09-12-2007 12:31 PM
Well done to you too! and yes things will only get better for us. I'm now massaging the area and using lots of cream to encourage the skin to stretch a bit as it's very tight.
Thanks for being there for me too - it really helps.
09-12-2007 10:04 AM
Well done!!! I 've done it too... after several pints of dutch courage pulled them off very late Fri night. Have put 4 rplacements on as still have a couple of litle scabs, but it doesnt look as scarey as I thought!!
Thanks for being there Rebz.... as you say things can only get better!!
07-12-2007 05:41 PM
Yipee I've done it! Actually I'll rephrase that the breast care nurse did it and it didn't hurt - felt a bit odd. She asked me if I wanted to look and I said no. Then the consultant came to see me and chat with me while I was still lying on the couch and when he went out I inadvertently looked at my chest forgetting strips were gone and you know what? It looked fine - completely healed. No scabs and very very neat - I was amazed. Oh yes and I'm just rewarding myself with chocolate. It was so ok I can't believe it.
I'm also still very sore, swollen and uncomfortable but things can only get better.
07-12-2007 04:30 PM
I have my planning appts 28 Dec & 7 Jan, still quite swollen under my arm, seeing the surgeon on 18th. Having my rads and the Norfolk & Norwich which will be a couple of hours round trip each day.
OK I will do it saturday morning, will start taking them off and see how far I get! Deep breath and go for it! Possibly a large bar on chocolate on completion?!!
06-12-2007 11:43 PM
Next lot of treatment is radiotherapy - I'm waiting for my planning appointment to come through and the rads will begin in January once the wound has healed and there is no swelling - at the moment there is quite a lot. Are you still swollen/fluid filled?
Tell you what Mand let's make a deal - we've both put off taking the steri strips off for long enough let's both go for it tomorrow - whether you do it or somebody else does it. How about that??
Which hospital are you being treated at for your rads? I'm at Mount Vernon.
06-12-2007 07:18 PM
Like you I had the chemo first, finished sep 19 & had op on 3 Nov. I agree that it is helpful if you have more time to come to terms with what is coming.My breast lump was 24mm with 5/17 lymph nodes involved tho no actual lump under arm, i am on Tamoxifen now with rads to come in Jan. glad you got good results, what next for you treatment wise?
06-12-2007 05:45 PM
Hello Mand and others
Thanks for thinking of me Mand and guess what still not taken those strips off! The nurse was not there yesterday when I went to get my results so decided to wait until tomorrow when go to see the consultant and get her to do it then.
I think what has happened to me with regards losing the breast is that because I knew from the start of my treatment that I was going to have a mastectomy after the chemo - the chemo gave me plenty of time to accept that I was going to lose my breast and even though I was very upset in the run up to it - I'm much more ok about it than I thought I'd be. I've just slowly accepted that the breast is not there and each day in hospital when I washed I had a small glimpse of the area which was covered over but very flat. So the acceptance happened slowly and then I would peep down my pyjama top and see the flat area covered. Then this Monday the nurse took the covering off but keeping the steri strips on and I've slowly got used to that so tomorrow is the big uncovering day!
Anyway I got my results yesterday from the oncologist which he said were good results. They got 7mm clearance from the mastectomy part of the operation and from the 15 lymph nodes they took out one was infected (they can't tell whether the cancer is alive or dead) but the lump I had in my armpit was huge before chemo and I could hardly feel it by the end of chemo. Also the lump I had in my breast which had been 4cm had shrunk to 7mm. So all in all a good result as the less node involvement the better (although how many nodes were really involved we'll never know as chemo may have got rid of the cancer from them).
Anyway Mand so here's to us removing the strips once and for all - tomorrow's the day for me anyway.
Please let me know how you get on.
06-12-2007 04:48 PM
RebzAmy - kept thinking of you yesterday! are your steri strips off? How was it? How are you feeling? Hope the appointment went well.
I was interested about it taking you a long time to acknowledge the breast was gone.. I just havent really felt upset about losing my breast ( yet) and I think this is why, I think I really still can't admit its not there and maybe thats why I dont want to take off the steri strips... will investigate the silicaone plasters for when i do
Louisa thanks for mentioning Ameona, I didnt realise they were in Chandlers Ford, we are sometimes down that way visiting family so I shall ring for am appt next time we're there
03-12-2007 08:58 PM
I read somewhere that you could use an aqueous cream or Nivea to help the scar fade but I have to say I haven't used anything so far. Am a great believer in the 'fresh air' approach to wounds of all kinds! I wore a very light cotton bra and didn't use my softie for several weeks until I felt everything was healing really well. Am lucky tho that I'm not particularly big in the bust dept so didn't look too lopsided without the softie. Also wore loose cotton layers and cardi's. Am now 12 weeks since my mastectomy and the scar is looking very flat and neat although the skin around the site is sort of orange-peel effect which I hope will tighten up with time. May put something on it to try and smooth it eventually but want the actual scar line to be really well healed before I do.
Have recently been fitted for a prosthesis and some mastectomy bras with a pocket for the prosthesis which are very good even tho they're not underwired (the company is called Amoena - they have a shop in Chandlers Ford and do mail order).
You sound like you're doing really well, take it easy and look after yourself!
Love Louisa xxx
ps Hi Dilys! I see you on so many of these threads offering support and advise to all of us - you are a star! Hope you're well and your treatment is going smoothly (have lost track of where you're at but know you're a way ahead of me) Lx
03-12-2007 08:27 PM
I'm going to get the nurse to do it for me - going to be a big shock though as I really need to take my time with these things. It took me ages to even acknowledge that my left breast was now flat. Let me know if you do make any progress though.
By the way as well as bio oil you can get silicone plasters (mine were given to me by my clinic). You can ask your GP to prescribe them for you they are supposed to help with scarring and I've been using them on the area in my good breast where they put in and took out the portacath because it kept getting infected - I've got an awful scar there so trying to make it fade as much as possible.
03-12-2007 05:13 PM
RebzAmy, good luck on weds, let me know how you get on with having the steristrips off.. you might inspire me to start removing mine!
Will be thinking of you Weds
03-12-2007 05:11 PM
louisa, you re a couple of months ahead of me... did you use bio oil or something like that on your scar to help it fade? I was wondering about that ( when the steri stip are finally gone...!) Thanks to all for your responses
03-12-2007 12:56 PM
Felt just the same as you when I had my mastectomy in Sept. My husband offered to take mine off for me - I declined!! Waited till I saw my consultant about a week after leaving hospital and he took them off for me - asked him if he were 'an off in one swift go' kind of a man which he was!
Also, have to say I cried the first time I properly looked at myself and my scar, but I think that's probably natural and okay. Eleven weeks on and my scar is nice and neat and I'm okay with it.
love Louisa xx
03-12-2007 12:40 PM
I'm in same boat as you. Saw breast care nurse today to have the seroma drained and she said she'd take off the dressing and steri strips. I told her that I could just about handle the dressing but not ready for steri strips yet - need to get used to how it looks with just steri strips and no dressing. Going back Wed for appointment with consultant so she'll remove them then. I'm also squeamish so can completely relate to what you are saying.
02-12-2007 08:00 PM
My steri strips came off in the shower. Once I looked at the scar, I soon got used to it. I found it hard to touch the scar and the area around it. Again, it soon became a part of me and now I just get on with things as I am!
It will get easier -- promise!!
01-12-2007 07:11 PM
I was just as squeamish too. After a couple of weeks my BC nurse took them off and it was just fine. Just a neat line. But I do know how you feel! They will come off in their own time so don't worry.
01-12-2007 06:02 PM
Had right mastctomy and lymph node clearance on 3 Nov. All ok & recovering BUT I cannot bear to take off the steristrips and expose the scar.. my BCN gave me spare ones in case they needed replacing so as soon as one comes loose I pull it off and replace it ,I can do a tiny bit at a time but cant bear to see more than a tiny bit of the scar at a time. Feel a bit pathetic for being so squeamish about this...anyone else feel like this? anyone got any ideas ?