How did you get on with the meeting with your surgeon. I am particularly interested as I was in a very simillar position, I was told that mastectomy with delayed reconstruction was the only option in case I needed radiotherapy. They booked me in for the mastectomy of the left breast with removal of four lymph nodes thirteen days later ( 31st October).
I took it camly at the time and then felt totally traumatised. I phoned the bcn the following Monday and she booked me in to see a different surgeon. I had read on this forum about women having temporary implants when radiotherapy was planned, or having expanders to stretch the skin during radiotherapy. I said I was completly freaking out at the thought of waking ' flat'. The surgeon said she was not at all happy to give me a temporary implant as it had a 1 in 4 chance of complications,and if it got infected I could delay radiotherapy, and it could harden and have to be removed. I accepted this.
I then read about the option of an implant in a sling that protected it from radiotherapy. This was now two days before the operation and I felt it was too late to ring again. On the morning of the operation I was really really upset. I spoke to the surgeon ( who was a locum) who came to meet me just before the operation. I told him how I was feeling and that I would have wanted an implant. I got the impression he would have been happy to do so, but now it would delay the operation and he didn't want to annoy the other surgeons by changing the treatment plan.
So I went ahead with the mastectomy. I was really traumatised for three days and couldn't look at it. However after I removed the dressing, I felt calmer and more accepting. I have a pretty post surgery bra and a knitted knocker and , clothed, there is no way to tell which breast was removed. I am completely symmetrical. I keep telling myself it is temporary.
It has been very difficult though, and I am very keen to know what you have opted for.
Susie - sorry I missed these earlier, I have just replied to your PM. Hope that helps and sorry I have repeated some of the advice I already put on this thread. I'll watch out and answer any more questions you have. Evie xx
Wow Jane, thanks for sharing that post - it made me cry too. There are indeed some lovely people out there.
Thank you for your good wishes, Evie.
Also, Carol Lina, I should add that the knitted knockers are completely free! I only emailed them about ten days ago ( as I only found out about the mastectomy on 18/10) and they rushed through the order as urgent so they arrived a week later, well in time for the surgery. I also order an aqua knocker, which you can use for swimming.
The knockers arrived in a lovely bag, with a knitted heart, and a lovely card from the knitting volunteer, which made me cry, as she wrote that it was a privilege to knit them for me, and she would happily knit more. There are some truly lovely people around, who are trying to make this ordeal more bearable
Hi Carol Lina
First of all big hugs to you. It's all a horrible shock and a lot to take in.
I had a mastectomy about 18 months ago, I had an immediate recon with an implant at the same time and then I had radiotherapy after that. I was warned about the risks but my team felt the implant option I went for (pre-pectoral) was fine to go ahead with before radiotherapy.
My boobs don't now match and I haven't got round to looking into nipple reconstruction yet, but I am used to my "new normal" and happy with them. I felt relieved to get rid of the cancer.
Janie123 makes good points about the "knitted knockers". And you can also use a prosthesis that your BCN can help arrange.
Please feel free to ask me any more questions on here or private message if that's easier.
Janie123 - hugs and get well wishes to you too.
Hi Carol Lina
I had a mastectomy yesterday. I had chemotherapy beforehand which resolved the invasive tumour, but my dcis was so large they said mastectomy was the only option and I asked for nipple preservation but this wasn't possible.
I only had two weeks to come to terms with this and I was devastated and traumatised. I asked for a temporary implant at the time of surgery, but this was not possible because I will probably need post-operative radiotherapy and this has a one in four chance of causing complications.
So, at the moment, I would say I am in just a little pain, more soreness than anything. Remember this is only temporary. Apparently the nipple reconstructions can look amazing. Long term, reconstruction can be either flap surgery from your back, stomach,, inner thigh or bottom. Otherwise implants are often possible ( though I have been told it could be tricky to have implant as skin doesn't stretch so easily after radiotherapy).
I can highly recommend you contact ' Knitted Knockers'. They do fabulous lightweight prostheses, with or without a nipple. I chose the latter, and I have put a soft sports type bra on with the knitted knocker in place and you wouldn't know I had had a mastectomy,. I can't quite bring myself to look at the surgical site ( even though there is a dressing on it). But, compared to how I was feeling before surgery, I feel more upbeat today. I think it's a case of adjusting and thinking it won't look like this forever.
Best of luck to you
My doctor alread tolm I'm going to take a mastectomy and the nipple can't be preserved. I am looking for all kinf of information to try talk to him without tears so... did you have a mastectomy and reconstruction? Which kind of reconstruction? Did you have nipple reconstruction? I don't know which kind there are here in UK. I am glad that reconstruction do exist, but having only a tatoo as a nipple still makes me cry. Even though it is better than nothing, it is still so fake that I am afraid it's not going to stop thinking about what cancer stolen from me and feeling drepressed about that.
Hope you all are feeling as positive as possible today.