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Topic: Shopping/packing/to-do list for surgery + recovery....

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Feb 6, 2008 04:43PM - edited Jul 23, 2019 10:50AM by Moderators

Panchoandlefty wrote:

OK, I admit it, I am a compulsive planner. I have had some great suggestions and tips not only regarding what to bring to the hospital, but also on how to prepare the house to make the recovery as easy as possible.

I am travelling for surgery so, for me, "packing" includes the first 10 days of post-op care.

I thought I would start a list (in no particular order) that might serve as a reference... PLEASE add your suggestions!!! Anything at all you either found helpful OR wish you'd considered before your surgery.

I am a bit of a MacGyver type and love creative uses for things like the lanyards and fanny packs for drains. I was wondering if a light/loose fly fishing vesy might be handy both for drains and for holding my phone, mp3 player, etc so I didn't have to reach so much... I am SUCH a geek.

Anyway, over-organizing seems to be keeping me occupied as my bi-latteral approaches. I know everything won't be a hit with everyone, but it gives us some things to think about.


******NOTE: MODS TOOK ORIGINAL LIST FROM Panchoandlefty AND COMBINED WITH OTHER MEMBER SUGGESTIONS UP THROUGH END OF MARCH 2015*********** We are happy to keep adding, and please let us know if we missed anything !

Combined list from what others have said in this topic !

Community member tips for Surgery

Tips for the hospital:

Hand sanitizer, antiviral Kleenex, Anti-bacterial adult wipes (in a pretty dispenser), adult "baby wipes" to give yourself sponge baths.

'skin prep wipes'. These help prep the skin for tape and other adhesives

Roll on or Spray Deodorant, NOT a solid stick.

Lozenges or hard candy of your choice.

A lip balm of choice

Face and hand moisturizer

A stool softener, dried prunes, bran cereal and "smooth move" tea, laxatives.

Clipboard, notebook and pen (for documenting when you had pain meds and drain amounts)

Zip up track suits or button up pajamas and shirts.

Slippers, cotton front snap bras

Silky bottoms/PJs to make getting in/out of bed easier

Zip up hoodies/ warm ups, soft flannel shirt is just right for after surgery.

Camisoles/tanks which can be stepped into (as opposed to pulling over-head)

Jog Bras (Natori is recommended) or whatever support is suggested by your surgeon

Pull on, easy pants or shorts, or shirt

Reading glasses

iPod, Mp3 / Music player

Cell phone/ have friends' numbers handy!

Book, magazine

Hair tie if your hair is long.

Lanyard (like for ID cards) for holding drains

Fanny pack for drains

Nurses can make a necklace from IV tubing to hold drains in shower

Luck trinkets or photos from friends and/or family.

A good eye mask and ear plugs in the hospital.

Take clothes to hospital that can be washed/sanitized at home

If you are going to sleep in bed and not a recliner at home, ask the nursing staff to show you the proper way to get in and out of bed with the least strain on your back and upper body.

If you feel you may not be up for visitors at the hospital, just let the nurses and staff know that you prefer no visitors except DH or immediate family. I knew that I was having a rough time emotionally as it was beforehand. I didn't want to put on a happy face for a friend, cousin or whomever wanted to stop by. I know the visitors mean well, but for me I just wanted peace & quiet.

Tips for the ride home:

Have a pillow and lap blanket for the car-ride home.

Fill scripts before coming home so you won't have to stop on the way

What to organize at home:

Consider getting something like the The Shower Shirt, a patented, post-surgical, water resistant garment designed to protect chest surgery patients, including mastectomy, while showering. Use code BCO for 20% off www.theshowershirt.com

Get a manicure and pedicure before your surgery, and a hair cut.

Before surgery, practice washing your hair, with or without help, with your elbows not moved away from your chest---either over the kitchen sink, using the spray or if your doc will allow, in the shower.

Or, arrange with your hair dresser to do your hair after you get home and cannot stand it any longer -- get someone to drive you.

Move commonly used items, kitchen tools, etc to low shelves before surgery

Find NON child-proof caps for meds.

Neosporin.

Arrange all post surgery robes, pj's, button down shirts and hoodies on a rack in one easy to reach place so you can dress myself easily the first couple of weeks without rummaging through my closet.

Bendy straws

Paper cups and light weight coffee cups for at home

Extra sheets to keep in rotation

Lots of pillows or a wedge or two!

A travel neck pillow - 'C' shaped - for keeping neck from getting a crick after sleeping in a recliner.

Tiny travel buckwheat pillows, or other small pillows.

Put an egg crate mattress on top of mattress and use a long body pillow.

Medical gloves (latex free or powder free)

Small kitchen garbage bags for dressing disposals

A little plastic waste can for at home

Find NON child-proof caps for meds

Lanyard (like for ID cards) for holding drains, Fanny pack for drains, or a camisole, or nurses can make a necklace from IV tubing to hold drains in shower. An old neck tie to use as a lanyard to hang my drains on while I shower. Works like a charm

A shower chair and a hand held shower nozzle. 3M Nexcare tagaderm transparent bandage over the port where it exited my skin when I showered. Also, have a lanyard to use for your drains in the shower. I just clip the safety pins on the lanyard clip for while I shower. It seems a little heavy on my neck while I shower, but I take it off right after I shower.

Get a humidifier for home if your air is dry.

Grabbers! These are about 23 inches long, have a handle that you sqeeze, and the end clamps on stuff on the floor. GREAT for pulling up your pants when you can't bend over, or picking up stuff that you drop, (like the toilet paper, etc!) I needed two of these, as I dropped the grabber! Great for pulling the wash basket along, too!

Make sure to get safety pins, makes it easier to pin your drain tube to your pjs.

Size 1 baby diapers, sanitary napkins or nursing pads for open breast incisions.

A small step stool has been a great tool to help me get in and out of bed

Make sure there's food premade that you don't need to fuss with (sandwiches/salads in individual servings), and also keep those drinks handy.

Cook some of my favorite foods and even ordered a couple takeouts from my fav restaurants to be on hand when I got hungry.

Purchase smaller sizes of soda/juice/milk.

Stock up on heavy items (laundry soap, dry dog food, bottled water, sodas) for 2-3 months! Remember to fill up smaller containers that are easier to pick up.

Put your shampoo, conditioner, and body soap in trial size bottles so they are easier to manage and lighter.

Stock up on stuff near bed - tissues, water, magazines, lots of pillows of all sizes, medicine, remote control.

Recliner or hospital bed- can be ordered from medical supply companies.

Drain solving problem: Zip-up hoodies or robes with pockets, I cut a slit on the inside material and popped the drains in from the inside. No one even knows they are there. It looks a little bulky, but much better than the drains hanging on my neck from a lanyard.

If you have someone a the house helping you out, when you need them call from your cell phone to the house phone or vice versa. It was so much easier than trying to yell from upstairs.

Get Netflix or rent movies.

Have an insulated cup for drinking and book and lamp by the bed.

Have someone pour milk, juice, etc from big gallon jugs into smaller containers and leave on an easy-to-reach shelf.

If a can of something needed opening, have someone do it before they leave.

******************

This thread started me thinking about what my husband/partner will need. So I am starting a basket of "surprises" for him. A friend is bringing it to the hospital to give to him after I am in surgery.

iTunes gift card - so he can dowload a book on tape, music, movie, whatever

roll of quarters - for the pop machine

deck of cards - surgery is supposed to be 8 - 10 hours. He can play cards with whoever shows up

remote control car -pure silliness but he will think it is fun!

box of Special K meal bars - at least he will have something semi-healthy to snack on

chapstick - hospital environments can be very drying

bottle of special single malt scotch - something he would never buy for himself, but will appreciate very much when he gets home

travel blanket - hospital can get cold

framed picture of the two of us

tissues

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 18, 2016 09:03AM Janett2014 wrote:

As far as driving goes, my BS said it was Ok once I was off the Rx pain meds AND I felt physically comfortable enough to do it. Of course you need pretty good flexible arm movement to drive. I think it was about two weeks for me.

Diagnosed age 60 with IDC in 2014. Stage 1A, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Cancer on both sides, bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction with silicone implants, Oncotype 16, Arimidex (Anastrozole) 5 years. There are more details in my biography.
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Oct 20, 2016 04:48PM ajbclan wrote:

Thank you!! I will continue to pop on here as I get closer and I'm sure with more questions! LOL

Dx 8/9/16 with "multiple masses", chemo from 8/24/16 to 12/14/16- PCR. BMX w/TE: 1/31/2017; Exchange-9/18/17. Dealt with blood clot, cellulitis and another infection. Variance on PALB2 gene. Dx 8/9/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/23/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 1/30/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole)
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Oct 24, 2016 08:13AM - edited Oct 24, 2016 07:11PM by jcn16

Mastectomy shirt or belt for drains after flap surgery? My surgery is in a few weeks and I've been shopping online for what I'll need during my recuperation. (Unilateral mastectomy with flap reconstruction from my abdomen.) I'm right handed and surgery is also on my right. Since I'll have drains from both the breast and the belly, which of these options will work the best?

1. mastectomy shirt with inside pockets for the drains?

2. mastectomy belt with attached drain pockets to wear under my clothes?

3. lanyard or similar to connect the drains? (I already have one drain pocket "tote" to hang around my neck - stitched by a local Girl Scout troop).

Does anyone have suggestions for the best method for carrying drains following flap surgery? Thanks!

Dx 8/2016, DCIS, Right, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR- Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Oct 24, 2016 09:43AM Moderators wrote:

jcn16, thanks for adding your helpful suggestions! Very appreciated! We hope you are doing well!

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Oct 24, 2016 07:13PM jcn16 wrote:

Thanks for your encouragement - I'm hoping for ideas on the best ways to carry drains following breast reconstruction. I'll have drains from my breast and abdomen and not sure of the best type to use. Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Dx 8/2016, DCIS, Right, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR- Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Oct 25, 2016 06:01AM Janett2014 wrote:

jcn16,

I used the pocket thing around my neck when I was home; it was just easier. When I went out I either pinned the drains to my bra under my arms, or I just put the drains in my pants pockets which worked best after I was down to two drains and the pants were kind of loose fitting.

Diagnosed age 60 with IDC in 2014. Stage 1A, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Cancer on both sides, bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction with silicone implants, Oncotype 16, Arimidex (Anastrozole) 5 years. There are more details in my biography.
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Oct 25, 2016 08:03AM magiclight wrote:

jcn16: So many excellent things to do/get/remember before and after surgery have been mentioned. Let me add one more and that is give yourself permission to excuse yourself from any activity and go to your quiet place and rest for frequent naps. I went to my bedroom, put in earplugs, listened to my favorite music and usually fell asleep. May you find your quiet space to heal, to process... Hugs

Surgery 4/27/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1 Surgery
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Oct 25, 2016 11:54AM Tasal wrote:

jcn16 I had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate free tram flap reconstruction about 9 months ago. I had researched everything to death on these forums, books, etc. I can tell you that I did not end up using any of the things I had purchased for my drains (I had 6- 4 in breasts and 2 in abdomen). Instead, I found that it was easier for me to just continue at home what the nurses had started doing during my hospital stay- which was to safety pin the drains to the inside of my night shirt/gown (oversized, comfy material, button or snap up). I ended up bleeding a little on these shirts so who cares about some pin holes too! I had bought a lanyard for when I showered, but again I ended up using a drain belt that was provided to me from the hospital when I was checking out. When I went out I just pinned the drains to the lower inside of a snap up sweatshirt. I'm sure this is on the list already but I found a shower seat (since you won't be able to stand up straight- this is a good place to sit and wash yourself, soak in some warmth and no pulling on the drains) and some of those soft (sort of flat) little pillows to put under your arms most helpful. I wish you all the best!

Surgery 12/29/2015 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap
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Oct 28, 2016 06:26PM jcn16 wrote:

Thanks everyone for all of your ideas - much appreciated! After reading your suggestions, I think I'll pass on buying the mastectomy shirt and belt and just see how it goes. I did read in a post to use an an old bathrobe and cut holes in the back/inside of the pockets to slip the drains in. Surgery is scheduled for Dec. 2.

Tasal - since you also had immediate free flap reconstruction, may I ask you: why won't I be able to stand up all the way? My surgery is on the right side only, so hopefully there will only be 3 drains total. Thanks for the info!


Dx 8/2016, DCIS, Right, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR- Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Oct 30, 2016 05:11AM Tasal wrote:

jcn16 I do not want to scare you as I did have a bilateral mastectomy as opposed to one side... However, it was at least 5-6 weeks before I was able to stand mostly upright. It may depend on your body type and how much tissue they are removing from your abdomen but mine was pulled very tight and between that and the upper surgery- I left the hospital hunched over at my waist. That's why I suggested the shower stool- can get for less than $20 on amazon. Because when you are hunched and have limited arm use and drains- just made things easier to be able to sit (I also have a hand held shower head). If you have any more questions about the surgery please feel free to message me directly. Best wishes!

Surgery 12/29/2015 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap
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Dec 15, 2016 12:17AM Keiki wrote:

Ideas to add. Could be duplicates, didn't read all pages. If you use a stool beside a higher bed, a walker will help stabilize you if you are woozie or unsteady. Sit on the edge until you get steady. Walkers and shower stools are usually available at thrift shops, especially hospital shops and Goodwill.

For the ride home, a small plastic trash can just in case of ongoing nausea.

At home, a remote control for your bedside light.

Sheepskin, or faux sheepskin tube for seatbelt. Use Velcro so you can move to other cars or when you drive.

Nail apron, like from Home Depot. Holds drains, cell phone,etc.

Be careful with stretch pants, leggings, at first. It's hard to pull up tight pants.
Dx 5/26/2016, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+ Surgery 8/22/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 12/15/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Dec 15, 2016 04:12AM LilacBlue wrote:

For the ride home and used for sometime thereafter, bought online, a sheepskin seat belt cover. Do buy genuine sheepskin as the fake fleece ones tamp down/mat flat. Buy the longer length - super soft and warm also displaces the weight of the seat belt across your chest, making it far more comfortable than without.

Nothing is ever the same as they said it was. It's what I've never seen before that I recognise. - Diane Arbus Dx 4/13/2012, DCIS/IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/12/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction
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Jan 10, 2017 12:12PM TinaMarieF wrote:

Thanks for this wonderful list.

Can anyone who has had a double mastectomy with reconstruction comment on how it was after the first surgery (mastectomy and first plastic surgery)? Very painful? Stiff? Many many thanks!

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Jan 10, 2017 01:25PM meg2016 wrote:

TinaMarieF, Do you mean having tissue expanders placed? I am not gonna lie, it is painful. I tend to think of myself as pretty tough, but I did have quite a bit of pain. Make sure you get your pain under control before you leave the hospital. There are many combos they can try and it might take some experimentation. Then for the first couple of nights at home, set an alarm for your caregiver to give you pain meds at night on whatever schedule you are on pain meds for. When I would wake up in pain (and be pretty unable to get up and take care of it myself) was the worst. After the first two nights home, I could stretch out the pain meds. The advice they gave me at the hospital was to first, just start taking the pain meds further apart and also to take something between then to take the edge off. Mine lasted six hours, so I would take one, then around hour 5 take some tylenol, this allowed me to be comfortable for more like 8 hours before I needed something. I gradually replaced the pain meds with the tylenol. I felt much better overall after I got off the pain meds, but when you need them, you need them.

Also, make sure to use the Physical Therapist who comes by in the hospital and really understand the exercises you need to do and do them. I tried to do mine just after my pain meds kicked in so they are not so hard. Even though they may hurt, they are so critical. They help prevent a lot of stiffness and other complications from not moving enough. I also went to physical therapy starting the week after my surgery, which I think helped a lot. Good luck!

Diagnosed 3/4/16 at age 39; 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ , THP+AC, DMX with expander placement, Radiation, Aromasin
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Jan 10, 2017 01:37PM Mominator wrote:

Hi Tina, welcome back to bco after your hiatus. Did you stay on Tamaxofin? Did you adopt?

I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction 11/11/15. I was sore and stiff for a while. No driving for two weeks, no heavy lifting, and no raising arms overhead. My husband gets queasy around blood, so I really had to take care of myself during that time: emptying drains, changing dressings, and showering myself. Drains were a bother, but manageable.

We decided not to drive the 300 miles to visit family for Thanksgiving that year so I could recover. However, I did make a nice Thanksgiving dinner for our family of 5 with some help from my teenage daughters.

Since everyone is different, you may find it helpful to read through some threads. For example, you could read through the Surgery threads of November or December 2016 to see how those folks are doing. Their surgeries were fairly recent, yet they have recovered by now. Is your surgery this month? You could join in the January 2017 surgery thread and do through the process with your "surgery sisters" here on bco.

Best wishes, Mominator

Mominator, BRCA2+, STK-11 VUS. My Mom dx DCIS age 62, ILC stage IIIA age 79; Mom passed 2/28/18. My Grandmother died of ovarian cancer age 48. Friend to Lori M, passed 5/25/16. Surgery 11/11/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 1/18/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 6/30/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant
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Feb 12, 2017 11:00AM - edited Feb 13, 2017 04:39PM by Yvonne_M

This Post was deleted by Yvonne_M.
52 yo Jesus Freak; Married 28 years to my partner in everything, owned by Pomeranians and a 20 yo Parrot :) Surgery 1/27/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 2/2/2017, IDC: Cribriform, Left, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/7/2017 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left
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Feb 12, 2017 01:04PM ajbclan wrote:

I had mine on 1/31, and I've been using zip up sweatshirts the most....just easier than trying to button and unbutton all the time! I got the wedge pillow...definitely helpful. Make sure you can squat well (up and down off the toilet without your arms) and your stomach muscles are ready to help you out of bed (try to sit up without your arms). Making sure I could do that has given me more independence! I also got a neck pillow and didn't think I'd like at first, but I have a hard time sleeping on my back and it's helping! I had 4 drains, down to 1. The more you move, the longer you're going to have them. So it's a balance (don't want to lay around too much, but don't go out shopping, etc).

Dx 8/9/16 with "multiple masses", chemo from 8/24/16 to 12/14/16- PCR. BMX w/TE: 1/31/2017; Exchange-9/18/17. Dealt with blood clot, cellulitis and another infection. Variance on PALB2 gene. Dx 8/9/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/23/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 1/30/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 15, 2017 08:32AM sunnyside22 wrote:

I am a master planner myself but some days feel overwhelmed and found this to be very helpful, thanks

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May 22, 2017 11:45AM Teaberry wrote:

I'm 3 weeks past surgery for a right breast mastectomy. It was really hard for me to sleep on my back and any other position has been really uncomfortable. Lots of pillows in assorted sized helped some but I want to share something that worked best for me... Before my surgery I had purchased a down alternative comforter (not expensive, think an amazon best seller). I had wanted a light weight one for spring/summer but this was a little too warm, so I tossed it in my closet. But when I couldn't get comfortable with pillows, I remembered that fluffy comforter. It was just great! It was easily fluffed in all the places a pillow wouldn't conform. It made a real difference in my comfort and ability to get some rest.

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Jun 26, 2017 02:31PM MarilynIllinois wrote:

hello everyone,

I will be undergoing a mast w/o recon in August. Could you give me advice as to how many recovery clothing items to buy? I have a Rx for a post surgical camisole with pockets for the drains. Do I also need button up or zip up shirts with drain pockets? Did you find a drain holder for the shower useful? How about a small pillow for recovery?

When I resume my yoga practice, what should I use for comfort? A sports bra?

Thanks in advance

Dx 4/2017, LCIS, Right, 6cm+, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/1/2017 Mastectomy
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Jul 1, 2017 04:44PM - edited Jul 2, 2017 05:24AM by Mominator

MarilynIllinois: If you have a post surgical camisole with pockets, you won't need drain holders. I didn't have a camisole w/pockets.

I bought about 5 button up shirts. None of them had pockets. The drains have clips on them, and I clip the drains to my bra. If you don't have clips, you can use a safely pin to connect the loop to your bra.

I clipped the drains to a washcloth while I was in the shower, and then I put that behind my head.

Pillows are you friends. My best friend was a reading pillow that I used for sleeping as well. I slept sitting up for the first few weeks. Sitting up prevented me from rolling onto a side.

https://www.amazon.com/Porter-Bedrest-Pillow-Purple-Lounger/dp/B00KLALPRQ/ref=sr_1_92?s=bedbath&ie=UTF8&qid=1498952386&sr=1-92&keywords=reading+pillow

Check with your PS when you can resume your yoga practice and how much support you will need then. We are all different, and your PS will know what is best for you. Some of us will heal faster or slower. And most important, we're all difference breast sizes and shapes, which will need more or less support.

edited to make more clear

Mominator, BRCA2+, STK-11 VUS. My Mom dx DCIS age 62, ILC stage IIIA age 79; Mom passed 2/28/18. My Grandmother died of ovarian cancer age 48. Friend to Lori M, passed 5/25/16. Surgery 11/11/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 1/18/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 6/30/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant
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Jul 2, 2017 02:43PM tnd22 wrote:

MaryinILlinois- I was NOT allowed to shower until after the drains came out. I have to make due with sponge baths. Fortunately for me the drains came out at day 8.

I bought a brobe from a website called thebrobe.com. It was a bra and robe combo with pockets for drains! Really good for being home with drains. The bra is detachable.

Big button up shirts are helpful when you can't put your arms above your head. Pillows, like someone said, are good but you can use small ones of your own- espeically in the car. I carried one every time I went somewhere to clutch to me in the car so it wouldn't more.




Dx 3/13/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 4/27/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 3, 2017 05:56PM MarilynIllinois wrote:

Mominator and tnd22,

Thank for the good suggestions. I am planning to make good use of pillows. I've had 2 MRI guided biopsies this spring and the 2nd one left me with with a big bruise and hematoma. I should have used more pillows then

Dx 4/2017, LCIS, Right, 6cm+, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/1/2017 Mastectomy
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Aug 24, 2017 06:40PM beach2beach wrote:

Hi,

This may sound silly, but I had a wide ace bandage from when my daughter had knee surgery. It's been so hot this summer and was hot when I had surgery I couldnt wear anything but loose tank tops. I wrapped the ace bandage lightly around my stomach and put the drains inside. I did this really for the fact that I was up and walking around right away outside and could not stand to be in house. It stayed snug, but not too tight and I was able to wear minimal clothing due to heat.

Dx 7/28/2017, LCIS/DCIS/ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/8/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 9/12/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 8, 2017 10:37AM kims1961 wrote:

Thank you for the list!!!! It is so helpful and assists me in feeling more in control and prepared for surgery! Awesome

Dx 9/5/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 10/15/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 15, 2017 10:06AM TaRenee wrote:

I was fortunate to meet a survivor who had just finished her swap out from TE to permanent and her loan out to me has been the MOST valuable. It’s called a Boppy. One of those U shaped pillows you use for infants for feeding, sleeping, sitting. It is WAY cheaper than the post surgery pillows I found online and has been a life saver for my arm positions as I sleep and rest. It also helps keep me from rolling over to my side which I’m not sure I’m ready to do yet anyway.

Between that pillow (which I still use at 4wks out) and a drain shirt, those were my two biggest helps

Dx 7/29/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 9/26/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 3/29/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Nov 18, 2017 08:43PM reyepsf wrote:

Two very helpful items for me that I don't often see posted were a large blanket scarf or pashmina that a BC survivor friend recommended. I used it instead of a robe for coverage and also as a 'lift' for getting out of the hospital bed. Even with the hospital bed lowered and the head raised, it was hard to get into a sitting position to get up and walk around. My hubby could hoist me up by the pashmina which was more gentle than just pushing me from behind. I wore it like a shawl at home for modesty since my top was often unbuttoned to easily check in my drains.

Another item I received as a gift that I loved was an 'As Seen on TV' Grabbit. It was great for getting down a blanket or extra pillow or other items from a closet before you can raise your arms. Or reach something hard to get to before you can really lean over or stretch out.


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Dec 12, 2017 03:33PM Shadie wrote:

OK, I haven't seen this one answered yet.

Re: bras and camisoles. I know what my size is know, pre-surgery, but how the heck do I know what size I will be immediately post surgery (in my case, BMX with expanders)? I would like to buy bras in advance, but need guidance here. I normally don't wear a camisole, so what is the argument for getting one now, in lieu of wearing a front-closing bra?

Thanks!

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Dec 14, 2017 06:03PM MomB wrote:

Post MAST will my daughter be able to go up and downstairs? Bedroom on third floor. Or should there be a way to sleep on first floor? Bathrooms on 1 and 3. Kitchen on 1. Am I understanding that either a recliner or a hospital bed is the ideal?

Thanks for any thoughts on this.

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Dec 16, 2017 05:42AM Janett2014 wrote:

Shadie,

Your plastic surgeon should be able to give you a general idea of post-surgery size. You will wake up in a surgical bra. I recommend that you buy a couple of inexpensive stretchy bras. Hanes makes a front-closing one you can buy at Walmart. About a week after surgery I liked (and still like) the Genie bra. It's comfy and stretchy so you just need to get close on the size

Diagnosed age 60 with IDC in 2014. Stage 1A, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Cancer on both sides, bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction with silicone implants, Oncotype 16, Arimidex (Anastrozole) 5 years. There are more details in my biography.

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