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Topic: BMX-No Recon-Need Cami

Forum: BCO Free-Cycle: Give or Trade Items Related to Breast Cancer —

A place to donate & trade breast cancer items free of charge (e.g. head covers, mastectomy products, swimwear, breast cancer support products). No money may be exchanged, even for shipping. All mailing addresses must be shared via private message & no phone numbers exchanged.

Posted on: May 20, 2016 02:44PM

CrawfordsMommy wrote:

Hey, I read somewhere that you have to get camis with pockets for drains and such. Anybody got any of these things laying around? Or know a place where to get them for cheap? I don't even know if I need a post surgery bra, as I'm going flat. I have no idea how to manage drains. You pin them around your neck on surgical tubing???

Surgery's on June 2 and I know nothing about it. Complete noob!

N.E.D. as of 11/18/2016! Hair status: Slow growing stubble. Taxotere is an evil mistress! Dx 5/2/2016, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/1/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Dx 6/8/2016, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0 Chemotherapy 7/22/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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May 20, 2016 11:58PM - edited Jul 16, 2019 02:30PM by Moderators

Hi Crawfordsmommy:

Start by asking the nurse navigator or equivalent contact at your hospital whether they will provide you with a post-surgical camisole (or something else), or if you need to get your own if you want to use one.

There are many approaches for holding the bulbs, ranging from camisoles, to drain belts with detachable pockets (velcro), to "Pink pockets". Some prefer improvised solutions such as safety pins alone, or a tank top plus safety pins, tool belts, kangaroo-pocket sweatshirts worn inside out (bulbs tucked in the pockets), etc. If you plan to use tank tops with pins, make sure the tank tops have enough stretch that you can step into them, as arms should not be lifted above 90 degrees at first.

The website www.breastfree.org describes various options with links on this page:

Breastfree.org: http://breastfree.org/content.php?page=15

Pink Pockets: http://www.pink-pockets.com

My hospital did not provide any garment. I had gauze with clear tape on top of the incisions, and the nurses used big safety pins to pin the bulbs to the inside of my top while I was there. At home, I had two camisoles (in case of washing), but didn't use them much. I liked the stick-on "Pink pockets" a lot better. They were roomy and easy to use and place where I wanted. You can get 4 pairs for ~ $20.00.

Various camisoles are dual function, with pockets for holding drains and ability to hold puffy forms, if you wish to use a form. (I was instructed not to use the puffy forms until my drains were out.) They are not cheap, but I did not try to get insurance to pay for mine, because I wanted to save my coverage for good silicone prostheses.

For showering (once you are cleared), many use a lanyard or just a fabric ribbon tied around the neck with large safety pins to hold the bulbs.

For clearing the tubing (the nurse will show you how), I bought a box of individually pre-packaged antiseptic "alcohol swabs" (sterile, alcohol soaked squares of a fabric-like material) at my local drugstore. Use the "swab" to hold the tubing in the "sliding" hand, pinched between index finger and thumb, to make sliding along the tube easier.

I still have the two camisoles (an earlier Softee model: SofteeTwo, size small) with one pair of puffy forms laying around and directions, if you are interested.

BarredOwl

Bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction, 9/2013

Stage IA IDC, 9/2013 BMX. Right: IDC (1.5 mm, grade 2) with DCIS (5+ cm), 0/4 nodes, pN0. Left: DCIS (5+ cm), 0/1 node, pN0(i+).
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May 21, 2016 03:21PM CrawfordsMommy wrote:

That is some awesome info. Thanks, BarredOwl! I went to the Pink Pockets link, loved the idea, and ordered the pockets. I have some blouses and button-up smocks lying around that will get the "pink pocket" treatment and I think that should be enough for me. I'm a homebody and don't bother to get all dolled up very often except on weekends, and the husband and I can spend a quiet month at home while I'm recuperating. I work from home, so I don't have to worry as much about my wardrobe or wearing a bra. I'm not even planning on using forms or prostheses.

I'm calling the nurse navigator on Monday. The surgeon seems good and, having digested a large amount of info on this site, I agree with his treatment approach - but his office has been pretty hands off so far. They do call me back if I ask for info or something; they just don't reach out much. I feel like I've been thrown into the deep end with all this. I hope that feeling gets better.
N.E.D. as of 11/18/2016! Hair status: Slow growing stubble. Taxotere is an evil mistress! Dx 5/2/2016, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/1/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Dx 6/8/2016, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0 Chemotherapy 7/22/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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May 21, 2016 05:10PM - edited May 21, 2016 05:16PM by BarredOwl

Hi CrawfordsMommy:

Glad you liked the Pink Pockets idea. Going flat is the most comfortable, and that's what I am at this moment.

You are right, it is kind of like being thrown in the deep end. Ask the surgeon's office if they have any educational materials or handouts available about mastectomy, and ask when you will receive pre-surgical instructions (e.g., re medication, eating, drinking, arrival, etc.).

After surgery, when the nurse emptied the drains for me, I asked her for a demonstration of use of the bulbs and "stripping" or "milking" of the tubes to prevent blocking by small particulate matter. They sent me home with written instructions about drain care, big safety pins, a ribbon (for the shower), a little measuring cup and log sheet to measure and record fluid output (because a certain low level of output is how they generally determine when to remove them).

I also took a notebook and pen with me to the hospital, with a list to remind me to get case-specific instructions before discharge from the surgeon and/or nurse regarding the following and either me or my husband took notes:

  1. Wound and bandage care, scar/incision care
  2. Drain care
  3. Signs of infection
  4. Nutritional needs
  5. Medications/pain control
  6. Activity restrictions
  7. Recommended exercises (gave me a pamphlet)
  8. Prosthesis restrictions (when is it okay to wear soft form with camisole, etc)


As you may know from your reading, sentinel node biopsy carries a low risk of lymphedema. Have you had pre-surgical baseline arm measurements taken? Let me know if you want more info about that.

You may also want to join the "June 2016 Surgeries!" group here:

https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/91/topics/844005?page=1#idx_14

Hopefully, your surgery will go very smoothly!

BarredOwl

Stage IA IDC, 9/2013 BMX. Right: IDC (1.5 mm, grade 2) with DCIS (5+ cm), 0/4 nodes, pN0. Left: DCIS (5+ cm), 0/1 node, pN0(i+).
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May 21, 2016 05:42PM CrawfordsMommy wrote:

Taking notes... and thanks again! I'm jotting all this down for the coming weeks.

I have special diet, nutrition and activity concerns. I'm on the lookout for a specialist who has experience working with BC patients with history of ED. There's two ugly things that don't mix well.

N.E.D. as of 11/18/2016! Hair status: Slow growing stubble. Taxotere is an evil mistress! Dx 5/2/2016, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/1/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Dx 6/8/2016, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0 Chemotherapy 7/22/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal

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