Independence Day

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Susan J P
Susan J P Member Posts: 7

Hello I am just joining your group and this organization this morning.   I have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and have scheduled a double mastectomy on July 3.   I am a little over whelmed with what to expect.   By nature I am a planner and this is not following along with my plan Wink.   I read several post yesterday from survivors and their advise on how to plan ahead and what will be needed after surgery at the hospital and at home.   I am sure you ladies have answered this question a thousand times by newbies like me.   I would appreciate any advice you can give.   I literally stumbled across this group.   So thankful I did.

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  • Chickadee1955
    Chickadee1955 Member Posts: 356 Member
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    Independence Day

    Hello Susan.

    I am glad you found this site.  It was a Godsend to me when I was in your shoes.  It is a safe place to question or vent or just look for a little sympathy.  No one understands where you are better than the folks on this network, and it's open 24/7.

    I had a double mastectomy 8 years ago.  My memory is conveniently poor sometimes, so I don't recall my surgery in great detail.  What I do recall is I needed pajamas (as opposed to a nightgown) to accommodate the drains you have after your surgery.  Honestly, the drains were the worst part of the surgery for me (if you don't count losing your breasts).  I believe I had the drains for 4-5 weeks.  Plan to  have some help for the first few days.  You didn't mention if you were having immediate reconstruction, or reconstruction at all.  If you are planning immediate reconstruction, the recovery time will be extended.  You can also expect an emotional reaction post surgery.  I felt relieved that the cancer had been cut out of me, but I mourned the loss of my breasts.  I waited about 6 months for reconstruction, and the surgeon left ample skin to accommodate the implants, which left me with a rather awful looking torso for months.  That was also emotionally difficult.  Try to keep in mind that this is an extended experience.  It's not like having a wart removed; one shot and you're done.  You'll may have radiation or chemo post surgery, and everyone recovers at a different pace.  I wish you the very best of luck. 

  • Apaugh
    Apaugh Member Posts: 850 Member
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    Susan

    Take it a day at a time.  Take all the help you can.  Drink tons of water all the time.  (cucumbers and watermelon count)  Take someone with you to every appointment to help you remember information and to throw out questions.  2 sets of ears are way better than one.  Whenever possible, steer clear of drama.  Buy yourself nice jammies, soft socks and wonderful bedsheets because you deserve it.  Try to find a silver lining in ea. day.  Give yourself a break or 2.  Remember it is ok to cry, pout, and get down right mad sometimes, but then try try again the next day.  I also try to find humor in things.  That is how I get through some heavy stuff.

    Educate yourself on your particular type because your going to war and the more you arm yourself the better you can fight.  You are now a warrior and you have us behind you.  We are here and we care. 

    I chose to go flat, no reconstruction.  That is a personal choice.  Whatever yours is, is ok.  It is your body, your choice.  Do what is best for you.  At all times, in all things.

    Hugs and prayers going up for you,

    Annie

  • Susan J P
    Susan J P Member Posts: 7
    edited June 2018 #4
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    Independence Day

    Hello Susan.

    I am glad you found this site.  It was a Godsend to me when I was in your shoes.  It is a safe place to question or vent or just look for a little sympathy.  No one understands where you are better than the folks on this network, and it's open 24/7.

    I had a double mastectomy 8 years ago.  My memory is conveniently poor sometimes, so I don't recall my surgery in great detail.  What I do recall is I needed pajamas (as opposed to a nightgown) to accommodate the drains you have after your surgery.  Honestly, the drains were the worst part of the surgery for me (if you don't count losing your breasts).  I believe I had the drains for 4-5 weeks.  Plan to  have some help for the first few days.  You didn't mention if you were having immediate reconstruction, or reconstruction at all.  If you are planning immediate reconstruction, the recovery time will be extended.  You can also expect an emotional reaction post surgery.  I felt relieved that the cancer had been cut out of me, but I mourned the loss of my breasts.  I waited about 6 months for reconstruction, and the surgeon left ample skin to accommodate the implants, which left me with a rather awful looking torso for months.  That was also emotionally difficult.  Try to keep in mind that this is an extended experience.  It's not like having a wart removed; one shot and you're done.  You'll may have radiation or chemo post surgery, and everyone recovers at a different pace.  I wish you the very best of luck. 

    Thank you so much for your

    Thank you so much for your feedback.   I probably left out so much in my post, I was and still am a little overwhelmed.   I know I haven't dealth with my emotions regarding having cancer or having my breast removed.    I tend to hold everything inside.   Not the best way to handle things because it builds and eventually you do have to deal with your emotions.   I am sure you are right that will all hit me after surgery.   I am having reconstruction at the time of surgery.   I am dreading the drains, 4 - 5 weeks is a long time, I know that drove you nuts.   I bought several pair of button up pajamas.   I also bought a couple of bras to hold the drains.

    Thank you again for reaching out to me.

     

  • Susan J P
    Susan J P Member Posts: 7
    edited June 2018 #5
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    Apaugh said:

    Susan

    Take it a day at a time.  Take all the help you can.  Drink tons of water all the time.  (cucumbers and watermelon count)  Take someone with you to every appointment to help you remember information and to throw out questions.  2 sets of ears are way better than one.  Whenever possible, steer clear of drama.  Buy yourself nice jammies, soft socks and wonderful bedsheets because you deserve it.  Try to find a silver lining in ea. day.  Give yourself a break or 2.  Remember it is ok to cry, pout, and get down right mad sometimes, but then try try again the next day.  I also try to find humor in things.  That is how I get through some heavy stuff.

    Educate yourself on your particular type because your going to war and the more you arm yourself the better you can fight.  You are now a warrior and you have us behind you.  We are here and we care. 

    I chose to go flat, no reconstruction.  That is a personal choice.  Whatever yours is, is ok.  It is your body, your choice.  Do what is best for you.  At all times, in all things.

    Hugs and prayers going up for you,

    Annie

    Annie,

    Annie,

    You had me at buy nice jammies, nice socks and wonderful bedsheets.   I have bought all but the new bedsheets.   What a great idea.  I love your positive advice.   Thank you.    I have only had a few weeks to deal with the thought of cancer (which is still so hard to believe, because I feel so normal), how my life will change (which I am not sure I grasp yet) and what will be the new me .   I totally am into avoiding drama, I have learned that already, this early in this journey.   I have noticed it doesn't take much to make my anxieties go through the top of my head, so I am trying to stay positive and be around positive people.  Which has made a world of difference.    I am fortunate that I have a very supportive family and group of friends.  Who like you look for the positive in every situation.

    I have decided on reconstruction at the time of surgery.    I am trying over the next week to do everything I can to prepare myself and my home for recovery.   If you think of anything else let me know.   Thank you again for reaching out to me.