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Thoughts after surgery

23 REPLIES 23
confused22
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Hi Lou 

oh that sounds like a good idea too, I never really thought of having to stay in because of the effects, but actually it’s a practical preparation to have a bag for just in case. 

I’ve got my Oncologist meeting tomorrow 😬 so I will probably find out when it will all start then.

I’m so glad that you’ve made some friends that can help you navigate this in real life.

I know a couple of ladies too, but we are all very different one just shut herself away and dealt with it by herself, the other carried on and went to work in between chemo sessions! ( the latter was pre pandemic though, it’s very different now isn’t it)

I would love to be able to work but realistically it’s impossible due to the nature of my job … (I work with people with disabilities ) 

I hope you get all your info soon xxx 

 

 

louby_lou69
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

@confused22 

Yes I've done the same. I've actually got two bags ready. One for chemo days with everything I'll need and a second overnight bag incase I end up in hospital (which I know can happen). I just don't want to be feeling awful and confused, sick etc and have to think about packing an overnight bag. 

I'm dreading chemo and the following days afterwards, but I've made friends in real life with a couple of ladies, one whose finished chemo and is now on radiotherapy and another whose half way through so I've got some support there. 

Do you know when your start date is? Sorry if you've said further down the thread.

confused22
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Hi 

I hear you.

My way of coping apart from trying to recover from this bloomin surgery (I’ve developed a seroma which is rather irritating.) is researching what I could and will take with me for the chemo sessions, personal things, sweet things, phone chargers and things already downloaded onto my phone to watch or read.

blanket, water and snacks to help stop the sickness seems to be a thing but I do intend on asking the oncologist for tips as well. 

I think in a way this gives a bit of control back … I do say a bit !! But at least if you do fancy anything whilst there you have a good chance of it being in your stash bag xxx 

 

I am more nervous for chemo than I was for surgery … it feels like waiting to be poisoned 🤢 but we need it to survive and so ,  off we go ! Keep us updated , hopefully we will be October Starters together xxx 

 

louby_lou69
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

@confused22 

I know, it's been very frustrating. I was told I would start chemo 6 weeks after my operation. It's likely to be 8/9 weeks at this rate.

I suspect once I see her next week things will probably move fairly quickly. It's given me time to get the house and garden ready, and mentally prepare for it too although it also means the anxiety is building.

confused22
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Hi Lou

You are so right! This is emotionally harder than the hysterectomy (mine was 15 years ago) 

I can’t believe you’re 7 weeks post op and still haven’t seen your oncologist. Hopefully you will get all the answers you need next weds. Xxx
Sending hugs xx

 

louby_lou69
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

I'm nearly 7 weeks post lumpectomy, I had 3 lymph nodes removed and all were clear.

My scar is a bit puckered in places. I made friends with a local lady who I met in hospital and her scar is much neater than mine. I have weird areas of numbness and I don't think feeling will ever return as the nerves are severed. 

My boob feels lumpy and hard in places. I still struggle to lie on that side but it is slightly better.

I had a hysterectomy in 2107 and the lumpectomy was an easier op to bounce back from physically but  this is is much more emotionally draining as I suppose it's cancer and needs further treatment I'm seeing my oncologist next Wednesday- the wait for that has been so hard as I just want to get going with chemo 

Lou x

confused22
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Hello

I’m 2 weeks post surgery today.

 

I had a lumpectomy and auxiliary clearance of 19 nodes, I had a drain in situ for 9 days and my dressings came off yesterday.

Yesterday I had a shower and holy moly what a weird feeling washing my bumpy and numb scar under my arm.

I actually felt that it was alien to by body and not pleasant at all. Scar tissue feels very tight and not flexible, but I’m using bio oil and doing my excersises.

I just feel… urgh! It aches and it’s tight down my arm, however I can lift the arm above my head at a push  so I think I’m doing okay.

today my thoughts are mainly , how long til the ache goes? And I have questions. I feel that the surgeon didn’t explain very much apart from it was removed along with 19 nodes and that it was graded as a 3 as supposed to the 2 that they said initially.
He said they’ve made an appointment for next week with the oncologist. 

will I get the proper info there? Type grade and prognosis? 
is it just me who feels like I’m in a whirl? 

my BCN is going away on holiday and leaves just one more who will be extra busy so I don’t really want to bother her especially as I have the oncology appointment next week.

 

I just feel urghhh I guess, not really knowing, left with a sore achy bumpy arm Pit .

 

im also having withdrawal from my HRT that I was taking, so it all seems to be one big fat unknown emotional, Medical maze to navigate through today. 

I usually confident and positive… today is just a sucky day for some reason xx 

AnnieV
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Hi All

Has anyone's surgeon been clear about quite what to expect when the breast tissue 'settles down' at some point after surgery / radiotherapy? I mean will the breast tissue ever look close to 'normal' again or will there always be some disfigurement? I got a letter through today to confirm the content of my last clinic appointment and it just said the changes to the affected tissue will settle in the fullness of time. I didn't want to / didn't think to press too much about it in the last appointment, partly because the important thing is the cancer is out and my life has been saved, so it may have come off as ungrateful / vain to focus on the physical appearance side of things (if that makes sense).

@delly It never even occurred to me to ask about the 'lopsideness' and I don't know why my team have not mentioned what could be done about it at a later date. Can't say I relish surgery to the other one. Perhaps there are some one-sided exercises to help the other one perk up a bit lol?!

Any way apart from all that and waiting for a radiotherapy appointment (is there a maximum limit of time between surgery and when radiotherapy should start? My surgery was 7 weeks ago now), I am on day 9 of tamoxifen and doing ok with it touch wood, although wondering if I will get a period or not.

Hope you ladies are all ok xx

delly
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Ohh, Calendula

Forgive me for my poor taste humour, but pleease take it in the harmlessly making light sense it's meant, of such a SERIOUS subject.

But guess what I'm having for dinner??  Erm yes. . . . . "chicken fillets" !!!  Sorry girls ❤️ On a more serious note though >>>  

AnnieV - I'm not understanding why your surgeon didn't discuss, and offer, what you could have done with your other boob, to "even you up" at a later stage, if you wished, rather than something "you'd have to live with"! But maybe he was just wanting to concentrate on getting rid of the "nasty" first ?

I'm only saying so, from remembering back to discussions about my first boob, 2005/06 at 46yrs, with my first surgeon, when choosing a mastectomy and ANC with immediate implant, over lumpectomy and Radiotherapy, him standing back to look at me from a distance and saying "Once it's well settled, we can always "TITTIVATE" up the other side (ha ha hee! 🤣), to match the other more "pert" one, at some point. 

Talk about a comical, but "appropriate" choice of words, ha ha. Sadly, as it happened, he was due to retire, and I had a change of surgeon, on recommendation from my BCN, to a new surgeon on the block, who was up to date with all the then latest self tissue recon techniques, which I never wanted.  I found out much later, that my new surgeon didn't seem to like "implants", so sadly, due to miscommunication, my "immediate" implant recon didn't happen 😞. But would have, had I stayed with my original "TITTIVATING" surgeon!!!!  Bless his Y fronts 😄

I then went though a 2nd diag with my other boob, just under a year later from the 1st. By that time, I was soo peed off, just wanted the bloody thing off, and deal with "delayed" recon at a later stage. But dire depressed mental state following the 2nd, led to a much delayed "attempt" for recon, then 2014! Went through all the expander stretching stages, but couldn't maintain it, so fell off the horse again, and STILL haven't yet got back on it, due to further mental probs.

"Delayed" implant recon, from a double mast, or single mast, is that much more difficult anyway, takes a looong time (over a year). So I'm only saying all of this, to you lumpectomy or mast girls who are being offered "TITTIVATING" (😊!!) - TAKE IT - sooner rather than later.  Because you never know what other life "brown stuff" is gonna crop up, that is going to affect you. And you then "may" regret it. 

I know it's sooo blummin hard to make ANY decision, when given a BC diagnosis. Your head's "reeling", thrown into chaos from just "that/IT" alone, and you're having all sorts of options thrown at you. But. . . . . It's often easier to get it all over and done with sooner, rather than later.

Lots of love to you ALL,   Dellydoodaah  xX❤️Xx     

Calendula
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Ooh I guessed about 7 in theatre? lol.  Forgot about the MDT who've no doubt had a butchers too....... 🙂

AnnieV
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

@Calendula I’m impressed you managed to keep count! I have no idea how many were in the room in theatre (seemed like a party) so not sure I could add it all up! Also mine were photographed prior to surgery & I was told they could be shown to the MDT! Xx 

Calendula
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Oh and @AnnieV in an idle moment I worked out that around 47 complete strangers have seen my tits over the last couple of months! 😀

Calendula
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Thanks ladies xx @LMitchell - yes, it does x

@AnnieV  - Interesting, I haven't shown my hubby yet either. I have found it's easier to look at myself if I take a photo. Still don't like touching it. 😬 I think most surgeons offer evening up at a point when things have settled, so if it bothers you, contact them. 

I saw my 'Dr Titz' earlier this week and he tells me the bad boob should soften, and to give it time. It is what it is, and I'm getting used to it. I realise he had to move its innards around to fill the gap where the nastiness was.

I don't have bra recommendations, but I have had a chat with this lady about enhancers, and she's lovely - a very understanding and warm person who understands surgery issues. She also does bra advice. 

https://www.jothornton.co.uk/ourshop/cat_405228-Breast-Enhancers-Chicken-Fillets.html

 

 

Jill1998
Community Champion

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Hi ladies, you will be more sensitive in the operated boob for quite some time but if you flag this up the radiographers  are usually pretty understanding and can adjust the mammogram machine by hand  so that the minimal amount of pressure needed is applied .x 

AnnieV
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

@louby_lou69 yes the last thing we want is a big scary machine clamping down on affected boob! Doesn’t bear thinking about. Hopefully in a few months things will improve & it won’t seem so daunting xx

louby_lou69
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

@AnnieV 

I too wonder how I would feel a lump in my operated on boob. My breast is hard and lumpy and the thought of a mammogram on that breast also fills me with dread. Hopefully in a year things will feel better.

LMitchell
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Our boobs are so personal to us and each of us chooses a different path. 

I was offered lump or mastectomy, I looked at images of both and in the end decided on a mastectomy. I was told if I had a lump, the remaining boob does effectively get a boob lift as they need to fill the gap of the removed cancer with a nip tuck style procedure. Later on the other boob could have surgery to match the new boob.  I was very happy with my choice and in the end, it turned out to be the right one as the tumour was much bigger than expected and high-grade DCIS. The area is now very hard and still numb, and yes in the first few weeks did not feel part of me ( I think due to the numbness). By week four it was feeling OK, but I had to a second op - axillary clearance, and my goodness, that has left a lot of uncomfortable numbness, hardness and sensation.

I hope that helps

AnnieV
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

@Calendula 

Hi Calendula! I had my surgery 6 weeks 4 days ago similar to you; scar around nipple & SNB scar. Scars healing ok but yes the flesh is hard & lumpy & discoloured. Been given the ok to use bio oil or aveeno to gently massage area. Been told it could take up to six months post radiotherapy (which I am yet to start) to settle down.

Hard to know how I would find a new lump if one emerged. That is one concern anyway. 


And yes I am a bit lopsided now. The non affected breast is hanging lower than the operated one and the nipple on the operated one not quite pointing the way it used to. I assumed that would be the case; my tumour in upper right quadrant was 29mm & obviously they removed healthy tissue around it. It’s not bothering me as much as the lumpy flesh. With a bra on you would never know & apart from surgeon no one has seen it (haven’t shown husband yet).

I was going to wait 6 months after radiotherapy to see how things were & if it affects me. I am a bit self conscious with 30FF or 32F size but the lopsided issue hasn’t been mentioned by my surgeon so I assumed it is something I would have to live with!

Hope that helps a bit. Let me know if you can recommend a bra; I am finding M&S post surgery bras a bit big in the cup!!

xx

Calendula
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Thank you Delly and Louby 🙂 x

delly
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Loubylou -  GOOD   xXx

louby_lou69
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

@delly 

No it's not a noticeable dent really. I just notice it when I look down, but it looks totally normal from the front and side.

I'm happy with the surgery. 

delly
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

Hi Calendula

I'm wondering if the "pulling things in and up a bit" was just a normal part of the what surgery actually required, as opposed to an "extra" to it, or "favour" as you put it 😊

Also, ref corrective surgery to your other side, yeh, I can so understand your saying, "one lot of surgery was bad enough". It, along with all the emotional trauma of the diagnosis, is a huge amount to get your head around and deal with, especially initially. But maybe once your head's more settled, and your boob's more settled, you might feel differently. Also, you may have to wait quite a while for corrective surgery anyway, as it isn't so urgent and would be elective or "choice", so to speak.

You're saying you don't want to be bothered with further surgery. A lot of women would probably feel the same and not mind being a bit lobsided. Just as some choose to remain flat after a mastectomy. Others would jump at being evened up later. Some of those would want it doing as soon after as possible, to get it all over and done with and out of the way, to then not have it to think about and sort further on.

We're all very different aren't we. But, as I said earlier, you may feel differently about it in time.

Loubylou - I'm wondering if your "dent" may even out naturally given time. If it doesn't, it's just a thought, but perhaps they could even it out with some lipofilling later on, where they extract some fat cells from elsewhere on your body, then inject them where required? And it would only be a relatively minor procedure to have to go through, certainly compared to what you already have had! Something you could look into at some point, if you're not happy with it.

Hope you both now keep and stay well. Lots of love,  Delly xXx

    

louby_lou69
Member

Re: Thoughts after surgery

I had a lumpectomy 4 weeks ago and my scar runs under my right boob and under my armpit - it's very neat and when I look at it in a mirror both boobs look even. The scar is covered by my bra.

When I look down however there is a dent. My boob is also hard and still tender.

I suppose it depends where the tumour was to how he could access it. I saw photos of what my scar would look like. 
Lou x

Calendula
Member

Thoughts after surgery

Once again I can't sleep so I thought I'd write things down. I had a lumpectomy 4 weeks ago for a relatively small nasty in the outer (armpit) side of my 38a boob. What I have now got is a slightly smaller boob, with a nipple that's higher up than the other one. The scar goes right round the nipple and down in a straight line. The SNB left a separate scar in the armpit.

My (male, NHS) surgeon was friendly and professional, and I didn't think to question his explanations or methods, but now I am past the surgery, I can't help but wonder if he thought he was doing me a favour by pulling things in and up a bit? I am 57 so there was a bit of droop, but it had never bothered me. He did speak about 'evening up' the non-cancer boob at a later date. 

Am I just being paranoid? Of course I have no idea what had to be done in there to remove the tumour.  The treated boob is very sore and feels kind of hard and weird, not like a part of me at all. I think I would have preferred to have ended up with the same slightly droopy boob but with a bit of a dent in it! What do other ladies think? Has anyone had similar feelings or experiences? Am I worrying about nothing? I will try to discuss this with the surgeon but I'd like to see what people say here first.

Thank you, C 

(NB I don't want to be evened up - one lot of surgery was bad enough.)