Why am I more nervous about the expander surgery than the bilateral?????

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TawnyS
TawnyS Member Posts: 144 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi everyone. I just needed to post and tell someone...anyone...how darn nervous and scared I am about my expander surgery (May 10th). More so than my bilateral and hysterectomy. WHY? I can only figure that when I had my bilat/hyst I had only a week to absorb it and I just wanted the cancer out. With this surgery I know it is a good and positive part of the bc process, but just opening up the scars again.....I feel like it will be opening more than the physical scars....more like the emotional ones. I don't know if I am ready for that. I haven't really cried yet over all this and maybe that is what I need to do. And I know that that skin stretching cannot feel good. My skin is super tight and I just look at myself wondering how the heck this is going to work and how bad it will hurt. I have zero excess skin. Ugh!

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  • m-star
    m-star Member Posts: 441
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    Hi Tawny.
    I had to come on

    Hi Tawny.

    I had to come on and reassure you. This is definatly a positive step in your BC journey.Think of it as a means to an end. I can only tell you what i know and felt.I am still getting expansions and pre-surgery i was very small busted (36AA) and so never had much skin to stretch either. When i left the hospital with my expanders in,they had only put 60ml saline in. My friend left with 250ml in hers so you can see how small i was!

    My 1st expansion 3 weeks later,i had 90ml put in each side.It felt more tight than painful-like some one put i wide,rubber band around my chest.

    The 2nd one made me a little sorer (another 60ml) but after a zero nights sleep and some painkillers,it soon eased up.Again.mostly tightness but was harder lifting myself up if i was slouching on the sofa!

    The 3rd one i had last week has been my most uncomfortable.I had it last thursday and im still sore. Another 60ml was put in and straight away it felt very tight.I didnt sleep for 2 nights but it was more cus i couldn't get comfy and laying on my back or my sides,hurt. There is one part in particular that hurts more than the rest,but its strange as it doesn't feel like the breast shape itself that hurts,but more like the chest wall underneath it all. Not sure if there are other muscles under there but it feels muscular. It is gradually easing up though.

    Up until this last time,its been easy going.My friend in Colorado had same surgery as me 1 month before me. She finished her expansions a few weeks ago and told me she still gets pain. I thought she was just being a baby! But i can only assume that as you get bigger,it puts more strain on the skin and pec muscles. I have my 4th top up in a week and half and am dreading it after this last one! I currently have a total of 270ml each side and my expanders are only 300ml ones as i was so small to begin with.They will over stretch them but not sure by how much.

    Just do what i do,and keep thinking ahead to the wonderful rack you'll have when its all over! lol. No sagging boobs heading south! I have never filled a bikini in my life but bought new ones last week and went swimming this morning! I felt like Pamela Anderson!

    Its bound to be an emotional time for you but i'm sure once you get started and start to see a change,you'll realise this is the way forward.To be able to start to put things behind you and look forward to a brighter future.

    ((hugs))

    Kay
  • ms_independent
    ms_independent Member Posts: 214
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    scary
    Hi Tawny,

    I can't tell you much about the process that Kay (m-star) hasn't already done a super job of. I think your mind is using the surgery as a way to bring your fears about this whole BC thing out into the open. You know you can handle the physical discomfort---you've made it through worse. I think its time to cry. Acknowledge your fear, grief and anger. They will have less power over you after you let them out. It's not easy and it's not fun but, it is part of the healing process and you can do it! It sort of sounds like your heart and mind are beginning the process whether you feel ready or not. You go girl! A stronger and healthier you is just around the corner!

    Hugs, El
  • martysuek
    martysuek Member Posts: 3
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    more nrevous about reconstruction
    Tawny, I so agree! I had double mast Feb 10th 2010 and am having expander surgery may 18th. I think I am more afraid because (ok, this is silly) with the mast, if I didn't have surgery, I would eventually die of the cancer...a do or die scenario. With reconstruction, I won't die if I don't do the surgery, so if something bad happens, I made a bad choice. Does that make sense? intellectually, I know it's the right choice for me, but emotionally, I'm a mess!

    I'm so excited to see how this all turns out!
  • Ritzy
    Ritzy Member Posts: 4,381 Member
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    m-star said:

    Hi Tawny.
    I had to come on

    Hi Tawny.

    I had to come on and reassure you. This is definatly a positive step in your BC journey.Think of it as a means to an end. I can only tell you what i know and felt.I am still getting expansions and pre-surgery i was very small busted (36AA) and so never had much skin to stretch either. When i left the hospital with my expanders in,they had only put 60ml saline in. My friend left with 250ml in hers so you can see how small i was!

    My 1st expansion 3 weeks later,i had 90ml put in each side.It felt more tight than painful-like some one put i wide,rubber band around my chest.

    The 2nd one made me a little sorer (another 60ml) but after a zero nights sleep and some painkillers,it soon eased up.Again.mostly tightness but was harder lifting myself up if i was slouching on the sofa!

    The 3rd one i had last week has been my most uncomfortable.I had it last thursday and im still sore. Another 60ml was put in and straight away it felt very tight.I didnt sleep for 2 nights but it was more cus i couldn't get comfy and laying on my back or my sides,hurt. There is one part in particular that hurts more than the rest,but its strange as it doesn't feel like the breast shape itself that hurts,but more like the chest wall underneath it all. Not sure if there are other muscles under there but it feels muscular. It is gradually easing up though.

    Up until this last time,its been easy going.My friend in Colorado had same surgery as me 1 month before me. She finished her expansions a few weeks ago and told me she still gets pain. I thought she was just being a baby! But i can only assume that as you get bigger,it puts more strain on the skin and pec muscles. I have my 4th top up in a week and half and am dreading it after this last one! I currently have a total of 270ml each side and my expanders are only 300ml ones as i was so small to begin with.They will over stretch them but not sure by how much.

    Just do what i do,and keep thinking ahead to the wonderful rack you'll have when its all over! lol. No sagging boobs heading south! I have never filled a bikini in my life but bought new ones last week and went swimming this morning! I felt like Pamela Anderson!

    Its bound to be an emotional time for you but i'm sure once you get started and start to see a change,you'll realise this is the way forward.To be able to start to put things behind you and look forward to a brighter future.

    ((hugs))

    Kay

    I had a lumpectomy, but,
    I had a lumpectomy, but, wanted to add some kind words and encouragement to you. What Kay wrote was so perfect. I especially like when she wrote, it is a means to the end. Good luck to you Tawny and keep posting to let us know how you do.


    Sue :)
  • Christine Louise
    Christine Louise Member Posts: 426 Member
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    martysuek said:

    more nrevous about reconstruction
    Tawny, I so agree! I had double mast Feb 10th 2010 and am having expander surgery may 18th. I think I am more afraid because (ok, this is silly) with the mast, if I didn't have surgery, I would eventually die of the cancer...a do or die scenario. With reconstruction, I won't die if I don't do the surgery, so if something bad happens, I made a bad choice. Does that make sense? intellectually, I know it's the right choice for me, but emotionally, I'm a mess!

    I'm so excited to see how this all turns out!

    Yes, I feel guilty over worrying about these expanders because I CHOSE them. As if it's mere vanity to want breasts.

    My last fill was March 5, and I often am uncomfortable, even this far out. And, my exchange to implants is scheduled for early July, post-chemo white-blood-counts willing. Blah.

    Still, I don't regret! I'm so glad to have shape, which I believe helped in my fairly rapid emotional recovery from the mastectomies.

    It's scary to think about getting opened back up when the scars are healed. Like everyone says, during this process, you've just got to keep your eyes on the prize that's down the road.

    Each woman seems to have a certain aspect of cancer recovery that scares her the most. Mine is Aridimex/Tamoxefen -- such a long time to put up with possible side effects.
  • TawnyS
    TawnyS Member Posts: 144 Member
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    Thanks girls for all your
    Thanks girls for all your support! You know how the docs give you an Rx to calm your nerves. Well, those things haven't been helping so I took matters into my own hands last night and ditched the pills and had a couple of glasses of wine instead. That worked! I relaxed and slept like a baby! I needed that!