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If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

I’m new to this forum and have just had a double mastectomy. I haven’t looked into bras yet, I was unsure about styles, plus I wondered if they would ride up if there’s nothing there?

I have secondary breast cancer, and had a very aggressive tumour in my left breast which had stopped responding to letrozol. I’m a bit concerned about the amount of fluid in my drains, instead of decreasing it’s increasing, it has only been 3 days but I was wondering has anyone else experienced this? Plus the area around one of the drains is very itchy, it’s driving me mad! 

Maxi63

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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Matalan do lovely little bags for drains £3 xx
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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Hi sports bras also available at Asda £7 , T K max £12 ish & Sainsbury's xx
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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Stargazer 1 forgot to add the bras you need are soft, sports bras, front fastening ( m&s do one for £25 ). Ideally they need a wide band under the bust , no seams on the cups and wide straps. You’ll also find button front shirts, pj’s and leggings really comfy xx
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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Hi stargazer 1, I had my mastectomy on 7th Dec and had an immediate reconstruction with implant. My drains are still in place as they are still draining over 50ml per day and my surgeon won’t take them out until they are below 20 for 2 days.

ive had no pain from my surgery at all, a bit of discomfort and tightness but nothing more. The drains are a nuisance but you soon learn to live with them. A drain bag is a must ( I got mine from the cancer research on line shop ). I actually purchased a gift pack of soft velvet heart shaped cushion for under my arm - a godsend - a padded cushion to protect you from the seatbelt, a plain black cord drain bag - very discreet, and an eye mask. There is a Facebook group called Jens Friends who will also send you heart shaped cushions for just the cost of the postage. These are much firmer so I use them whilst I’m sleeping to keep my armpit comfy ( who knew ).

i only take paracetamol and ibuprofen ( and now tamoxifen ) so can still enjoy an occasional glass of wine which has been nice over Xmas.

im allergic to waterproof dressings so have now gone 3 weeks having a strip down wash and washing my hair over the sink. Deep joy today they are trying silicon dressings so tomorrow I’m having my first shower. Suspect my drains won’t come out for another week. Hopefully like me you’ll be amazed how well you feel after the surgery, I stayed in one night because of the reconstruction and low bp but honestly felt I could have come home the same day.

if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask, stay strong and keep your chin up xx Melanie 

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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Thankyou Tili for your reply. I’m currently taking down the Xmas decs in anticipation of being out of action for a while. I’m going shopping on the weekend for pjs & some sports bras as you suggested. I didn’t know about the bag for drains that’s very helpful.xx
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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Dear Starglazer,  I had a mastectomy 3years ago, with a reconstruction, left hospital with next day with two drains, was suggested I used soft sports bra for a week or so after approximately 5 days of all goes well your drains will be removed you will then be able to shower, this is a bit uncomfortable, however gets better each day. I put my drains in a little bag with a handle as suggested by BC nurses to carry around with me.

Hope all goes well for you, have lots of rest and take good care BRAVE LADY.

BIG HUGS TILI

 

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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Hi.After previously having bc 5 years ago, a lumpectomy and radiotherapy I have just found out I have another primary cancer in the same breast.  I am having a mastectomy on the 2 Jan with an expander implant. I am actually coping quite well, even though i say this myself!, but i like to be prepared and cannot find any information on what I should wear immediately after the mx? I will have 2 drains fitted, what are these like? what will i be albe to wear when i am home from hospital? how will i shower with the drains? will they just hang there?  Im sorry for so many questions but I need to be prepared for next week xxx

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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Hi Helen, many thanks for your words. You're the best and not old but pretty wise for sure! Thanks also for your prayer, I'll be thinking about you either and yes, I'll enjoy Christmas and my family.

I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and that 2019 be far better than 2018 was 🌲🤗

With love,

Carol
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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Hi Jane, thank you! I'll try to enjoy Christmas and I wish you a good one too 🌲🤗
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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Dear Carol,

 

I echo what Helenann has written. Please don't feel bad. As she said, it's traumatic having any surgery. I will really hope and pray that they have got clear margins. If there had been any chance of my having a lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy then I would have jumped at the chance!

 Try not to worry about the future, and also don't worry about the cost to the NHS for your treatment. We all contribute and I can assure you that I would far rather be still in the position that I was paying for other people's treatment, rather than having to go through it myself. But it is what it is, and thank goodness that we have the NHS.

Please try to enjoy Christmas and I hope you find peace.

 

Love Jane xx

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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Dear Carol- you don't 'owe' anyone an explanation. What you have been through is VERY traumatic. I'm just so pleased for you that the medical team gave you the choice to try for a lumpectomy (This is still a big operation, so don't feel 'bad' that you haven't had a mastectomy).

I'm glad we were here to give you support and help with our own experiences - it doesn't matter where you're from.
You've obviously had the added stress of all this Brexit stuff to deal with. I really hope it all works out for you and your husband.From what you say I don't consider you a 'guest' here - sounds like you both work hard and as you said pay your taxes etc - so you're just as entitled to treatment under the NHS as anyone - so don't ever feel like 'bad' about it.
Now try and put this to the back of your mind for now, have a good Christmas.
You're only young- in one way much worse for you being diagnosed at such a young age - but with youth on your side hopefully you'll be fit enough to get through any treatment you may need in the future (im 62 so a wise old head hopefully).

I'll say a prayer and light a candle for you over Christmas.
You take good care of yourself- aches and pains will subside as time goes on. Take paracetamol and ibuprofen for now. Much love, Helen😍😍😍xxx

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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Sorry, one question, does anyone feel pain in the arm and armpit after surgery? It's seems funny, but my armpit, part of my arm and part of my side and back( actually all places sorrounding the surgery area) are so painful and numb! It has been more than one week after surgery and I can't handle this pain anymore. It has been hard to keep my arm touching my side since both are so painful. Sleeping has been horrible too. I asked my BCN the day after surgery and she told me it was normal, but now, many days later, I can't believe it's normal. Maybe they hurt any nerve when they took some lymph nodes? 😥
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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Hey everybody, It seems like, if I wasn't so unhappy and tearful with mastectomy, they wouldn't give me the choice they said, later, I could have, as the lump wasn't touching my skin. They say now that as I'm small breasted, I'd be better served by mastectomy followed by reconstruction. They didn't realise that I don't care if I have small breasts, I have been always happy with them and mainly, they're part of me. It could be any part of my body and I'd be terrified of losing it anyway. I'm in my early thirties( but I could be 80 and would probably feel as sad as I was) and my family has no cancer history, could you imagine how shocked and scared I was when I was told that I had cancer and they needed to remove my breast with skin and nipple? Even my family thinks the diagnosis is wrong(I know that they only don't want to believe in it). They had never told me I could try lumpectomy and keep my skin and nipple. I know I need to wait for the results, but I'm happy they are at least trying something less traumatic. I had so many worries in my mind with delayed reconstruction that I couldn't have piece. As you all can realise, I'm a foreigner and the BREXIT and it's consequences can affect me drastically. My husband has a good job, it's why we moved to the UK, but if he lost it, how would I finish my treatment? I was scared about being left flat chested for more than one year if I don't know even about my future after March. I was also feeling so ashamed for giving NHS such kind of expenses ( what's crazy since my husband and I pay high taxes, but I feel anyway, like I was being a bad “guest” for your country). Before leaving my country I had all sort of exams to make sure I was healthy, including breast ultrasound, and it was everything fine! How could it have changed so quick? My surgeon told me I was only “out of luck”. Sorry for telling you all all of it, I just wanted to tell it to someone and I hope anybody feel “cheated”(I don't know if it's the right word to express what I mean) because you all gave me so much support about having mastectomy and it ended in a “simple” lumpectomy. It was a surprise for me either.

Jane, I also feel pretty bad about knitted knockers. I asked them the prosthetics and asked as an urgency since they have pull the mastectomy forward. I wrote to them to say how sorry and embarrassed I am as I no longer need them and they were very kind to tell me to keep them and how to make them smaller if it's needed and for me don't worry about have asked for them. :-)

Thanks for giving the chance to talk about it. I didn't tell me family and even my husband about it because I didn't want to make them worrier than they are.



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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Hi Jane, thanks! I'm happy it wasn't delayed again too. Very relieved without that lump in my body.

I'm glad you're doing well on radiotherapy and even happier that you and your family are having a good time 😃

Thanks for your best wishes, I wish the same for you :-)

Carol xx

PS: I wanna try explain what happened because you all gave me support when I was feeling sorrow and I m very thankful for that :-)
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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

hi Carol Lina,


It is good that you are sounding more positive. I see that you had a lumpectomy rather than mastectomy. I am glad a decision was made with no more delays!

I had my first radiotherapy this morning! I have no effects so far.

Our daughter was back from Uni on Friday, and our son came home from his internship , for the weekend, so we were all together, which made me very happy!! He comes home for the Christmas break this Thursday, so we will have a lovely Christmas, and I must say, I appreciate my family and friends even more, after my diagnosis.


Happy Christmas to you and enjoy your family reunion soon.

 

Love Jane xxx

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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Jane, is everything ok? Have you started radiotherapy? How does it feel?

Are your children already at home? If yes, I hope you're having a good time and happier now 😃

Carol xx
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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Hi Helenann, thank you for your fingers crossed 😄I feel happy for you be feeling like you again 😃

I'll take off my dressing tomorrow and my results after Christmas (or maybe after New year, don't know yet). For now the only thing making me anxious is my family's visit right after Christmas. If anything good came with this journey it's to see my family earlier than I expected. I haven't seen them for three years. I can say, at least for now, that I'm happy 😃

Hope we all have a wonderful Christmas, despite of our journeys 🎄🙌🎄🎁

Carol xx
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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Hi Carol -Thanks for posting your update - I've been thinking about you. Great that you were eventually given the choice and well done on geting through the lumpectomy surgery. Don't worry too much about any scar you might have when the dressing comes off - scars fade and you can use all sorts of nice creams and oils to help them fade quicker.

It's quite usual to feel sick after an anaesthetic, I think - I know I felt sick but it soon passes.

I think Asda do some post surgery bra's that are quite reasonably priced - might be worth a look.

When do you go back for your results? Will keep my fingers crossed for you🤞.

I'm doing really well, thanks, starting to feel like 'me' again.

Take care and do keep in touch.

Love, Helen. xxx

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Re: If you had or are going to have a mastectomy

Hi Helena, thanks for asking. At the end my surgeon gave a choice between mastectomy and lumpectomy. I chose lumpectomy and had it on Wednesday. I worked from anesthetic feeling so bad that stayed overnight at hospital. Now I'm relieved for having get rid of the lump and trying not to think about results and about how my breast will look when I have the dressing off. I'm also trying to handle with the numbness ( I barely can feel my side breast, part of my arm and armpit. I don't know if it's normal), the itching is also an issue and sports bra are giving me backache and my ribs are very painful too 😟. At least the pain in the cuts are very soft, which surprised me 😃

What about you, Helena?

I wish you all a good week :-)

Carol