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Topic: After Mastectomy

Forum: Caring for Someone with Breast cancer —

A place to share your struggles and concerns about supporting and caring for a person you love diagnosed with breast cancer with others who understand.

Posted on: May 22, 2019 11:44AM

protectivesister wrote:

My sister was just diagnosed and will have a mastectomy on June 5.  Her personal resources are limited, however as her family, we are all ready, willing and able to step up and help.  the problem is, she is incredibly stubborn and headstrong.  Her original plan was to not tell us of her diagnosis until after the surgery, but her doctor who is also a best friend told her she had to give us advanced notice.  So, my question is - once she has the mastectomy (left breast)- are there things that may be useful or something that will make her more comfortable? Things insurance won't cover (I work for an insurance company).  She is tight with a penny and won't spend one cent on something that isn't a necessity - nor will she ask us for it!  BUT, I thought that if there was something that would help - I could make sure she has it when she gets home.  It could be as simple as PJs that button up the front to make dealing with the tubes easier, a special pillow to put under her arm......unbelievably, my other sister and my mother have both been diagnosed with breast cancer (my mom twice) but they both had lumpectomies - and I assume what worked for them might not work for her.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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May 22, 2019 12:26PM Moderators wrote:

Hi protectivesister, and welcome to!

We're so sorry to hear of your sister's diagnosis (and your other sister and mother too!), but we're really glad you've found us. Our community is full of helpful information, advice, and support -- we're all here for you and your family!

You may want to check out the thread Shopping/Packing/To-do List for Surgery + Recovery for some wonderful practical ideas that may help you put together a recovery package for your sister. You're so thoughtful to offer your support in this way, and we're sure she'll be grateful!

We hope this helps and please let us know if there's anything else we can do to help.

--The Mods

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May 22, 2019 11:28PM hapa wrote:

PJs that button up the front and a loose button up shirt that would hide her drains when she goes out would be helpful if she doesn't have those things. I also used a mesh bag on a lanyard to hold my drains while I showered and a little apron pouch thingy to hold them the rest off the time, but those things were in a free care package that I got when I was discharged.

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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May 23, 2019 12:26AM ipenelope wrote:

protective sister- I think it's wonderful you are seeking advice to help your sister!! A wedge pillow to help her with sleeping unless she plans to sleep in a recliner. Im not sure how she is with eating but having meals delivered to her might be a good idea or a cleaning service to help around the house.

I wish your sister the best of luck during and after her surgery!!


Katie💗 Diagnosed stage IIB at 42, diagnosed stage 4 mets to left lung age 44 Dx 9/12/2018, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/20/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 6/13/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 6/22/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/21/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Dx 2/24/2020, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/18/2020 Chemotherapy 4/20/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 10/12/2020 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine)
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May 23, 2019 05:56AM Rah2464 wrote:

What a wonderful sister you are! I absolutely lived in a zip up mumu as well as one that snapped up vs the buttons - just a tad bit easier to close. Maybe plan a trip to the hairdresser for a wash? I am not sure what your sister's restrictions will be but I wasn't allowed to get in the shower for a few days and I was not allowed to raise my arms over my head for about 10 days.

Dx 5/23/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 6/26/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 7/26/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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