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Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

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Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie

Sending you gentle hugs and good wishes for tomorrow and a speedy recovery after. X💕

Shi Community Champion
Community Champion

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi stormcloud, I’ve messaged mods 🤞🤞it’ll be fixed for you soon 😘💕💕✨✨Shi xx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Shi - spoke too soon, it’s empty. Will they be able to restore my messages? Ta. 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Thank you, Shi. You’ve worked your magic. My envelope has reappeared! 👍

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

 

Hi Julia

As you’ve maybe seen from my post to Shi, I’ve lost my PM access at the moment although I’m getting my email alerts. 

That’s what I noticed as well and it only really seemed to really start last week. I think it’s caused by them taking the lymph nodes (and I think they sometimes disturb the nerves as well) and the lymphatic system reacts. I’ve been massaging the area 2/3 times a day - firstly in the warmth of the shower with my body wash and was told to stroke fairly firmly towards my body. Then after shower and later on before bed with E45 while arm is stretched up like the inch wincy spider exercise. Also just doing some the other exercises while wandering about/ waiting for the kettle to boil, etc. Also walking, deep belly breathing and just moving about keeps the whole system working. I can feel a taut bit like a cable if I feel into my armpit and it does pull a bit when I move my arm certain ways. Hopefully it will improve soon. 

The antibiotics they’ve put me on for my tummy wound are now playing havoc with my digestive system. The joys!

Hope everything is going well with you otherwise. X

 

Ann Marie - are you going in on day of op, or day before? I have been thinking of you and sending good wishes your way. You’ll get through one step at a time. X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Shi,

The envelope icon at the top of the screen for personal messaging has disappeared so I can’t access my PMs - and my profile looks like I’ve only been a member since yesterday. 

Would be great if that could be restored. 

Thanks

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hope the issues re posting are sorted?

Keep going, Ann Marie! Thinking of you lots and hope you’re managing something to distract you.

Wendy, check junk mail as things often end up there.

My armpit area into my new boob has become very tender and sore but guess it’s settling down more.  It’s more painful now than post op. Should I be massaging it?

Shi Community Champion
Community Champion

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Storm cloud what problems are you having with the site, i’ll Point mods at this thread so you can tell them the issues you are having 💕💕✨✨Shi xx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Is anyone else struggling with this site today? 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Same here!  It really is like a weight’s been lifted. Just got to give ourselves time to recover properly. I’m probably going to be wound up before every mammogram from now on, but we made it and I have truly appreciated that we did it together. 

Maybe your abdo binder made the difference re scars, but no harm in asking on Friday. X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Yay! Delighted for you! Lots to celebrate! What a journey, but we got there. I’m going to enjoy the next few weeks and start focusing on a new job.

There’s been no mention at all about massaging anything? I must ask at my next dressings change on Friday.

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

All clear as well! 🎉🎉 No evidence of anything invasive, lymph nodes clear. Don’t need any further cancer related treatment. I’ve a little bit of cording near armpit and to carry on the massaging I’d started - apparently I was doing the right thing and it should settle.  Just annual mammograms for next 3 years as expected. Prescribed antibiotics for tummy wound infection- most likely due to severity of skin reaction to dressings at drain sites and to get that checked next week. Had a bit of a bubble from the relief of it all (as per!). 

Thrilled to hear that yours was such great news as well, Julia.🥂Phew! X

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Margins clear, lymph nodes clear, some issue with comedo-necrotic cells which may suggest invasive cancer but I have not been recommended chemotherapy or radiotherapy, just to take Letrozole for 5 years. I consider myself very lucky and feel happy that the MDT feel I am clear. Really hope your news is good, Wendy.

 

Another day closer, Ann-Marie! Nearly there.

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Julia!

Just came on here to say the same to you! Hope you sleep well! X

 

Ann Marie - one foot in front of the other. If you’re anything like me time will rush past like a train then drag like you’ll never get there. X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Totally understand, Ann Marie. You get to the point where you’ve done enough waiting and you really want the day to hurry up and come. Wishing you well.

Wendy - all the best for tomorrow and here’s to a bright, cancer free future!

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi .. my nurse said to pack for 2 nights but may be 1 .. I don’t mind if it’s 2 as I liked the hospital bed and the support it gave me last time .. they may keep me in due to the higher blood clot risk and not living that close .. I am keen to just get it done now !

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi!

This time next week, Ann Marie, you’ll be beginning your recovery.  Good to tell people. They can’t help if they don’t know and, even though it’s hard to ask, it’s good to have support. Have they said how long you’re likely to be in hospital for?

Will be thinking of you and wishing you well. X

 

Hope you both have a calm and peaceful weekend. X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie

i will be thinking of you on 4th October and hoping that your op is very successful. I’m sure you are feeling very anxious but you’ve done so well to get this far. Just a few more days. Glad you’ve got results day sorted as well!

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Wendy .and Julia Yes my surgury date is confirmed as 4th October , next week .. thanks xx. I am telling a few of my more compelled relationships that today ..lol ...( work , ex partner ..lol ) I told quite a few friends this week .. it’s hard I think to feel that’s those morning having had w mastectomy experience fully understand .. I’m not good at taking help so working hard to ask for it as I know this is big surgery ! Glad to hear you are doing well .. I already had the date for my results meeting  twio weeks after !  Good luck x

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi both!

Julia - that’s great news. It sounds as though everything is healing well and hopefully you’ll be able to stand tall and won’t need any more work done at your drain site.  Have you been given any instructions for massaging your scars yet?  

My tummy wound gets a bit tight if I sit for too long and is also a little raised at the left hip. The stitches at the right are a bit prickly feeling and the scar around my belly button is a bit raised and red, but, like you, I’m pleased with what’s been done and just need to give it time to settle. After all, I’m only 3 weeks and you’re 2 weeks post op tomorrow!! It is pretty incredible really.  

Mostly, I’m managing to put Monday out of my mind and distract myself, but yes to the odd wobble and I’m pretty sure I won’t get much sleep the night before!  We’ve come through everything else so far, so fingers crossed for us both on Monday too!

 

Ann Marie - Have you had a surgery date confirmed yet?  I think you mentioned 4th October at one stage. Would be honoured to do some virtual handholding!  This thread has really helped me to get through the last few weeks!

 

Love

Wendy. X💕

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Julia .. you will be relieved to get that removed and sounds like impressive healing .. I hate this results journey .. such a niggle but with a mastectomy you must be feeling positive ? I knkw  mine was on the side  so I have some anxiety I may need radiotherapy .. have you been advised to expect anything ?? Anne Marie x 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie and Wendy

 

i had my microfoam bandaging removed today which was a great relief as I wasn’t really walking tall with it on. Came off more easily than I expected. My belly scar looks very neat although lying flat it looks a little raised at the ends. I now simply have micropore tape across it. My belly button has a blackened area (necrosis) and requires iodine and more frequent checks but dr reckons it should clear up soon. There was fluid around the site where one of the drains was and I had to get this drained but pretty painless as the area is numb. My boob looks very good, a happy match in size with the other one although not quite the right shape but still good. Overall, I’m pleased with the outcome. I’m moving well, not on painkillers and emotionally upbeat. My only challenge is the results day on Monday which is causing the odd wobble. Keeping my fingers crossed for both of us Wendy.

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Julia .. I think they send tissue to America for a lot of people .. they can do a test to see if future cancer is likely and if it is recommend chemotherapy .. my results were that it isn’t required . Good luck with the driving .. I am driving at the moment but will lose that soon again for a bit .. I’m lucky to have a bus nearby .. this weather is a bit depressing ! Wow what  a change .. harder to stay cheery in this !

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Julia

My surgeon said not allowed to drive for 2 weeks after surgery and then only if I felt confident that I could hit the brakes for an emergency stop. The first time I used my heart cushion under the bottom part of my seatbelt, but to be honest it felt unnecessary and a bit of an encumbrance so I was better without it. The diagonal part didn’t press against my new boob at all.  Like you, I’m not planning to head out at busy times or into town, but it’s great not to have to rely on people for little things. 

 

The litter picker sounds brilliant!  I found bending was one of the most uncomfortable things - particularly picking up and putting cat food bowls down.  How are you getting on? Is your wound feeling ok and are you managing to sleep?  I’m getting fed up sleeping on my back but actually sleeping much better than I have for ages. No work stress - and the pre-operation stress has faded. Head is empty 😜 and it feels great!

 

Ann Marie - hope you got on well the other day. Keeping fingers crossed for you that you don’t have to wait too long. 

 

It’s just changed from drizzly to torrential here!  Time to cosy in for an indoor day, I think. 

 

Love

Wendy. X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie, I hope your meeting/results went ok today and that you’re a step closer to getting your life back. Sending tissue samples to America? That’s very thorough! I’m guessing they have more sophisticated techniques over there?

 

Wendy, you managed to drive!!! Not sure if I would be ready to do that by next week but it would certainly make our family life so much easier if I did; the school run and trips to the post office would be a good improvement. I might see how I feel next week and just try the simplest of journeys. I wouldn’t go into town or to the hospital.

 

My neighbour has given me one of those litter sticks and it is wonderful! Annoying things on the floor are now whisked up and I can tidy up a little. The abdo binder is quite tight. I’m looking forward to getting an appointment to get the microfoam off which should lessen the restriction around my belly

 

i think the weather is set to change today so let’s make the most of the ☀️ 

 

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie and Julia 

Ann Marie - it is so strange to see that you’re linking this to pregnancy/ c-section stuff. That’s exactly how I feel - right down to wanting to just sit and have a good bubble when I got home from hospital!  My c-scar is virtually invisible (although it seems to have been hauled up a bit!) so hopefully eventually this one will disappear too, and this time it’s a new boob instead of a new baby!  Hope all goes well tomorrow. 

 

Julia - my tummy scar had some sort of honeycomb dressing on, but it was no bother to have removed - possibly because the area is numb anyway.  My boob is also a bit flatter than the other and feels a bit more to the side under my arm. I’m assuming that there’s still some swelling to settle, but otherwise it seems like a pretty good match in size and shape. My next appointment is also on the 30th September. I didn’t get my pathology results at my first appointment - so we could well get our results on the same day! I wasn’t worried about those originally as focused on the surgery and took them at their word that I was unlikely to need further treatment.  Now, I’m feeling a little less blasé, but fingers crossed.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably have quite a list of questions!  I wrote them down in the end, but a lot were about results so saving for next time. As someone said, the only daft question is the one you don’t ask!

 

I’m very chuffed with myself today. I drove down to my local M&S Food to pick up an order. It’s only about a mile and on quiet Sunday morning roads, but it felt like a big step! I went for a walk along the river while I was at it.  I’m walking most days, especially while the weather’s fine, and getting a little faster or going a little further each time. A bit nervous of bouncy dogs and children. I just stop and wait for them to bounce past! 😂

 

Hugs 

Wendy. X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Julia thank you for your kind words .. glad to hear you are healing well .. I guess we all have similar situations of breasts that are a work in progress and changing form .. I am hoping I don’t get any surprises at my meeting tomorrow ... I know we were still waiting for results on the tissue sent to America .. it’s weird as I realised this week I was linking some of this experience to my pregnancy as it was a time when I was off work ( only time really ) and as I had a c section , I had work on my tummy .. this is obviously a different journey and I am trying to fjnd new positives to hold on to ! .. micro foam sounds interesting .. it’s so clever what they do nowadays .. good luck with the 30th .. results days seem to be a new intermittent norm! It was so beautiful outside yesterday .. glad you got to enjoy a bit of it too ! Anne Marie x

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie

so glad that you are getting closer to getting your op sorted. You shouldn’t have to wait too long now if you’re liaising with just one surgeon. As for missing out on a tummy tuck, just think how much stronger your belly will be than ours! I have yet to see my belly scar as it’s bound up with MicroFoam and I’m waiting on an appointment with the plastics team to have it removed (ouch). Even though they don’t remove muscle the surgeon still has to cut through it in places so it won’t be as it was, plus of course the scar area will be numb. The waiting for appointments and the op itself was definitely far harder than life is now, so much stress has been taken away. It must be so much harder for you as you are a mum with a young family who has the children’s needs to deal with too. Let’s hope you hear really soon.

 

Wendy, I’ve got an appointment with the breast team for Monday 30th September so I’m guessing that will be histology results day..... My boob looks ok, rounder and flatter than the natural one but still has a dressing on so difficult to see the whole picture. Are you happy with your shape?

 

I slept for 7 hours last night and even managed a car ride to our local boot sale this morning. Hubby stayed with me and did all the picking up, lifting, carrying, etc. I got home and felt very tired so had a nap this pm. Just can’t do too much, however much I want to, but lovely to be outside in the sunshine.

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Thanks Wendy .. I am meeting my cancer surgeon Monday .. he originally said 4th October so I don’t know  if that still stands but I imagine if it’s different it won’t be too long afterwards .. I am ok with that as I had got into a mindset of November so if it’s October I can go forward .. I also feel better as I liaised with a nhs approved 3D nipple artist who’s work I have seen so I hope to get some symmetry via her next year after what I guess will be a reduction to the other side .. feel a bit daunting to think of a few ops but it’s still probably the right path for me ... well done you ladies post surgery .. I am a little gutted not to be getting a tummy tuck ! But I know it’s a big journey for healing too .. at least with this weather there can hopefully be some time in the garden x

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi there!

Julia - Congratulations! Fantastic news that you’re now home and without drains.  I hope everything is healing well and that you’re happy with how your new boob and tummy scar look so far.  Sound advice from your hubby to rest. It’s difficult, but hopefully you have support and are managing to let other people look after you -easier said than done - and that you’re enjoying your own cool bed!  I hope you’re managing to get into your garden to stretch your legs and breathe fresh air after being cooped up in your hospital hot room. 😎

Have they given you any follow-up appointments yet?

 

Ann Marie - you sounded so much calmer in your last message.  It takes time to sort through everything you’re told and everyone’s circumstances are different.  I’m so pleased that you’ve been able to make the decision that feels right for you and your family and that will have taken a huge weight off your mind.  It’s very clear from reading some of the posts on this site that there’s no set route through this and that the direction can easily change from what’s expected. Have they indicated a timescale for your surgery? 

 

Wendy. X

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Glad to hear you are home ... the drains thing is good to be gone .. I had one last time for a week at home  .. I was talking to a friend who used to be a nurse and she was shocked how things like that have changed as years ago a district nurse would have been involved !! Sounds like great advice from hubby .. probably for a few days .. I know you have to walk around a bit too ... I made a decision last night to have the implant surgery as I think the clot risk is too high for me and I have young children .. feel better for a decision .. this cancer journey is certainly a roller coaster of changing paths !!!  Xx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie, I can see that you have some very difficult decisions to make. There are a number of risks with any surgery, as I discovered when I was given a list of around 20 of them when signing my surgery consent form. I really hope that you are finding one or two options are beginning to stand out and you can begin to make decisions.

 

Ladies, just to let you know I came home yesterday evening and it’s great. The last remaining drain was removed although there is still a little leakage. I have to wear the abdo binder and high impact bra day and night for several weeks. Under strict instructions from hubby to just lay on sofa today.

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Julia and Wendy , I hope Wendy that you are feeling better .. I think anaesthetic takes its toll and the whole cancer thing is stressful ... I had reflexology at breast haven today which was amazing and I left feeling a lot more relaxed and clear .. my Macmillan nurse has been good and did spend and hour and a half with me last week going through pictures and options .. she was in the meeting with my surgeon yesterday .. she’s clearly pro tummy surgery for symmetry .. I asked her why he was on about using my tummy muscle .. the leaflet he gave me spoke of all the tummy options .. she said they often decide post angiogram but I wonder if he had a sense with my body that was required or he is so busy he didn’t want me to be keen .. he did say well they got the invasive cancer out so there’s no rush with the in situ as if he hardly thought it worth addressing .. and made me feel I wouldn’t be a priority .. but it was the blood clot risk which may be the factor that sways me as my father died from one .. My mother had one from radio therapy and my brother has factor 2 mutation and a clot 2 years ago .. despite being fit .. so I may be above average risk quite a bit ..he did say I could consider it later so I may have an implant and see how it goes .. I didn’t have enough flesh on my back and they didn’t offer another option in my area .. but the blood clot risk would be there with all 8 hour surgeries .. and the micro surgery may need good blood flow .. but I can see the results are superior and understand why people choose it .

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Julia

Thank you. I do feel better and stronger today. I think I just let a couple of things get to me yesterday and was a bit teary and, I think angry, at this whole thing. As you say, we’ve been through the works from diagnosis to surgery and I really hadn’t thought beyond that so it feels surreal to be waiting for results. 

Hope all goes well today. One step at a time, eh?

Wendy. X

 

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie

I just caught up with the last couple of messages and agree with Cornishmum. My preference for DIEP was largely because it wouldn’t compromise any muscles.  After my meeting with my plastic surgeon, I was given an appointment with the Breastcare nurse about a week later. She talked me through everything that had been discussed, as well as practical issues and what to expect after the surgery-  and I was able to ask questions having had time to think. I was with her for over an hour and it was incredibly helpful and reassuring. If you haven’t been given that sort of follow-up, would you be able to ask for it?  I took someone with me.  I think, for peace of mind, you have to feel that you’ve been able to make an informed choice. Failing that, I would agree that you might consider asking for a second opinion if you feel that might be an option for you.  

My surgeon did say that he would remove a small part of a rib, I think in the centre of my chest, to access blood vessels to connect to the new flap. This was all done through the same mastectomy incision so nothing is visible. I think some surgeons connect under the arm instead. 

I was also given nippy little blood thinner injections to avoid clots. 

I feel for you, but as Cornishmum says, it’s worth exploring every avenue - for your own peace of mind. 

Love

Wendy. X

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Wendy

I think I have missed this message. I’m so sorry you had a bit of a wobbler yesterday and yes, I guess all the excitement of coming home eventually calms down and we try to carry on with our lives. I hope you are getting plenty of support. You still haven’t been told the news you long to hear and that effort to wait is surely putting a strain on you. For something that we’ve been told is early stage breast cancer, we’ve really been put through the works and had treatment in line for invasive cancer except no chemo or radiotherapy, but we don’t know if that will change. It is tough. 

I sincerely hope you have a better day today but, if you’re still wobbly, don’t feel bad about it. I know sometimes how it just catches you unaware, how little, sometimes unexpected, things trigger those tears. Better out than in!

Julia

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Ann Marie

i really do feel for you after your visit to the plastics surgeon today. If I’m honest, it wouldn’t be news I would want to hear. Aside from your family history of blood clots, his (?) preferred choice of a TRAM flap means that he would take an area of muscle from your stomach whereas the DIEP flap avoids this. I know I’m no medic but it seems an odd choice to take away muscle that doesn’t need to go. Did he say why a TRAM flap was preferable to a DIEP one? And no, there was no mention whatsoever about a rib bone being removed. There are other alternatives, such as taking tissue from your back or buttock, thereby avoiding your stomach area, but it would depend on how much tissue you have available. I know you won’t feel happy about further delay but is there any way you would either consider getting a second opinion or look elsewhere for treatment?

I'm on blood thinning drugs at the moment, it’s just part of the care I’m getting with this treatment so it would be standard practice for you to have this too I am guessing.

I really hope you get some answers. You must feel your options are narrowing but it’s worth pushing every avenue to its fullest.

Sending you lots of hugs,

Julia

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Cornishmum .. sounds like it’s going well and you have some sturdy dressings ! Well done !! You will be relieved to be through this ! xx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi so I saw my consultant and he seems to do the tram flap he was talking about today and he scared me with it .. he thinks it’s a significant risk for an 8 hour op with me having a family history of blood clots .. also he said I had a gap in my peck muscles from pregnancy so could end up an odd shape if the take the lower fat and the higher area sticks out ... also he was on about removing a rib for the procedure .. is this a procedure you had ? .. I was left a bit bewildered ana May have to go implant after all

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Julia

I can almost picture you flinging open those windows and breathing in fresh air!  Such a relief after the heat.  And I sooo remember just wanting to shower and wash my hair to feel fresh and normal. Fingers crossed for tomorrow, but much better that the drain does its work than you have a problem later - even if you do have to wait that little bit longer to get back to your own bed.  And kudos to you being a real life person for the newbie med students. They were probably terrified! 😂

I didn’t have an abdo binder or tight knickers, just a simple dressing and loose comfy ones that wouldn’t rub or press on wound. The nurse was very matter of fact that they expected bruising and, honestly, it hasn’t been bad. Just different approaches.  

I have found massaging my tummy and new boob more difficult than I expected as it’s still numb and doesn’t feel like part of me, but I’m just trying to remind myself that it’s early days still.  We’ve only just met! 😜

Wendy. X

 

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi all

i was quietly hoping that I might be allowed home today but one of the drains is still producing too much fluid. Two drains have been removed today leaving just this one more. It is looking likely that I can get home tomorrow. I was allowed to have the heating off today - 🤗🤗🤗🤗 - so I threw open the window and breathed in deeply. Sooooo good. Some talk about a bra fit session but hasn’t happened yet. I was asked if some new med students could do an abdo check but I don’t think the tutor realised I’d be all bandaged up (I think he assumed just a mastectomy) but that passed half an hour anyway!

I feel so much better than the weekend. Just thinking about the morning of the op and the 48 hours after I woke up makes me cry but how different I feel now! I do need some decent sleep so will be glad of my own bed. Wendy, you are so right, the constant flow of people and noise is very tiring. I had one visit per hour from 9pm to past 2am last night and got by on three hours of sleep.

I’m currently in an abdo binder but was wondering if I will be wearing that plus the big tight knickers? And how long for? I can see what will be on my Christmas wish list!  

Right now, I would just love a shower and a hair wash 🚿🚿🚿🚿

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Julia

How are you feeling today? I hope you’re going from strength to strength and your wounds are healing well. Are you free of all the drains yet and have they said anything about you getting home?  

I’m having a bit of a wobbly day. I think some of the tension and anxiety of the last few weeks is catching up and the euphoria of getting home is waning. I suppose it’s to be expected. 

I’ve pretty much finished with the painkillers. I’m still taking a couple of paracetamol first and last thing and I am definitely sleeping better than I have for ages. 

Sending you hugs

Wendy. X

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi everyone!

I agree that it is completely overwhelming at times. I think we have to just try to accept that we feel what we feel and not try to fit in with our own - or other people’s expectations.  It is so hard to know what’s coming next or how we’re likely to react. Actually, we should just feel proud of ourselves for doing this and living it!

I found the noise, constant checks and busyness of the hospital tiring and preferred to have my door closed much of the time.  At the clinic yesterday, everyone was lovely, but I had no idea how many people I would see or how long it would take. I even chose my clothes so that I would look as unlike a patient as possible. It was almost a defiant taking back of control. I was glad to get home and back into my big, comfy knickers though (never thought I’d admit that! 😳). I have another appointment in a fortnight so hoping to hear about the pathology then. 

My tummy wound is a bit red over the middle section and I’ve to keep an eye on it and avoid massaging that area. They also advised continuing to sleep on my back so the V pillow was a useful investment!

Vicki - I think I saw your post on another thread. Re products, I reacted really badly to the adhesive used at drain sites. In the shower I’m ok using Cetaphil which I already use on my face - although I mostly just let the water run over any tender/ scarred areas and not directly under the jet. I’ve been told to use E45 for massage and it seems ok so far. They also gave me Piriton antihistamines to take the itch out. It’s great to hear from someone who is a bit further down the line with all of this. 

Julia - so pleased that things are going well. It sounds like you are going from strength to strength! Brilliant news!  Every little bit is another step towards putting this behind you. 

Ann Marie - I hope all goes well for you tomorrow. I’ll be thinking of you. 

X

 

 

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Vicki

thank you so much for getting in contact and, yes, I would love to know how you are finding things. TBH, this does get overwhelming and it’s hard to picture life a bit further down the line. My focus at the moment is getting out of hospital and, like Wendy says, knowing you are out of the woods and can see the trees clearly behind me. Do you feel you are near that stage yet?

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi there

I had my masectomy and reconstruction on 15th August so I'm about a month into my recovery. If you'd like to chat then I'm here... No problem at all x

 

I hope it all went well last week and you are on the road to recovery

 

Take care

Vicki

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi everyone 

Thank you for your kind messages! Leonie and Ann Marie, I understand how you must feel about the waiting as it becomes your focus in life and it’s very hard to think about things that might be going on elsewhere. It will happen and you will be able to move on but it certainly teaches us patience.

Wendy, I’m glad you got some feedback from your visit yesterday but you have also been caught up in the waiting game - when do you expect to hear? Hope your wounds are healing well.

I'm based in Cambridge so at the big teaching hospital here. Can’t fault the staff, they have been lovely. Being assessed 4 hourly now which has meant I can get some sleep but looking forward to leaving this hot room for a bit.

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Wendy .. good to hear your updates .. I hate the waiting for results stage .. seems to be so much part of this journey .. I feel I have such a long way to go ...but it’s good to hear of the steps beyond this one and progress being made xxx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Cornish mum .. that does sound an ordeal you have had but through the worst of it .. are you in Plymouth .. forgive me if that’s an inappropriate question .. Iran just that I know they cover a large area and I am originally from the south west myself .. I have a friend that works for the bosom pals group at the hospital .. anyway .. may not apply to you .. i am up north now .. I hope things settle quickly I guess although they check on you regularly there’s a reassurance with that you are getting lots of care .. good to hear your update xxx

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi Julia

It’s brilliant to hear from you and it sounds as though you’re doing really well and I’m so pleased to hear that you’re feeling relatively pain-free! I agree about the coughing and they’re so keen that you do it. I think it opens up your lungs after the anaesthetic.  It’s hard to rest when the checks are very frequent but it gets easier and easier. 

It sounds like you are being true to your work about mobility - and at least it’s an escape from the heat. Hope you’re starting to get more sleep now. I’ve been much better since getting home.  I bet you can’t believe what you’ve just been through and how you’re feeling already!  Do you still have any drains in?

 I had my first post-op clinic today. A bit chaotic as the fire alarm went off and at first we weren’t allowed to leave the room - then were evacuated.  Luckily, I was done and dressed by then! They seemed happy with scars and I’ve to start gently massaging except the central part of tummy wound as it’s still a little fragile.  Pathology results weren’t back yet so will just have to be patient. I’m assuming all will be well, but not out of the woods until I can truly look back at the trees!

 I’m sending you hugs and hope you continue to go from strength to strength. 

Love

Wendy. X

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in September

Hi everyone, and huge apologies for the time it has taken to get back to you all. This is my fourth attempt! I’ve written to you but hasn’t posted on the forum because of internet issues or I have had to stop because of checks and then lost what I was writing. It has been a very long, few days but feel I have gradually improved at some things but struggle with others. The op went well. I was put under at 8.20am and woken up just before 6. I was in recovery for nearly three hours and finally went up to the ward at 9pm. I am amazed that I have been in relatively little pain, definitely the worst part is when I cough. My right arm has almost as much mobility as my left.

There was not much possibility to sleep as I was checked hourly for the first 24 hours, then two hourly after that. The surgeon comes by daily to check the flap as well. I went on a walk, twice, down the corridor with the physio and a friend; today I’ve been on a walk without the machine following me around as I’m off fluids and the catheter, plus two drains removed which is great.

Bits I’ve struggled with are the heat of the room and feeling sick. Even the staff come in to the room and say how hot it is! My temperature hit 38.8 on Saturday and I felt very low. However, now that I’m allowed to walk down the corridor on my own, I shall be escaping as much as possible! As for the sickness, I’m on meds for it but have come off the morphine so hopefully it will improve.