as a widow living alone I’m concerned about how long the recovery period will be & how much pain to expect. I’m having sentinel node remov E but hop Efully no other treatment other than tablets forfive Yeárs. I’m 67. Grateful for any advice 🤔🤔
Good morning @Ange7 ,
Welcome to our lovely community, I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but it is good that the surgery and following meds will be sufficient to remove the cancer.
You mentioned having a mastectomy and the lymph nodes removed also, I am sure that the dr's and nurses will give you detailed information regarding post-surgery etc. Do you have family or friends who will be able to help you afterwards? Post-surgery you will have limited movement and may require help with activities like dressing and other usual daily activities, as well as changing dressings, and changing the drains.
After having a mastectomy, you will have some drains attached (tubes), these are to help drain away any fluid that collects. The bags will need to be changed and the amount of fluid collected recorded. The nurse will advise you when it is time to have them removed, based on how much fluid is draining.
You should be given or you can get some strong pain relief to help ease the discomfort you will be feeling. I would suggest, you follow any advice the nurses give you, but also, it is much better to stay on top of the pain taking the meds regularly rather than only taking them sporadically.
The physiotherapist should visit you while you are still in hospital, to talk through the exercises you will need to do to restore movement and strength in the arm and chest area. At first you may find it very difficult to do these, but it is best to try moving even a little each day.
Everyone reacts differently to surgery, giving a timeline of recovery would be a very rough guess. I had complications after surgery so my recovery took a lot longer than anticipated.
If you still have questions regarding surgery and everything, definitely speak with your surgeon and medical team before the 16th.
There are many of us here who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, if you would like to know anything else or just chat generally about things, please don't hesitate to make contact. Everyone here is very friendly and understands what you are going through.
Please keep in touch with how you are getting on,
Thank you Lou, your reply is really helpful- I think I’ve been ‘burying my head a little’ I’ve got to accept the help & accept its not an overnight fix. Neither of my kids live local but they Will stay the first few days - I have two very demanding small dogs as well! I naively hoped I’d be ok after a a few days. I have my pre op & breast nurse appointment On Tuesday so will make a list of questions. Xx
Welcome to our friendly community.
Unfortunately, cancer of any type is rarely a quick fix but it will be brilliant to hear that your cancer has been removed following your procedure.
Do you have a MacMillan Cancer Support near you?They are so helpful and supportive and especially since you are living alone (with the dogs of course) they may be able to give you some help.
I’m sure there’s a Macmillan centre near here. I will check it out. Thank you for the advice. I think I’m still in denial at the moment perhaps things will get more ‘real ‘ after my pre op etc next week. It all happens so fast it’s a bit like watching it happening to someone else if that makes any sense? X
Yes it does. I remember when I was diagnosed I felt just the same. You do get used to it though and we will be here to chat and support you whenever you want.
I am glad to hear you will have some assistance after surgery.
As Rob has already suggested making contact with the Macmillan Cancer Support Group is a good idea. They can provide very valuable practical help and emotional support too. Don't be put off if you find there is a waiting list before you get to see someone.
Two dogs! Wonderful company and support for you, pets provide so much love and comfort to us.
It will seem like a whirlwind for you, especially at the beginning, it takes a long time to process everything after diagnosis. I am sure you must be very shocked still.
You can come and chat through things here anytime, we are here to support you.
thank you for your kind words, I know I should feel grateful the cancer was found early & can be cut away & perhaps that will come, at the moment it feels like the earth is moving beneath me and I have no control over it. Very much how i felt when my husband died. He wasn’t ill but had a massive & fatal heart attack. Perhaps I’ll feel calmer after my pre op and breast nurse meeting tomorrow- working on the principle the unknown is scarier than reality 🤞
Good morning @Ange7 ,
Oh most definitely I think these 'unknown' days waiting for results, scans etc are some of the worst days. Once you have more information and the operation goes ahead, you will feel more in control.
That is a good analogy about the ground moving beneath your feet, it does feel like that.
I am so sorry to hear about your husband, and times like these must make him not being here with you much harder to bear.
It is really good the cancer was found early and is treatable, hold onto that. It will give you hope and strength to see you through this.
Don't feel like you 'should' be feeling and thinking in a particular way. There is no right or wrong way, each of us has to find a way through that is best for us.
For me, I just knew I wasn't going to allow cancer to steal my life, how dare it!! I had had enough of cancer in my life with my family, I wasn't going to let it do the same to me.
This community is brilliant for finding help, support, strength especially when the days are so tough and seemingly unbearable.
Here for you anytime,