For the record when I said lucky I meant lucky that cancer has been discovered and can be treated. As long as you are being offered treatment you are in a fortunate place. I have a friend who has been told there is nothing they can do....she is in her 30s with 2 young children. Noone wants to be found to have cancer and go on this terrible journey. But there is light at the end of the tunnel and a door can be closed on it. My mum is 10 years post diagnosis...she was freaked out about treatment being offered to her but did her research (actually asked for diff chemo drugs to what were originally offered and was given the alternative) and received excellent care and all through the journey we took comfort in the fact that treatment was being offered and a path through all this. My mum is in a much better place now than she was before diagnosis and often says its changed her life for the better as now she really appreciates every day and has said goodbye to stress (retired early) & has a new partner. She was a hardworking, single parent before all this. Her life and outlook has completely changed...she has been an inspiration to me and so when I went to get a lump checked out I was worried but hopeful that if it was bad it can be dealt with and I would look back on this as a blip....here I am 2 weeks after a double mastectomy and although in discomfort feel relieved that I found this and got rid of it...I was leading such a busy life at work and always cancelling doctors appointments due to deadlines. Im too young for routine screening. I have recieved excellent care and could have turned down treatment but I wouldnt take that risk when I see through my mum that there is life after this horrible disease.
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Its a tough decision to make and your head is just spinning right up until you have the op. I had a double mastectomy nearly 2 weeks ago with immediate reconstruction using implants and strattice matrix. I was so anxious about the surgery as had never had an operation before. My mind was also spinning about the procedure and how id feel afterwards. As soon as I woke up from the op I felt immediate relief and my mind was totally clear again.
I think that having immediate reconstruction has helped me immensely psychologically. I looked exactly the same as I did before the op so was relieved. My skin wasnt very bruised or too swollen so if anyone looked at me, apart from the drains, they wouldn't have know I had the op. I do have physical discomfort and alls feels very tight. Sleeping is awkward etc but I still have some feeling in my right breast and feel like they are still my boobs. I lost one nipple so have a big scar on this side which im getting more used to looking at (im v squeamish) and not sure if ill have nipple reconstruction or not. Time will tell. I don't really want anymore prooxedures so am relieved I could have the mastectomy and reconstruction done in one go. If you dont like the idea of more operations then id definitely recommend immediate reconstruction rather than not having it. Atleast you will look and feel the same afterwards which really does help mentally with recovery and atleast you dont have to face further procedures. I have had down moments since the op as feel a bit immobile (have 2 toddlers that I cant pick up) but as I have had implant reconstruction atleast recovery will be quicker and I only have one wound site (well two) but no back or tummy wounds etc which would make recovery harder.
I was asked if id show a lady my reconstuction last week, just 9 days after surgery as she was facing the same op and I obliged. She was suprised how mobile I was and how good the results were it just honestly looks very normal.
Good luck with your decision making and hope all goes well for you
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Just told my husband about your post said you should go to your doc and get signed off because you work in an abusive environment and then your boss has to address it. He thinks the girl needs to be sacked for saying that and making you uncomfortable. ...I agree but up to you how far you take it. Just knowing that others may want to take it as far as my husband has suggested shows that it shouldnt be taken lightly.
The other way is ignore her comments and deal with her when you deem necessary. She is obviously a thoughtless individual and doesnt think too hard about what she says as she wouldnt have made any remarks like that in the first place.
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I cant believe someone especially another woman would say that to you after all you've been through. Its so insensitive and nasty. Hold your head up high. I'm sure most people see you as an inspirarion.
I've been talking lots with my mum about her journey since my diagnosis as although I was with her every step of the way I didnt knkw everything. She said she found it tough going back to work as while your being treated and have regular hosp appointment s you're just getting on with things and trying to get through it. She said she refused councilling all the way through as didnt think she needed it but one day at work she said she looked out of the window (she worked along the river thames) and was watching everyone walking by getting on with life as normal. She said she said this overwhelming feeling of "what am I doing here? I've spent the last year fighting for my life...I can't do this and act normal." She basically phoned her breastcare nurse straight up and said she was ready for councilling. She went for a few sessions and off loaded everything and felt so much better anx then was able to move on....have you considered councilling? Maybe try this before antidepressants. Its worth a shot. My mum has been an inspiration for me since my diagnosis. She is so positive and I know she inspires her friends. She lives life to the max now and is much happier now than before BC.
I hope I end up the same. I can't imagime returning to work. I might not. I had a double mastectomy and recon last week so its still early days. Im 36, an architect so work in a stressful, male dominated environment.....we'll see
Good luck and whoop that girls ass into line x
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Just thought I'd update you. Im homr now. Had a double mastectomy last weds so almost 5 days ago. I still have a long way to go but feel so relieved about it all as the decision making is in the past and my mind is totally clear. I just know this was the right decision for me. I am also physically alot better than I thought id be. Im on painkillers so not too much pain, it just all feels v tight. I also have sensation in one of my breasts and partially in the other and they do feel part of me so am very happy. I didnt think id feel like this so soon so am suprised. I think I was so worried about the procedure and how I'd look and feel afterwards that in reality it has been alot better than I could have imagined. I just feel like me but with a great sense of relief which is priceless. I dont want to focus on what the results look like as I know this will change over time and I may get infections or set backs but I can honestly say if you looked at me.you wouldnt know id jusy had this done (apart from the drains im carrying around with me!) The drains are the worst part. Get them removed on friday hopefully.
diamond lady- I was shocked when I went to the loo after the op and it was blue too!
VSK- Good luck with everything. Let me know how it all goes. I was so scared about all this but its far worse in yourmind I now realise. I still have my final results to come but will deal with that when I need to. Just glad the ops behind me 🙂
Take care all and thanks for your responses. They have really helped.me tremendously through this tough time
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An update: I got home yesterday after having a double mastectomy on weds. I felt immediate relief after the op about having had the operation and having both done. My mind was buzzing for the weeks beforehand so waking up with a clear head & the feeling of relief has been amazing. Im not in too much pain and do have some sensation (had skin sparing with mesh and silicone implants). The surgeon said they used quite alot of the mesh as my pectoral muscle wasnt that big and so it all feels quite natural. I am very swollen and feels really tight but I am happy with the result at this stage as was expecting alot worse. I can imagine they wilk settle down nicely in a few months so feel optimisitc about it all. So im totally hapoy with the surgery....its the drains that are horrible at the moment. Having to carry them around with me and hope my little girls dont pull them out! Cant wait til I can have them removed! Oh and the stiffness is annoying in my arms but that will be short lived. Its amazing what these surgeons can do really.
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Hi there I live 15 mins from bromley. I grew up in Bickley. Where are you being treated? Im was at lewisham hosp but now being treated at guys hosp....I was diagnosed with 5 areas of DCIS in my right breast so told i needed a mastectomy. Due to family history I opted for a double mastectomy and got home yesterday after the op. Feeling ok just sore. Cant wait til I have more mobility. The more you look around the more you see people being diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age. When I was having biopsies part of me thought I couldnt have it at this age. So surreal to think a few months ago I was reading about angelina jolie and her mastectomy journey and fast forward a few months and thats me aswell! I certainly didnt see it coming. Feeling relieved the op is over now though just uncertain about the next steps.
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It does get better when you have a plan of action as you can see a way through it to the ither side. When I was first told I needed a mastectomy I was so upset. I thought why does this happen to me? I decided to have a double mastectomy though as have strong family history and want to eliminate future risk. Anyway I got home yesterday after having the op weds afternoon. I can honestly say the worry and build up to the op was worse than reality. Id reached a level of acceptance the day before, had a good nights sleep and just wantrd to get on with it. I did cry when I met the surgeons and anaesthetist and as I was led to the operating theatre but can honestly say that afterwards the may feeling I have experienced is relief and happiness that the op is behind me. I still have the final results to get next friday. Have discomfort/tightness from the reconstruction which means its hard to get comfy amd sleep but atleast I know this will be short lived. The results look good at the moment and noone would know what id been through by looking at me. My boobs look normal, a bit swollen and bruised but 100% better than I ever expected at this stage. Im not fixating on what they look like though as I have a long time for them to settle (ive been told 6 months) and am at risk of infection etc so not out of the woods but xan honestly say the build uo to the op was far worse than reality. And my head is completely clear now as so much was spinning around in my head beforehand so its so nice. Feel like this is me again! You will be here soon.
You can have expander implants if you are due radiotherapy as they can take out saline and add it back in if scarring happens as a result of radiotherapy. I would push for this if I was you. Having immediate reconstruction really helps psychologically after the op as you really do feel more like yourself afterwards. They are quite expensive and not sure all health authorities offer them but sure you could push hard for them. I hooe it all goes well for you.
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Philomena, i had the BRCA test after my diagnosis and the results were rushed through as the result would effect my treatment. It took a week to be referred and meet with geneticist and 2 more weeks for the results so the process can be sped up if required. This was all NHS (at Guys). I think theyd find a gene fault due to my family history but it came back negative. I was told i could still have a genetic reason for bc as am young but could be down to another gene they dont know about or ofcourse it could be completely random. Last summer I saw my gp as was worried about a lump, was breastfeeding and my boobs were so different i didnt know what was normal anymore. She referred me to a family history nurse who then works out risk. I was at a raised level of risk than average it was determined so was meant to start having mammograms at 40. Little did i know a year later id be found with DCIS and facing a mastectomy. I've opted for prophylaptic one too as just want peace of mind.
if my BRCA test was positive a letter would have been sent to my close family inviting them for a test. Now its negative and the fact im under the age for screening i think its really important to self monitor. Any small thing that isnt normal should be checked out. My DCIS was found on a mammogram which i had to check a suspicious lump (which turned out benign). Had i ignored it id be turning up for my first mammogram at 40 (4 years time) and be facing an invasive cancer ive been told. So anyone worried about their young daughters just tell.them to check themselves.
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Blondebutbrain I wish your daughter luck for monday! Im due a double mastectomy tomorrow! Am starting to feel really anxious, upset stomach etc Need to get out the house! Im having expander implants and the mesh too. Nipple sparing on healthy side. Im 36 with 2 little girls so quite concerned about missing my cuddles with them. My 3 year old understands but my 18 month old sees me as a climbing frame!
Ive been told they are using expanders so they can gradually fill them and not put too much pressure on the fragile skin as it will have lost alot of blood supply with the tissue being removed. Once it all settles down they can add saline. Worried what i'll look like afterwards and how I'll feel but this needs to be done i keep telling myself..........ho hum. Cant wait for it all to be over x
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It is a scarey time as yiu are at the begining and dont know what youre dealing with. I was diagnosed 2 months ago and my mum told me not to think too far ahead as its scarey and you get stronger each step of the way and are able to face more things. She was right. She faught and beat breast cancer and has been a big inspiration to me as she is 10 years on and leading a much happier life after going through all this. She says it has changed her life for the better. This is just a blip you need to get through.
take care and good luck x
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I agree with black swan. You are lucky with your diagnosis and fortunate that it was discovered through routine screening. I also feel fortunate that my DCIS was found by chance and due to the diligence of the radiographer. I have 14 years before id be offered routine screening but may not have been around!
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I dont think it would be wise to leave an invasive cancer. It should definately be treated. Who wants to take chances with something that has been caught early but is invasive and has the capacity to grow and spread?
DCIS can be left to monitoring depending on the grade of the disease and age of the patient.
I have been diagnosed with intermediate grade DCIS at the age of 36. I have 5 areas of it scattered around my right breast and facing a mastectomy. I have been told that if left long enough all DCIS will become invasive. Low grade may take 10-15 years, high grade 6months to a year and intermediate around 3/4 years. You never know what is going to flick the switch and when. A woman in her 70s may chose to have low grade monitored but a younger woman might not want to take a wait and see aporoach when they can be treated when the cancer is non invasive.
DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ is cancer by definition and not a pre cancer). It is a contained cancer as occurs in the milk ducts and hasnt got the capability of spreading but as soon as it breaks through the milk ducts it is termed invasive cancer.
I am having a mastectomy on wednesday and have been told by 3 surgeons that this is necessary treatment. There is no way i would go down this route for no reason and do this blindly. I will have a sentinel node biospy and full pathology report to determine if there is any invasive cancer lurking amongst the DCIS. Early invasions can be found with DCIS.
My mum has suffered breast cancer twice (bilateral so two seperate incidences and not a recurrance). My grandmother also had breast cancer so I have a strong family history. I feel fortunate that i have been diagnosed at an early stage but am anxious about my final diagnosis until the full pathology report is available. To say you would not go near a breast surgeon if you had DCIS is an ignorant and insensitive statement to make. Maybe you should be careful about the sources of the publications you read and listen to the experts/reliable sources.
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I've been diagnosed with DCIS and as its in 5 areas told I needed a mastectomy. The thought of this horrified me but my immediate reaction was to ask about having the healthy side treated too. I'm booked in on weds to have a double mastectomy and immediate reconstruction. Im scared about the op, recovery and results but having weighed up my options i need to do this for peace of mind. Im 36 and my mum had bilateral breast cancer (at 49 & then at 58-invasive grade 2 & 3, shes recovere and healthy now), as did my grandmother. With my strong family history and diagnosis at 36 i dont want to take any chances. Ive watched my mum go through this twice and want to limit my risk as much as possible so i can enjoy my time with my two toddlers. Continuous monitoring would make me so anxious and im already paranoid about the healthy side after this experience.
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Thanks for your advise and support. I seem to have taken over your original post Hay123! How did your appointment go with your surgeon and what did he say about the pain? I guess its all ok if you have surgery planned for october.
Im due for surgery next weds -eek! Dreading it but atleast I'll be one step further along and hopefully closer to turning my back on this "blip" as my gp called it! I am having a double mastectomy provided the psycologist agrees?! Apparently they refer you to be checked by a psycologist to ensure youre 100% sure about your reasoning behind opting for a double mastectomy i guess if youre cancer free on the other side. Its box ticking i think!
Am not looking forward to weds and will be hard with my two little girls. My 1 year old is teething terribly so wanting cuddles and up in the night! My husband will be run ragged by all 3 of us! Ha haa!
Thanks for your messages, support and advice. This website has helped me tremendously!
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You have been through a lot over the years but sound very strong and positive. I really appreciate the advice I've received on here from you and Wendy. There is life beyond this!
I'm in a little pre-op vaccum at the moment and can't think beyond it as dont know what to expect, how my recovery will be and results of the dreaded histology report! I will be elated if the SN biopsy is clear but feeling very negative about it as i started with 2 areas of DCIS but further reviews of mammograms has found 5 in total so worried what else might be lurking. Cant worry about it too much though as it could all be fine too!
Its good to hear people at the end or further along their journey as it makes me not worry too much. My mums been through BC twice and has said you get stronger at each step of the journey and that is proving true from reading your posts and with how I'm feeling.
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