I have also recently been diagnosed - allbeit about 6/7 weeks ago - and I remember those first two weeks after being told I had BC - I felt as is I were two people - me and then the me with the BC and I was in shock. I could not speak to people and I could not function for a good time. I am now more weeks in and have started on some hormone blocking tablets, and have settled down a bit with the emotions. I have had surgery postponed due to Covid - I am hoping that I can have lumectomy instead of masectomy - as like you I really do not want the whole breast removed. I am now though keen to get on with it.
This group are great so dont feel alone, speak up anytime, any subject, any worry and someone on here, these lovely ladies all going on this same journey as you and me, will be there.
So glad the op is done and you're back home. What a relief to get that but done, and don't fret about looking at the scar, do it in your own time.. No rush. Those exercises are tricky to begin with but very important. Just do them little and often. I had very odd numbness and tingling around the wound and arm so don't worry if you do too... Nerves knitting back etc all feel odd. I still have some numbness but it has lessened.
Rest up as the anesthetic does take its toll too.
Hi curlybear, glad to hear you are now on the other side of surgery and can focus on healing. I didn’t have any dressings on my surgery area so I can’t comment on that part. Looking at my mastectomy was quite difficult at first. I felt so altered. I went on to have a reconstruction two and a half years later and still need the other side reducing to match. The important thing is to focus on getting rid of the cancer and healing and getting your movement back and then you can start thinking about discussing your aesthetics when you’re ready. With the physiotherapy, just keep doing little and often. Three times a day with not too much effort at first. It’s hard to accept that touching the top of your head is a challenge at first but you’ll soon be swinging that arm around again. Well done and keep going. Xx
thanks and yes had the operation now and back at home feeling much better I got through that part so just got to get better now and keep exercises going and build up courage to look which I don’t feel ready for right now. As per my above msg
appreciate your support x and I hope your well yourself
Thanks for your mails really helpfull. I ended up getting rushed in on Wednesday called first thing so no time to think. So had my op now and back at home which is nice as much more relaxed than before. A tough day to get through but felt brave doing on my own. They said all went well so will get full results and next steps in a few weeks so hoping that’s positive. Started exercises first day after difficult but feel made a difference to movement and they are getting easier day 4 and I have a lot of numbness too so will have to see if that comes back in time. I have now taken my tight bodice thing off as that was uncomfortable however kept padding cover on for now as don’t feel ready to look right now trying to build up to that in the next few days -how did you find that part.?
thanks again for your messages xx
Hi curlybear, first of all best wishes for your op an I hope all goes well and you’ll soon be posting here from the other side! My surgery armpit is still completely numb 2 1/2 years on after surgery so it’s unlikely that the nerve damage will recover at this point. There is also some numbness down the back of my arm but not totally numb. This might sound a bit grim but it hasn’t affected my quality of life (other than I have to put my deodorant on in front of a mirror as I can’t feel whether it’s gone on properly) and I have no sign of lymphedema which is a bonus. I had chemotherapy before my surgery and then radiotherapy afterwards. I’m now on Tamoxifen which, apart from some joint pain, I tolerate well. It caused temperature regulation issues for me for the first year but that seems to have improved. Let us know how you get on. X
Hi well hopefully you are having the op today,. Or tomorrow. You may be physically alone but mentally we'll be there sending virtual support. Let us know how it goes.
thanks for the reassurance it does make a difference and yes found having this during covid has been hard as everyone in hospital has to be distant and many of my appointments have to be over the phone so feel like less support and hard to ask all those questions when over the phone.
i have had to have covid test to which I don’t have which is great so my surgery is now this week either Thursday or Friday tbc so just feel like I want to get it done now so I can stop worrying everyday about it and like you said be a bit more in control of getting better and moving forward. It’s nice to speak to people whom have had the same experience.
very anxious /nervous about the op not very good with these things at all and being alone as no one can come with me due to the covid makes it harder I think as feel more on your own
thanks for your message sounds like it’s all manageable and that the physio is the key thing to get right and started with as soon as you can . I have been told today that my op will be on thurs or Friday this week so by the weekend will hopefully be back home to recover and a lot more relaxed overall. Have you had any issues with your arm has it been ok and feeling normal again? Did you have to have any other treatment after the op ? Or does that depend on the outcome? As been told may have to have tablets but don’t know yet. I was actually due a total hip replacement in sep after virus gone but have now had to put this on hold till I’m well enough after all of this and treatment as think it would be all to much just hoping leg can hold out longer for me
Hi all, just wanted to add to the already great advice given. I had a mastectomy, no recon, and also node clearance although that was a separate surgery. My mastectomy was pretty straight forward and I was home within about 6 hours, same with the nodes. As mentioned by the other ladies I didn't need pain killers just rest and remember to do the exercises to get the arm moving again. I can imagine having this to deal with along side the restrictions of Covid 19 must be doubly hard.. But don't feel afraid to reach out to the forum. There's always someone around on here. I remember so many on here tell v me that once treatment started I would feel more in control and they were right, so hopefully you'll get dates for surgery soon and can begin. To move forward.
Hi curlybear, Sorry to hear your surgery got cancelled last minute. It’s tough when you prepare yourself mentally and then the rug is pulled from under you. We don’t cope with changes very well at times after a cancer diagnosis which is understandable. When you’ve had surgery you’ll be given pain killers if needed. I found the physical pain quite manageable and I had all nodes removed. The hardest part in terms of pain is the physiotherapy but you can push forward a little bit at a time each day and it slowly gets easier.
I found you message very helpfull and I am very nervous about my surgery and very scared indeed and it took so much to get there last week for it to be cancelled last minute.
so worried about how I will be afterwards and if painfull. As I’m having all nodes removed as well.
sorry to hear about your bad news if it helps I’m going through the same I was diagnosed only a few weeks ago with breast cancer and due to lockdown don’t have much support and feel very much alone too. I need to have a mastectomy and all nodes removed and I too can’t have reconstruction at same time due to covid. I went to hospital on Thursday for the op and it was cancelled literally within half hour of my time slot and I got sent home. It took such courage to get to that stage as well. So I believe I will be due the op again in the coming weeks. If you ever need to chat through no problem
Like you, I have been recently diagnosed - 26th March - a date that I'll never forget and 6 days before my 50th birthday. I was scheduled in for a mastectomy on 6th April but we all knew that wouldn't happen due to the current situation in hospitals.
In the meantime I'm on hormone treatment, how about you?
My breast care nurse has been great and is keeping in touch but every time she asks how I'm feeling I'm dumbfounded...…..not really feeling anything just numb at the moment and in limbo for what will happen in the coming weeks months.
Hope you're staying safe x
Hey, my mum just got diagnosed too and it is scary given the coronavirus. She is also going to need an op, probably on the lymphs too. Sending you a big hug and wanting you to know you are not alone.
Hi Irandall, sorry you find yourself here and welcome to our lovely forum. It’s understandable that you should feel terrified of mastectomy. It feels like a very harsh treatment for a woman to go through but time is a great healer and it will get better. I had to wait almost two and a half years for my reconstruction and I found it difficult mentally but I got through it and I know you can too. I’m still waiting for step 2 of my reconstruction surgery but that’s now going to be delayed due to corona virus. Just take it one step at a time and don’t expect too much from yourself. It’s ok if you don’t feel positive and grateful all of the time. What we have to get through can make us feel quite ugly inside at times.
here’s my blog which you may find some comfort from: http://lifeafterlola.com/
sending hugs. Xx
First of all, I’m so sorry you’ve had this diagnosis. You must still be reeling with the shock and information overload, at a time when it’s hard to take much in. I would say that there is little to fear in a mastectomy, even if your cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, which you’d have been told about. I’m phobic - an obsessive fear of vomiting and elements of agoraphobia and claustrophobia - so the prospect of surgery was terrifying. I discussed my fears and they were all addressed. So basically, the experience was arrive and undress, wait a lot, get drawn on by the consultant with a biro, the option of some sedation, then down for surgery and wake up back in bed. I felt a bit woolly but that was all and they allowed me home with my husband the same evening, with instruction sheets.
You may find you have a drain attached for a few days, an inconvenience at worst - so make sure you have button-fronted pjs or very loose shirts to wear. Get used to sleeping on your back. You’ll have exercises you must (really must) do repeatedly to avoid a frozen shoulder and a dressing which will be a nuisance unless it’s waterproof. The general anaesthetic may make you sleepy, hyper alert, bad-tempered...anything really. It’s major surgery after all. I didn’t even take 2 paracetamol during the whole recovery period but some women need pain relief so get some in or ask for some. After the dressing is removed, you need to take care of your scar (which may have a small lump of flesh each end, depending on the surgeon) and look on it as something that has saved your life, not a deformity. Mastectomy removes your cancer. Look at it that way if you can? It’s not easy but it helps.
I guess the problem for you is what help you are going to have and be able to access in the current crisis. It’s not so easy to invite someone to stay to help look after you but presumably the hospital can advise you on this. Personally I’d have found it hard without my husband waiting on me hand and foot and ensuring I wasn't skipping eating. Stock up on easily digestible and easily heated up foods you like, energy or fortified drinks and some feelgood food you’ve earned.
I can’t say anything about reconstruction - I’m happy enough being monoboobed. However, 16 months later, I still have to massage my scar and do exercises to keep movement in my chest muscle and armpit (I had the lymph nodes removed too). I wish you all the best, with this and the treatment that follows xx
Irandall ❤️Sorry you find yourself on here. I’m glad you’ve found the threads, there will be lots of help and support as you take your journey step by step. You should have been given a bc nurse at your appointment, get a list of questions ready, ask in here and what we are unable to answer ask your bc nurse ❤️ Has your consultant discussed next step with you yet or are you still taking it all in? 👭 we are all here for you 👍💕💕✨✨Shi xx
Hi, I was diagnosed on Monday with invasive ductile carcinoma grade 3 stage 1. Loads of emotions right now. Terrified of mastectomy, feeling really isolated due to lockdown and living alone. I’m in the London area and would love to hear from any ladies who are at the same stage as me and also anyone who can discuss mastectomy. I want reconstruction at the same time but due to covid 19 this means a potential long delay. Thanks in advance xx