Diagnosed with BC

DiamondGurl Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi everyone!
I am new in this site, I am not yet a survivor but I am going to be!!! I was recently diagnosed with BC. I am 24 years old. I will be having a mastectomy next week. The diagnosis changed my whole life! I was wondering if anyone who had had bc can share they experience on having a mastectomy. I am alos here looking for support!


  • tommaseena
    tommaseena Member Posts: 1,769
    I was diagnosed with BC at age 44 in December and had a bilateral mastectomy with tissue expanders put in at the time of surgery. I did not have hardly any pain with the mastectomy. I will be going through chemo so your treatment plan after the mastectomy may of course be different with the final pathology report.

    Hang in there and you have a lot of friends on this site.
    Positive attitude also helps.
    Thoughts and prayers will be with you next week.

  • EveningStar2
    EveningStar2 Member Posts: 491 Member

    You *are* a survivor. You become one at the time of your diagnosis. My story is a bit different but you will find a lot of support and information on this board.


  • cabbott
    cabbott Member Posts: 1,039 Member
    People can get in heated debates on when you are a "survivor", but I was told when I was diagnosed that you become a survivor as soon as you start following a plan to help you beat this nasty stuff. Mind you, I didn't feel like I had my head above water when I was first diagnosed, . . . I fear I took a few months or more to feel like I could make it through the day with a upbeat attitude! Nevertheless, you can start calling yourself a survivor right now.

    Welcome to the club no one wants to join. This discussion board is great for posting questions and finding out ways to make the fight against cancer a whole lot easier. You are very young for having breast cancer. I was in my mid-forties when I was diagnosed and they thought I was young. My cousin has also had a run-in with the nasty beast. She was in her late 30's and couldn't even convince her doctor to let her have a mammogram! I guess it goes to show that we should be alert to changes in our bodies.

    I had to have a mastectomy too. I had little spots of cancer, but the 2 spots they found were too far apart to do a lumpectomy and radiation. That is the usual treatment these days for breast cancer. I am not large and two lumpectomies in one breast were just not going to happen for me. Mine was a simple mastectomy and a sentinel node procedure. The second operation mentioned there is to check the nodes to see if the cancer had left the breast and started to set up camp elsewhere. My hometown surgeon could not do a sentinel node procedure, so I left him and went with a different surgeon at a teaching university hospital who had done tons of those operations. My cancer was not an aggressive sort, so the typical node operation would have been overkill for me. Sure enough, it had not left the breast, which was good news.

    My teaching university gave me about ten different stretching exercises to do the day after my mastectomy. They took about 30 minutes to run through and mostly consisted of raising a dowel rod as thick as a broom handle and held in both hands in different directions, each direction about 10 times each. Some folks recover their flexibility just walking their fingers up the wall, stopping when anything hurts. Definately stop what ever you are doing if it ouches! You will not be up to pulling weeds, lifting anything heavier than a plate or a glass, or running a vaccuum cleaner for over a month. Pain was never a problem for me and I took only one or two of the pain pills they gave me when I left the hospital. Plain old tylenol was sufficient and caused less constipation. Constipation was a MAJOR problem. The stuff they give you in the hospital often causes that problem, so stock up now on prune juice and some Phillips Milk of Magnesia. Don't wait till you come home from the hospital to get it. Trust me on this. Get it now! Mastectomies where I went were day surgery. They told me I would feel like going out to eat that night. I figured they were joking. They weren't! I was the last one out of surgery and didn't leave the hospital till about 4 PM. That was the start of rush hour and it took a fairly long hour to just get out of the city. Then we were in for a 2 hour ride home. We would have gone out to eat at a fancy spot, but we stopped at Burger King for some fast food so I could get home in time to say good night to my 10 year old. It was worth missing dinner for. When he came in the door, I was putting the dishes away from the night before that I had left in the drainer. My right arm was not up to lifting more than the silverware or a glass at a time, but I was managing one plate at a time with my left. He almost burst into tears and exclaimed, "Mom, you're alright!" He had really been worried, but then, so had I. It took me two days to be able to reach over my head and about two months before I could lift the laundry basket with wet clothes. (My husband actually made me hang the clothes on the line the first week saying it would be good therapy for my arm. He did, however, stoop to carrying the basket for me that first month or so. He is not the type to spoil his wife much, but we won't go there.) Anyhow, I dither on about such details so you know that this operation is one you can survive. It takes longer to recover your flexibility and strength if you do reconstruction at the same time, but then you don't have to deal with a prosthesis (my choice). Reconstruction can be done at the same time or it can be done later. Some folks have the regular node dissection and that can lengthen recovery a bit too. And some folks need a modified radical mastectomy that can change recovery time. No matter what your surgery plan is, they have plenty of pain control options to make it okay and with a little effort, you will recover your strength and flexibilty in time. Don't do too much too soon. Stop if anything ever hurts. And spoil yourself a bit (even if your loved ones don't spoil you much) the first few weeks. Good luck!

    C. Abbott
  • Joycelouise
    Joycelouise Member Posts: 482
    Sorry about the bad news
    Sorry about the bad news diagonosis, Diamond. But definitely count yourself as a survivor, right away. Hey, the days after diagnosis can be pretty bad. If someone asks how you are doing, you can honestly say, "Well, I am surviving!"
    My Mas. was a bit painful, but not horrible and I was walking to Starbucks with a drain in place a few days afterwards. Went back to work in about 9 days. There is limited mobility for a while, you can't lift your arm up high but it comes back, and a small limit to how high you can raise that arm for a long time, maybe always. But, it feels good to have the tumor removed. After they remove the tumor, you are clinically "cancer free". The rest of treatment that comes afterward is to help insure that you stay that way. After the surgery, it helps to go around saying "I HAD breast cancer". We will do our best to see you through the rest. Don't feel you need to be perfectly brave. We have all been there.
    love and support to you, sweetie! Joyce
  • Derbygirl
    Derbygirl Member Posts: 198
    I agree with others that YOU
    I agree with others that YOU ARE A SURVIVOR and I think your attitude will help during the coming days, weeks and months. I didn't have a mastectomy, but others on this network will share their experiences about that surgery. I had a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation and just finished treatment on Christmas Eve 2008. During the next few months you will be exhausted, anxious and worried, but most of us have shared the same feelings and will reassure you that this is part of the process. We're here to offer support and information 24/7. Look forward to hearing from you again. Good luck!