about.
There isn't any disease in the right breast.
Anyone gone through this or have any views?