As the ladies above have said it is a very personal question and we all feel different, also I think it is dependant on a lot of different things such as size of lump, where the lump is and how big/small your breasts are. I had a lumpectomy two weeks ago, a full mastectomy was never mentioned by my Dr's, like you, I had a smallish lump which they have removed with clear margins and no lymph involvment and, as my breast care nurse would put it, I am fairly heavy breasted so once the swelling goes down I will only have a small dent in the top of my breast and the scar runs round the edge of my nipple so once heeled will not be all that noticable.
As for work, again, I think that is a personal question dependent on how you feel and how understandable and flexible your company is. I am in the lucky postion to work for a small company whom I have been with for many years and who are very understanding. I worked up until my op then took the two weeks off that my Dr signed me off for afterwards. I go back to work tomorrow until I start chemo in 3 weeks then I shall take it as it comes, I will work if I am able, as I am in accounts a lot of my work is computer based so I have asked my company to set up a remote connection for me so that if I do not feel able to acutally go into the office I can work from home, as no-one knows how chemo will affect them until they start I can't really plan more than that.
The main thing though Alex is for you to speak to your BCN and Dr's and to get as much information from them as you can about your situation so that you can make the decisions that are best for you. You might find it a help to take a family member or close friend with you to the appointments so you have a second pair of ears to hear all the information and have someone you can talk it through with and use as a bit of a sounding board to help make things clearer in your own mind so you make these decisions.
I wish you all the best, take care.
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