I was told it had to be less than 30ml, mine were removed 11 days after Mx. Bear in mind if the drain comes out too soon, the fluid has to go somewhere! As it was, I developed a couple of small seromas, though thankfully they reabsorbed by themselves!
all the best!
A little update and more later in the week when I'm not being (happily) cossetted and should be less tired.
Was indeed discharged on Wednesday 22nd, after a horrendous experience with the 3rd drain removal, about 15 minutes after removal and after a 2nd dressing had been applied, the wound "exploded" fortunately whilst I was in the bathroom, honestly it looked like a pregnant lady's waters had broken! So was cleaned up with another massive thick dressing applied and 3 hours later I was home.
OH has barely let me lift a finger and we've been enjoying time together (as he has a few days off work to play nursemaid) so catching up on TV, sleeping, reading, dozing, eating, sleeping. Was on paracetomol and codeine when I came out, every 6 hours, but now only on one or the other only when required. Seeing my consultant's colleauge tomorrow for dressings removal. Today have just managed a really good wash by my OH, part wash/part shower, and a hairwash, so feeling more human but massively achy from having to bend over the bath for the hairwashing.
So a bit more taking it easy, and I don't find it easy to sit at my PC for more than an hour or so and it was by chance I came back from the shower and saw a notification from Linda and there's no need to worry but thanks anyway 🙂
Bottom line is apart from tiredness and a bit of an emotional 5 minutes every day for various reasons, I'm doing ok apart from a huge part of my left front, side and back that is numb yet aches. And I've got a lovely dent in my back from where the muscle was taken! Good news is that the nipple sparing worked a treat and the skin of my foob looks like the old one, just the inside is different!
So I've been very remiss in keeping up with you all and I apologise for that as I have been reading here and there and meant to reply/comment etc, and I do hope all is going supremely well or that there's enough support if not quite there yet.
Hi everyone (welcome Delly)
It's now exactly one week since my surgery and I do feel a lot better than I did then although still in quite a bit of pain, I realise it is a slow process. I had my drain taken out yesterday which was quite a relief and I'm glad that I don't have to drag it around with me any more.
Jane - would love to hear from you as you had exactly the same surgery as me. I'm a bit worried about you as your last post was on the 22nd and you said you were being discharged. Hope you're ok.
Thanks Michelle. I only really popped on to have a read on you all, say "Hello", and offer some support. But it was your question about the numbness that caused me to blabber on. S'all your fault, see I'll try and keep this one briefer. Yeh, next stage of surgery to have expanders replaced with tear drop shaped silicones, is just me getting back down to it, after falling off the horse with depression (Bi-Polar), which makes it difficult for me to maintain "sticking to anything power" if I'm in a prolonged "downer". It was scheduled last year, but I also had a cataract op 6 wks before it, which was a failure and is worse than before, so plunged me into a pit. Boohoo Glad you've had your clips out now.
Quaggie - I haven't watched any "Bake Offs". I'll have to have a looksie, as soo many of you here and elsewhere are such addicts.Sounds like you're an ideal candidate forit. We've met on another thread somewhere. Are you sleeping any better now? I felt exactly as you did about chemo, it being my worst fear.
Christine - So, I've gone back to page 3 (no not that one!) to read up on your latest op. Golly girl, that's major bilat recon surgery and tum surgery. I'm soo sorry to hear of all your pain and discomfort, though it doesn't surprise me. Must have been another huge shock for you too, on your diagnosis after 20 yrs. How old would you have been then? Sorry also to hear you had cause to complain about your lack of contact and aftercare.
Mavit and Linda - glad to hear "no chemo" Yey. Hope you're still healing well Mavit. Glad your op went well Linda. Yeh, they get you up and walking around asap because of DVT risks.
Jane - That must be so difficult for you to find a comfey position to sleep, as you've painful and delicate wounds back and front to be careful with. I've seen those inflatable boots, good aren't they. To help prevent DVT. I was surprised your surgeon did a nipple biopsy after your op and not before it, along with your other tests, in case it could have also been tackled during your recon surgery, if required, so to avoid possible sugery later. But guess he has his reasons.
WombatWoo - Yeh, I'm with you on codeine tabs. Took everything laxative they could give me, but still came out with bowels in a state. Gave me a "loosening" suppository on my final morning. Had an 1 hrs taxi ride home later, so had to take drastic measures before I phoned the cab, to ensure no accidents. Makes me very vacant headed too.
BelmontRosie - Hi to you. I so got what you said ref your chosen surgery, it being the simplest, quickest to recover from, without the extra scars, on your chest and elsewhere, less infection risks of self tissue recons. I'm nearing 60, so a simliar age. Plus, it took me so many years to be in a positon, without loads of other stuff going on lifewise, to finally embark on a double implant recon
Elliemum - Glad you're sugery went well. I hope you get some answers to your concerns and worries soon so you'll feel more at ease. Yeh, your BCN ought to be able to get more info? She'll should be able to access to your notes, which Macmillan can't.
Am going to leave you in peace now. Hope all of you recover well and quickly. Plus all new boobs settle down and are perfect.
Lotsa love, Dellywelly xxxxxxxxx
I've been reading a couple of pages of your earliest posts, but as there's sooo much to read through (you gassers!! Who am I to talk!! look at the length of this lot). Ive missed out the middle 4-5 pages and jumped to the first couple. I must say - what a fantastic lovely friendly and supportive thread you've got going here, and you're all doing amazingly well.
Quaggie - Yeh you're bound to get the wobbles. It's a scarey, traumatic experience, and a gawd awful nuisance. There's never a convenient or good time to get bl**dy cancer. I'm a great advocate of letting it all flow, it's a natural way to release pressure, frustration and upset that builds up. And especially tough when you're on your own. Glad you have some good friends who've been there for you. Hopefully providing strong but soft shoulders, and mammoth hugs. I'm single too, plus lost my rock of a Mum not long after. So you keep having a good sob, cos it literally turns your life upside down. I stayed really positive and strong, kept thinking it's not going to be anything nasty, whilst all the initial tests were being carried out, because I'm so healthy, eat healthily and get plenty of exercise, drink in moderation. I slipped off the chair and literally crashed to my knees to the floor in shock when the news was delivered. I'll never ever forget that moment.
Mum and I called into the supermarket on the way home for a bottle of whiskey, got totally bladdered (so much for sensible!) and I slept in her bed that night, snuggled up like a little frightened kid of 46!! My lovely female Gp, told me "afterwards" that it was a pretty typical tumour, hard and very mobile, only 1cm big, and why she had me in quick for an appointment within two days, so had I been more knowledgable, I may have been more worried. I only found it because my shower sponge had fallen to bits, so I was soaping myself with my hands. I felt immensely grateful to her and a manky sponge!! Bounced back really well from it. There's something about still having one of your "own" left. The second one, not even a year later was a breeze with regards to not having lumpectomy v mastectomy, and physical recovery. But smashed me to bits, body image and personal confidence wise, still being single. Didn't even contemplate dating, felt incredibly lonely without a partner. But this first stage of implant recon, with expanders immediately boosted me up again right from the start.
Michelle - I was sooo chuffed for your massive tumour shrinkage, but I'm not understanding why you had to have a full lymph node clearance?? if you've only had a lumpectomy? You may have said why in the pages I missed, so forgive me asking. Like Christine, I had full node clearance with both masts 2006 and 2007. It was standard procedure back then. I was just before SNB came in. May take a couple of months for the numbness under the upper arm to go, as nerves take a much longer time to recover. My left arm recovered all it's feeling. My right under upper arm is still numb down to my elbow, and my right thumb and pad, plus my 1st two fingers and pads have lost some of their sensation. Doesn't cause me any problems in everyday life, so I'm not complaining. Everythings so close together under the armpit, lymph node and nerve wise,so it must be very difficult to avoid slight damage. And that was by an excellent, delicately fingered surgeon, who did an amazingly neat job of the mastectomy scars. Doctors have remarked on, nurses if giving ECG's, any other medics I've had to take my top off for, even the different surgeon who performed my very delayed initial implant surgery in 2014 did, so I don't feel it's up to sloppy surgery.
Christine - I was going to ask if you'd remained well all these years, but noted you said "on your first diagnosis. Did you have a mastectomy then? And when did you have another wonderful BC experience? Ah, just found your 1st post. Shall have a further read and be back
I'm just giggling at how all these mentions of "discharges" and "drains" would seem to anyone reading these posts who hadn't experienced BC and weren't in the know.
I'm sorry for such a mammoth post, Am just going to break off. I should have split it up sooner, sorry girls xxxxxx
Totally empathise with the frustration and fear of waiting for results. It may seem like the docs are fobbing you off or evading the questions you have but they really won't want to commit to anything until they have the full pathology/histology results in front of them as that will be the point at which your MDT are able to plan out the next step of treatment. I'm in the same boat - waiting for another surgery to hopefully give clear margins and then another wait to see what the results from that surgery tell the MDT about what needs to be done next. The uncertainty is what creates the anxiety - I think most people on here agree it is easier to face what is to come when you know exactly what that is.
So am holding your hand in sympathy about the anxiety and worry of results waiting! Sending you strength.
I'm trying to find distractions too so am planning to watch the Bake Off and try and replicate the technical challenge each week. I love baking but never really push myself so am going to give myself a few challenges and see how I get on. If nothing else then all the cleaning up afterwards will keep me busy 😉
Maybe we should have a separate Bake off thread! 😉
Hi Elliesmum ... I had a micromet in first sentinel node...nothing in any of the others. This is classed as a negative node, and I did phone bcc helpline who confirmed this. I had a very small invasive ductal cancer... the rest was dcis and I had a mx because of that not the idc. I don’t require any further treatment apart from letrozole... our treatment plans are individual. You’ll need to wait for the pathology result ... your MDT won’t be able to plan any further treatment needed until they have that. It’s the pits having to wait for results but do try and keep occupied. Have a chat with your bcn on Tuesday and ask your questions.
Michelle...was going to post on the May thread but while I’m on here .... good to see you’ve had your clips out and you were ok.... you’ll be much more comfortable I’m sure. I was just thinking I qualify for this thread rather than the July. OMG ... I’ve been in far too many surgical threads 😂 😂
Hope all you ladies are having a good weekend in spite of the typical BH weather
I'm now back at home and you were all right - it was nice to sleep in my own bed! Although this morning I did miss having a moving bed as I had trouble pulling myself up. I came home with one of my drains still in which is a bit of a pain but there doesn't seem to be a real lot coming out now so hopefully I will be able to have it removed in a few days.
BR - my Foob is also bigger than my real boob but I was told by my consultant that they do make it slightly bigger because it does shrink a bit over time - you did make me giggle though x
So good to hear of everyone’s progress. Don’t worry about going home - you will feel much better in your own bed with your own things around you - and it won’t matter being in your pyjamas all day and/or glued to Netflix... none of those middle of the night interruptions for blood pressure either!
For those worried about chemo - the anticipation is usually far worse than the reality. I had 8 sessions of two different drugs over 6 months to try to shrink my 10cm tumour and although pretty heavy duty, it honestly wasn’t that bad. I used tthe cold cap and lost about half my hair, my fair ie invisible eyebrows and my eyelashes; 3 days after each session I had to have a really quiet couple of days to avoid feeling utterly without energy. But the rest of the time I was OK if I paced things gently. I’d avoid going into germy places if you can - schools, cinemas, theatres, public transport at rush hour etc - as if you get a cold it tends to hang around. I had one for 6 weeks that I couldn’t shrug off but it went eventually, and my treatment never had to be rescheduled.
Good also to hear everyone’s scars are healing. I got rid of my last drain after 2.5 weeks and it made me feel almost normal - the entry point is still a bit bruised but it’s getting better every day. My scar’s OK too, not a thing of beauty but quite neat and already fading after just 3 weeks... and I have some feeling coming back in my upper arm too (I’m giving it a daily massage and being superkeen on the exercises, which seems to be making a difference).
The only odd thing - I thought at first it was just swelling but it’s not - is that my Foob is definitely larger than my real one and feels much heavier, especially at night. If I’m tired it starts to feel ‘tight’, a bit like my pregnancy bump did after a day at work for those of you who’ve experienced this! Is anyone else having this experience? I have visions of my consultant having to let it down a bit and me whizzing round the room like a loose balloon!!
Keep cheerful everyone and have a lovely BH!
Sorry to hear that a few of you have been suffering so much for the last few days.
Christine/Linda - I totally get the anxiety about going home and not having the support of the doctors and nurses. I was only in for day surgery but was very anxious about being at home so soon after my op, without any medical support on hand if I needed it. I had friends staying with me for the first few days but when the last one left and I was completely on my own (I live alone) I broke down into a sobbing mess as I felt so vulnerable.
Just make sure you have your BCN’s no on hand so you can call and get advice help if needed - also I called the nurse helpline here on Breast Cancer Care when I was a bit uncertain and they were wonderfully supportive and helpful.
Hopefully after you’ve been home a few days you’ll feel more relaxed. Do you both have appointments for wound checks/dressing clinics? At least having those in the diary can help you feel a bit more reassured that someone will be checking on you soon.
Sorry to hear you’ve suffered from drug side effects too. I suspect it’s a bit inevitable that such strong meds will make you feel a bit unwell. Codeine can be a life saver when the pain is bad but it can also make you feel rubbish too. Typical eh?!
Christine - how did your appointment go your consultant yesterday afternoon?
And an emotional rollercoaster is entirely to be expected. Give yourselves space to have a good old sob if you need to but also maybe find a couple of things on Netflix that will make you laugh or make you feel good (I highly recommend ‘Queer Eye’ for the latter!).
My breast wound is still weeping a bit and I can see a bit of the plastic stitching poking out but the surgeon and nurse have both said it’s fine so I’m trying not to worry too much but I’m extra anxious when I go out as I don’t want anyone bumping into me! Only a week to go until I’m back under the knife anyway. Sigh.
Anyway, sending everyone loads of love - hope discharges go well and everyone starts to feel even a little bit more comfortable. Small steps.
Hugs x xx
Thanks for that reassurance Christine. It actually wasn’t the morphine that made me sick, they took me off that two days ago and started giving me codeine so I think it was that. I’m just taking paracetamol now. I feel a lot better this morning and am going to be discharged later today so I hope I still feel ok when I get home. They said if I don’t go home today I won’t be able to go until Tuesday!
Hi Linda. You are not alone in the emotions and the panic. I had exactly the same response. Wanting my own home again but the panic of no one to help. It is a very emotional time and your body has gone through a lot. I reacted to the morphine as it made me really sick. I hated that feeling. I stopped the pump and refused oral morphine. I got used to the paracetamol and ibuprofen and they gave me anti sickness tablets to help too. Movement at the start is very difficult and a week on i feel find it hard to move around. I am still worrying about everything and glad i have an appointment with the consultant this afternoon. Not sure if the pains i am getting should be there or not. Assuming i have done something wrong to cause it and dreading the need for any surgery to correct it. Bleeding from my tummy scar too...
Getting through each day seems like a chore. waiting for the pain to go and mobility to start improving. wishing i didn't have to depend on other people for everything...
Had a bit of a meltdown this morning. I woke up in a lot of pain and couldn’t move until they brought me some pain relief and I got a bit emotional. Also every time the physios come and get me moving about it makes me feel really sick. They say I’m doing really well but I just don’t feel that I am and they’re talking about sending me home tomorrow which is really worrying me! I think I’m just having a bad day,
Jane - how are you doing now that you’re home?
Linda - glad to hear you’re able to get up and about and being weaned off the drugs. Also good news on the drains being removed - i’m sure they wouldn’t take them away if they weren’t happy with your progress which is great. Hope you soon feel like walking round is just a stroll and not a marathon.
Jane - congrats on the discharge! Hopefully you’ll be just as happy at home as you were with your lovely nurses (who sound wonderful) and that the benefits of being in your own bed and amongst your own things will help your recovery speed along. But remember to take it easy and not over do it. My surgery was a lot less major than yours and my energy levels are still all over the place!!
I saw my surgeon and the BCN today - just a follow up on the initial meeting so no new news really. I took my sister in law for support and she was shocked at how the surgeon was so blunt and non-sympathetic. As I’d had a written histology report we tried to ask some questions to understand it better but he kept making us feel like we were wasting his time and he was clearly trying to rush us out of the door. I feel like I’m being bullied a bit by him into not really getting the clarity I want but can’t complain when he is still in charge of the scalpel that will be cutting into my nipple!
The BCN checked my wound again today and I’m now entirely dressing free which feels weirdly vulnerable. Think I’m going to keep a wad of gauze tucked in my bra just as a bit of protection anyway.
In the meantime trying not to worry about things I can’t change - its a waste of energy. But it’s hard not to let the anxious thoughts creep in. I’ve started doing the Headspace mindfulness app again to try and help.
Wishing everyone well on their continuing recovery be it in hospital or back at home. xxx
Hi Guys, sorry I couldn’t post yesterday, my tablet wouldn’t work but I’ve got my daughters iPad now. Apparently my surgery went well and my surgeon said she is really pleased with the results and from what I can see my new boob looks pretty much like my old one! I have been in quite a bit of pain and discomfort but having morphine on tap has helped although they have taken it off me now. They also took my breast drain out this morning just leaving me the one in my back. Listening to you guys this seems a bit early but I suppose they must know what they’re doing. They made me get up for the first time today. I had to walk round the bed and then sit in a chair and I felt like I had done a marathon!
i’ll keep you updated of my progress. It’s good to read all your comments xx
Been keeping up more or less with everyone's progress with but dont find it to easy to fully follow everything when on my phone so will have a good catchup when I can get back at my PC.
Good news is I'm being discharged today after 6 days here. Had an infection at the weekend which was a bit worrying but IV abs solved that. Foob is looking as good as it can and swollen and numb. Back is sore but have plenty of good painkillers. Final drain will be removed in the next hour (Drain 1 and portable anaesthetic were removed on Monday, drain 2 was removed yesterdsy).
Have loved being in this hospital despite the reason why as the nurses are truly wonderful and I plan on sending them a pamper hamper to thank them for their care. Flowers and chocolates are a bit too usual. Going to look at hampers at Fortnum and Mason. Expensive but they deserveve something special for how they treated me like a princess/queen even though its their job. Respect to them as I could not do it
Anyway time to relax before drain removal. Hurt like hell yesterday so hoping less today as shorter line!
Take care all, wish you well for any next steps, and big hugs.
Drain free thank goodness.
I agree this is a very long process and waitning for results and not knowing the next step sits in the back of your head. we all build the next step into something horrendous but so many people have done it and got through it that it can't be that bad. On diagnosis this time i didn't want to go through chemo again. 20 years ago i had a horrid time with 6 rounds of FEC and then 6 weeks of radiotherapy. Things have changes and as i have already had FEC they didn't do it again and I was given a weekly paclitaxel drug. Radiotherapy i have avoided this time due to the surgery. They just seem to throw everything at it which I know is good but as you are going through it you just want to be out the other side and be free from it all. Just remember it is never as bad as you think will be. In a perfect world chemo would have no side effects and kill 100% of the cancer and maybe one day it will.
Hope everyone’s doing ok on this Tues morning?
Christine - any news on your drains? I didn’t have any after my WLE and I can’t imagine what it’s like having to have them around the house with you all day. Hope they get sorted soon and you get a bit of freedom of movement back.
I went to see my BCN yesterday and she checked my wound. She said it was fine but cleaned it with a bit of iodine and put a new dressing on the part that is still not properly healed over. She said the surgeon’s advice to just shower had meant the skin underneath was macerated hence the gunk! Yuck. She was clearly annoyed with him and has told me to insist that he looks at it when I seem him for a histology meeting tmrw (he’d only ever looked at the dressings before, not the wound itself).
In the meantime, I had a letter from my surgeon/consultant with what it says are the ‘final histology results’. Seems wrong that this is sent out before I’ve had the meeting with him - I scurried off to google what all the letters and numbers meant! It all seems good news but the nurse did say yesterday that they won’t know a definite answer on whether I’m going to need chemo or rads until after my 2nd op, so mid Sept. This is killing me. I’m so anxious about having chemo and the thought of another 4 week wait is meaning I’m so on edge all the time.
I’m struggling with all the emotional ups and downs this all brings. I can have a day when I feel fine and just get on with everything as normal, then a tiny thing goes wrong or I feel vulnerable and I’m sitting alone in flat sobbing uncontrollably. It’s a hideous rollercoaster! But I try not to feel guilty if I do have the downs, as someone on here said, we’ve not been trained or prepared to deal with this so it’s not surprising it takes a toll. I’m signed up to start seeing a counsellor at a local cancer charity so am hoping talking through some of my anxieties with someone neutral might help.
Sending everyone strength - keep us posted on how everyone is doing!! xxx
Hi Michelle. I had all my lymph nodes removed on my first diagnosis 20 years ago and my experience is that i have a small area on the back of my arm that remaines numb to this day. It hasn't caused a problem apart from the occasional phantom itch that can't be scratched. The area is on an inch wide by two inchs long and i just got used to it.
The timing for removal of drains seems to vary quite a bit. I had two for 2 weeks, then dropped down to 1 for another 5 days. On the last day I was still producing 90ml but my surgeon thought it best not to risk infection and removed it - I was worried I’d be blowing up like a water balloon but actually nothing’s happened at all, no extra swelling. Clever old bodies, eh?!
Kep getting well - we all have a Bank Holiday to look forward to!
Worth finding out from your surgeon if s/he is suggesting immediate or delayed reconstruction. I have just had the former with one sided Mx and full ANC - 3 weeks ago - and am glad I went for it. I didn’t want to be constantly reminded of the cancer with a flat chest and falsie on one side, so although the recon will always show in a scar, somehow weirdly you can kid yourself you’re still double-breasted!
Goodness, that does sound weird... Frankly, to look at the silicon boob looks fine, but I can still feel the ‘edges’ and where the air goes in, and occasionally at night it bulges in unexpected places! In a bra, nobody could tell though - it only affects anyone, including you, seeing you in your birthday suit... I’ve had verylittle pain in the reconstruction, it’s been the impact of messing around with the nerves in the armpit on my upper arm that’s been more painful.
Hope that gives you an idea of what to expect. Only you can decide what’s best for you in the trade off between recovery time/appearance/pypsychological impact and if you have a partner around, they may have an influence on your decision too.
Do feel free to ask any other specific questions in case I can help, and good luck on Thursday.
Hello everyone, hope you are soon to have/recovering well from your various surgeries. If recovery seems slower than you thought, just remember you’ve been through a lot and it’s now behind you!
Today marks 3 weeks since my surgery (full Mx and ANC) and I’m ok - tireder than usual, but a lot more positive since they took my last drain out on Friday... makes a huge difference, I feel almost normal, not clunking those horrid bottles around all the time! My scar has healed well and the new boob although a bit lumpy, the only thing really in terms of pain is my numb upper arm (pins &needles) and the drain entry points.. Has anyone heard how long/if ever it takes to get that upper arm sensation back?
Most of the time I am philosophical about it all, but I must admit I had a middle of the night wobble a few days ago. Largely because I suddenly felt so weary of it all - got to gird myself up for radiotherapy next, having had six months of chemo already! This whole cancer journey is a long slog, isn’t it? Which makes the lovely cheering words everyone shares on this forum so worthwhile!
Hope you are also keeping cheerful, and saving lots of time for the things you enjoy most! Keep well, if hugs BRx