Surgery 

At first it seemed my tumour was only 12mm I was allowed to travel abroad with my partner to America as I was due to go there for a business trip.  Me and Steven decided to visit Santa Monica,  LA and Venice Beach and we loved it despite the circumstances but perhaps if we had known I had a 9cm tumour (possibly two in one area)  we may not have gone or been advised to travel! It scares me that the mammograms don’t always show tumours up in mammograms it’s very worrying. 

I felt so lucky to be away,  I cherished every moment more than I would have before a diagnosis.  I had nightmares about the surgery to come though and I dreaded the thought of. It however I missed my son so I just put it to the back of my mind and looked forward to seeing him (my operation was 2 days after I returned) 

I needed lumpectomy surgery,  the Dr told me he would inject the site with radioisotope and blue dye,  the blue dye would travel to the lymphnodes closest to the tumour luckily they only had to remove three.  I was very nervous I found a few forums on Facebook for young cancer patient in the UK it was here I found the best and most up to date advice.  The women in these forums helped me to face this surgery and told me what to expect. 

My mam and partner were fantastic at helping me to face this surgery,  I was delayed for five hours and me and my mam kept busy talking to nurses and chatting about my holiday/business trip.  A young women called faye also gave me her number in the waiting room she had been through it all and had her new boobs she seemed so happy and told my mam ‘she will get through it all you know’.. At the time I was getting a huge needle nest my nipped and wasn’t feeling so positive or happy,  how can she really know if I’ll be okay? 

I felt ridiculous in my gown,  paper knickers and white stocking tights,  I walked around the hospital like a little girl lost just waiting for them to take me but it had to be done there was nothing I could do 

When they arrived to.collect me my heart was in my mouth. I was put to sleep in the operating room with lots of people buzzing around the room,  preparing rooms and injecting into my cannula,.  There was nowhere I could hide. 

These are my scars I felt okay after the op despite being told I would feel sick and be blue to the face from the dye I was actually okay!  I went straight home and watched TV despite people telling me I would be too tired for TV,  I love proving people wrong 🙂  I did feel sore and tender for a good week or s,  my arm pit is numb to this day,  I could be shaving layers and I wouldn’t know.  I still have a stretchy twangy feel that pulls me back to life with a shock if I reach too far for something!! 

Unfortunately a lumpectomy was not enough and after a two week wait I was sat in the ‘you have cancer room’  getting sympathy looks again as the Dr told me I’m sorry we thought it was 12mm we removed 45mm all of it was cancerous,  it’s still with you and we need to do a mastectomy… Of course what more did I expect I am an unlucky person and I should have known it had all been too easy so far. 

I spent the next few days at work trying to decide of to have a single or a double mastectomy (as if it wasn’t hard enough to focus at work).  I decided on a double as I don’t want to go through all this,  get better then discover it in the other side.  My Dr said yes but unfortunately the team didn’t agree and thought it was too risky as increased risk of thrombosis and infection in the healthy side. I tried to get my head around life with one breast,  I would have to wait a year for reconstruction and they would need to take the skin from my back to reconstruct.  

I didn’t feel as positive this time round,  I  couldn’t believe I was back at the hospital. Time went quicker this time,  not as long to wait this time.. Hmm was that a good thing?  No!  I know what’s coming I don’t want to go through it all again,  it sounded like a bugger operation.  The only thing keeping me positive was that a few girls in the forum said it didn’t hurt as much as I would be expecting,  brilliant I’ll take that. 

I stayed in hospital and had cool massage things round my legs I woke up telling my story to a nurse and cried as she gave me sympathy looks and asked more questions,  she seemed to be shocked someone my age was coming out of a mastectomy operation,  I was okay though I didn’t even have any pain Mr Dr injected the whole area with anaesthetic to help mw recover 🙂  I left the next day. 

 I had a drain hanging by my side full of diluted blood yak I kept forgetting about it in hospital and it would drag across s the floor oops!  I was pleased the hospital provided this drain bag to take it home in and keep by my side 

When I went to get the drain out I was scared I heard it felt like spaghetti being pulled through your body but it really wasn’t that bad as it’s only a small amount within your skin.  I saw the scar in the bath and it was dedicatory smiling at me,  positivity you see 🙂  

My mastectomy scar is huge I do have to say,  of course it is its bound to be,. I will share it here when I’m ready to do so. I have soft cushions to pop in my bra and nobody would be any the wiser really.  You also get an implant to put in your bra or you can get knitted knockers for free here.. http://www.knittedknockersuk.com/

I still wear underwrite bras,  I used to always wear a bra all the time even to bed now I hate them and feel so comfortable at home without one on but without one it is obvious of course and one day I’ll end up giving the postman a shock 🙂 

My results came in,  I now know this 9cm tumour (2 tumours due to a slight divide)  is removed however the ct scan showed a suspect lymphnode under a muscle. This will be monitored during chemotherapy but I think I may need surgery.  I wish I could have thus removed now as it could spread via the lymphnode.  The team at the hospital thought it looked more reactive than metastatic but I don’t think it’s worth the risk if guessing!! 

My mastectomy scar 

 I only have one boob my mind turns towards reconstruction,  I’ll have to have an L Flap reconstruction in one year.  I’m not sure how I’ll feel about this as I’ll just have got healthy and it sounds like a really huge painful procedure,  much more painful than the mastectomy was.  It involves taking back tissue and transplanting it round the front of the chest,  the scars will be hidden under the bra line. If anyone knows more about this procedure or would like to share their pics with me please get in touch traceyloisbrown@gmail.com

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2 thoughts on “Surgery 

  1. Just reading yours now … Also can’t sleep. Have you joined the younger persons breast cancer group on Facebook? If you type in younger breast cancer network and send a private message requesting to join. This group has been a life saver for me and keeps me away from Google xxx

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