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Mastectomy

Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

Hi I'm new to here . Just had a mastectomy any advice on recovering thankyou

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  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2019

    Hello @Newshoes123 ,

    How lovely to ‘meet’ you, it is great you have found the community.

    You will find there are many who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and will understand completely what you are going through. Even where the cancer is different, many of the side effects are similar, and the impact on our lives is the same.

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, had chemo, a mastectomy and radiotherapy, and two further operations. I am very glad to say my treatment was successful, although I have had difficulties from long lasting side-effects to work through.

    When you say ‘just’, how ‘just’? Are you at home yet, do you still have drains in?

    When I returned home after my mastectomy, I found it impossible to sleep in bed, even sitting up, I was terrified of pulling the drains out at night. We very quickly established a temporary bedroom in the lounge, where I could be propped up without fear of falling sideways. Mobility was obviously very limited.

    Make sure you take the pain meds regularly, keep an eye on the wound and surrounding area in case of infection. If you don’t feel like you are improving after the operation, seek medical attention. I only say this as I was like that, turns out I had a serious infection. If you find you are ‘leaking’ a lot, also call the breast care team straightaway.

    You probably have the exercise sheet from the physio that you are encouraged to do as soon as you can. It is excruciatingly painful, but do try and do some of it.

    Is this the first part of your treatment?

    There’s probably lots more I could say, if I can help you with any other info about it, please don’t hesitate to ask. I don’t want to bombard you with stuff ! haha. 😊

    I hope to chat with you again soon,

    Take care,

    Lou x

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Hi thankyou , I had my mastectomy last Tuesday with drains they were horrible took while to get used too. But there out now feel more mobile. Just waiting for the results from the op and node test then I'll get my treatment plan. The exercises IL finding really hard to do give to much pain. What was it like for you ?

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Newshoes123

    Good morning! 😊

    It's good the drains are out, one less thing to worry about!

    The pain was horrendous I remember, doing anything was very hard. It took me ages before I was able to lift my arm at all. I had my lymph nodes removed as well. I lived in PJ's for weeks. The problem I had, was that I was just out of chemo and I had very little immunity, which is probably why I picked up an infection. Hopefully that won't happen to you as surgery was first for you. (I don't know how drs decide the order of treatment??)

    Just keep an eye on the site, if you are having to change dressings more than they say, contact the bcn. Although the drains are out, you may still have some fluid come out. If you have fluid coming out along the stitch line that you are not expecting, contact the bcn. They won't mind you calling them if you are concerned.

    How are you sleeping? Upright?

    Hopefully you will get your appointment for a few weeks time once the histology report is done.

    Give me a shout anytime, here for you.

    Lou x

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Good morning my arm is really sore too when lifting it getting dressed . It's hard to sleep just to get comfortable. I find the hardest thing having a shower so started to wear a loose bra in the shower . And getting dressed find hard . How were u with those ? X

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Newshoes123 ,

    How are you doing today?

    Yes, I can imagine it is very painful to try and dress. To be honest I didn’t! Not for a long time.

    I wore a pj top all the time, joggers on the bottom. Underneath my top I had to wrap a towel around me to try and absorb fluid when my dressings suddenly leaked. We went through a lot of sheet changing! Loads of towels on the bed, and anywhere I was sitting. Even when I had to go to hospital again, I went as I was. Hobbled in with dressing gown around me. Obviously I was very poorly, I am sure you will do much better than me I hope!

    I don’t know how you are managing to get a bra on! I didn’t even try for weeks and weeks!

    Showering? No! I didn’t do that, strip wash, and baths helped by hubbie, plus baby wipes for when I just couldn’t even do that. Things like going to the loo, coped one-handed, but not easy. Haha!

    I know it sounds all so horrible, I know how much pain you are in, keep on top of that with the meds. Just have a go when you can with the arm movements and exercises, perhaps have a routine of each time you visit the bathroom or something, try it then.

    It will improve, it’s a massive operation, give yourself time.

    Sending you a gentle hug 🤗

    Chat soon,

    Lou x

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Hi I'm doing ok had a little break down last night couldn't get undressed without bursting into tears . Had did u cope emotionally . That's what I wore at the beginning then started wearing normal shirts . And the bra is from Asda mastectomy bra really recommend it . If it wasn't for that I wouldn't be wearing one . Awww no how r u doing now ? Wearing bra in the shower really helps . Yes that's s good idea thankyou 🤗

    Speak soon x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Newshoes123

    Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. It is frustrating as well as painful. If it's still too tricky for you at the moment, and you don't need to be anywhere, perhaps leave the dressing and undressing until you need to change. Just to give yourself a break until you feel stronger.

    Emotionally, I had been through six months of chemo before surgery, so I was prepared for it really. To be honest, apart from the scary operation bit, I was looking forward to the mastectomy. In my mind, it was a victory over cancer, it was being got rid of. I didn't care about losing the breast, if it meant no cancer, then go for it. I asked them to take the other one too while they were about it, but was told no can do! Probably just as well considering what happened afterwards!

    I was in fight mode, having been diagnosed, I was then 'right let's get on with it, let's get this thing out'.

    Have you been diagnosed long? The shock of it will take a while to pass, but you may feel like your feet haven't touched the ground since, processing it all may not happen til you are out the other side.

    I am cancer free now, after my operation I went on to have 5 weeks of radiotherapy, then 18 months later another operation to reduce my remaining side.

    Apart from long lasting side effects from treatment, I am very well. She says sneezing, haha!🤧🤧

    Lou xx

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Hi yes think I'll try that thankyou . I was the same wanted it all over . Some days u think did I actually have it done until u get pain again . I Sorry to hear that been through a lot .I got diagnosed a month ago lots happened within a month . Lots of tests mir scans bone CT scan . With the CT scan contrast dye I was allergic to it so ended up in A&E. Week before my surgery. Everything happens so quickly.

    Esme xx

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Hi did you get a weird sensation everytime u drink .

    Thankyou x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Newshoes123 ,

    Morning Esme, 🙂

    You have already been through a lot in a month!

    The great thing is hopefully with the surgery they have captured it all. Now any future treatment will be to complete the process. Dot the 'i's and cross the 't's hopefully.

    Not good you were allergic to the CT scan fluid, that's just an added problem. So sorry for you. Were they able to continue with the scan?

    My GP warned me at the start it would be a whirlwind, he was right! Your head and emotions may be all over the place, take it one day at a time. Stay positive, there is always hope Esme, that you will look back in these days from a place of health, knowing you came through it.

    Where are you getting the weird sensation?

    It's a beautiful day here, blue skies, sunshine, are you able to sit and enjoy seeing the day?

    Lou x

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Morning yes it's been none stop . In the scan I was fine . At night I woke up scratching my back all body itchy then in the morning I started to get a rash then my face started to blow up . So had to go to A&E they said I was allergic to the dye all day they kept me in 🙄. Where I had the op I get a weird sensation and pulling . Did u get that ? Aww lovely enjoy 😀 here it is raining

    Thankyou

    Esme xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi, Esme,

    Ooh that's sounds awful, you poor thing. At least they figured out what was causing it!

    Yes, that feeling is not unusual, definitely. All the nerve endings around the area, (and also in your arm pit if lymph nodes removed), have been affected. The pulling may also be where the body is trying to heal itself. There will also be a lot of scar tissue inside.

    Over time you may also experience very sharp pain running along the line of surgery, mine was the left side so at first I thought it was my heart! But it's not. Even now 3 yrs later, I get it. It's all to do with the nerve endings etc.

    It is worth mentioning to your surgeon when you go for your next appointment though, just so they can reassure you.

    Sorry you have rain, whereabouts are you? I am in the South West. Dorset.

    Lou x

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Hi yes the last thing I needed but it's on my record so it's kind of a good thing it happens then . Yes had lymph node removed too. But the worst thing was the drain glad that's gone . Just couldn't get used to it . Aww no mines my left too . Awww no thats scary hope your ok now . Yes got my appointment on Thursday . I'm in the UK in Preston

    Esme xx

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Morning how are you ? did u go to the hospital for physio?

    Esme xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good morning Esme,

    I hope you had a better night, and got some rest.

    Yes, I did have physio, the breast care team organised it for me. I had a lot of "cording' under my arm, preventing me from straightening it. The physio helped with that as well as exercises. She was the one to spot the lymphoedema, i had a lot of swelling down my arm and hand and was in a lot of pain.

    Keep an eye on that for yourself, ask the bcn about it.

    My physio was a long time after surgery, I had radiotherapy before then.

    It's good you have your appointment on Thursday.

    I have had the unpleasant visit to the dentist. I broke a tooth last week. My dentist is brilliant, but I have a deep rooted fear of going, stems from my childhood. Hahaha. It's a good job my daughter's weren't there, usually we go together, because I cried!

    Last night there was a TV programme on about the Mary Rose, and I couldn't watch while they were doing stuff to skeleton teeth, I had to turn over!! Haha

    Hope you have a good day,

    Lou xx

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Good afternoon

    Yes woke up couple of time it's hard to get comfortable. How are you ? I have my first physio at hospital on Wednesday busy week . All the appointments always seen to come around the same time . I'm in pain with mine just keeping forcing myself to do the exercises.😊 Aww no hope it goes well I hate dentist too . Due my check up 🙈 it's never ends lol .

    Thankyou u have a nice day too

    Esme xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Newshoes123

    Hi Esme,

    Ooh you do have a busy week, it’s great you have physio already, hope that goes ok tomorrow.

    I am ok thanks, getting over cold etc. Busy week for me too, but with nice things, organising two birthdays.

    Lou. xx

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Hi

    Aww thankyou dreading it a bit . Family have noticed when I'm walking I'm walking lobsided . Were u the same ? Awww that's lovely , something to look forward gosh keep u busy busy 😀

    Esme xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Newshoes123

    Hi Esme,

    Oh, don't worry about it, they will be so kind to you. You'll see.

    I guess you might be walking differently, I don't remember that as a result of the surgery (had lots of other mobility issues from chemo). I do remember being relieved of shoulder pain, on one side, but not the other. Your posture will be different. Have a chat to the physio about it tomorrow, see what they say.

    Let me know how you get on tomorrow.

    Hope you rest better tonight, you're doing great Esme!

    Gentle hugs,

    Lou xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Newshoes123

    Hi Esme,

    How did you get on with physio today, hope it went ok.

    Lou x

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Hi

    I'm a week behind couldn't manage the exercises propley very pain . Have go back in 3 weeks time . How were u when u went to physio. Thankyou hope ur well

    Esme xx

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Newshoes123

    Good morning Esme,

    I was the same with the exercises, it does take a long time to get anywhere, but try a little every day, don't push it, and bit by bit it will improve.

    I am good thanks, I hope you have a good day.

    Lou xx

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Good afternoon ,

    Hope ur well yes with doing them more started to get a little easier.

    Hope you have had a nice day

    Esme xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Newshoes123

    Hi Esme,

    That’s great to hear! It will get better with time.

    Yes, thanks having a good day, been busy doing errands etc, but wen5 out for coffee with my daughters after school which was lovely.

    How about you? Have you anything planned for the weekend?

    Lou. x

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Hi Lou

    Awww that's lovely they keep you busy . While I've been recovering my two young daughters have been staying with my in-laws . So can't wait to spend the day with them . 😀

    Esme xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Esme,

    Ohh, you must miss them, and they you. They will be so excited to see you!

    Lou xx

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Hi yes I see them few minutes every evening. . My in-laws live next door so I hear them when I'm going to school ect . But that's the hardest thing not having them here. There only young 5 and 6 so they don't understand to not jump on mummy ect lol .

    Esme xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Esme,

    It's so good you have family so close to you who can help with the children. My two are teenagers, so could help alot. The downside of them being older is their understanding of the situation is acute, seeing their pain was terrible.

    I have two casts who didn't understand not to jump on mummy, haha!

    Have a peaceful evening,

    Lou xx

  • Newshoes123Newshoes123 Posts: 23

    Hi Lou

    Yes that's the hardest thing managing them . Aww yes must of been very hard them seeing u in so much pain and seeing u like that .

    Awwww 🤗

    Thankyou u too .

    Esme xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Newshoes123

    Hi Esme,

    How are you today? How was your weekend?

    It's a beautiful day here, I hope you have it too. There is something about seeing sunshine that gladdens the heart I find.

    Chat soon,

    Lou x

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