anxiety over 2nd mastectomy

ohilly Member Posts: 441
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I am just feeling extremely anxious and want to vent and hopefully get some support (this discussion board has been a lifesaver for me). In Feb. of this year I had a mastectomy on my left breast (I had invasive intraductal cancer with a 1.1 cm tumor, no lymph node involvement, and estrogen receptor positive). AFTER I went through the entire ordeal of having the mastectomy and getting chemo, I was tested and found out I am BRCA 1. I had already had a hysterectomy years before, but now I am going to have a preventive mastectomy on the other breast on Sept. 18. All the studies show that if you don't have the preventive mastectomy, there is a much higher chance of getting cancer in the other breast and if you do have the mastectomy, your risk goes down by 90%. So I am definitely going to do it, but as the date nears, I feel a sense of doom approaching. I am also angry that I have to go thru this twice: if my doctors had been more insistent that I have the BRCA test in the beginning, I would have known earlier and got it done all at one time. I have so many anxieties that it's hard to list them all: for the first mastectomy, I had trouble urinating after the operation and had to come home with a catheter (this time I am seeing a urologist before to see if some medication can be given to me while in the hospital to help me urinate: this helped when I had my hysterectomy). I am terrified of this happening again. I remember being in intense pain for an entire month. In addition to all this, I am one month out from chemo and see no signs of hair regrowth which is making me even more anxious. Anything you can say at all will help, I'm just so anxious. Is there anyone out there who had a similar experience (mastectomies at two different times)? What was it like? Ohilly


  • ohilly, your anxiety is very understandable given the circumstances. But you do have reason to be positive.
    I lost both breasts at different times. One in '86 for cancer and one in '88 for cancer. (Back then they didn't even have the BRCA test). I was upset also that I didn't have the foresight to have them both removed at the same time. But, it is what it is. We just have to take what we have and do the best we can with it.
    My second mast went off without a hitch, though I did have to go through chemo and rads again. And here I am after all these years mostly forgetting more than I remember about the whole experience.
    I wish I could offer you some guarantees, but since I can't I will offer you my prayers and best wishes for a long and happy life.
  • Ohilly, I can understand your frustration and worry. I am so sorry that you have to endure another big operation, but try and focus on the fact that your risk of breast cancer will be greatly reduced. This will ease the worry and enable you to enjoy your life after this whole experience is behind you. You and your doctors are doing everything possible to rid you of the threat of breast cancer. You have gone through so much already----most of the battle is done. Being pro-active is a good thing. And, it sounds like your urologist will be able to eliminate the urinary problems for you. My friend had her uterine lining cauterized last year and had the same urinary problem afterwards that you did. Her doctors told her that it was caused by the general anesthesia. It is good that you will be able to head it off for your next surgery. Hang in there Ohilly, we are all here rooting for you! Keep us posted and e-mail if you want to chat. Hugs, Eil
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    Good Morning Ohilly,

    I am so sorry that you are having to deal with all this. I have had bc three times and know your frustration and worries well. Don't get too bummed because your hair is not growing back yet, trust me it will get there. I have lost my hair to cancer four times and this last time it took so long to grow back. It has been 1 year since my last chemo and I have more hair than I know what to do with! =-) As hard as it is to endure another operation try to think of i as another step towards health. You will do great and we are here for you!