Diagnosed and of last month. Just a week after mammogram, biospy and scan all in one afternoon. Really scary and anxious. On medication which I started the next day. Now got date for op, which is more scary. Cannot decide on lumpectomy or mastectomy. Just too worried.
I'm due to have my mastectomy this month without the choice I'm scared it's major surgery and I don't cope well with pain. I've posted on here also for some tips and experiences of others who have gone through the same.
Appreciate you're worried and anxious but I strongly recommend taking some time to research the options you've been given and consider how these fit into your priorities in life. Its unfortunate but sometimes people find themselves pushed to make a decision as time can be tight and without adequate homework may make a decision they later regret....if you're in this situation challenge your team to help you and push back if you feel too pressured.
Regarding "research" have a look on here, also you may find MacMillan & Breast care now websites/helplines useful - avoid most of the suggestions on google as they can be ill informed & out of date.
Breast care now offer a "someone like me" service where you can talk to those who have been through the options you're being given - that may help?
In my opinion (and its only my opinion!) mastectomy is more belt & braces and may put your mind at rest re any recurrence (though it may not recur of course) but is obviously a much more invasive operation and will take more recovery time. Also would you want any reconstruction? You may not need with a lumpectomy.
I'd also ask your BC support team to run through the pros & cons for you in terms of post operation & longer term outlook given your diagnosis as different BC types can impact in different ways in the longer term. Ask them what the chances are of needing a mastectomy following a lumpectomy as it does happen.
Sorry but there's lots for you to think about & decide, like Lupita I didn't have a choice in the RHS so easier in many ways. I would however point out that the mastectomy operation is really straight forward and not very painful in itself, I was feeling quite able after 4 weeks (though still recovering), I had a lumpectomy in LHS and that was really straight forward with very short recovery time (hardly noticeable but then I did have RHS missing!).
Good luck with whichever you decide.
Hello - if you have a choice, my advice is go large. Reconstruction easy-peasy these days, so maximise your chance of getting the whole lot first time. The whole thing is bloody terrifying. I wanted both breasts off straight away I was so scared. But they said that really wasn't necessary. I had a lumpectomy on the advice of the surgeon with some lymph nodes taken to check for spread. I like my smaller breast a lot although it's barely noticeable! The surgeon says she can make the other one smaller to match if I choose.
I was diagnosed with dcis and other bits and Bob's that have yet to be clarified.
I had a mastectomy 2 weeks ago tomorrow with the nodes being checked as well.
I had a expander fitted at the same time...I dont know if this is an option for yourself.
I was worried about how I would cope but I woke up and felt great...I didnt have to have a drain in(lucky) and I was home at teatime.
I can honestly say I havent took anything other than paracetamol after the surgery
The skin is still quite numb and I've had a bit of pulling and a bit of soreness but nothing bad
Worst thing for me was the surgical bra and the sleeping on my back...x
I have a 4 inch scar and no nipple.
I know everyone is not the same but I hope this helps a little bit
Yes I'm doing fine...bit weird with the expander in but back on my feet and doing most things I would normally do x
Back at breast clinic on monday for results and to get my expander pumped up.
Thanks for checking in...how you getting on?
Hi Mags and Lupita,
I have had 2 bouts of breast cancer in the past 11 years. First time around I had a lumpectomy, followed by Tamoxifen. The post-op pathology report came back saying that I didn't have a wide enough margin. This usually requires another operation, but my surgeon assured me that he had realised this at the time and taken some extra tissue.
A year later I discovered another lump in the same breast. I was told that this was another primary cancer. This time I had a double mastectomy. I felt much happier in myself after this, as I believed that I had done all I possibly could to get rid of the cancer. I found the double mastectomy healed quicker than the lumpectomy and, apart from the first few days, wasn't as sore. I then took Letrozole for 6 years after this.
I am glad to hear that you are managing to keep your mind busy on other matters until you have your operation. I wrote down all the questions that my family and I had prior to both surgeries and, my surgeons were able to give me facts and percentages, which helped me to decide.
You will find it useful to have nightwear that opens at the front if you're in hospital for any length of time. I also had a small heart shaped cushion that I placed under my arm when sleeping. I tried sleeping on my back, but couldn't manage it, but I managed to sleep on my side with the aid of the cushion. Make sure to carry out the exercises you're given post-op on a regular basis.
I hope that you both have your surgery soon and that it's all plain sailing for both of you. Do please keep in touch and let us know how you're getting on. We are always here for you.
hiya, it is so supportive to hear from others who have gone through surgery or just about to. This has given me so much support and confidence. Thank you.
Thanks too about the clothes for hospital, my friend has made me a lovely cushion, for arm support. I am preparing in my mind for the sentinal node biospy before my op.
I hope to keep forcussed on things happening each day. At present making a summer dress for my grand daughter.
All the best,
I second the pillows, I was given one in hospital by our breast cancer support group and I love it x
Open fronted pyjamas are a must, or open fronted shirts or blouses x
I was lucky in the fact that I ddidnt have a drain and had no stiffness in my arm after my sentinel node biopsy.
I was back at clinic on monday they had taken 2 and they came back clear, also got the all clear and no more treatment necessary.
Plenty of rest and keep up with your exercises and you will be back up on your feet in no time at all x
I am so glad to hear that we are managing to boost your confidence, even if only by a little. There really is nothing to worry about. The staff in these clinics are so professional, but also caring.
I am glad that you've got Hayley to speak to here too. She has done so well throughout the whole procedure, that she is a true inspiration to anyone waiting for surgery. Yorkshire-defector and Hibbs have also offered some pearls of wisdom and, I'm sure will be with you throughout your surgery.
When are you due to have your surgery? Are they planning to do your sentinel node biopsy before your mastectomy? Mine was done at the same time, which was easier.
Making a summer dress for your granddaughter sounds like the ideal project to keep your mind off all that is happening.
You were lucky to get a pillow in hospital. I got nothing for my bilateral mastectomy. I am so glad that all was clear when you went back on Monday and, that no further treatment is needed.
Do you still have to take some medication or are you totally free of treatment?