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Breast surgery fears and not coping!

22 REPLIES 22
Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi heather. Sorry, I've only just seen your message! Congratulations on your surgery, it's a relief when it's over isn't it? I had my drain out after a week, it was such a nuisance! I did have a cough for a few days after surgery, I think its because of the tube they put down your throat? Have you spoken to your nurse about the eating and acid reflux problems? Maybe its something to do with the general anaesthetic, it most probably affects people in different ways. I really hope your recovery is going well 

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

hi Amy-

I had surgery for a double mastectomy with Direct to Implant breast implants last week (Jan 5, 2021). I am on day 8 post-surgery and (hopefully) the hardest part is over. I will hopefully get my drains out soon (probably have to last one more weekend).

I was scared (terrified) of the general anesthesia but I woke up and the "adventure" began of getting used to these big headlights sitting on my chest day and night !

Hope you are ok. I am actually on here tonight trying to see if my dry cough and feelings of acid reflux/can't eat are normal. It's the worst at night. And then in the morning, I have nausea (??) Frustrating.  But not life threatening - at least I hope not. I'm going to go search the panel and see if anyone else had this !!

Heather

 

 

Community Champion

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi Amy - I’m glad you feel a bit calmer now you know your surgery plan. I too wish you all the very best for it and I’m here to answer any questions you might have - I had a mastectomy and node clearance.

The drains are more of a nuisance than anything else - as Annie said, you should get a drain bag to carry them around in. Some hospitals give them out but if not have a look at Drain Dollies, which is where I got mine. You may even have something at home you could use. But if you have any concerns or questions just ask us all on here.

See if you can park the thought of the operation for now, put it in a “locked box” and say you will get it out nearer the time to think about it. It won’t change anything keep thinking about it now. Of course this is easier for me to write than do!!

When it comes to the day you will be in very good hands, the team will look after you every step of the way. Do tell them about your fears - I was really nervous and tried to get off the trolley just before they gave me the anaesthetic! What felt like 5 minutes later I was in the recovery room spouting nonsense.

Big hugs, Evie xx

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Thank you pandabear and annie for your replies. This forum has been so helpful to me throughout my journey and I'm so grateful for all the advice and support I receive. I'm lucky that I have my family too. I have been wondering about the drainage after the op, I forgot to ask my surgeon, although he did say I will have that. I think I'm calmer now I know when the op is and my surgeon and the nurse reassured me too. I'm sure once the day is here I'll be a bag of nerves again but I'm trying not to stress in the meantime. I hope your journies are going well too

 

Community Champion

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi Amy, just want to wish you all the best for your procedures. You have had a lot of good advice on here and definitely the waiting is the worst thing. I stressed how anxious I was as I have a bad reaction to anaesthetics and my anaesthetist was very supportive and reassuring. Apparently I had a nice cocktail mixed for me, and no sickness or headache after the op. The bag for the drain was a bit if a bummer, but all very manageable. Much easier than chemo I found. Hope everything goes as you want. 🍀💐

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Dear Amy. 

A big hug to you right now. That is a lot for you to take in. Have you got support around you? 

I am glad now that you know the plan going forward. You have quite a bit of time to prepare both mentally and physically. 

Take care of yourself now, it's your time now. 

Keep us updated on your progress and don't apologize about length of post - that's what it's for. 

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi. Just wanted to update you all. I've seen my surgeon today and the plan is for a lumpectomy on my right breast and a mastectomy for my left one. He did even talk about saving the left breast and a reconstruction. But I think the safer option is for the whole breast to go. And he said, that I could lose the reconstructed breast later so it's not worth it for me. It will also be a full axillary clearance on the left. And I'm booked in for the op 4th January! I feel a bit better now I have some answers and he said he doesn't expect there to be any complications. Sorry, this is a bit of a long post! 

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi pandabear. You're right, I'm torturing myself because I'm trying to second guess the surgeon's answers. I'm trying to tell myself 'this is a common procedure and why should it go wrong'. I'm making it into a bigger deal than what it is so I'm trying to look at it as more 'normal' now. I'm working my way through loads of box sets now so that keeps my mind busy lol. I'm seeing the surgeon Thursday do I will update you all about what he says. Thanks for your reply and I hope you're well 

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi Amy,

I can only add to what all the others on here have said - it is quite normal to be scared,  and the staff are used to that.  Just tell them.  

Not being able to take someone into hospital due to Covid actually was a benefit - I was not having to manage their emotions/anxiety as well as my own.  It also meant that all the staff were focused completely on me. 

Another useful tip I found while I was waiting for test results was,  "deal with what you know." Right now, there are a lot of unknowns for you, and you are second guessing a lot,  so your appointment to discuss surgery will help with that.  

With regards to fears about surgery - the whole team are completely professional, and your safety and care is their business. Before you know it, you will be waking up in recovery. 

I agree with Evie, some sofa time in front of the tv (or whatever you would consider to be a treat for yourself), is definitely in order.  This is you time now, and time to take care of yourself. 

Do let us know how you get on tomorrow. 

Take care x 

Community Champion

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi Amy - why don’t you ask your surgeon/consultant to prescribe a mild sedative for you, I was given Lorazepam during chemo to help. It’s very mild and helped me sleep - so obviously don’t drive yourself anywhere after taking it! And check it’s one that won’t interfere with general anaesthetic. Sometimes we just need a little helping hand, just for a short time.

Do come back and chat more after your appointment if that would help, and let us know once you have a date. In the meantime see if you can put all thoughts about the operation into a locked box for a few days (or even a few hours) and see if you can focus on treating yourself/watching a box set or whatever makes you happy. You can open up that locked box before you go to your appointment. Evie xx

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi Amy .  I am very well thank you .  DIEP reconstruction takes tissue from your tummy to reconstruct the new Breast so it is a long procedure.  However once you’re put to sleep it makes no difference to you whether it’s 2 or 10 hours as you don’t know !  I was up on my feet the next day going for a slow walk down the ward .

once you speak to your surgeon I think you will feel more reassured 

Best of luck xx 

Community Champion
Community Champion

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

❤️Amy, I know we always say, keep off dr google but I did google and watch the operation I was to have so I knew what was going to be happening while I was under. For me that did help me because I’d been able to see prior to operation, just remember to put you first and do it your way and whatever will give you comfort and help you through you do it ❤️ we are all different and we get through as best we can ❤️ thankfully always lots of ❤️👭❤️👍😘😁on here day and night too ❤️💕💕Shi xx

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi evie. How are you? My consultant said to me the other day ' you've coped well with chemo so you will cope with surgery'. And like with chemo it was the fear of the unknown but I had to take the risk to get me to the next stage. And now surgery is just another risk that I need to take to go further. If that makes sense lol? I think they'll have to give me something to relax me before the op otherwise I'll be making a dash for the exit too! I spoke to one of the nurses on here earlier and she was helpful. She said I need to wait until I see my surgeon (3rd December) and find out exactly what op hes planning. I'm trying to pre guess things but I'm just torturing myself instead

Community Champion

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi Amy - sorry, my last message just crossed with yours. I’m glad you managed to speak to a nurse on here and got some good tips. I think you will feel better once you have discussed things with your surgeon and got a plan. Evie xx

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi. Thank you for your reply. Yeah, as much as I'm nervous theres also a part of me that just wants it over and done with now. I don't feel like I can relax until after. Wow, 9 hours? It sounds like you had quite a big op? How are you doing now? 

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi shi. How are you? I completely trust my surgeon, he seemed confident from.the beginning that he could treat me and I know hes got lots of experience. I worry about my body letting me down during the op, like having a heart attack or stroke. I think its all going to go wrong! I phoned the nurse on here today and she gave me lots of good advice too. I just need to see my surgeon and find out exactly what op hes planning. It will definitely be mastectomy for one side but not sure about the other 

Community Champion

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi Amy1988 - you have already had some great advice from the other ladies.

Your fears are very very normal, I can totally relate to how you are feeling. I tried to run out of the hospital both when I started my chemo and when before surgery. But when I explained my fears the lovely nurses and doctors/anaesthetists all helped reassure me and get me through it. So don’t worry at all about having a meltdown, you won’t be the first to do that and won’t be the last. At the moment it really is the fear of the unknown for you and your mind is going into overdrive. I am sure you were anxious before chemo - but you faced up to that and it has gone really well. The same will happen with your surgery.

But maybe you would like to speak to one of the nurses on here? We are also all here for you, to chat anytime and hold your hand as you go through the next stage. Big hugs Evie xx

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi. Thanks for your reply. I'm glad to hear your op went well for you. I think the idea of me having to go to the hospital on my own on the day will definitely make things worse but I know it's quite common now because of covid. I will certainly be needing plenty of reassurance from the staff lol. I'm seeing my surgeon next week so I'm going to write down all my questions and tell him how anxious I am 

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

You are really brave and maintain passion against deadly disease. 

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi Amy , I totally understand how you are feeling .  I had DIEP reconstruction in August.  Prior to to date the breast nurse at the hospital went through every single detail of the procedure and recovery which included  all the worst case scenarios eg infection, tissue failure and the fact I’d feel like I’d been hit by a bus .  Whist necessary , it made me nervous .  When in hospital the team talked me through everything and I got a chance to tell them my fears about anaesthetic (and waking up!) which they explained how much you are monitored and it’s not going to happen .  I was taken to theatre and after a few mins chat and prep the next thing I knew I was woken up 9 hours later .

The bus didn’t hit me , I was in no pain ,(the meds worked well) , I was looked after and recovered well .  

when you get to the hospital you will be nervous but ready to get it done .

I hope this helps you, knowing your fears are natural but you will have specialists taking care of you the whole time .

Good luck x 

Community Champion
Community Champion

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Amy ❤️ Do please speak to your team and tell them your concerns ❤️ It’s natural and I’m sure most of us had things flying through our minds in lead up to surgery 👭 please also try to remember your teams are doing hundreds of these operations year in and year out and know what to do ❤️ For me that put me at ease and also having complete faith in my surgeon ❤️ Might also be worth you tuning nurses on here, I’m not sure if there are meds your team could give you prior to operation to help with any anxiety ❤️Hope this helps 💕💕Shi xx

Member

Re: Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi

I had surgery in July - lumpectomy and lymph clearance.

Like you I was a little anxious never having had surgery and as mine was in lockdown my friend literally dropped me at the hospital entrance.

I made a point of telling the staff I was nervous, had never been under before and they were great.

I was the last go down so had my phone and a book.

I did ask once in the operating theatre would I be asleep the whole time, they reassured me yes and the next I knew I was in recovery. All very surreal - my tumour had gone pre surgery from chemo so they were making sure they removed the footprint and radio followed.

Be strong, tell them your fears and let us know how you get on.

xx

Member

Breast surgery fears and not coping!

Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in june. Initially a few tumours were found in left breast and in lymph nodes. Further tests revealed I had a small tumour in my right. I started my chemo in August and thankfully the small tumour has now gone and the multiple tumours in my left breast have shrunk. I'm so pleased with the results I've had from chemo! But now I'm facing my biggest fear, the surgery. Apparently my surgeon is doing the op somewhere between 3rd - 15th January. I'm really struggling to cope with my anxieties about it. It's the normal fears I have, waking up during surgery or dying. I know it's got to be done, but I don't know how to calm myself down and I'm so worried that on the day I will have a complete meltdown! Does anybody have some advice? McMillan have been in touch with me about emotional support too but I've never heard anymore