Bye Bye, Breast: A Mastectomy at Age 27

Natalia Hernandez Health Guide
  • Natalia Hernandez, Pre-Mastectomy, Age 27


    As most of you know, I had my skin sparing mastectomy done this Monday. It was actually not as bad as I thought it would be. I got to the hospital at 8 am and checked in. My entire family came for my surgery, so there was like 15 of us in the waiting room. That was actually a really good idea because we were goofing off so much that I forgot all about my surgery. They finally called my name and took me back alone, and they said they would call for my parents once I was hooked up to the IV.


    I was all set up and my parents came in, and oh my gosh it was freezing in there. Thankfully, they give you this gown that has these holes in them, and they attach this hose into the hole and it releases warm air. It was so cool because the whole gown fills with air, so I looked like a marshmallow. If any of you end up in the hospital ask them for one of those gowns.

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    Ok, I lost track of my story, so my parents and I were just waiting for the surgeon to come and tell us she was ready. My surgeon finally came and said it was time. My parents were able to come with me for a little bit, but were escorted into the waiting room. When my mom said bye to me, we both broke down and started crying. Then I started feeling really scared.


    Once I was in the surgery room I called my surgeon over to me and thanked her for what she was about to do and basically saving my life and removing the tumor that was poisoning me. She told me not to worry about anything because she was going to do everything in her power to take good care of me.


    After that I woke up in a recovery room and I started to scream for my mom. I had a small panic attack. They had to give me oxygen. I guess I was still pretty drowsy and totally confused. I was in lots of pain the first day of the surgery, but by the second I wanted to go home. I had been completely fine with the whole procedure until they removed my bandage.



    Mastectomy at Age 27, Natalia Hernandez


    I had a bit of a meltdown when I saw that where just a day before I had two breasts, and now one was gone. It took me a few minutes to recover and accept what had happened. It was so difficult to look down and see a flat surface. It was a really sad moment for me, as I'm sure it has been for many women. They also removed my lymph nodes. I think that is the part that is the most painful. It hurts bad, its hard to move that part.


    I have two tubes connecting from my armpit to the end of my chest and they come out from the skin, but they are stitched in, and they go into two pumps. The tubes are wrapped inside of the skin. It's so weird it kind of looks like a cinnabun.



    Mastectomy drains



    The pumps fill with blood and fluids, and I have to empty them out twice a day and keep a log of how much fluid I empty out. They gave me two cups with measurements on them, so I know how to measure the fluid. It's pretty yucky.


    The pain is not as bad now as I thought it would be, and I'm moving my arm just fine. If anyone is having a mastectomy done soon and wants me to give them more details, let me know. Don't be scared. It was not as bad as I thought it would be.


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    Now they want to have some more radiation done before I can have reconstruction. I feel super relieved though, like I'm so much closer to being recovered and so much closer to cancer free. I feel lighter now that the tumor is gone and I don't know if it's mental, but I feel healthier now that its out.


    I'm so happy! I can't wait for reconstruction so I can go shopping for new stuff, it is going to be so much fun. Thank you all for praying for me during my surgery and thinking about me. I could not have done this without all of you who have been praying for me, thanks again.



    Sleeping after the Mastectomy


Published On: January 31, 2008