63328members
333187posts
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

132 REPLIES 132
Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Wendy .. good to hear from you .. you have inspired me to e mail my breast care  nurse about nipples ... when I asked the nurse practitioner who was doing the fill on my breast she just said they are rubbish don’t bother ! .. which  I thought was a bit inappropriate as my breast care nurse had already told me about them .. I hope to get 3 d tattoos in the end but that is a long way down the line and this could be worth a shot I think .. I went to my doctors  yesterday to ask about the injections and was impressed they already had my oncology letter so booked me in .. there was a small drama about  ordering the injection at the chemist but all got sorted fairly easily .. I feel I have menopause symptoms anyway .. especially this week so I don’t know how I will tell if the ovary injections make them worse but I guess I need to try  it for a few months and I think I would only stop if any symptom was really extreme . xx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi!

Good to hear that you’re both getting on well. Great news that you are still getting on well with the Letrozole, Julia and that you’ve decided to give it a go, Ann Marie.  The word ‘may’ is so important, it ‘may not’ have side effects or they could be manageable. As you say, you can change your mind if it doesn’t work out. Fingers crossed for you as, let’s face it, so much of this is down to luck!  I’m sure you’ll get back to running when you’re ready. It’s still, according to my GP, early days. I haven’t gone back to my regular yoga yet  as feel there are stretches and weight-bearing moves that I still wouldn’t be comfortable with - although I’m enjoying a gentle yoga class and a Pilates-style class at Maggie’s.

 

The appointment for prosthetic nipples was surreal. It was almost like being at the hairdresser. Spent an hour or so chatting away to a chaperone nurse and a bloke who was measuring and colour-matching me for them. It’s amazing how comfortably you can hold a normal conversation whist a stranger puts gloop on your good boob so you get a matching pair! 🤣 They duly arrived in the post and I did think, if only the postie knew....!

They do look amazing though!  The whole thing was hilarious. 

 

Remember back to the start of this and that sense of falling into an unknown abyss. I couldn’t imagine being at this point. We’ve all gone through appointments and faced so many decisions both before and after surgery and here we are!  It’s hard to believe it all really happened sometimes - but then the numbness is there as a reminder! 

 

You’re both doing well going back to work. I’ll be going back in January on phased return and light duties. My next appointment is on the 23rd. Like you, Ann Marie, they are reassuring so I don’t mind them at all. I always feel like I’m being looked after.  You’re amazing to think about work to improve the symmetry.  X

 

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Julia .. good to hear you have been fine on the drug .. I feel I made the right decision but can back track if necessary ..my implant feels better so I can at least sleep on one side now if I want to .. still not done any running .. hasn’t felt right yet but the weight gain means some sort of action will be required.. i am on light duties at work .. glad to hear your work is going ok .. interesting about tweaking ops ... I may have something ahead when my consultant reviews my pics .. one side is massively different to the other and also the nurse said my consultant mat say to fill my implant a little more although I thought he said it was up to it’s max .. I don’t mind all the appointments as I feel thought about /considered .. take care xxxx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Wow! That was a busy day at the hospital, Ann Marie! But great that you are getting things sorted and so pleased to hear that you are healing well. Wonderful news.

I've been on Letrozole now since September 30th and I’m feeling good, no obvious side effects or problems. The issue of potentially weakening bones and osteoporosis is in hand and I’m taking extra calcium and vitamin D. My GP suggested a blood test to check my vitamin D levels and it came back borderline but I will keep taking the tablets and getting outside. I hope your decision to take this drug will be positive for you and that you also have little issue with it if you do.

No more appointments until January! I saw the plastics consultant a couple of weeks ago and he suggested a potential tweaking of the scar line around the old nipple site if the slight swelling doesn’t go down and also creating a new nipple but at this moment in time I’m happy with what I’ve got and will see how I feel about more (minor) surgery later. The new boob is still settling down and I get sore around the armpit area but movement is very good.

I'm back at work now, increasing my hours over the coming weeks. Life is getting back to normal 😊😊😊😊

Hope all is going well for you too, Wendy, and that you continue to heal.

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

I saw oncology yesterday who presented the dilemma whether to take letrazole or not .. they gave me stats on my projected survival rate for 10 years and said given my info they programmed in it goes from 88 to 91% .. so just a 3 % improvement for a drug which may have significant side effects .. I was nearly convinced to not have it .. then I think when he saw that he started to say I may as well try it and came off the fence .. I can review it in a few months and consider stopping it .. I have to have the monthly injections to stop my ovaries but they did a hormone blood test to check where I am as I may be well on the way so would have the injections for just part of the term as that gets reviewed .. also had last fill in implant and some photographs taken for my consultant to review .. so that was four departments in one day ... see how it goes ... hope you are all healing  well .. I seem to be Smiley Happy)

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

I had been told about dental nipples !! I am going to ask for one to try ! .. I can’t think about Xmas .. but probably should !! 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi!

It is nice to potter around, but so easy to lose momentum. I’m trying to set myself targets each day.  I had such great plans of doing some art projects that I never have time for usually. They’re still not done! But I’m doing the Christmas cake this year and have started to do bits and pieces of Christmas shopping. It’s only about a month earlier than  my usual last minute approach!  I’m going to do some batch cooking to fill the freezer in readiness for going back to work. I’ve been paying more attention to tweaking my diet to be healthier - although it’s always been reasonable. 

 

Good to hear that you’ve got work lined up even if the timing hasn’t quite worked as planned. I’ll probably start back in December as well, but can’t say I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been sleeping so much better since the surgery than I have for years as not stressed. Coincidentally, most of my ‘menopausal’ symptoms have disappeared! 🤔

 

Wounds are healing fine. Boob is great and tummy is getting there apart from a tiny bit under my belly button which doesn’t seem to have quite settled. Every time I think it’s fine, it gets a bit pink and scabby again. I’ve been offered a prosthetic nipple (another thing I never knew existed!).  I’m not sure what I think about that but figured I might as well take them up on the offer. Weirdly, they’re done in the Oral/ Maxillofacial dept so that’ll be a new adventure!   Glad the DEXA was nothing unexpected. It sounds as if you’re already doing all the right things.  How are your wounds healing now?

 

Hope the Letrozole is continuing to go smoothly, Julia, and that your hormone treatment  is getting sorted out, Ann Marie. As you say, it’s a long process. X

 

 

 

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Thanks, Ann Marie! Hope you’re finding work ok. How are you doing so far? I hope all is progressing well with the hormone therapy and that you get the best meds soon.

I've just made two Christmas puddings and the fruit for the cake is currently steeped in lots of brandy ready for baking tomorrow. It’s quite nice to potter about!

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Good luck Julia for next week ! I’m doing some work at home but on a phased return . I think it feels good to think about something else but seems important to take it steady .. you will have to do the same ! I will follow about DEXA and recommendations as all sounds very useful to know and what you are experiencing sounds thorough xxx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Thank you so much Wendy but now hopefully back at work next week. I won’t go in to this long story but I was hoping to start a temp full time job this week but it now looks likely to be next week. My old job will hopefully start in December now. I don’t mind as I can find things to do but I’m keen to get back to doing something.

i had a recall from my GP re my DEXA scan and was worrying what the problem was but it was simply a discussion about ways to keep bone density levels up, like upping calcium and vitamin D intake, weight bearing exercise, etc., which I am doing anyway.
I hope you continue to make progress and that your wounds are healing well. It’s a long process, isn’t it?

All the best

Julia

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi!

Wishing you well for today, Julia. It’s a big step! X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie.

That sounds like it didn’t cause you discomfort. Hopefully you won’t have long to wait to find out your course of treatment. X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Ref Implant they added 100ml so far but I didn’t feel I could see it .. could be like an inflatable where  it suddenly shows I suppose at another session !

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Thanks Julia .. they found on my blood tests I have protrombin 20210 which  is basically slightly thicker blood so haematology have said definitely not tamoxifen or anything with estrogen in it .. probably also means I wasn’t suitable for micro surgery .. so at least I feel assessed and should end up with the right medication in the end .. could be letrazole or similar by the sounds of it .. x

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie

best to get it absolutely right but it’s more waiting for you. If you end up with Letrazole I can honestly say it’s been ok re side effects, so far.

I hope the implant side went ok?

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Thanks .. there was an interesting twist as I was supposed to get tamoxifen today .. when the nurse was going through the side effects one Is increased risk of blood clotting .. they hadn’t made the link with that and the other family history issue I have had tests for so they have paused on tamoxifen .. and are getting the results first .. then may consider one of the other similar drugs without that side effect .. one of the post menopause ones .. they made an appointment with my consultant next week to discuss it .. 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Yes, hope it goes well. Onwards, upwards and outwards!

Julia

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Thank you xxx .. I am anxious but will be glad to tick that box too ! xx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi!

Just want to wish you well for tomorrow, Ann Marie. X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Met a local lady who had had the LD flap op today .. that was interesting .. different procedure where tissue remains connected , suitable for small breasts I think . But we all have a thread in common don’t we of the shock and changes .. I have two hospital appointments next week .. one is the implant fill and another about my blood tests .. well done ladies ref healing ... major ops take time .. but all sounds like it’s going on the right direction ... I will ask about bone density issues next week and if I need supplements etc .. it’s always good to know what you need to know .. xx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Sorry, I forgot to update the page before posting and missed the last 2 updates!  

 

Sorry to hear that you’ve just had to go through it as well, Ann Marie! 💕

 

Good to hear that you’ve got work lined up, Julia. And knowing your employer will hopefully make it easier. X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi!

I really didn’t expect to react like that! My last one was just days after my diagnosis and I had a bit of a soggy meltdown when it came back as a recall because I really needed it off my mind. No way of knowing, I suppose, whether waiting a few weeks or a couple of months would have helped. At least it’s done and hopefully this time I can get a result and put it behind me.  I’m the same with the cancer adverts and SU2C stuff at the moment. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me, but at others it’s just too much. We put on our face-the-world faces, but it’s still very fresh and raw just below the surface. 

 

Fingers crossed for getting the dressings off next week. It’s another milestone, isn’t it? I’ve just had my next appointment through the post for 2 days before Christmas!  They’re getting further apart, but I never imagined at the start of this how many appointments would be on the horizon! How often do they repeat the DEXA scan?

 

Good luck in your job hunt. X

 

Highlighted
Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie and Wendy

quite a coincidence with the smear tests. I’m sure they will both be ok and let’s hope you both get those results back quickly to help you get past that hurdle and then on to the next one!

How are you getting on, Ann Marie? Are you healing ok? Is the implant being expanded? I hope you are happy with the way things are going.

The DEXA scan measures bone density - as I’m now on Letrozole there is a recognised side effect of osteoporosis and so they’re going to check if the bone density lessens over the course of the five years. Does this apply to people taking tamoxifen, do you know?

i don’t qualify for Macmillan financial aid as it’s income related. I think I have now sorted out work arrangements with my former employer and I’m hoping to be back at work on the 11th.

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Wendy and Julia .. I had my smear test too last week !!! I can totally relate to the trauma Wendy ..i had felt sick when the letter arrived just before my op but booked it as I didn’t want to delay ... I also spoke to the nurse about breast cancer and was very emotional  ... I was reassured that the new smear tests are far more accurate as they test for a virus first ....anyway so sorry to hear of your struggles .. what are dexa baseline results Juilia ? I get confused with all the technical terms .. you ladies have been so brave and it’s so much to be dealing with around struggles .. I think Macmillan can offer financial support if necessary so could be worth doing their means test ? The pressure to work is hard .. but your health must come first xxxxx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Oh Wendy, what a really tough episode which has followed so closely on what you’ve been through. I think you are really brave to feel ready to have a smear test although you probably felt that you had to get on with it. I’m not sure I’m ready to face that yet but pretty sure I’m due one of those tests in the next few months. I imagine I would feel the same emotions you had today. I hope you manage to find some inner calm and have a good night’s sleep but I think it shows that we face a lot of reminders in our daily lives of what we’ve had (all those adverts for cancer on the TV, I have to leave the room sometimes) as we try to get on with our lives. Imagine how we will feel at the next mammogram!😳☹️
I’ve had my DEXA baseline scan results back and will wait to see if/how much this changes over the coming months and years. Another dressings check next week and then the plastics consultant appointment the week after. I’m hoping by this point that all my dressings will be off though I think I have this abdo band for another month. I can sleep on my side quite comfortably now.

Work is my biggest concern at the moment as I’m trying to plan how to make up for lost earnings over the past weeks.

You’re doing really well, Wendy. You got through it.

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi!

The emotional impact of all this was brought home to me with a bang today when I went for a smear test.  I’ve found these increasingly uncomfortable during peri menopause and menopause and, on top of that, it was my 4th recall in 2 years - nothing sinister just that they haven’t had enough cells to test. So I took some painkillers and thought I’d be ok. Had a bit of a wait which didn’t help, but wasn’t expecting to burst into tears as soon as I got into the nurse’s room.  I just couldn’t stop.  Poor woman, she was so kind and understanding and offered to postpone, but I just wanted it done. I think in the past it was something I always did as a necessary evil with the blissful assumption that nothing would show up - but cancer has a reality now and it brought all those fears right back. Even when I thought I’d calmed down enough to drive home, I only got to the first set of traffic lights before the tears were streaming down my face again and I’ve been on the edge all day.

Planning to find something frivolous to watch and have an early night ready to put a better face on tomorrow. 

Sorry, just needed to dump some of that!

 

Wendy. X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Wendy and Julia .. so hard to think about work .. I have pencilled in some work from home next week as I will have had my quota and as a single parent I would have other stresses with no income .. thanks ref tamoxifen .. yes I guess I will have to see what happens .. Calcium supplements sounds wise .. I am taking some of those with some biotic cultures at present as the strong  anti biotics threw my system a bit .. weather has been great though and I have managed some walking .. get my first fill of implant next Tuesday so still curious about that .. xx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi!

Julia - Good news that the Letrozole has started smoothly. The best you can do is to keep an open mind and bolster your body as much as you can against potential side effects. If you haven’t already, look into the effect of vitamin D on calcium uptake. Apparently, most of us are low in this so might be worth asking for advice. 

 

I had my hospital appointment yesterday and although the infection has probably delayed healing by a couple of weeks, they seem really happy. I’m feeling reassured and much happier too, now that the wound seems to have settled. My tummy no longer feels particularly tight and I would say that the range of movement in my arm/ shoulder is almost the same as my right arm now.  I’d still be hesitant about anything weight bearing though. 

 

Good luck with your job hunting!  My current line line finishes at the end of the week and I’m definitely not ready to go back so hope to extend it. I’m fortunate to be on full pay. This has made me think about how much longer I want to continue in a job that has become increasingly stressful. 

 

Hope you’re doing well, Ann Marie.  Thinking of you. 

 

Wendy. X

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi all

Wendy is absolutely right about the tamoxifen messages. People often write on the forums when they’ve got problems they want to share so you only tend to get a more negative view. It’s the same for the Letrozole I’m on, which I think is the post menopausal equivalent of Tamoxifen. I was concerned about the high number of side effects and there are a number of ladies out there who have issues with it, but really haven’t found many people who’ve said they’re ok. I was warned by the breast consultant that osteoporosis was a recognised side effect and I had my DEXA scan today, which will be the base line scan for checking my bone density over the next five years I’m on Letrozole. It is a concern but I’m upping my calcium and taking vitamin pills, and intend to do more weight bearing exercise (walking the dog) and try anything else you think might be beneficial! As for the other potential side effects - hot flushes, hair thinning, tiredness - I’m keeping an open mind. I’m only nearly four weeks in and it’s early days but so far, so good. The hormone therapy messaging board will probably be of use to you, Ann Marie, as there are discussion messages there about tamoxifen but don’t feel too disheartened if it feels negative. Are you on tamoxifen for five years?

 

Wendy, I’m so glad the wounds are finally looking better, that’s really good news. I’m leaving my belly button in the fresh air for half an hour when I’m changing the dressing. I’m sure it helps. Yes, take your time to get back to work if you need it. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much income over the last few weeks and I need alternative temp employment so I’ve been looking around. I’m quite keen to get back to work but will undoubtedly feel very tired by it. My sick note runs out on 11 November so unless I’m told otherwise that will be the time I go back.


Good luck with the flu jab!

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi!

Great news Ann Marie that you don’t need radio/chemotherapy! Definitely cause for a glass of something. 🥂 Hopefully tamoxifen will be fine - remember people are far more likely to share bad experiences. The positive stories never get the same attention.  Great to hear that your wound is healing well and I’m sure the arnica is fine by now. 

 

My tummy has improved, thank goodness! Last week I was starting to think it was never going to get any better. I had a couple of really lazy days to try to avoid moving it and kept it dry and by Sunday that persistent bit finally stopped leaking. Last night I put Vaseline on scabby areas after reading something on the internet (didn’t rub it in, just a smear) and they fell off in the shower this morning. Still a wee bit worried how it’ll affect the final appearance, will just have to wait and see - like everyone else! I think you’re right, Ann Marie, that it’s in an awkward place for pressure and because of clothing rubbing. I have an appointment on Monday so will quiz them then. 

 

Glad the iodine dressings seem to be doing the trick, Julia. How are the rest of your scars?  I still find I’m sleeping on my back. Maybe it’s just habit now. I went to a gentle Pilates type class and found lying on my side for leg raises uncomfortable on my hips - but it was a thin mat on a hard floor. Going to take a little blanket in for yoga tomorrow just in case padding is required!

 

Spoke to my boss yesterday and he is adamant that I stay off until I’m properly ready. I’m getting there, but not quite there yet. When are you planning to go back to work?

 

Got my flu injection to look forward to on Saturday. 😣 Will make sure that it’s in my ‘good’ arm!

 

Love

Wendy. X

 

 

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Thanks Julia.. hope the wound is on the mend .. for you too Wendy ! .. I guess it’s an area that has a lot of pressure on it so may take time .. I had a c section many years ago and that wound was troublesome initially but then suddenly healed .. I have been putting some arnica cream on my breast scars not sure if I should have but they appear to be healing well .. I get my first implant fill November 5th .. let’s hope it’s not explosive ! Lol .. I’m a bit anxious about tamoxifen as heard some people have issues but keeping fingers crossed I’m ok .

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

That’s absolutely wonderful news Ann Marie!!! I’m so pleased for you! I know exactly how you feel - no chemo or radiotherapy, just the hormone therapy - it’s such a relief not to be facing that much treatment. Yes, down that glass and have another one! Sleep well tonight!

 

My belly button wound is doing ok and two more weeks of inodine dressings should hopefully see the scabby area gone. Sorry to hear your wound is not going as well, Wendy, I hope you can get it sorted very soon. Does this mean your return to work may be delayed?
Julia

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi .. mini update ! My results were delayed but I was phoned with them today !! Got clearance ..yay .. so no radio therapy or chemo .. tamoxifen 5 years .. and annual mammograms ..bad  area removed was 7.2cm .. major relief for me .. and sneaky glass of wine !

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi!

It sounds like you’re both making great strides.  That’s brilliant that you enjoyed the Pilates class, Julia. I’m planning to go to a gentle yoga next week at Maggie’s and I went to a journalling class this week. It feels like getting back on track a little. To be honest I don’t think I’m ready to go back to work yet - it feels like a big scary step still.  

I had a bit of a setback with my tummy again. Although I think it is mostly healing, there’s a small section which is still leaky and there was blood across my nightie when I got up the other day - not much, but it’s left me feeling a bit down. I was expecting it to have improved more by now. The infection has gone as far as I can tell so it has improved in that sense, but I’m not sure it looks much better than back in week 2. I left a message for my BCN today, but no one phoned back. I’ll try them again on Monday if it’s no better.  However, it’s not stopping me from doing anything and no one said this journey would be smooth!

Enjoy the makeup session, Ann Marie. I did one last week and it was great fun trying out different makeup and having a bit of a blether. 

Glad the Letrozole has started fine, Julia. Fingers crossed that continues. 

Have a lovely weekend.

Wendy. X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Wow Julia , sounds great ref cleavage ! .. I am at a stage where I feel grateful still for hospital appointments as I panic if I am healing ok ..It’s so hard to know if sensations are normal or not .. I keep getting told how well I look but that can mean i discount my needs . Going back to work is a big step so pause Julia and make sure about when you are fully ready .. I think it’s important to add a bit extra on .. I plan to do some work from home first .. but not for a while .

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Sorry, pressed the post button by mistake!

 

Anyway, I hope both of you are still smiling through it all. Wendy, I am glad to hear your wounds are clearing up.

 

i actually have a whole week with no appointments at the hospital, yay! I can change my belly button dressings myself and I’m pleased that finally that wound is starting to heal . Like you, Wendy, my boob is settling down more and I get less of the slight slooshing movement I used to get. There’s definitely more of a cleavage appearance which is great! Still some pain under my arm when it’s raised.  I haven’t needed draining in my belly area and may not need it when I go back to hospital on Monday.

 

i went to a Pilates class last week and enjoyed it very much. It was very gentle and the teacher gave me alternative positions to try out when I couldn’t manage the tasks. I am very wary of laying on my sides - I don’t know when it is good to do this.

 

The Letrozole is still not causing any side effects that I’m aware of, which is great. I was warned it could start after six weeks and this is only week three, but so far, so good. I have my first DEXA scan next week to measure bone density so it gives the doctors an idea of how much the Letrozole affects my bones over the coming years.

 

I'm doing virtually everything I could do pre-op, bar heavy lifting and sleeping on my side. I’m starting to think about work again, which is a bit depressing!

 

Keep taking your time, Ann Marie, you’ve been through a lot.

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie and Wendy!

Ann Marie - you’re doing brilliantly by the sounds of things and your 275ml boob will be looking great before you know it. This cancer journey seems to go on and on, doesn’t it? It’s not like going in for an op and hey presto, it’s all sorted. The op is just the start of it and weeks later we are still attending hospital 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Wow walking miles at 6 weeks sounds mega Wendy ! I am not waking far at all yet .. I still get quite sleepy .. i think it’s the anaesthetic but also as I am on strong anti biotics and pain killers .. funny ref measuring 275 mls .. I have a no ideas what it will be like but as they built a bridge for the implant that makes a difference too .. I will still have to have some sort of symmetry surgery on the other breast next year so have to wait to see how this settles .. I think it was the right decision for me but am also pleased and impressed how well you’re have gone . I have booked into a few local breast care events so a few things t look forward to like make up sessions , and relaxation therapies ( acupuncture etc ) .. trying to be positive about going forwards !! Anne Marie x

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi!

That sounds great, Ann Marie. Very reassuring that your surgeon is pleased with it and hopefully you’ll get the other drain out very soon.  Well done for taking the opportunity to look in the mirror. I hope you’re happy with how it’s healing so far. It must be hard to imagine what it’ll look like - I’d be at the sink measuring out 275ml and pouring it into various containers! 😂 So funny that you knew where to find the mirror -  I bet that surprised them!

My tummy is definitely beginning to heal properly now. It was just bad luck that I had that reaction to the drain dressings. I’m hoping it won’t affect how it looks long-term. Fingers crossed. My new boob is settling down and feels much more natural/ less lumpy as the bruising and swelling eases.  I think the cording under my arm is settling too as it feels less achy.  Good to hear that you’ve been getting out and about. It lifts your mood to do these things.  I’ve been walking miles and meeting friends for coffees. I’m only just coming up to 6weeks so what they’ve done is amazing really.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe it happened... 

Julia, I hope you’re continuing to do well. 💕

Love to you both

Wendy. X

 

 

 

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Wendy and Julia , sorry to hear of your healing issues Wendy .. they are all major operations ! I saw my surgeon Friday as he came out of operating to see me between patients .. so he looked at my wound with the nurse .. he said he was pleased with it .. they took one drain and I was able to ask to look in the mirror between dressings going back on .. was funny as i pointed out which cupboard the mirror was in .. serial patient or what ?! .. seems to be healing ok .. I’m not totally flat he said he could Put 275 mils in it over time .. so I wonder what that will be like .. everyone says I look well .. as I am wearing padding it hides the procedure .. I have managed a couple of local lunches .. taking it very steady though .. results and consultant again this Thursday .. 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie

Just checking in to see how you’re getting on. Glad to hear that the doctor has given you stronger painkillers - having the implant under the pec muscle sounds very traumatic for your body.  Hopefully you’ll get one of the drains out tomorrow. One less thing to worry about - and the checkups are reassuring and give you a chance to ask questions. 

I’ve got a wound check tomorrow for my tummy scar as it hasn’t been healing brilliantly. I think the level of numbness early on gave me a false sense that I’d recover quickly. I really find my tummy stiffens up if I sit for a while and, like you Julia, under my collar bone is tender and I’m getting sharp shooting pains in my boob and tummy - particularly when In the evening when I’m tired. Actually, by the evening everything aches!

Take care!

W. X

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Julia , I have 2 drains but was told when I rang the hospital one may get removed tomorrow .. I have to keep emptying them .. one is full and the other empty .. I spoke to my Macmillan nurse and she said high  pain is usual post this surgery . I have an expander implant under the pec muscle but they won’t start to fill it until the wound more healed so perhaps 6 weeks time and then a few appointments with a specialist nurse .  I am quite looking forward to my check up tomorrow and clarifying progress .. your situation sounds complex too .. such a lot for us all to go through . Sounds like it’s a different method of draining the wounds .. sorry to hear sports bra uncomfortable .. I am wearing mine and it seems to make me feel held together .. I am thinking a bit clearer today .. I think I was in a bit of shock . xxx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie

 

It really sounds like you’re going through a lot at the moment and sorry to hear you’ve been in a lot of pain. I hope the stronger painkillers are working effectively. I don’t know about period issues but guess it must have something to do with your hormones going through a big upheaval. I hope things settle down quickly for you. You are still very much in recovery from your op and it does seem that mastectomy patients go home quite early so you must be feeling fragile.

When do you get the implant sorted?

My drains were all removed before I left hospital but I am being frequently drained with a big syringe and a needle 😳. The nurses don’t do it, it has to be done by a doctor or specialist. The fluid collects in my belly wound and I’m still having problems with my belly button wound which needs extra dressings. As for my boob, it is becoming very tender across the top where it has been internally stitched, it’s quite uncomfortable with the sports bra cutting across it.

Hope you’re feeling better soon,

Julia

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Wow how long do you have drains for ? I thought 2 weeks was a lot ! .. yes these hospital letters seem to drop through the door all the time .. never had such things before so a bit surreal .. I was very stressed with pain last night .. got into a panic I had done the wrong thing with any reconstruction at all and wanted to rip it out 😱.. although to be fair I don’t know if the pain is the mastectomy.. I thought I was wheezing but don’t know if it was in my mind .. anyway I have been better and got stronger pain killers from my doctor ..I still feel like I have been winded and have been bleeding as if my period extended itself which is odd .. I wondered if hormones in the breast impacted menstrual systems ..I will ask Friday .. I will be curious what I look like under my dressings and May ask for a mirror again although I am fairly flat at the moment .. yet not totally . I just have a lot on the other side .. a softie I got means it’s invisible  with clothes though  .. this second leg does feel harder than the first !

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie

 

i hope you’re feeling better now that you’re home and that you’re making good progress. 
My hospital visits are gradually getting more spaced out as I am allowed to change the dressings myself but I still need draining! I’ve counted up my appointments and at this hospital alone it’s now 25! The wounds are healing well and are quite neat.

Best wishes!

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi .. I left the hospital this pm so had 3 days and 2 nights there .. was a good time and I felt ok to come home then .. as I live a distance away I was keen not to have any issues .. feel lots better in the settee at home ans in clothes .. I had a new bigger softie for now which helped me feel normal before its gradually pumped up .. thanks for the thoughts xxx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie

Apologies for taking a wee while to get in touch. I got the chance of a few days up in the Cairngorm Nat Park and have just had a chance to sit down and link in to the WiFi code! It’s beautiful up here and we’ve walked for miles. 

Hope you’re home by now and managing to take it easy. You have just been through a major operation and you need time to recover - especially if your blood pressure has been an issue. It’s emotional as well - partly shock at what you’ve just been through and relief that that part is behind you.  Look after yourself, take any help that’s offered and ask for help if you need it. 

X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie

i expect you are mightily relieved you’re past the surgery bit though I’m sure you’re feeling very tired. Did you manage to leave hospital today? If you’re blood pressure is low it will feel hard to do much, especially move around. Like you say, don’t be in any rush to leave, just take it nice and easy.

Will they be expanding the implant soon or do the drains need to come out first? It might not look how you want it to at the moment but be assured it’s only temporary. I do hope you feel better day by day and well done for getting this far!

Julia

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Thank you .. had the op yesterday. .. still in hospital at the moment .. it hit me a bit as although they put an expander implant in its very flat at the moment .. this op seemed lots bigger than the last one .. 2 drains and morphene .. I had low blood pressure and was sick but that’s improved .. they said I may go home today as was first on the list yesterday but I am in no rush so won’t be pushing for it .. I have a private room which has its advantages but means I can feel cut off .. had friend with me yesterday pm and eve ..!

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie

Wishing you all the best for your op tomorrow and that you make a speedy recovery. Thinking of you,

Julia

xx