I was diagnosed with a breast cancer over a year ago and went through lumpectomy, chemo and radiation. Now, 7 months after radiation, I've been diagnosed with a very rare and apparently radiation-induced skin cancer of the nipple of the radiated breast. Everyone agrees, including me, to go ahead and have a "simple mastectomy" (just breast tissue will be removed, no lymph nodes or muscle). I won't be doing reconstruction at this time (I've been through enough pain and lengthy recovery for the past year; I just want to get on with feeling good again).
I want to know about others' experiences with recovery from mastectomy after lumpectomy, chemo and radiation. Does it take longer to recover from mastectomy after all I've been through than a mastectomy at the beginning of the cancer treatment journey? How was the post-op pain? How long before you were able to go back to work? How long before you felt really good again? Any tips (do's or don'ts based on your experience) you have about what might aid in a speedier recovery? I will be asking for a prophylactic antibiotic this time to help ward off infection. I look forward to your responses. I want to go into this with realistic expectations, good info and be able to plan my work schedule accordingly.
Thanks for your help. - GayJ