Plastic Surgeon today...was cool and petrified and teary...

melclarity Member Posts: 3,502
Hi All!!!

Well, I have to say I'm pretty upbeat considering  :p generally....however being 11 months post chemo and constant appointments and feeling improved everyday. I have my Plastic Surgeon appointment this afternoon...and when I got up, I found myself fall into a puddle of tears, inconsolable. This is the end part of my journey to have a Mastectomy/reconstruction and found myself petrified, sad, just really hurt I guess that after the journey I have to face all this now eventhough its preventative and the last thing after 5yrs of having it twice. I know I have to do it, but I feel so upset about losing my breast, obviously there are so many reasons. The worst thing I find about today is...really wanting my Mum!! Stupid right??? Im 48yo but I lost her suddently 7yrs ago and its been a massive hole, and my Breast Cancer twice and she hasnt been here has been quietly upsetting for me. Im a get on with it type of girl...and I did...but the quiet moments right now just feel such a want and need for her...Uuugh! Im sure I'll feel better after the appointment. The past 5yrs Ive done all appointments alone...except for a couple. 

Yes, put on the big girl pants??? hmmm and get on with it!! Uuuugh OK!!!! sorry thats my vent on my vulnerability of the day!!! 

Hugs everyone! Melinda xo


  • Share
    Share Member Posts: 217

    Hey @melclarity - every girl (and boy) needs their Mum but in times like these - it is so hard.

    You are not venting - it is most likely the angst, trepidation, waiting and looking at that calendar with 24/11 clearly marked on it !

    Like the countdown to Christmas (without any of the joy) we spend all our time preparing for it and the day finally comes and in your case - reality hits !

    Nah, your thoughts aren't stupid at all Melinda - going through the last 5 years on your own (mostly) falsely prepares you into thinking you can do this one too. Finally the last hurdle ...

    I totally get how you want your Mum now.

    I lost my Mum just over 2 years ago to mbc and whilst I would have loved her around (she gave me so much support during my first diagnosis), in many respects I am glad she is not around for my mbc diagnosis.

    She would have blamed herself (which she did when she was diagnosed - "It's my fault that you have it"). No genetic testing was not done - no other recurrence in the family and my Mum was 70 when she was diagnosed.

    Will be thinking of you this afternoon Mel.

    Light & hugs to you xxx


  • Nadi
    Nadi Member Posts: 619
    Hey Melinda. Oh Hugs to you! I am so sorry for all you have had to go through. I think I understand how you feel. I just couldn't face the decision of having a mastectomy. The thought of losing my breast was just too much to bear. I was fortunate that I had a choice of lumpectomy but my biggest fear is if I have a recurrence I will have to had a mastectomy and I just don't know how I could handle that. I too am 48 and I too have many times when I just want my mum. My mum is still alive but she is never "there for me" as she has her own stuff to deal with. She has changed into a completely different person to the mum I had when I was young. She always comforted me when I was little but not now. So I miss that. I guess it means we just want someone to comfort us, take away the burden and to take care of us. I'll be thinking of you this afternoon at your appointment. I hope it all goes well.
    Hugs, Nadine
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    Not stupid at all  I was 51 when diagnosed and so many times I've missed my Mum on this journey. I particularly remember feeling extremely anxious prior my first appointment ...and we were early. We sat outside and I decided to do a mindfulness technique to calm me down. Whilst  deep breathing and listening to the leaves . ..I felt and heard her say "it will be alright" It was so powerful. She has visited once since when doing it tough in my dreams...just saw a handwritten card saying love Mum...I awoke immediately. I so miss having my parents. The planning and the wait is the hardest part, and yes...just starting to feel better then more procedures is so annoying. I too was devaststed to lose my breasts. I mourned for them. I had a farewell party and wrote a poem about them. It  seems silly but it helped. Whilst  I do miss them, I have  adjusted and feel okay with my new appearance. Hope your appointment goes well. Kath x
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,502
    @share so so true! Funny isn't it? just because you've been strong and done the hard yards doesnt mean you can face the next thing the same way...although most likely would. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum! Like you my Mum is the only other person in my entire family who had Breast Cancer, so they didnt push for Gene testing. But because I had a recurrence which my Mum never did, they needed to be sure. 

    @Nadi thank you!!! it really such an emotional decision and Im so sorry that you do have your Mum still here and yet you don't have her the way you'd soooo want her! That would be so incredibly hard, especially right now and what youre going through. 

    @Primek Kath, that is just so beautiful about your Mum. I dream of my Mum alot, and there are always signs. I have one dragonfly that comes visit every time I go in my back yard or sit at my computer and overlook the yard. Not to mention her favourite songs come on in the most incredible moments. I totally agree with the mourning of your breasts and what a wonderful thing to do write a poem. I love writing, I used to write alot of poetry.

    Thank you all ladies for your lovely thoughts, it was so nerve racking!!! But I met him, he was absolutely lovely. We talked through the entire thing and he examined me. So here it is, Im a great candidate for the Diep Flap reconstruction and he explained he will do a skin sparing but I'll lose the nipple. Call me strange but psychologically I can seem to manage this better knowing I'll keep some of the skin of the breast, well most of it, its just the contents will be gone and my stomach used to fill it. He said he can get quite good symmetry just doing that as am big breasted. He was really good in explaining so Im category 2, and he said within 90 days it will happen. He wanted before christmas, but to be honest I dont want to be miserable and recovering through Christmas and the holidays. Plus I work in education and get paid leave for January. I have income protection all next year which makes more sense. Down side is he said I wouldnt be able to resume my job for minimum of 3 months. I dont really care to be honest ME FIRST!!!!! 
    Hugs ladies xo
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    Wonderful plan . I was okay  losing my nipples . ..I figured if they were  not going to feel the same then  why worry. I couldn't save one  so opted to lose both. I will have recon  and tattoo later. Love that your Mum is letting you know she is there. Treasure the moments.
  • KatyJoy
    KatyJoy Member Posts: 181
    Oh Mel, we never know when it's going to hit us. You have been through so much trauma, and at the time we soldier on because we don't have a choice, but eventually we have to let it out, and venting is healthy. I hope it helps to talk about it here with so many others that just get it, because we do. And of course you miss your mum, we never 'get over' grief, we learn to live with it. With change in our lives, and this is a change in yours too, we grieve too. It is a process that is natural and normal. This new surgery, although it marks the end of this journey, is a big thing too. I hope your appointment went well. Big hugs to you Kate x
  • ScorpionQueen
    ScorpionQueen Member Posts: 768
    edited November 2016
    I too was scared of what was to be with my planned bi lateral mastectomy.......I had mine after lumpectomies and 3 weeks after chemo this stage I had become comfortable with the notion that I will lose my HH cup size breasts as it was in my plan laid out to me from the very beginning....the day of the surgery was it wasn't as bad as I had worked myself up took me two days to actually look at my scars....when I did i thought I would cry, but i didn't.....a calm and inner peace swept over me instead.....I examined my new sillouhette and thought, well there you go, it's (the cancer) gone! I was in hospital for 10 days due to blood pressure issues and me just not feeling strong enough to go home.....I did have a melt down, but it was more the fact of what i had been through.....I was alive! I kicked cancer's ass!

    I now have expanders in  and am filled to a large C which has taken some getting used to after being so big! I have my transfer surgery next year after I have fully healed from radiation (finished 27/10/16). I have no nipples and am not particuarly worried if i get some or not!

    This is such a tumoultuos time....every emotion courses through your veins....your mind goes round and round....and yes you need your Mum no matter how old you are....I remember my mother in law calling for hers when she was terminally ill in hospital (she was 78).....My Mum wants nothing to do with me or my diagnosis (even though she had bc too!) so I don't know what hurts more, them being here and not caring or just not being here......

    Your Mum is watching over you, she did the last time had signs, but didn't realise....your Mum is always near, ever so subtley she will give you signs....the sun suddenly appearing....her scent.....roses.......daisies.......take notice of your dreams, for she gives you important messages in them.....

    I wish you all the best for your will learn to love the new you....sending love and light - Tracy <3
  • Hopes_and_Dreams
    Hopes_and_Dreams Member Posts: 760
    So glad you are happy with your plan Melinda and it is great that you can keep most of your breast.  It sounds like you have an excellent surgeon - so important to have someone who takes the time to make sure everything is understood.  Goodness knows its hard enough having to go through a mastectomy but having trust in your surgeon helps.  I was so lucky to have my mum with me through out my diagnosis and surgery and she was wonderful.  But I did miss my dad who I lost 9 years ago.  I was always his girl and a dad hug was so missed.  Mel, I am sure you mum is watching over you and she would be so proud of your amazing strength.    Jane xx
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,502
    @KatyJoy @ScorpionQueen @Hopes and Dreams

    Thank you so much ladies for your kind words and thoughts, I actually found I had nowhere to turn today for support...I have found as my journey continues, family and friends tend to move on and their focus is elsewhere apart from a few people. Very disappointing. AS you all know, what an incredibly hard journey this is, having others who just 'get it' makes a real difference, where you dont have to explain the depth of how you are feeling and why!!! To those who have lost parents too...the biggest hugs, its the hardest thing in the world.

    I'm ok after the meeting today, it helped alot actually and he said its very straightforward in my case. He's put me through the public system eventhough I have private cover, so I will have no out of pocket thankfully. Forward thinking as it will come around quick Id imagine, but I have one doing VCE next year and another in Uni and I'll have to send them to their Dads. I battled with being a single parent through 4.5 months of Chemo and only had my Dad come for a few days when I needed desperately. Otherwise I had to manage with no support. Everyone was well meaning but no action really....I let go of alot of people through the past 5yrs and have a few close friends only now. Not sure how I'll manage recovery at home as will be alone...hmmm hopefully I can manage right??? my partner will be able to help only weekends as we live far apart and work commitments makes it difficult lol Uuuugh need to do some serious planning!!!! definitely feeling much better so thank you again ladies!!! 

    Hugs to you all! xoxo Melinda 
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    Just like any surgery...for instance would be entitled to an assistance someone  in to help with cleaning etc. I am not sure how you access but a chat with aged care disability services at your closest hospital would be a start. Even speaking with the physio that you possibly attend for lymphodema . ..these people have the knowledge and of course a breast care nurse or the cancer council. Use what is available. Kath x
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,502
    @ primek Thanks Kath, yes Im sure there are those things available. Although I wont need quite that help, its more meals and help with dressings. My kids will come back and fourth and do everything else. I just cant have them with me as one will be VCE and the other in Uni and they cant get to and from school and Uni and I cant run them around is more the problem. 
  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    Oh Mel, isn't it just terrible when emotions sneak up to the surface and take over. I had it happen only once in public and I just cried it all out in the car as I went home. Hubby who was driving must have been mortified but you see I had bottled it all up for so long it just burst out one day. Good news is, it probably did you good. Consider it a 'reset' button and you are good to go again now. :)
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    Don't forget it is a flap reconstruction, a lot of recovery required. I'd chat with the breast nurse about expectations of what you will be able to do for a number of weeks following surgery. x
  • Ellen Garratt
    Ellen Garratt Member Posts: 2
    I have just decided to get a reconstruction done after 3 years.  I am yet to speak to plastic surgeon but hoping my decision is the right one.  I am still nervous and will probably get more emotional as the decision becomes final.   I am lucky to still have my 90 year old Mum who listens to my gripes and emotions.  Good luck Mel and hope all is well with you.
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,502
    @Brenda5 they sure do!!! and yes Ive had that happen too in public, and sat in my car, its awful. 

    Thanks Kath! @ Primek yes he said its massive 6hr op, 8 week recovery and I cannot work for 3 months minimum in my job. 

    Thanks @Ellen Garratt I didnt really have a choice as I had radiation 5 yrs ago, so the Plastic Surgeon said he wouldnt recommend an implant. He said he'd offer a Diep Flap over an implant generally for many reasons, being live tissue. I honestly didnt want an implant, though admit not happy with the alternative either. But at least I will keep someof the breast skin. 

    Thanks everyone! Not great today at all...the whole reality has me quietly sitting very upset at the moment. xo Melinda