Happy Saturday! Hope you all are enjoying your weekend. I know I am! I’ve had a great week. Felt amazing! And ready for the second round of chemo next Wednesday.
I’ve been asked by a lot of you that are in the process of having a mastectomy what tips I have. So I thought I would write a blog about it for anyone that is wondering.
A little about my surgery. I was lucky enough to have my tissue expanders placed above the muscles. This made for an extremely quick recovery. I was really never in any kind of pain. Discomfort? Yes. But no real pain. Not everyone is a candidate for this type of surgery but it is definitely worth asking your plastic surgeon about!
Ok so here it goes!
1) The number one thing that helped me while sleeping were these two pillows from Amazon. Micro bead pillow I still use this pillow every night. But it’s super good for recovery. I slept on a wedge in bed and would prop my arms on these pillows.
2) Speaking of the wedge. I definitely recommend getting one. Wedge Bed Pillow
3) Drains are going to suck. No way around that. It was the worst part of the surgery recovery. Not because they hurt but because they were always in your way. Because of that I got a waist apron to hold my drains. This made it easier to move around. And I wasn’t worried about one dropping on the floor because holy ouch that would NOT feel good. Here is an example of one. 3 pocket waist apron
4) Another bummer about drains is you can’t shower in them. And let’s face it you already feel crappy you don’t want to smell crappy! Soooo I found these super convenient when I just wanted to freshen up a little. Wet Wipes
5) The thing I didn’t do that I wish I would have done is schedule some hair shampoo appointments for the recovery weeks. Because you can’t wash your hair since you can’t shower. And I love me some dry shampoo, but I had my drains for 2 1/2 weeks so even dry shampoo couldn’t save me! So definitely schedule some appointments for hair wash. It will make you feel SO much better.
6) But also get dry shampoo. Because duh.
7) Do your arm exercises that your therapist tells you to do. I repeat DO YOUR EXERCISES!!! Want to know why? Because I didn’t because I didn’t feel like it. Which then led me to going to the therapist this last week because I had what is called axillary web syndrome. Which was basically cord looking things under my arm that limited my movement. My therapist had to stretch mine out until they popped. It was not a fun day. So definitely do your exercises.
8) Stock up on some button down pjs and shirts.
9) This tip is for AFTER your stitches are out and you are healing. So do not use this until your doctor approves. For fading your scars try Mederma. You apply it once a day. I’ve noticed a difference already in my scars fading. And I’ve only been using it for a couple weeks!
10) REST. Listen to your body. Don’t overdue it.
I hope this helps! And please never hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.