Hi Trixielady, I think we all feel slightly different about diet during chemo and it really is up to you what you want to try. Personally, I just ate as healthy as I could but if your tastebuds change, which mine did [temporarily] then you are just pleased that you have managed to eat something. Here's my blog if you want to have a look at some of my coping mechanisms: lifeafterlola.com
I think it is best to have some options to pull out of the hat but keep an open mind. Chemo was not as bad as I expected as the medication you are given stops nausea. Definitely join the monthly chemo thread and make friends with others going through the same. I did and still keep in touch with my chemo buddies. xxx
Please feel free t keep asking questions.
I was in your position a few months ago and talking about the little things is good, it gives you things to focus on.
in a few months you will be offering your support to others and glad to help other ladies on here xxxx
Thank you Nikki and Lorraine. My friends are all lovely but this little gang on here is helping me feel far more positive and brighter about everything.
Hi, as Lorraine has said you can do all your 'personal' hygeine stuff straight away - I managed to use the toilet by myself in the hospital more or less straight away after the op once they detatched the drip I was on.
I used baby wipes to wash myself and dry shampoo on my hair while I had the drain in - I think I had my drain in for over a week (its so strange the way you forget some of the stuff you go through - at the time you think you'll never forget any of it but here I am nearly 3 months post op and I can't remember a lot of stuff - which is a good sign I think).
Like Lorraine I got up and got dressed every day, put my make up on etc (I had lots of visitors so I didn't want any of them to see me without my make up on). I had either a district nurse or one of the Breast Care nurses visit every day to change the dressing and measure the output from my drain.
It's good to have some front fastening shirts/blouses for a while so you can slip your arm in rather than trying to pull something over your head.
I was out walking getting some fresh air after about 5 days I think - not too long after op anyway.
Once my drain was removed I had lovely long showers (It felt like heaven).
You might want to get a 'V' shaped pillow to rest your arm on in bed at night - I actually just used an ordinary pillow to prop myself up but loads of people on here say the 'V' shaped pillow is really good.
I had some strong pain killers for a couple of days, but soon was using paracetomol and ibuprofen for a while - so make sure you have some of them in. (didn't need them for very long - but it was good to know I had them in case I felt I needed them).
Also get yourself some comfy bra's - I wore a bra in bedat night and through the day for a good while - Asda or matalan sell them quite reasonably priced.
Have you got a date for your op yet? It'll take a lot off your mind if you're as prepared as possible - so if I think of anything else that I feel might help I'll let you know.
Take care, Love, Helen xxx
Thanks again Lorraine H that’s put my mind a rest a bit, it’s silly how you can whittle about little things but I suppose it stops you worrying about the big things for a while 🙂
Answers to some of your questions,
toilet & personal care is okay straight away. You will be a little unsteady on your feet for a few days so don’t rush about.
I had 2 drains in for 6 days and did not shower until they were removed. You can wash and use wipes. aloe gel is good for helping you to feel fresher.
I was told not to raise my arms above shoulder level for the first 4 days but I did wash my hair (carefully) after 3 days. I got my sister in law to dry and straighten it though. A few days later I did my hair styling too, just slowly, a travel hairdryer is good at first because they are lighter.
I showered daily after my drains were removed but the drain site dressings need to be kept dry. I found it easier to remove and put on fresh dressings.
i started having baths after a couple of weeks - when my steri-strip breast wounds were removed.
E45 is good for wounds at first but I now use rosehip oil.
I put on makeup and get dressed every day - it may be just leggings and button up tops for a few weeks.
I started short dog walks after a few days, fresh air and short walks are good.
I’m 3 months post op - back swimming now, longer walks, feeling a lot more back to my old self xxxxx
May I asked more down to earth after operation questions please, How much and how little can you do I have been told I will not be able to wash my hair or pull on my lymphoedema stocking, and that no free care help will be available so I have to rely on friends but (sorry) are you able to wipe your bum? How long before you can shower? What are you able to do from the start and how quickly (on average) before you can do everything again?
Helen - my mum had a nipple reconstruction and tattoo about 12 years ago (mastectomy due to DCIS) she was very pleased with the results xxx
Elfmum - Just in reply to your worry about hating the way your breasts will look different if you decide on having just the one breast removed - I have to admit it is hard to look in the mirror and see how different they are - they look stupid🤣🤣🤣. But, i'm clinging onto the fact that my consultant has told me they will 'sort it out' and I think they might even look a bit better than before (some small comfort). So, I can't lie as at the moment I do hate the way they look, but I just keep thinking its not for ever and by this time next year I should be sorted.
Another thing for you to put into the equation is that I'm older than you - I'm 62 - and I'm not sure how long the impalnts last for - don't know if they'll last me for the rest of my life or whether I'll need them replaced at some stage. I never asked this question (wish I had) so maybe this is something else to think about.
I also totally relate to you when you say about putting a brave face on it all for others - I've done that from the beginning and still doing it now - which is why this forum is brilliant - you can rant and be yourself - admit youre scared and angry and all the other emotions that come along with the diagnosis.
Lorraine - thats great that you managed to keep your nipple - I do miss mine - which is why I'll be wanting a new nipple made in the future. I agree how fantastic our surgeons are - the things you find out after you get the diagnosis - but this forum is fabulous to help you get through everything - I was completely devestated when I got my diagnosis in August but I've been coming to this forum every single day and its been a godsend.
I think that some (a minority) of implants ‘fail’ e.g. problems with healing.
There is then an option to have a flap or diep reconstruction, go flat, delayed reconstruction.
I thought I would feel weird about having a healthy breast removed but apart from a couple of ‘wobbles’ I’m happy with my decision. I’ve got matching boobs and not got to worry about breast cancer now.
it is a very personal decision, you will know when you reach the treatment option that is best for you.
I wanted to look the same, keep my skin and nipples with minimal scarring but have sacrificed some physical sensation.
I’m 3 months post op and have reached a point where breasts are not the first then my mind in the morning, and the last thing at night.
Get lots of advice and ask lots of questions and you will choose what is right for you xxx
Sorry my first reply was to Lorraine I did not see yours at the time Helonann thank you both for your replies, i am sure I will be back later with more questions.
Helen - your first paragraph could have been written by me!
Same dates, diagnosis and mastectomy advice.
i had a double mx with Braxon prepectoral reconstruction. I have retained my nipples and even a mole!
I’m glad your reconstruction is going well. It is amazing what our surgeons and breast teams are capable of.
best wishes, Lorraine xxx
Thank you so much for your reply do you mean that if you have an implant you could later choose to use your own tissue and have it done again? My gut instinct was to keep the other breast but I wonder if I will hate it and worry it will turn cancerous too I know they will keep an eye on it - it’s so hard to decide.
Hi - My 'story' is that in July I noticed a change in my right breast with some puckering and dimpling and took myself off to the doctor who refered me to the breast clinic - it was a one stop appointment and I had mammograms, Ultra sound scans and various biopsies and to cut a long story short it was confimed in August that it was invasive cancer- I was hoping for a lumectomy and radiotherapy, but after further tests and an MRI I was advised it would have to be a mastectomy.
I decided I wanted an immediate reconstruction (there are loads who are happy to stay flat - but I didn't want that). Reconstruction was discussed and as I was a 'D' cup I was informed they could do an immediate reconstruction using a tissue expander implant. I was informed there are 'things' that could go wrong - like infection - but if this happened the implant would have to be removed and a reconstruction done at a later date.
So on 24th Sept I had the right sided mastectomy with the tissue expander implant. So when I came round from the op I wasn't completely flat. I only needed an overnight stay in hospital and I was discharged with one drain.
2 weeks later I went to see the consultant for the histology results and at this appointment they added more saline into the implant - this is painless (as the new breast is completely numb - something else for you to bear in mind). There is a valve in the implant which they locate with a kind of magnet device - its a one way valve - so only stuff can go in and not come out (if that makes sense).
I have been going weekly getting the implant filled gradually - as I said its painless but a little uncomfortable as the skin is stretched a bit more at each top up.
I've now had my final top up and the new breast is at its right size ('D' cup). My breasts are completley differnet - my left breast is still droopy as before and my right breast is 'pert'.
I'm due to go back in Febraury when a date will be set to have this temporary implant exchanged with a new permenant silicone one.
Then I'll need the left breast seen to - I will be having an uplift and slight reduction if its felt its needed.
Then I'll be getting a new nipple sorted for my new right breast.
I'm 'pleased' with the outcome so far.
I hope this helps about the tissue expander reconstruction - i'm sure there will be others along soon to able to tell you how they got on with other types of reconstruction.
If you have any more questions please let me know.
Good Luck with your decision - keep us informed how you get on.
Sending love and hugs. xxx
I’m so sorry to read about your situation.
I am 51 too. I was diagnosed with bc in July, 2 small tumours in my right breast.
I was guided towards having my left breast removed too due to increased risk factors - age, atypical hyperplasia.
For me it was an instant decision to go for a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. I had my surgery in September and am healing well and feeling good. My breasts look very similar to before although they do feel a bit fake (firm, not so much physical sensation).
it is a very personal choice, I’m happy with what I chose.
Skin saving reconstruction does leave other reconstruction options open at a later date.
please feel free to ask me any further questions you may have xxxxx
Hello everybody I went for a routine mammogram and was called into hospital for further tests. Told calcification in both breasts but so small the were not concerned but had biopsy’s ‘just in case’. Went back almost two weeks ago to be told the right breast had dcis cancer and they wanted to do a further biopsy to see if I would need a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, he said they would do a lumpectomy on the left breast to remove the non cancerous calcium at the same time as the right. So for ten days I clung to the hope that they originally said everything was small and it would be a lumpectomy both sides. Then two days ago returned for the face slapping news that I need a mastectomy it is now classed as invasive breast cancer as the biopsy they done the other end showed it had left the duct. I have felt sick, tearful and sore everywhere from being so tense since then.
Mainly because I have to make the decision of what sort of rebuild I want.
My first thought was I don’t want a foreign body implant. But then I am so frightened and maybe even refused to use my own tissue as I have lymphoedema in my right leg and groin from cervical cancer treatment 19 years ago. I am so angry I feel I have had my fair share already.
I have whittled it down to three options that would suit me best but at the moment I feel that I will go for the first one but if any of you have had the same experience please I would love to hear your views, I know it’s me that has to decided in the end. If there was no choice it would be a bit easier.
1 right breast mastectomy and implant ( this will leave my right breast smaller as the implants are not big enough for me and my left breast will be sorted to match at a later date)
2 both breasts mastectomy and implants (at least they will match!) he offered me the chance to remove left breast too but I so no as a gut reaction for a start
3 taking tissue from my tummy, diep I think it’s called. At least I get a free tummy tuck into the bargain! But it’s a far longer stay in hospital and possibly intensive care, two operation sites to deal with, plus I could be refused it anyway do to other helalth issues and need to go to another hospital to find out as mine does not do that operation. I also don’t know if I am anywhere near brave enough to go for this one.
So if anybody has made these choices I would like to hear a bit more. Thank you for being here and thank you for reading, sorry if I have waffled and not used the correct words at times.
I am 51 live on my own and in a relationship with a very understanding man and supportive man 20 years older than me. I have some marvellous friends who will help me every step of the way but I still feel I have to put a brave face on for them.