The next phase

Well now I’ve had 2 lots of chemo and the oncology, chemo and district nurses all say that how I feel in the first treatments is how I am likely to feel throughout, I kinda feel like I have things sussed. I’m tired more often. Yesterday I had to cancel a lunch appointment because I thought I might actually fall asleep standing up. But an hour and a bit of power nap set me straight for the rest of the day. I’ll probably go for a snooze in a minute, too. But that’s ok, I know what I need to do and how to plan my work and social life around it.

So now my mind is moving towards the op. My initial reaction to people telling me that they had friends/family who’d had breast cancer was, and it sounds horrible, disinterest. I felt frustrated and slightly ‘yes, well they’re not me and what they felt and did is not what I’ll feel and do’. I was adult enough to bite my tongue and realised that at some point I may want to call on these people for information.

That time is coming. I’m not so worried about the feelings side of this cancer lark. I know how I feel and those close to me do to (those who aren’t close to me…I am how I appear to be – happy mostly, tired sometimes, but forever positive!)

What I’d like to have contact with people about is mastectomy and reconstruction. The options out there, what surgeons have recommended, what people chose and why. I want good stories and also those where things went disaterously wrong. I hate research…if a client wants research done, I get someone to do it. It bores me. But this is important to me and I want to make the right decision.

It’s too early to start discussing with the hospital, I think.

I have pretty much decided already to go for a double mastectomy and I want reconstruction. It’s the when and how that I’d like to hear stories about.

So, if you know anyone who is happy to discuss their experiences, please get them to contact me…much appreciated.

4 responses to “The next phase

  1. i do know a few possible people but one who springs to mind is sally taylor of bbc south who had a double mastectomy and reconstruction and made a telly programme about it. you can email her at or something very similar. she looks great and seems to be completely over it.
    call me if you want to discuss any aspect and don`t forget the tenovus cancer freephone helpline 0808 808 10 10 (office hours only).
    catch up soon, estelle x

  2. Hi
    I’m a friend of Claire Bayly. Not sure if she’s mentioned me. I had my mastectomy last sept.
    I belong to a breast cancer group for younger women down in Cornwall (Mermaid Centre at Royal Cornwall Hospital). To be honest I still dont know what to do about reconstruction. Most of the ladies have decided on recon but they all have different stories – as diff as each diagnosis and treatment is. I dont know if you have similar groups by you so you can chat to them first hand? I will happily ask my ladies if they would talk to you via email if you’d like?
    I was diagnosed and down in the op theatre within 2 weeks and had chemo & radiotherapy after. Unfortunately because they took all the lymph nodes I have developed lymphoedema which is an on going management ‘challenge’. Personally from a aethetic view point (and practical!) I almost wish they had taken both breasts. I’m a 36DD so it’s diff to hide one booby if I cant be bothered with the prosthetic or little cushion they give you initially. At least then I would have the choice to have ‘breasts’ or not without further trauma of more ops. I feel deformed & lop sided at the moment but I dont want to rush any decisions.
    It’s lovely to hear you are so positive. I am amazed I didnt fall apart. Now I feel invincible & incredibly blessed.
    Looking forward to hearing back but it’s fine if not
    take care
    love & best wishes from caroline xx

  3. Estelle – thanks. I have emailed Sally.

    Caroline – thanks so much for making contact and huge apologies for the delayed response. Do you have an email address where we can talk ‘privately’! Hope you’re well x

  4. Can tell you my experience of Mastectomy and you can even see my scar if you’d like – but I’d rather not type it. Give me a call or e-mail me for a meet sometime – or not. I completely understand what you mean about everyone else’s experiences. BTW K and I were in opposite hospital beds and had our boobies off on the same day. Currently I am not up for the recon – but as I said I tell you more if we meet up.

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