Surgery,Scared..HELP

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tjohnson2310
tjohnson2310 Member Posts: 168 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
In May I was diagnosed with right breast DCIS/IDC at age 32. I will finish chemo in December then in January I will have a double mastectomy. I have chosen to have a prophylactic mastectomy of the left breast. I am wondering what it will physically feel like after surgery. Please share your experiences with me.

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  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
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    I had a left mastectomy in
    I had a left mastectomy in 1987 and then a prophylactic right mastectomy about 8 years later. Are you having reconstruction at the same time?

    Also have you had any other surgeries? Experience with surgeries (and being an NP) has taught me a lot.

    I take my pain meds as prescribed and get up and walk the hall as soon as I am allowed. The sooner you move the sooner you will heal. Also, pain meds are not just prescribed for your pain; they are prescribed because they help you move, which helps you move faster.

    Pain meds work best on mild to moderate pain, so do not wait until your pain is severe before you ask for help. If you do, you will be chasing your tail and will end up taking more meds with a lousy result. If you are having mild pain, you might want to call for your pain med as, by the time the nurse gets it to you, you will probably be having moderate pain. Anotherwords, anticipate your pain.

    Right after surgery, I always make sure that I am given zofran (for nausea), because I can't handle the narcotics without something for nausea. When I am going home, I ask for the weakest pain med (usually 5 mg hydrocodone) and then I take 1/2. I just can't tolerate much and a little goes a long way for me.

    My younger sister can't handle narcotics at all and she has to take toradol and, after she gets home,switches to alleve.

    So the moral of my tale is to know your body and to pay attention. If you have problems, such as nausea, ask the nurse to call the physician to get something for the nausea (if it isn't prescribed). You have the right to be comfortable, then you have the responsibility to get moving to aid in your own recovery.
  • Miss Murphy
    Miss Murphy Member Posts: 302
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    I had a left mastectomy in
    I had a left mastectomy in 1987 and then a prophylactic right mastectomy about 8 years later. Are you having reconstruction at the same time?

    Also have you had any other surgeries? Experience with surgeries (and being an NP) has taught me a lot.

    I take my pain meds as prescribed and get up and walk the hall as soon as I am allowed. The sooner you move the sooner you will heal. Also, pain meds are not just prescribed for your pain; they are prescribed because they help you move, which helps you move faster.

    Pain meds work best on mild to moderate pain, so do not wait until your pain is severe before you ask for help. If you do, you will be chasing your tail and will end up taking more meds with a lousy result. If you are having mild pain, you might want to call for your pain med as, by the time the nurse gets it to you, you will probably be having moderate pain. Anotherwords, anticipate your pain.

    Right after surgery, I always make sure that I am given zofran (for nausea), because I can't handle the narcotics without something for nausea. When I am going home, I ask for the weakest pain med (usually 5 mg hydrocodone) and then I take 1/2. I just can't tolerate much and a little goes a long way for me.

    My younger sister can't handle narcotics at all and she has to take toradol and, after she gets home,switches to alleve.

    So the moral of my tale is to know your body and to pay attention. If you have problems, such as nausea, ask the nurse to call the physician to get something for the nausea (if it isn't prescribed). You have the right to be comfortable, then you have the responsibility to get moving to aid in your own recovery.

    All Different
    I had a mastectomy on my left side a little over 2 1/2 years ago. I had minimal pain and was taking Tylenol by evening for pain. I did the same at home the next day but I didn't really need it. I had no trouble with nausea and after they brought me a tray of liquids and jello for dinner, I pretty much had to demand real food which I scarfed down. All this underscores that we are all different. I have not gone the reconstruction route and from what I understand, that is way more difficult.

    I think the sooner you get moving around the better and your surgeon or nurse should give you some exercises to get your range of motion back. I faithfully did them and have had no problems. The worse part for me was the drain but that was only for a week.

    I'm sure others will chime in with their experiences and all of us all willing to offer support to you. Good luck.

    Hugs, Sally
  • RooDee
    RooDee Member Posts: 21
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    I was scared too...
    I was diagnosed with IDC (right breast)in Sept., had my bilateral mastectomy/ with latissimus flap recon (Oct. 7th, 2010). I was really scared and thought that I might not wake up from surgery, but here I am a month later (still sore) but alive. I was only on pain meds for 2 weeks. Last week I resumed exercising not too much on my upper, but more on my lower body with ankle weights...it feels great! I still feel a lot of numbness, swelling and tingling around my chest but no real pain, the only thing is that I still don't have full motion or range with my arms because of the nodes dissection but other than that I'm healing pretty good. My husband still won't let me drive so he takes me to my appointments...just make sure you have someone with you for at least the first week because it was really hard for me to move or do anything especially getting out of bed ( a recliner will help also), and last but not the least- stool softener=) **Hugs**
  • jo jo
    jo jo Member Posts: 1,175
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    Bumping cuz of spammer

    Bumping cuz of spammer
  • smalldoggroomer
    smalldoggroomer Member Posts: 1,184
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    Well first off Cynthia is
    Well first off Cynthia is right about the pain Meds. I had a Modified radical mastectomy on Nov 1st. I take my pain meds as prescribed and I really don't have that much pain. I was surprised at how little I have had really. I was up and walking the evening of surgery. Home the next day. I haven't had nausea. For me the only pain in the neck has been the drain but it don't hurt. I can't wait until I get it out in two weeks. Having to sleep only on my back is a little uncomfortable. But all and all it really isn't that bad. I was scared to but found out I didn't need to be. You will be fine please don't worry you will be fine and saying its nothing. Relax sweetheart it will be over soon, and you will feel great and be up and around and another step closer to the end. I'm with you all the way. Take care and {{{BIG HUGS}}} Kay
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598
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    RooDee said:

    I was scared too...
    I was diagnosed with IDC (right breast)in Sept., had my bilateral mastectomy/ with latissimus flap recon (Oct. 7th, 2010). I was really scared and thought that I might not wake up from surgery, but here I am a month later (still sore) but alive. I was only on pain meds for 2 weeks. Last week I resumed exercising not too much on my upper, but more on my lower body with ankle weights...it feels great! I still feel a lot of numbness, swelling and tingling around my chest but no real pain, the only thing is that I still don't have full motion or range with my arms because of the nodes dissection but other than that I'm healing pretty good. My husband still won't let me drive so he takes me to my appointments...just make sure you have someone with you for at least the first week because it was really hard for me to move or do anything especially getting out of bed ( a recliner will help also), and last but not the least- stool softener=) **Hugs**

    I had a lumpectomy, but,
    I had a lumpectomy, but, want to wish you good luck with your surgery.


    ♥ Tinker Lex
  • webbwife50
    webbwife50 Member Posts: 394
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    Everyone is different!
    I had bilat. mast. in june 09, the tram-flap recom, Dec. 10, shortly after I had finished chemo. I think that the surgery alone, is definietly doable, it's all the other stuff, rads. chemo, more surgeries, the fear, motality, ect.ect. just take good care of yourself and make sure you have a good support system just in case! God bless you....alison
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
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    My experience
    I had bilateral mastectomy (prophylactic on Left side) Dec. 21, 2008 and was back at work Feb. 1. I had expanders put in at the time of surgery. I took the prescribed pain meds in the hospital, but did not like the dizziness they caused, so I just used Tylenol. I stopped that after about a week or 2, I think. In my case there was more numbness than pain. Having the expanders in right away meant that I did not look very different with clothes on. That helped psychologically. The most annoying part of that experience was the drains. Here's a tip: use a strip of gause, ribbon, cloth, or something you can hang around your neck when you shower to pin the drains to. Also, It was worth the cost to me to get a mastectomy camisole with pockets sewn in it for the drains. It keeps them in place while you are moving around during the day.

    , seof
  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
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    Well first off Cynthia is
    Well first off Cynthia is right about the pain Meds. I had a Modified radical mastectomy on Nov 1st. I take my pain meds as prescribed and I really don't have that much pain. I was surprised at how little I have had really. I was up and walking the evening of surgery. Home the next day. I haven't had nausea. For me the only pain in the neck has been the drain but it don't hurt. I can't wait until I get it out in two weeks. Having to sleep only on my back is a little uncomfortable. But all and all it really isn't that bad. I was scared to but found out I didn't need to be. You will be fine please don't worry you will be fine and saying its nothing. Relax sweetheart it will be over soon, and you will feel great and be up and around and another step closer to the end. I'm with you all the way. Take care and {{{BIG HUGS}}} Kay

    Just sending you hugs and
    Just sending you hugs and positive thoughts for your surgery.

    Hugs, Kylez