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Diagnosed 14 April....

SystemSystem Posts: 63
edited May 2020 in Newly diagnosed
This discussion was created from comments split from: Newly diagnosed.

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  • LocksleyLocksley Macedon Ranges, VictoriaMember Posts: 712
    Hi, I've been reading messages for a couple of days and a little scared to join in. 31 March I lost my job due to covid19.   I'm not on any social media at all.  I'm 52 and diagnosed 14 April with Stage 2 Hormone Positive Breast Cancer.  Had a lump removed 52mm and 4 lymp nodes 20 April.  28 April Husband lost his job due to covid19.  30 April I was advised I now need to have a mastectomy.  To say my head is spinning is an understatement.  I am now waiting on a surgery date. After surgery I will have chemotherapy and then  radiation treatment.  I have read a little on here and finding it helpful.  I have seen a counsellor because I felt I needed to.   Have filled in Centrelink forms and waiting to hear from them.   I am wondering if I need to get rid of all my underwire bras and bathers because I think I will need new ones for a prosthetic to go into.  If I do, should I do this now before my surgery so they are not at home in my drawers reminding me what I used to wear?  Thank you.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,659
    Dear @Locksley
    What a lot to handle at once! Smart move to see a counsellor - cancer is quite enough to need some specialised help in getting to grips with a new reality, without all the rest of the stuff we are grappling with just now! It’s always tempting to prepare well ahead as it gives us some sense of control. But don’t dump anything yet. I wore my normal (underwire) bra to and from my mastectomy. Of course, depending on where the surgical wound is, that may not be possible - rubbing against the wound is both sore and ill advised. But my bra was perfectly comfortable, so I wore it with a soft pad (provided by the hospital) until I had a prosthesis. You need to heal fully before having a prosthesis fitted. You may want to have a soft bra available as an option. 
    I got my prosthesis and new bras fitted at the same time. Depends on where you live, I am sure others on the network can advise on stockists/brands. Best wishes with Centrelink. 
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,659
    @Giovanna_BCNA
    Can you please repost @Locksley’spost in a new thread so others can respond? Many thanks
  • Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Member Posts: 1,848
    edited May 2020
    Hello @Locksley, Sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with breast cancer amidst the Covid-19 crisis.  Such a stressful time for you and your family.  Dont hesitate to call our helpline on 1800 500 258 to speak with a cancer nurse.  We may be able to provide some guidance for you and your family. 
  • TinksTinks AdelaideMember Posts: 229
    dear @Locksley I’m sorry to hear your news. First from my experience, I had a mastectomy first off with all nodes removed in axilla as my tumour was already thought to be on the larger side, and it was a decision I was very happy with as the scar is excellent and I didn’t have to have radio to the Axilla. 

    For bras I didn’t get to sorting them out, but at hospital after the op I was seen by a specialisation bra fitter and she gave me a Berlei mastectomy soft bra and soft prosthesis that could last me til I was ready for proper fitting, free of charge. 

    Whether you can wear your current bras will depend as @Afraser  says on how comfy they are over any healing scar or swelling.

     If you have a port, the bra straps also can sit right in the wrong place over the port or the thin tube coming out of the port....

    I got a really good soft stretchy post mastectomy bra later and when I’d worked out whether/ what suited me I ordered a second one. No hurry cos you will likely have a drain in for a few days and at home early on? Then you will likely want a port?

     I have some friends who ordered special bras too early and didn’t really wear them!

    Also take a look at chemo headwear! Soft caps for night and colder days. 

    Stay in touch with all the lovely ladies on the forum, they are amazing! We are here for you and you are not on your own here.

    lot of love Tinks xx
  • ddonddon Member Posts: 346
    You have been through such a lot in a short space of time. It’s so overwhelming at the start to have this diagnosis and it’s tough that you are going through all this covid 19 mess at the same time. I hope you have support to help you through. Wishing you all the best with your mastectomy - of all the treatment I have had, I found that was the easiest. Emotionally hard but physically easy. One step at a time. Sending a big hug as you go through all of this. 
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,659
    Hi again
    I forgot to add that I have used a prosthesis for seven years, happy with it. What you do post mastectomy is a very individual choice, based on lots of things and your surgeon may also be able to advise on options if reconstruction is of interest (now or some time in the future). But many (the majority still I think in Australia) opt for no reconstruction. I find a prosthesis easy, have one for swimming too. Best wishes. 


  • AbbydogAbbydog Adelaide, South AustraliaMember Posts: 287
    I wouldn't throw bras out in a hurry, they are expensive. If they bother you to look at, put them temporarily in another drawer or room. If you have breast reconstruction,  you may want use them. I received a bra, day 2 post op for free at the hospital with a temporary prosthesis, (Dacron)  At approx 6 weeks I was fitted for a silicone prosthesis. The cost for this was fully covered by Medicare, although I did pay for it up front.
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 5,567
    Gosh @Locksley - what a shocker of a couple of months that you've had!  That's a bummer you now have to have a mastectomy - but good that they are 'onto it'!  Well done for seeing the counsellor - they should be able to give you 'coping strategies' if you get 'down'.  Just try & keep as busy as you can doing things that you love doing (and within your capabilities specially in the early days after your surgery.) 

    What area do you live in (City/town/sate) as we may have members nearby who can guide you towards other services available in your town - or even meet up with for a cuppa once social distancing has been lifted.  (You can add it to your profile by hitting the 'settings wheel' at the top right of your page.)

    Throw up any questions that you think of - we have a wealth of informed members here who will be able to give you some answers. 

    I hope you have family & friends around to help support you, even in this time of lockdown.  It could be a good idea to start cooking up some meals & freezing them, so you know you have dinners 'ready to go' after you are home from surgery?  Unless your hubby is a good cook - and can leave it up to him!!

    Take care, & all the best for you upcoming surgery xxx

  • suburbangirlsuburbangirl Perth, Western AustraliaMember Posts: 122
    Hi @Locksley,
    Just saying hello and that I am thinking of you and the ghastly left field issues you are having to cope with. Not only your diagnosis, but both your jobs affected by Covid-19.
    SO unfair!
    Please know we are all here supporting you (and each other.)
    My very best wishes to you and your family
    xx 
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