I had my first mastectomy when I was 50 in 1997 and I had a 2nd mastectomy in 2008. After my 1st op I was back at work full time in a strenuous job about 10 weeks after the op and I continued to work until I retired at 60. I found the 2nd op was easier to cope with because I had been through it all before.
The surgeon has tried to persuade me to have reconstruction surgery but I have never felt the need to have major surgery and even more scars. Today's prostheses are very good and as long as you choose clothing carefully there is no problem. I have never been one for showing my cleavage anyway. In some ways I prefer having both breasts removed now because I am no longer lopsided and I sometimes go without bra / prostheses which is very comfortable, (mainly around the house) but also when camping and going to / from showers, if I wear a baggy top. I can now sleep comfortably on my front, as my breasts do not get in the way. That is very useful to ease pain in my back / hips (caused by OA).
The only disadvantage is that bras sometimes tend to ride up more, but that hasn't been as much of a problem as I thought it would. It also causes slight problems when having blood tests, injections or blood pressure taken because you do not have a "good" arm but I have always managed to cope. When having a bone scan they were happy to do the injection into my foot instead of arm. I did notify them in advance and the appointment time was changed to ensure that somebody would be available to do it.
I swim frequently, look after my grandson 2 days a week and carry on as if I had not had any operations, except for taking precautions to prevent lymphodoema, and I am still taking anastrozole and calcium tabs. There are so many people who have had mastectomies, having bilateral ops should not make any difference to a single op once you recover from the surgery.
Best wishes, I am sure you will do well.
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