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First Shower After Mastectomy

theBCavenger Member Posts: 172

After two weeks without a normal shower, I was so excited yesterday to take my first one after double mastectomy with expanders placed.

I tried very hard to not look, but did happen to see a little... very upsetting, think I cried for a couple hours. Had my 14 year old daughter help, as I did not think it was going to be that bad. I made a bad choice! 


  • catbill
    catbill Member Posts: 102
    edited December 2011


    I'm so sorry this has upset you.  I, too, had a double mastectomy with tissue expanders placed, and now my reconstruction is complete (including tattoos).  I think things will settle down for you, and you will feel calmer once reconstruction is a little further along.   But I don't  think you've made a bad more worrying about mammograms, and your plastic surgeon can do nearly anything you want without worry about matching the other breast.  And even more important, your diagnosis looks great!  Hang in there.   I think it will look better in the near future.

    PS   I looked at myself the night of surgery.

  • mdg
    mdg Member Posts: 1,468
    edited December 2011

    I can tell you I cried the first time my husband had to do my drains and saw me....I just completed my final surgery (nips) on December 9th.  I feel good about how I look now and like my new breasts.  It gets better...the beginning is really hard emotionally and physically......Hugs!

  • chrissilini
    chrissilini Member Posts: 13
    edited December 2011

    DM13...I understand completely. The first couple of times I saw my incisions I felt like Frankenstein and I cried. I had to wash the incisions and change the bandages every day. My bf has been very good about it all, holding me when I need to cry and helping me to believe I'm still beautiful. I started to look at the incisions as meaning the cancer is all gone, that I've beaten this and I'm a stronger person because of it. I am more than just my breasts, whether real or foob. Not sure if this helps but it will get better.

  • Blessings2011
    Blessings2011 Member Posts: 1,801
    edited December 2011

    Aw, DM13 - it's just normal to grieve for once was, especially when we're in pain and feeling vulnerable. But like others have said, this is a new beginning for you!

    Do you think your bad decision was having the surgery? Or letting your 14 year old daughter help you in the shower? My mom had a radical mastectomy with no reconstruction 25 years ago. Believe me, THOSE scars were horrific. But you know what? It helped me see my mom as a whole person. The scars were just her badge of courage that she had fought - and won - against breast cancer.

    That gave me great hope when I had my own BMX two weeks ago. I see my scars as my badge of courage, and the tissue expanders are just the symbols of hope that the shape of my body will return to a new normal down the road.

    Big hugs to you!!!! May you heal more every day!!!

  • iLUV2knit
    iLUV2knit Member Posts: 65
    edited December 2011

    awwww..... boobs do not define a is the whole person, inside and out that only matters.  I looked down at my flat little expanders the very next day after my double mastectomy.  The plastic surgeon (who was an intern for my real PS--she told me she would be out of town) looked at the incisions the next morning.  When I looked down, I only said, "oh". He said, "don't worry you will look alot different, this is only the beginning".  He was so gentle and kind.  He was is SO much better now and will only continue to do so.

    You will be fine too :-)   

  • theBCavenger
    theBCavenger Member Posts: 172
    edited December 2011

    Thank you all for your thoughts and support. 

    blessings2011- my concern was that I had my 14 year old help me. But after hearing what you wrote, maybe it is not so bad that she did.

    I have had several showers since my first one. It is getting easier. I never really thought my boobs defined me, and to be frank, they were such a hassle that I don't mind them gone. Still on the fence about the expanders... I am sure when everything is finished, I will feel better about my choice.

    I hope everyone had an awesome holiday! WE ALL HAVE SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR! 


  • lunamoon97367
    lunamoon97367 Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2017


    Okay so still having pain it has been 4 days out of hospital now. Still catch myself trying to do stuff. But I know not to. My question is how did you all fair taking showers?

    Had a bilateral double mastectomy done on Monday

  • legomaster225
    legomaster225 Member Posts: 356
    edited November 2017

    I was able to shower the second day after my BMX. Quite honestly it felt great once I was in there. My nurses gave me IV tubing to wear like a necklace to hold the drains in the shower. (A shoelace would work fine). My husband tied up my battery packs from the wound vacs to the shower door. I had a shower seat and just sat with my back to the water for a LONG time. It felt so nice. I did have immediate above the muscle implants put in so it may be different than most. I actually used the shower seat for quite a while because I liked just sitting there

  • Wildflower64
    Wildflower64 Member Posts: 2
    edited October 2018

    thanks for posting as I am about to take my first shower after my bi-lateral mastectomy. I have seen myself from above as dressings are changed and different check ups, but have yet to face myself full on in a mirror seeing myself from outside myself. I am strong in my identity but this has brought me to face many of my self perceptions. and I will have to change them slowly as I move through the reconstruction process. Through out this process I’ve had to keep reminding myself this is not optional. My left breast was cancer free but the fear of existing cysts that were under annual observation and multiple calcifications made it feel necessary. I also watched a dear friend struggle for over seven years with multiple cancers only to loose her battle painfully. As well as another friend now in this process.Reading this posts have given me the strength to face my new self with kindness and compassion that I would generally bestow on others. Thank you all for sharing your insight it has inspired me to move through this with a different and kinder awareness.

  • snickersmom
    snickersmom Member Posts: 599
    edited October 2018

    I had drain holders someone sent to me from the freebies forum on thi site. I cant remember the name of it but if you look at the "jump to forum" thing and scroll down you will find it The drain holders really worked well. I sent them to a woman in Spain so I don't have them anymore. If I did I would send them to you.

  • rachelcarter35
    rachelcarter35 Member Posts: 256
    edited October 2018

    In one week I get the cherries on top (tattoo nips). Five months out and I feel whole and beautiful and hopeful. You are in the trenches right now but it does get better. I remember after three weeks of no showers that night when the drains were out and I was standing in in my tub sobbing because I was afraid to put my incisions under streaming warm water. It took so much courage for me to step forward into that water. It felt so good to be clean afterwards. It makes me cry remembering that fear. You are going to be looking back on this someday.

    PS I just saw that this is an old posting but still am going to leave my response because someone might benefit from reading it.