I had a mastectomy in November 2003. I had my surgery at 10:00 a.m. and went home the next day at about 2:00 p.m. At that point, my pain level was maybe a 6 on the 10 point scale. Six days after my surgery, my sister-in-law passed away from brain cancer. My husband and I traveled 500 miles (each way) by car to attend her funeral with my surgeon's approval. I was uncomfortable, but was able to tolerate the trip.. Once the drain was removed, I was not even uncomfortable. I was able to go back to work as a school teacher in 4 weeks. I chose not to have reconstruction and have worn a breast prosthesis for over 4 years now. The physical experience was not at all bad. I did cry a number of times because of the psychological experience. I had always loved my breasts and felt unattractive when I would look in the mirror, or when my husband would see me naked. He, however, was wonderful and always made me feel like a complete, desirable woman. About 10 months after my surgery, my hair had grown back from the chemo and my self-image was back to normal. For almost four years now, I have not often thought about the missing breast, the bald head I had for 6 months, or the sorrow over the loss of my breast. I have instead appreciated every day I have to enjoy my husband, children, and grandchildren.
I stayed 2 days in the hospital following each mastectomy, and was back to work within 10 days each time.
Mastectomy one day and home the following day. I had no pain although there was some soreness and stiffness for a week or two. There is always the consideration as to how one feels about losing a breast of course. Some find it very devastating and others value their life much more than a breast. I'm curious if a mastectomy has been recommended in your case. If so then there is nothing to consider ... if you have been given a choice and the surgeon feels a lumpectomy could be done with clean margins obtained then I wouldn't choose the more extensivesurgery. In either case lymphnodes will be sampled and that leads to the possibility of developing lymphedema after surgery and precautions must be taken for the rest of your life. I chose to follow the recommendation of my surgeon and I suggest you do the same. If you have serious doubts you should request a second opinion; my surgeon offered this to me and I would expect any good surgeon to offer the same their patients.
I had a bilateral in November of last year. I had little pain. I did not need the stronger pain meds - I took some Tylenol. I was sore, but not in pain. We live in Italy and my cancer was found while visiting the U.S. I was able to travel home two weeks after my surgery. I could not lift my bags, etc., but fortunately, my husband was with me, so he did all the hard work! Within a few weeks, I was back to my normal energy level and range of motion. I chose not to have reconstruction, so my recovery period was not as lengthy.
Good Luck to you! I hope all goes well.
did you also have reconstruction
i started to tell you my situation in the calcification section. ive already had a lumptectomy. right now im dealing only with a biopsy for a cluster of calcs. i have them everywhere and so far all of my calcifications are b9. different ones have been biospsied. im worried in case these arent. i had a lumptectomy in 2001 with clear margins, chemo (cmf), radiation, tamoxifen and now femara. i know that if i have a problem in the future, i would only consider mastectomy.