Thanks for looking in. I had a mastectomy and sentinel node biopsy, had to go back to theatre the day after and it has left me completely pooped!! The fatigue is the worse thing at the moment, in fact today is the first day I haven't fallen asleep on the sofa. I have quite a lot of swelling under my arm but I am doing the exercises as much as I can. Get my results on Friday but still feel positive. Now if I could get a good sleep overnight I think I would be feeling better, time will tell, will check in again soon,
Thinking of all you ladies xxx
You sound to be doing pretty well for 7 days post op. So what surgery did you finally have??
Just make sure you always take a pain med before you go to bed, whether its hurting at the time or not, because you can bet if you don't, you'll wake yourself up when you unconsciously move your arm or body in your sleep.
You said your not one for sitting down or still.
I did my exercises 6 or 7 times a day (3-4 x is just a guide line). My full movement recovery was very quick because of it. With just gently and carefully stretching a bit more each time, not to "ouch", but you'll be amazed at how quickly your movement will improve. The more you do them, the quicker you'll recover, and the better you'll feel because of. i don't know if you're yet doing the "walking your hand up the wall" exercise, but thats a great one for seeing your progress.
Hope your node results are good. Now get back to those exercises woman !!!!!
Ali - Mmmmm. there's an interesting Valetines pressie. Hope your coping okay, or as well as can be, with your chemo.
Am sending love and speedy healing wishes to weveryone
Thanks Krysby, still feel like it's happening to someone else. The pain is bearable most of the time, only taking paracetamol, it's staying awake that's the problem, I don't think I've even felt so drained but that's normal I suppose.
Thanks Ali49, I do hope you are feeling ok with the chemo, I know you've got a few weeks to go before surgery but I do hope it all goes well for you and I will keep an eye on the threads on here. For the short time since my diagnosis I have found this forum to be a source of great advice, all of which I am grateful for, I don't know how I would have coped. Take care and don't be a stranger. X
Well done from me too. Give yourself a pat on the back for your perseverance you deserve it, the exercises are hard work but definitely worth it. Years ago when my mum had her op she ended up with a frozen shoulder and I just remember how much pain she was in as there wasn’t so much emphasis on exercising then.
Get plenty of rest as well. Xx
Hello again to everyone.
Well I'm now 6/7 days post op, after having surgery last Monday I had to go back down on Tuesday. Just really tired now, I admit I am struggling with the exercises but persevering, am glad it's all over, well for now.
Go back next week for results of sentinel node biopsy but I feel quite positive, don't know why but feel almost relieved at the moment.
Night all x
It suddenly occurred to me that if you haven’t had an operation before you may not know what to expect but it might help to know as it makes it a little less scary. The first time I went in I was worried I wasn’t going to wake up again whereas I found I woke up feeling more refreshed and for the following ops I kept quite calm.
So if this will help then read on, if you’d rather not know then just ignore this post.
This relates to the procedures at our local trust, so it will be different elsewhere but at least it will give you an idea of what to expect. The day surgery ward at our hospital is all seating and you wait with a lot of other people who are there for different operations. They do have a TV, but make sure you take a book or a magazine or something else to occupy yourself in case you cannot see the TV from where you are sitting as you could have a long wait.
For my first op which was a lumpectomy and SNB I was called over to the Breast Unit to have the wires put in and then taken back to the ward where one of the nurses confirmed my details, put a wrist tag on (this will be red if you have any allergies) and took my temperature, blood pressure etc and gave me a pair of support stockings to put on. I didn’t attend the Breast Unit at all when I had my mastectomy.
The anaesthetist came to speak to me to discuss a plan of action and then the surgeon who re-explained the plan, marked my shoulder with pen to make sure they got the right side, made sure I was happy and checked to make sure the consent form was signed. Sometimes I spoke to the surgeon before the anaesthetist, so I guess it’s whoever is free first. For my first op this didn’t happen until the afternoon as I was in the Breast Unit when they initially came round.
When it was my turn I was called into a side room to get changed into a theatre gown, put my dressing gown and slippers on, bag my clothes and then walked down to the theatre wing. They do give you a plastic bag if you need one to store your clothes/belongings but I took my rucksack so I was given a name tag to put on it, this was then stored in a locker on the ward. You may be assigned a bed in a holding ward and wheeled into theatre or you may walk straight into the theatre prep room. All of your details are checked and rechecked, and they will check your wrist tags etc. and ask you what you’re having done - don’t worry as it doesn’t mean they don’t know what they are doing, they are procedures that the staff are required to follow.
You will usually have a couple of the theatre staff start prepping around you and then the anaesthetist will go through things with you and explain about the cannula etc. Then they get started pushing various drugs in first and then let you know when they’re pumping in the anaesthetic. You don’t have to count down or anything, you’re gone before you know it.
After that you will wake up in recovery and they will make sure you come round fully and have a drink. Make sure you mention if you feel sick. You may be groggy and struggle to keep your eyes open and just want to sleep, everyone is different so don’t expect to take much in. You may be transferred to a ward or back to day case depending on how your surgery went or what you are having done. For my mastectomy I went down for surgery at 12:30 and was home by 18:30. I was warned that I might need to stay in overnight but as there I was very little blood in the drain it was removed and I was allowed to go home.
Most of the pain I had was in my ribs and underarm, with very little from the mastectomy site itself. I found I didn’t need to take as many pain killers as I did for my first op, I only took paracetamol in the morning and evening, but I made sure I took Arnica regularly, especially for the first few doses. A seroma did develop, but I chose not to have it drained as it would only fill up again and it is going down slowly.
I have resumed my TaiChi classes and am looking into hydrotherapy as well. I get my prosthetic boob tomorrow as there is an obvious difference being a 34D, but I’m happy with my appearance when I look in the mirror, it’s still me regardless of whether I have one or two breasts.
I hope this helps a bit. I just remembered being so scared the first time but mostly because I had no idea what was going to happen.
Best wishes and hugs for your operation tomorrow Annig and to you Miffy for the 30th. Xx
Thanks very much for this post and the practical advice in it. I had my pre op checks yesterday ready for my operation on the 30th. I have found it difficult to actually tell people my news but managed to do so yesterday, which is a good step forward. Very best wishes to you x
Thank you Krysbe, lots of good tips there. I'm starting to worry more now as the surgery gets nearer, have to give myself a good talking too ! I'm not one for sitting down either so that could be a challenge!
Anyway thank you for all the advice, will be back on after the surgery (Monday).
Hope you are still doing well
I agree the fear is worse than the reality. You will come through this, I am 62 and had never had surgery before, my first op ended up being a breast reduction rather than a lumpectomy as they found more suspect areas that had not shown up on the mammogram and I was so scared not knowing what to expect.
I didn’t have reconstruction so can only comment on what I did for my recovery.
I followed the instructions I had been given, I did the exercises three times a day (more beneficial if you do them slowly) and if it said don’t do something it I didn’t. I’m now 5 weeks post op and my underarm still pulls if I don’t do the exercises, even though I have full use of my arm now.
I took Arnica 30C following my op, I find it helped with the bruising and the pain.
I went out for a walk every day, just a short walk initially but then built it up, it was nice to get out in the fresh air. I took it really easy for the first week and just relaxed. Watch a film or read a book, if you feel tired go for a nap, don’t overdo it. You will feel fatigued. I found it very frustrating that I hadn’t got the strength to do even simple things like taking the top off a bottle of milk.
Make a note of when you take your pain meds, so you take them at the right time and don’t overdose, your brain takes time to recover from the anaesthetic. Take them regularly, to avoid the pain and then feeling miserable while you wait for them to kick in.
I slept on my back for the first few weeks and used pillows for support before managing to sleep on my side using the edge of the duvet to make it more comfortable. The skin around my surgery site felt strange, a bit numb but sensitive at the same time, when you think all the nerves have been cut it’s not surprising.
I ate a well balanced diet and drank plenty of fluids.
Thats all I can think of at the moment, l hope it helps, let me know if you have any further questions.
Best wishes for your forthcoming operation.
I too am going to have a mastectomy with a reconstruction and reduction on my other breast in a few weeks. I would love advise on how best to recover from this operation.
Hi Fairy Dust, thank you for your reply. It does sound like a similar timescale. Today I made the decision to have mastectomy, it's not a choice I made lightly but the best for me (have other circumstances I had to consider) . Booked in for the week after next, so not much longer to wait. I do agree with you about the fear! I hope all goes well for you, and you don't have to wait too long. And yes all these ladies are great, just to know we are not on our own and others have come through it helps enormously.
Hi Annig. Wish none of us needed to be on here. Think I'm at the same point as you. Biopsy 12/12 diagnosis 21/22 and thought I was getting surgery dates and treatment plan last Friday. They now want a biopsy of another area before we do anything. At moment there is still a chance I have a choice between the two ops, but if the other area is involved it will have to be a mastectomy. I keep flip flopping between the two at the moment. It's an awfujl decision to have to make. Like you though, I wish they'd just get on with it, because I'm sure the fear is worse than the reality. Well I hope it is cos the fear is pretty bad. Finger's crossed we get sorted out quickly.
Aren't the ladies on here wonderful by the way?
I had 6 rounds of fec-t, one round every 3 weeks. It wasn't easy but now 4 years later I'm happy that they threw everything at it.
when my surgeon was talking about reconstruction I was thinking to myself "are you mad, I couldn't give a hoot so long as I survive this" but now I'm so glad I listened to him.
At the end of the day everyone is different, every cancer is different and we all have different priorities..... only you can decide what is best for you. Hopefully you have faith in your medical team and will be guided by them to make the right decision for you.
take care x
ps you can look up all the different chemo regimes & potential side effects on the Macmillan website, its very informative.
Thank you Annig, glad to help. I had my results just before Christmas and am fine, I only need to take Letrozole, no radiotherapy or chemo so consider myself very lucky.
Hi Moijan, thanks for replying. All the advice and info has been very much appreciated but want to decide and move forward, I have always been impatient !
Hope you are well, best wishes
Thank you krysbe for all the advice, you've had a lot to deal with and hope you are doing well. I'm not too keen on the reconstruction at the moment, think I have enough to think about. Sending good wishes to you.
Thank you krysbe for all the advice, you've had a lot to deal with and hope you are doing well. I'm not too keen on the reconstruction at the moment, think I have enough to think about. Sending good wishes