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Mar 5, 2020 08:49PM
pjb61 - glad to hear you're out and doing ok. Keep us updated on how you progress! Its a pity they weren't able to tell you more after the surgery - waiting is hard!
AngieB92 - nice to hear you're out the other side and doing well too!
kendrajo24 - my mother had a mastectomy in January and I was her support person so I'm lucky to know what I'll need! She was two nights in hospital and then I was with her for another week. By the end of that time she was pretty much able to do most things. She had started physio by then so was even allowed to hang washing on the clothes line (not heavy stuff though).
The best thing she had was a small pillow shaped like a C with a ribbon to tie it at the top that she was given in hospital. You put it under the arm so that you don't press on the incisions or move too suddenly. She raved about it. I've seen heart shaped ones and U shaped ones and have recently sewed my own for after my surgery. Mum definitely needed more than one so we could wash and rotate them so I'd suggest getting those. In the end I used a large sock and stuffed it with an old pillow so I could wash the other one and it did the trick but wasn't quite as comfy as the one with the ribbon to hold it on the shoulder.
The worst thing for her was trying to get up to go to the toilet after her surgery. She looked at the drains and nearly fainted (she's not good with blood) going all hot and sweaty at once. I saw immediately what was happening so grabbed my sister's hairtie out of her hair to tie mum's back and then used the sheet to dip into her water to sponge off her forehead. So take hairties or a headband and grab a flannel before getting up if you might come over a bit faint! And DON'T look at the drains if you don't like that stuff! Have the nurse put them into a bag so you can't see them. don't know why they don't do that o
She complained mightily that the hospital bathroom was dirty so take jandals/thongs to shower without standing in gross stuff!
It took us about four car trips before I stopped getting in the drivers seat only to have to get out again to help her with her seatbelt! She had the left breast removed (and as a passenger sits on the left in NZ) so she couldn't reach up to grab the belt to put it on. She is a big girl though so her range of motion is probably a little limited by her weight too but do think about that! She never wanted to ask for help so I just had to be alert.
Once we got home, she struggled a LOT in the shower but wouldn't let me help her. A lanyard to hold the drains would have been good but I hadn't thought of that so by the third day we tied them to a long ribbon around her neck! I think a long handled brush would have been nice to be able to wash the "good side" too but we hadn't thought of that then!
She used multiple towels after each shower. One around her, one she would sit on the bed on and one that I was allowed to use to dry her off.
I can see that a grabber would be helpful for getting underwear on. My Mum is a LARGE lady and wouldn't let me help with much so I'd pretty much drop her underwear at her feet and she would struggle to pull them up one handed. Loose underwear was better! And button up shirts are a must! She bought HUGE mens shirts at an op shop. We pinned the drains to them and it didn't matter that the pins made small holes because she will just throw them away. Knowing what I know I've also sewed little pockets (from the bits I cut out of the U shaped pillows) and sewed them into the seams of my tops so that my drains can sit in there. I've also got several safety pins to pin them closed if they are threatening to fall.
I think the lists you see in this forum are great. I wish I'd done more research before Mum's surgery!
My update - the surgeon was meant to call me after the full team meeting on Wednesday to confirm that it was "just" a lumpectomy or if they had decided to do more but I haven't heard from him. I'm really not too worried though as I figure they'll do what they need to on the day and I'll be out cold so it won't make any difference to me! I've scheduled massages for me and the kids for tomorrow late morning (so we can have a sleep in!) so I'm looking forward to doing something to relax. We've all been stressed and not sleeping well so we needed a treat. My two sisters arrive tonight ready to be on babysitting on Monday. I think its a PJ weekend!
2/12/2020, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)
3/9/2020 Lumpectomy: Left
3/25/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)