Oh, and yeh, I too was too skinny for any other self tissue reco, other than a "Lat Flap". I swam a lot then, and still ramble/fell walk, so didn't wish to compromise one of the strongest muscles in my body. Or have other extra breast scars ("delayed" recon is different), other body scars, and healing risks of.
I don't think being a "girly" girl has anything to do with such a decision. Whatever . . you're still a woman with boobs. But there are many women who don't feel such a great loss.Don't opt for recon. Are quite resolved or happy to live and be without.
Then there may be others, wanting and wishing to alter/change sex/gender, and have a desire to voluntarily lose their boobs at some point, but receive a BC diagnosis. In which case, they're having a forced op that they would want, but not for the "reasons" they want. I watched a TV series on trans gender ops. Quite broke my heart, to watch a young woman voluntarily have a completely "healthy" pair of boobs removed/cut off, even though I knew it was for the sake of a sex change op. But then, I was viewing it in a different light, i.e.someone who hadn't "volunteered" to have my boobs removed!!
It's interesting, how we all differently view and feel about our boobs. Especially when there's a "threat" of losing them. Don't you think??
A very early Good Morning to you. Umph, sorry your room mate's keeping you awake.
Yeh, I knew "I" wouldn't be able to cope with being "flat", either. Knew how badly it would affect me, before it happened. Hence me wanting and asking for immediate recon from the off, and always "implant". Never wanted any of the other "new" self tissue recon procedures.
I've never been a "vain" person, but always kept my bod in good shape, so I'd call it "proud of", rather than vain. Also, I was 46 at the first mast, and still single. 47 at the second. It quite frankly destroyed so much of me. I've heard other women say how much, still having "one" of their own, makes a huge difference. It DID.
No, I don't mind you asking at all, darlin. The waiting wasn't a "choice". It was that my 2nd mast was followed by more other brown stuff of life, that can have a tendency to happen. My Mums death (totally floored me, as was very close to), followed two years later by my bruvs suicide. Moving house to a different area, mental probs due to all before, etc., etc.,. Then, since my initial expander op, I've had other stuff that's got in the way, still mental probs, and now need a minor knee repair op. I consider more important than my 2nd boob recon (to replace expanders with permanent silicons), as it's affecting my walking. Also have to have an eye lasered, following a failed cataract op, 2 yrs ago. Mmmm, yeh, that anno domini.
Other than that, I'm celebrating being 60 all YEAR, no seriously, I AM!! Sooo . . . . boobs are still having to wait. But they're affecting me looking for/pursuing a suitable partner. Which I'd still like to have!!
Hope you get some sleep. If not, I'm often up till all hours, if you want to chat further. Used to have a thread called "Night birds".
But I'm so pleased to hear you so "UP" beat, woman. I applaud you for it. Keep it up. But, if you're ever struggling, pop back on here, and we'll all help to boost you up again! I know.
Lotsa love, a big hug, and "strength" to you,
DoolallyDelly x x x x
Hi Delly, I t’s 02:18 am and I am awake as unfortunately my room mate is a very heavy breather 😞
I was in 2 minds for a while but decided that I wouldn’t cope with being flat. Luckily there is a Keeping Abreast support group at my hospital so I could go along and chat and actually see implant/own tissue recon results for myself before I decided (to skinny for own tissue).
I think ladies who opt to stay flat are very brave and even though I’m the ungirliest girl (girl! I’m 50 🤣) you’ve ever met I just couldn’t face the thought of that. I do feel I’ve taken the easy option somehow.
Do you mind me asking what made you wait 7 years for recon if you we’re so upset? (Sorry if you’ve already said earlier I might have forgotten with all the posts).
Just to repeat some things I've said before, elsewhere on this wonderful Forum.
After my first mastectomy, I remember going to the ward bathroom, the morning after, and very sheepishly taking off my pyjama top to view myself. I literally dropped to my knees at the sight of. Didn't even want to look after my second mast, and "avoided" any future topless views in ANY mirror, thereafter!
But . . . After my initial recon op, with expanders, 2014, 7 years later, woke up, excited to already see some shallow "bumps" up front. At that time, a mere 100mls each, I think. Couldn't wait to get in front of the ward bathroom mirror, and take my top off!! This time loudly shouted "Whoohoo!!! Delly's got some of her old shape back"!!! Such an incredibly wonderful positive moment, that's obviously deeply and forever etched into my memory. Made such an enormous and instant difference to me, bodily confidence wise, and therefore otherwise. Coo what - Priceless
Is another reason why, I'm always so glad to hear, of anyone having "immediate" recon.
Good for you's, I say.
Lots of love xxxxxxxxx
Good Evening Ladies,
@Kate - I wasn't expecting to hear from you already. I'm so glad the op went well and you are on the road to recovery, wishing you all the best and looking forward to the updates.
@Jay - You're diagnosis is very similar to mines, but I had 6 months of chemo. I also have a further 10 months of Heceptin and Pertuzamab, which was suppose to be just Heceptin, but was changed last minute as apparently new studies show both drugs are even more effective, the only painful thing is, I need to keep my picc line until Feb 2020!! Well done on your all clear results and your 5k run.
I have definitely learnt more than ever that some things are just not worth worrying, arguing or moaning about, and more than ever positivity is key.
Thank you for all the well wishes, I actually feel much better for talking to you lovely brave ladies and feel more ready for Wednesday. I'll update you as soon as I can.
Stay strong, positive and blessed
Kate - Corr what?!! See - all easy-peasy. Talk about "cool"! That's so good to hear. Cosset yourself, but get them there exercises done as soon as you're able, without bursting your stitches, that is. Evie and I shall be standing behind you holding a stick with lots of spikes on it
Evie - "My" mind's "great". Not so sure about yours, tho'! I'm teasing
Nighty Night, girls x x x x
Kate - really good to hear from you so soon after your op, glad all went well. All the best for your recovery.
Thanks Delly it went fine thanks and I feel surprisingly ok so far. All looks a bit odd under my gown but will reserve judgement till I’ve got up and gravity has come into play and I can get a proper look.
Good luck for Weds Mel, I’ve had the same as you are having I think and the worst bit was the waiting around before. Luckily I have a fab group of friends who I was WhatsApp chatting with and playing a silly game which really helped take my mind off things. The nurses came to see what I was laughing at 🤣 Do let us know how you get on x
Well done Jay on your run and congrats on the 2 year milestone. All I need now is to heal up and get clear results and I’ll be happy!
Kate - Hope your surgery went well today, and you're comfy.
Mel - My apologies. I've just reread and noted you said "implant" recon. Good Luck for Wednesday.
Jay - Well done you, girl, on your 5K run achievement. And congrats on your 2 years. I'm now 13 and 12 yrs from 1st and 2nd masts. Still only part way through implant recon, but I'll get back on that horse when I've had a couple of other priority jobs/ops done.
Thanks for your email Evie, good to hear from you again, and that you're doing and keeping well.
Lots of love to everyone
Jay68 - we’ve spoken in the past, good to see you here again. Great news on your mammogram and completing the race for life. I just wanted to say that your post was a good reminder about not getting bogged down with petty issues, and also very positive, thank you for that. No matter what stage we are all at, positive words are always very welcome.
I just want to reassure you. In answer to your question, Will I ever feel normal again? - the answer is "Yes you will! You will find a new "normal" but this will take time - try not to rush yourself.
I am just over 2 year on from diagnosis of HER2+ breast cancer with an area of high risk DCIS. I had 3 months of chemotherapy and targetted therapy followed by a right side MX and complete node removal and then 15 sessions of radiotherapy with a further 10 months of Herceptin injections which all came to an end in June 2018.
I do have a few niggles from the side effects of chemo and rads but each and every day I'm grateful to be here - I'm a far stronger person now than I ever was.... I try not to let pointless problems get me down and I try very hard to not complain!
I've just had my 2nd clear mammogram of my healthy breast and yesterday completed a 5K Race for Life.
My motto is stay positive and be happy!
Hi again, to all you lovely postees on here (too many to name).
Mel, I hope everything goes well for you on the 5th. What recon procedure have you opted for? Please keep us in touch with how you are, will yer. We'll be thinking of you, and be in your pocket.
It really is a bummer, this BC millarkey, isn't it girls. Ohhhh yes it IS - that's a panto shout.
Much love to everyone xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Hi Ladies - what a lovely supportive thread this is, some lovely messages and some great advice from Delly (good to see you on here too 😊). I’ll reply all in one message -
LMC88 - you are entitled to up and down days, and hopefully you will feel a lot better as the anaesthetic leaves your body. All the best to you for having a drain out today - I too faint when I even hear the word blood mentioned, so make sure you look the other way. One nurse told me to clench my toes as I was having a needle put in once - I did that and afterwards asked her how that would help. She said it’s what they tell children to get them to focus on something other than the needle 🤣. Try it, it might just work for you too! Really good news on your new boob too 😊.
KMG - it was good to see that the other thread you started is very busy with others at the same stage. The support on here is invaluable. I wish you all the very best for surgery on Monday - please do check in on here again and let us know how you are. I really don’t think you will hate your new boob. It’s a stepping stone to getting back to your “new normal”.
Melba72 - As I said to KMG above, I really don’t think you will be upset when you see your new boob. I didn’t want to worry you by telling you that mine don’t quite match, but I wanted to be honest so that you have realistic expectations when you have a look. It sounds as if LMC88’s is a really good match, so it must depend very much on the individual. I have been offered further surgery to even things up but personally I don’t want further surgery - at least not at the moment. Again it’s a very individual decision. My very best wishes to you too for Wednesday and please do come back on here when you feel up to it, or before if you have any questions.
Big hugs 🤗 to all
Thank you everyone for your replies and thoughts. I think I was having one of those days, I’m not usually a crier but that day it got to me. I had a good look at my boob yesterday and it’s absolutely amazing what they can do, still a little swollen and bruised but other than that only a slight difference. The drains are a pain as I’m very aware of them, I should be having one out today but I am going to put my big girl pants on and try not freak about them. This coming from a girl that usually faints whenever blood or needles are involved. You lot are amazing it’s such a good supportive network on here. We are all going through a similar journey and it’s good to speak to people who understand how you feel. Good Luck to everyone and thank you so much xx
I’m having the same procedure (left mx and immediate implant recon plus SNB) on Monday 3rd. I’m terrified but through this forum I’ve made contact with so many people in the same boat it has definitely helped. My life for the last 6 months has been clinics, hospitals, surgery, results, more surgery, more results - and I just hope this will now bring it all to a close, that I won’t absolutely hate my new boob and that I can just feel ‘normal’ again. Time will tell I guess. Good luck to others in the same boat and hopefully will see updates on here going forward.
Yes, I'm having an implant fitted and I know that the 2 breasts will look different, I'm just hoping that I don't get too upset when I look at myself and my new boob in the mirror. But the top priority is getting rid of this dreaded cancer from my breast and lymph nodes and making the most of life. I know the plastic surgeon can work wonders these days, so I'm sure they can sort out the symmetry at a later date. Thanks for your advice about the arm exercises, I'll make sure to set my alarm to remind me the do them every day.
I'll let you know how I get on with the op as soon as I can. Sending you and all the other brave ladies going through this journey big hugs and kisses.
Thanks for the support.
Distraction. Spend as much time with good friends, and/or loving family, as you can. And watch nothing but feel good stuff i.e. lots of comedy - do anything that will keep you away from your worrying head. Yeh, have a good sob when you feel the need to, it does you good to. But also try and have a good laugh too. That does you even more good! And . . . lots and lots of HUGS - the most perfect medicine. Even if it's with people you don't really know, that you may meet at the hospital on your appointments, have a shared diagnosis with.
Hi LMC88 , and everyone else who's posted.
I had mastectomies 2006 and 2007, both with full node clearance (standard, before SNB) without reconstruction, though I'd wanted immediate recon, but for various reasons it didn't happen. So I'm sooo glad you opted to have immediate recon, although it has a lengthier recovery time, being a far more complicated op. I'd have coped far better with the mental effect that the "loss" of both boobs had on my personal confidence, had I had an immediate replacement.
Be "gentle" on yourself girl, and take it easy. You've not only just had a major op, which is a huge, massive trauma to your body, but as Evie (Hello again darlin' girl) quite rightly mentioned, the anaesthetic has its own effect on your body as well, can take a while to work out of your system. I've known big strong fellas in tears, following operations, not because they felt sorry for themselves, but due to weird effects anaesthetic can have.
So, naturally, your poor bod needs time to recover from this. And Yeh, its paramount you do your exercises. Be very disciplined with yourself, because the sooner you get full mobility back, the better you'll feel.
All of this is coupled with the horrible, nasty "shock" to your mental state, that of a diagnosis of cancer. So it isn't at all surprising to me, that you've been having "mini breakdowns". It's ALL a huge amount to deal and cope with, so you are entitled to feel sorry for yourself. For a bit, that is, but then you've got to get some "kick cancer in the butt" attitude, my darlin'. Some Grrrrr attitude
Sending lots of love, healing thoughts, and strength to you. Keep us informed of how you're doing. When do you have your drains removed? That'll be a good step forward, give you a bit more freedom and normality back.
Hi Mel and lizzietindrawers
Lizzie - what a great post, so positive and a real help to anyone going through surgery. I wish you all the best for your continued recovery.
Mel - thank you for your lovely comment to all the ladies on here reading your post 😊. The waiting is definitely the harder part, fear of the unknown. Are you having an implant at the same time? To answer your first question, my breasts don’t quite match, the implant is slightly bigger and more rounded, so I use a small prosthesis over my real one to even things up under clothes. I’ve got used to it and just happy to be rid of the tumour. I can’t quite remember how long it took to recover - the early days felt slow but quickly speeded up as the days went by. You will be given arm exercises to do and they really are important, even when you don’t feel like it. Google really is best avoided. Please ask anything if you think I or any of the other ladies on here can help. Sending you big hugs 🤗 for now and the op next week - do come back and let us know how you get on.
We each react to surgery in different ways. I am 2 weeks post op after having a mastectomy of my left breast, but I could have got out of the bed and danced. Allow yourself time to recover and if you feel like a little cry then do it. It's your body so don't let people tell you what to do. As for your results, again we are all different, but try to just live for today or you will waste precious time worrying. Indulge yourself and let other people help you. As for the drains, mine slid out after 2 weeks. The nurse told me to take a deep breath and then breathe slowly out. It was only seconds and it was gone. I got my results yesterday and I'm clear, so not everything is doom and gloom. I wish you well and hope you will start to feel better soon.
Good Evening Ladies,
I'm having the same procedure on 5th June and have been worried more about how the breast will feel and how it will look compared to the natural breast. I too have been on Google like a nutter, but my friends have told me to stay away, just like you ladies have advised. Can anyone tell me how long it was before they started feeling better after surgery?
Big Hugs to you all, you are all brave and strong women
Hi LMC88 - first of all a big hug from me too. What you are feeling is very normal - I certainly felt exactly like you describe after I had the same surgery as you 2 years ago. One thing to remember is that it takes a while for the anaesthetic to leave your system and that can make you feel very low. At the same time you are coping with tiredness, pain, nausea, fear of the unknown - that’s a lot to cope with. I was told to take one day at a time or even one hour at a time when times were tough. Things will improve.
The drains are a nuisance - do you have a bag to hold them in when you are walking around?
I’d agree with the others - do try to stay away from google or you will scare yourself. Come on here and chat things over, or speak to your BCN.
This is the time you need to be gentle on yourself and kind to yourself. Plenty of treats. Waiting for results is hard, so keep yourself occupied with films/dvds etc. And focus on the fact that you are now cancer free.
Wishing you all the best for your recovery - and finally, do make sure that you keep doing the arm exercises you were given, even if you don’t feel like it.
Your surgery was only very recent...you're bound to feel a bit fragile... I imagine we were all pretty fragile at a week post-op...I certainly was! Try and be kind to yourself... 💗💪🏼
i had a single MX and node clearance in March of this year... I was seriously petrified of having my drains removed...when the District Nurse was taking them out she said Right, take a deep breath!
I even said "I can't remember how to breathe..." (Sounds ludicrous now but I was in such a tiz!!)
-I never felt a thing...I couldn't believe she'd removed them!! I could have kissed her!
Like Jacqs said...stay away from Google! If you need to know anything give your Breast Care nurse a call or come onto the forum...we're all happy to help and here if you need a shoulder! 💕
Thinking of you... Hope your recovery goes well x 🎀💗🌸
None of us want to be on here & we’re all facing our own issues, but I promise you it does get easier. You’ll get used to having drains in & it gets so much easier to manage them. I originally had surgery last June & have just had another op on 24th May like you. I’ve got 1 drain this time, but last year I had 2 & getting them taken out was easy and pain free. If you turn your head the other way, you probably won’t even realise what’s happening.
Dealing with the unknown is one of the worst parts of it. I would recommend staying away from google but carry on talking on here as we’re all in similar positions and are there to support each other. You could also try some meditation to keep you calm.
Its tough waiting on the results - will be thinking of you & sending positive thoughts your way.
Till then, you need lots of rest so look after yourself and take it easy xx
Hi I had my surgery on 24th May, keep having mini break downs and feeling sorry for myself. I think it’s mostly being uncomfortable, nauseous and tired as well as the unknown. I had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and node clearance. I’m absolutely petrified to move with the drains and don’t get me started at the thought of them being removed as I feel I may faint. I have to wait until the 12th June to check if the cancer was in my nodes. I feel nauseous most of the day with little energy. I over think every single thing and google is becoming my own worse enemy. Does it get better? I feel I’m sinking at the minute