Marie’s I was the same! Day 3 I was an emotional wreck having held it together until
then. I’m on day 5 now and feeling so much better than I have the last few days. Hope you’re recovering well Steph xx
Thinking of you today. Really hope everything goes well with you and your op and sending lots of healing wishes to you
Thanks so much for your reply! Im so pleased it all went so well foe you.. And so quick too! I feel calmer for hearing its not as bad as my mind imagines and only needing paracetamol is amazing.
It sounds like you're doing really well and i hope you continue to recover well 🙂 xx
Thanks so much for your message. The op went well and im back home now. The nurses and doctors are all amazing and so helpful. I went in at 8am and was being operated on at 9am! It was so quick and no hanging around. I felt really sick when I woke up but they quickly gave me an anti sickness injection and that made me feel better. I’m a bit sore where they operated but paracetamol is all I need for it. I still feel quite groggy from the anaesthetic but otherwise fine and a big sense of relief that the cancer has been removed. You will be absolutely fine, everyone is so reassuring and helpful and kind and you will be so well looked after. Best of luck for tomorrow xxxx
Hi Steph, The cancer is in the other breast this time and no I didnt take the Tamoxifen I didnt think it would make a difference, (3%-5%) who knows? Im now on Letrozole which is supposed to stop it growing, stop it spreading and even shrink it, who knows ??? Still no op date. Google is great for research no one can tell you whats best for you take in all the info then make a decision but as I say try and take it one step at a time. I will be thinking about you tomorrow, you will be well looked after, all you need to do is leave these brilliant people to do the jobs they are expert in doing. Good Luck A x
Thank yoy for your message, that's really good to hear.. I really hope I feel better after the op. I really hate all the build up. That's amazing you feel less anxious this time. Im so sorry to hear its back again though.. Or is it a different type? That's so unfair. May I ask if you were on tamoxifen as I understand that's supposed to keep it away. Recurance or secondary cancer is really worrying me at the mo. As you say though I shouldn't look too far ahead.. I know that doesn't help me! Have you gor your op date yet?
Im not sure my previous message sent.. The messaging on here seems hit and miss but just wanted to say i hope today has gone okay for you.
Hi Stephie, As Marie said the op is the easy part. (if thats possible) I had a Lumpectomy in 2009 and was terrified. 11 years on and here again like Marie feel less anxious. The best advise I could give is take it one step at a time. Every day gets easier. Try not to look to far ahead. I still dont have a date for my mastectomy so will be following your journey with interest. Dont worry about drains, they do sound worse than they actually are. Hope you can relax and come out the other side relieved. All the best, A x
I’ve had breast cancer surgery before Stephie, once for DCIS and again for a tumour in 2012. I was very frightened then and certainly anxious this time but a bit less so. This time round I just wanted it over.
Try to let the nurses know just how worried you are. They will do all they can to help you relax.
Before my surgery and anaesthetic I was given an injection of some sort of sedative. They described it as being like a glass of wine. Immediately afterwards they put on an oxygen mask and told me to fill my lungs. At that point they gave me the GA and I have no recollection of falling asleep. It was immediate.
Next thing you know it’s over and you are being woken up in recovery with a nurse right next to you ready to attend to any discomfort.
Many many people feel immense relief. It is so good to be on the other side of surgery.
I didn’t get a drain after surgery and don’t think everyone does. When I had seroma drained yesterday it was absolutely fine. No discomfort at all, nothing like I expected and a sticky tiny bag was placed over the area, no bigger that a small dressing. So it’s really ok.
One thing to mention: I had to wear a mask as soon as I entered hospital and after a few hours it gets a bit warm. I expect most hospitals do this.
Try to enjoy your next few days. I imagine you will be isolating after Covid swab (that’s not fun). The days will flash by and before you know it you will have had your surgery.
Let us know how it goes and wishing you a very speedy recovery x
Thanks for your message. The drains are partly what I'm dreading, I'm so squeamish so I'm not looking forward to all that sloshing around! And what a nightmare that yours all leaked, thanks for the heads up. I'll not panic if it happens but I'm dreading it all really. It sounds like overall you're recovering well though? It's great that you managed a brisk walk. How are you doing today? My op is getting closer and closer (Friday) and I tell myself it's all fine and I'm calm but I also feel very anxious. The nurse said its all routine to the surgeons and that its rare for anything to go wrong in surgery so why am I so petrified. I've never had a general anaesthetic or an op before. My boobs are quite large so I'm going to be incredibly lopsided 😞 but at least the cancer will be gone I guess. How did you get your head around it all or did you not over think it and just get on with it? No idea how I'll cope when I see I have no boob, just a scar
Hi Stephie, I found the sound of the fluid sloshing about quite unpleasant then yesterday the sloshing stopped. So it was great to be able to go for a reasonably brisk walk without it. However, I woke up this morning and the bed was damp. Turns out the fluid has leaked through my wound. I found that quite terrifying. It seems as though the fluid has built up so much it found a wee space to leak out. Nobody had mentioned this as a possibility. I called the breast care nurse right away and she told me to come straight to clinic. She drained 350ml of fluid and stuck a wee drain over the wound which I’ve to empty regularly. I’ll get it rechecked on Friday. I’m very happy that they responded so quickly and efficiently. The breast care nurse reassured me that it’s just one of those things that happens. So just mentioning this so that anyone reading is forewarned. Draining the fluid was completely pain free.
Regarding post op pain- I felt a burning pain when I woke from surgery but it passed. After that all I felt was numbness then increasing tightness as fluid built up. I don’t think painkillers would have made any difference. It’s a bit like have an uncomfortably tight under wired bra on.
I thought I had 5 nodes removed but at my follow up appointment they said it was 3 which is a little confusing because the surgeon def said 5 removed when I woke up.
I really wish you all the best for your surgery. I forgot to pack soap but the lovely nurses provided everything I needed and were so attentive checking BP, temperature and wound regularly through the night.
I also enjoyed a great cup of tea and toast shortly after surgery. I felt quite pampered.
It passes so quickly and I am now desperate to get back to work. We are soooo lucky to have the brilliant NHS. My only regret is that I forgot to bring something for the nurses.
So all the best and hope your surgery goes as smoothly x
Oh wow, well done on the weight loss! I vary at the moment from necking a bottle of wine in 1 night to not drinking anything for a week and living off kale and chickpeas 😂 The next couple of days are taken up with various hospital appointments and phone calls for tests and assessments before the operation. I’m feeling pretty nervous about the whole thing but like I said can’t wait to get going on sorting out this bloody cancer! I feel like I don’t know what to expect from when I arrive at the hospital on weds morning which is making me a bit anxious, I like to know what to expect! Fingers crossed I’ll be able to come home on the same day. Hope your doing ok. Is your op on Friday? X
Thank you for your reply and all the info. Sorry I took so long to reply. How are you doing now? That's amazing you didn't even take any pain killers at all? Didn't the pain killlers and anaesthetic wear off leaving you in pain? It's so reassuring - I guess the surgeon neatly stitches it up and it just heals.
Sorry to hear about the seroma, I hope that heals up.
Did you have an auzilla clearance as well as masectamy?
Ha ha about the cooking! I hope you've still not said anything??
Hope you're doing well with your recovery
That's great that they barely found that any of it was invasive..that's really positive. Mine is called invasive lobular BC although they said not to read into the word invasive. It has spread to at least one of my lymphs so they're removing all of them. Apparently that's quite common and it's still treatable so that's great.
Nope I've not got any history of breast cancer in my family so it was out of the blue. I looked into it and being overweight and alcohol can increase risks (I'm a size 16 and always trying to lose weight!) I drank way too much in my 20's and even in my 30's we probably drink over the 14 recommended units, well did, I don't now and I've lost half a stone doing lots of walking!
I think you're right about the masectamy not being such a big op without the reconstruction being done at the same time. I think it's a pretty standard op for the consultants although obviously it's a big deal for us. I'm also nervous about chemo but trying not to think of it until they say after the op what I need. I feel the same as you, I just want it to be removed and got rid of with the masectamy. Are you all packed and ready for tomorrow? Are you staying in one night? Steph x
I too have a mastectomy soon on the 1st July followed by possibly chemotherapy and radiotherapy so very similar to you and I’m a similar age - 37. It sounds like the mastectomy takes much less recovery than a reconsatruction which is good news, especially if we have other treatment to follow. I thinK I’m feeling more nervous about the idea of chemotherapy than the mastectomy how about you? The tumour in my breast is really big - 10cm - so I desperately just want it removed and got rid of. Hope you’re doing ok in these few days leading up to it xxx
I had a mastectomy a week ago today. I was quite anxious about the surgery and anaesthetic. The hospital was very quiet due to the recent pandemic but still had to wait from 7am till noon before it was my turn. I woke from surgery at 4pm and was in a little discomfort but mostly I had a very sore throat from the intubation. A nurse was right beside me and offered my lovely cool water which helped. The immediate minutes after waking can feel a bit unpleasant due to the anaesthetic but it does pass quickly. I returned to ward and was very dizzy and sleepy but stayed awake as there was a really chatty lady in another bed.
She was moved to another ward and I then had the whole place to myself. I didn’t need any pain relief except paracetamol for my throat. The breast area has loads of local anaesthetic pumped in so it’s very numb.
I had a wee Peak down my gown and wasn’t too horrified. It’s like a return to prepubescence. So not entirely unfamiliar.
I stayed awake reading because I was scared if I dozed I wouldn’t sleep at night. I actually felt quite upbeat. That might’ve been the drugs.
I was discharged next day after being given some exercises by breast nurse and a padded fake boob.
on day 2 post surgery I felt quite weepy. I went for a short walk but could feel liquid sloshing about.
over the next few days more liquid accumulated and the sensation made me feel quite sick.
yesterday, day 6, I drove my car for the first time. Massive turning point. It made me feel so much better.
Today, day 7, I got dressing off. I was expecting it to be a huge relief but that was wishful thinking. I have a seroma which is moderately sized so won’t be drained. I feel very tight as though I’m wearing the most uncomfortable bra prob due to seroma and surgery in general but the absolute best way to deal with this is distraction. I forgot about it when I was driving.
I am now thinking about going back to work. Not tomorrow but soon.
In short, 7 days after surgery, I feel a lot better, even though I have the prospect of chemo ahead.
I have not had to take any painkillers at all.
Im 57 and not very fit with moderate to small breast(s)
Obviously I’m not telling my husband that I can probably help with the cooking. I reckon I’m due a bit more pampering.
I hope this helps allay your fears. It’ll be a relief to get it over.
Thanks Stephie thats really helpful. They told me it could be up to 6 months but that was before they got the full results from biopsies. I think if they are doing the pre op now it might be sooner (heres hoping )
I have had breast cancer before therefore thought they would contact Glenfield for my files. x
Hiya, my pre-op telephone apt was mostly asking me my whole medical history and they also booked me in to go for a heart ECG and a blood test (to check blood group). I went the following day for those tests. They also suggested a few things to bring to the hospital. They said to bring slippers and a book and to leave all jewellery etc at home. They also gave me a number to ring for a covid test which will be 48 hours before my apt. They said no alcohol 48 hours before op. I think that was it! They used to do the pre-op all together at the hospital but with covid they try to reduce how much time you're in hospital so the medical questionnaire is done over the phone now. I really hope your op date is sooner than 6 months - why did they say 6 months? x
How did your pre op call go? Can you give me any info on what they ask.
I have one booked for Monday and cant see what good it will do as the last time the pre op was x-rays, cardiogram and blood pressure etc. plus I was told the op would MAYBE in 6 months time (a bit confused)
Glad you only have till the 3rd to wait, good luck A x
It's our pleasure, Stephie82
I forgot to mention that if you prefer to send your question to the nurses right here on the Forum, you can do so here: https://forum.breastcancernow.org/t5/Ask-Our-Nurses/ct-p/Asknurses.
Take care! x
Thank you so much for your reply. I've got a pre op telephone call apt tomorrow with the hospital so I'll ask any questions then but I'm sure I'll have more in the days leading up to the surgery so it's nice to know I can contact the nurses on here. Thank you, and I really appreciate having this site and you lovely people - it makes me feel less alone and scared! Thanks again x
Thank you so so much for your reply. I can't tell you how much better and reassured I feel. It's such a relief to know the masectamy isn't total agony for weeks! Did you also have you lymphs removed? I think you're right, the build up is always worse. I also often feel much more together between apts but then being at apts makes me emotional (especially the scans and wearing the hospital gowns etc makes me feel psychologically like I'm really ill!). Once I'm back home I feel better again after a while. I'm so relieved to hear the drains are at most an inconvenience. I'll try to not let my mind run away before my surgery - It'll be nice to be back home and feeling better each day, like you say. You've been so positive, thank you 🙂 And I hope you've made a full recovery. It's so lovely that people like yourself stay on these forums and help others going through what you've been through 🙂 Steph x
Hi Stephi - can remember only too well how I felt before my mastectomy 3+ years ago. It's a time of such anxiety and uncertainty with relatively little time to process the impact. For what it's worth, my own experience was so much better than I imagined. The actual operation (I'd never had an anaesthetic and was terrified) was fine - I stayed in hospital overnight and took paracetamol for a few days so felt no pain or discomfort. Accommodating the drains was inconvenient but again not a huge problem. I felt pretty tired but think that was just a combination of having so many sleepless nights beforehand and having anaesthetic. I felt more myself everyday. Probably the biggest obstacle was my emotional well-being. I ping ponged between feeling grateful that the cancer had been dealt with and sorry for myself that I was physically changed. I projected an upbeat manner but very prone to some good private wallows too! I found that each time I had to face follow up treatment my emotions would nose dive.. But, again, nothing was as bad as I imagined it would be. I've not had a reconstruction - just felt it wasn't for me so wear a prosthesis and I'm still on hormone inhibitors but all in all in a good place.
It may not seem like it from where you are at the moment, but for the majority who walk this path we come out the otherside, not completely unscathed but able to move on.
Hoping all goes well for you
We are sending you warm thoughts and positive vibes ahead of your surgery on 3 July!
If there's anything you'd like to chat through before the day, our nursing team is right here and always happy to chat. You can reach us on freephone 0808 800 6000.
Hi, I've got my masectamy on 3rd july and would love to chat with anyone going through the same. Im being positive but of course its a scary time. Im 38 and lobular breast cancer. After the masectamy I may have chemo and then radiotherapy. Looking for positive vibes 🙂 xx