Just had the bilateral mastectomy

Ronee33
Ronee33 Member Posts: 25
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
On February 26th. There really wasn't as much pain as I thought there would be. If I move my arms the wrong way or too far, I do get a "ripping" sensation in the back of my arms. But its getting better. I guess my comment is that I wasn't prepared for the body I'm left with. My chest seems so concave. Does it really get better? I was hoping to be able to do more without prosethetics but now I feel like I can never go out in public without something.
I just wasn't prepared for what I was left looking like. It was rough.

Comments

  • tlmac
    tlmac Member Posts: 272 Member
    Hi Ronee, I had a bilateral on February 6, 2003. They did a modified radical on the left and a simple on the right but both sides look pretty much identical. The modified radical just meant deeper into the underarm for level 1 lymph nodes. I was prepared because my mother lost both breasts, 8 years apart, when she was just in her 30s. I grew up seeing the results of "radical" surgery because that was back in the 50s. You're right about the level of flatness. I was expecting to be able to throw on a sweat shirt or something else loose and go without a bra but I'm not comfortable doing that outside my house. The bras and prostheses I got are wonderful, though, and very comfortable so I don't mind. Are you considering reconstruction? If your appearance really bothers you, it's an option you can consider even down the road. I have no plans for any additional surgery and have come to accept my "new look." But then, I'm 54 and I never had really great breasts to begin with. If I can ever be of any help or if you ever just want to chat, e-mail me. [email protected].
    terri
  • preeti
    preeti Member Posts: 9
    Hi, I dont know what to say except that I am facing the same monster and I have to choose if I should elect to remove One or both breast.I was diagonsed 13 yrs ago at age 36 with medullary carcinoma, I had a lumpectomy,lymph node disection , chemo and radiation.And now 13 yrs later it has come back as DCIS in stiu in the same breast. They have told me I have to go for masectomy. I could choose to do it bilaterially.
    Have You thought about reconstruction using the DIEP method. I am thinking about it. I wish i could hear fom women who have done this and what is their opinion about it
  • SweetSue
    SweetSue Member Posts: 217
    I had a bilateral mastectomy March,2003.
    I agree it was not a physical pain, but removing the bandages wasn't fun. I really wished that a nurse would have been there.
    If you are unable to adjust to your new appearance (which is tough), I would suggest reconstruction. I haven't decided on any more surgery at this time.....we know it's an individual decision. I think of the people who have lost legs, arms, sight........and when I ride my bike, I thank God because so many people have it worse.
    Take care,
    Sue
  • roxanne53
    roxanne53 Member Posts: 154
    Hi Ronee,
    It is rough to have breasts removed. I had information and pictures to go by from doctors and still had not been prepared for it personally. Does get better though.
    I had one at a time removed. The Left one in April,2000 because of DCIS and the Right with nodes April, 2003 for Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. Apparently 2 different types of breast cancers, not related to each other. (in hindsight, if I had known what I know now about my breasts & cancer I would have had them both off in 2000).

    I have had reconstruction for left breast and doing it again for the right breast in April. The surgeon will now make them look even.
    The reconstruction can help feeling better about oneself. Very individualized decision though.

    Again, it does get better but takes time and be very very kind to yourself. Remember, You are a beautiful person. And you have much courage to come through this.
  • sarajane
    sarajane Member Posts: 22
    As soon as you fweel up to it be fitted for a comfortable garment...If you have a branch of the American Cancewr Society call them abd thgey may be able to fit you...otherwise they will have a list of places and some have fitters that come to the home. I am just about 1 year post and have a varuiety of garments to use depending on where I am going and mylevel of cofort. There is a lot of helpful stuff out there...just stand up straight and smile..I have my pinkpin and i am amazed how many of us there are...It does get better and it has made me exercise more and stand up straighter. Good luck...and remember the worst is behind you.
  • mamafred
    mamafred Member Posts: 2 Member
    Ronee...I think that with time, you won't be so self-conscious about your flat chest. It has been 8 yrs since my surgery and in the winter, I can just throw on a sweatshirt and go out and be comfortable. Not so much in the summer. One thing about having both off...you can either have boobs in the BACK or front!!!! I've been known to do that on more than one occasion. On a more serious note, I have no regrets at all for removing the "other" side almost 1 year after my mastectomy. I feel it's all what you are comfortable with for "you."
  • Joan33
    Joan33 Member Posts: 1
    Hi Ronni,

    I had the same surgery last year just around this time. I went out and bought an expensive bra. I had a hard time wearing it because it felt so heavy so I just went to Sears and bought some pads to put into my normal bra. It has worked for me for the past year.

    I can't go out in public without something there. I feel like people are looking but the truth of the matter is I don't think they even notice. Believe me in a year it won't bother you anymore. You just get used to it. I always said I have two of a lot of things on my body and if I had to choose to loose one it would be a breast. You will lead a perfectly normal life. I didn't think I would but a year later all is good.

    Joan 33
  • SanFranciscan
    SanFranciscan Member Posts: 9
    preeti said:

    Hi, I dont know what to say except that I am facing the same monster and I have to choose if I should elect to remove One or both breast.I was diagonsed 13 yrs ago at age 36 with medullary carcinoma, I had a lumpectomy,lymph node disection , chemo and radiation.And now 13 yrs later it has come back as DCIS in stiu in the same breast. They have told me I have to go for masectomy. I could choose to do it bilaterially.
    Have You thought about reconstruction using the DIEP method. I am thinking about it. I wish i could hear fom women who have done this and what is their opinion about it

    Hello preeti. I had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (DIEP) in November 2003, following a diagnosis of DCIS in my left breast. LCIS was found in my right breast, and because of that, and my decision to do DIEP reconstruction, I decided to have both breasts removed. Four months out, I'm very happy with the results. My breasts look and feel natural, although I'm still adjusting to the "feel" of my new body, including a tightness (similar to a slightly too tight bra) across my breasts.

    As with a TRAM-flap operation, I also have a signifcant scar across my belly, but I expect this to fade with time. I was in good shape (except for that pesky cancer thing!) before my surgery, and I was able to do a gentle yoga class two weeks following surgery. Although I experienced some soreness immediately following surgery where the cut had been made in my abdomen, I was able to use my abdominal muscles soon after the surgery to help me get out of bed.

    If you have any particular concerns regarding the DIEP procedure, I'll be happy to share my experience with you.