Asked by MAMADUKES on Thursday, April 5, 2012



    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • whirl's Avatar

      It depends on your family situation. I was worthless for about a week. I could have gotten along with out any one. I was able to microwave meals etc but only take care of me only. I didn't feel up to driving. My iron count was quite low. The second week I was up and driving short distances. Third week doing easy work outs at the gym. I probably only took 3-4 pain med. I am not a medicine person. I usually just gut through it. My biggest challenge was sleeping. If I laid on my back the expanders would cause the sternum to cry with abuse. If I laid on my stomach the same would happen. Sleeping was my most miserable part on the healing. It was close to 3 months before the body quit complaining. maybe if you have a lazy boy or something similar that would help. We didn't have one.

      over 4 years ago
    • caregiver's Avatar

      Before surgery, to get ready I cleaned the house, made dinners to freeze and determined i would be good to myself and not do anything i didn't have to while recovering. Pain meds were prescribed but i didn't need them. So, did my exercises and light, light housekeeping for probably 3 weeks. whirl is so right-the worst was sleeping. I slept pretty much upright for quite a while, but gradually was able to sleep lying down. Expanders were annoying and uncomfortable but not painful. The worst pain I felt was looking at my bald head in the mirror for such a long time...everything else paled in comparison. I never felt defined by my body, particularly, but having no hair was the pits. I did shave it before I went completely bald. I have renewed sympathy for men who fret over losing their hair. I was surprised at myself because it's not as if I had such wonderful hair.

      over 4 years ago
    • Chrissy's Avatar

      I would give yourself at least 4 weeks to recover to where you can do "normal" activities. The first week is the worst. I could sleep fine , propped up in bed, but getting in and out of bed was the worst. I had pain meds only the first few days home, they made me hallucinate during my sleep! You know your limits and strengths better than anyone, do what feels right for you and don't push past your limits. It definitely feels better, though, if you do get up and be active, even if it's just walking around. Good luck, you will be fine!

      over 4 years ago
    • sofarsogood's Avatar

      Looking back, the surgery was a piece of cake. For me, the worst part was the drains-- I had Five. The pain meds worked great, and I was able to do everything but shower on my own. That first shower was bliss. At least get up and walk around, out the front door a few steps and back, once a day. Follow instructions about incision care, and you'll be fine.

      Since you can't shower for a few days, you may need help washing your hair. Put everything you need, toiletries , medicines, etc. where you can get them without reaching.

      If you have pets, you'll need help with them, or board them. Someone will need to shuttle them home, since you can't drive.

      over 4 years ago
    • Sunnydays' Avatar

      Surgery was really tough, and I had no strength in my arms at all for 1-2 weeks and lots of pain if I tried to do anything. Even holding a cup of tea was hard and painful (put tea cup on bed tray and use a straw so you don't have to life the cup!). Keep healthy snacks like nuts and dried fruit by your bed. Needed help getting in and out of bed, arranging all the pillows, showering, dressing, eating, etc. At about 14 days, started feeling like I could take care of myself more. Took lots of pain meds, reduced them after about a week. Expanders feel like rocks in your chest. After the first couple expansions, the saline creates a bit of a buffer and makes it more comfortable, but then there is the discomfort of the skin and muscles stretching. Take it slowly, don't let you doctor put in too much as once or it can be really painful (that happened to me once) so I made them give me smaller amounts each week. With expansion I feel tight and full and some aching through my arms - use Tylenol for pain each time before the fill. 1 more fill and then I wait for surgery. All the best.

      over 4 years ago
    • jamrck's Avatar

      The first week was definitely the toughest. My breast surgeon sent me to a physical therapist before surgery so I started a routine the day after surgery. Hurt a lot but I lost no range of motion. Slept in a recliner the first few days and propped up in bed for a while after. Suggest using the pain meds as directed for the first week at least. I was not that uncomfortable with the expanders, altho I know others who were. A massage therapist experienced in working with cancer patients can be a great help. Subsequent reconstruction surgeries are a piece of cake in comparison. My job allowed me to be able to work from home, which I started doing part-time about 2 weeks after, then increased my time. Hope this helps.

      over 4 years ago
    • diane75's Avatar

      When can you lay on your stomach after a double mastectomy?

      over 3 years ago
    • diane75's Avatar

      When can you lay on your stomach after a double mastectomy?

      over 3 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar

      Thank you for sharing your questions. I hope all is well.

      This question reminded me of some content we have on reconstruction experiences.




      It also reminded me to let WhatNexters know about our Beginner's Guide to Cancer, including a guide on how women chose between a lumpectomy and mastectomy.


      Best of luck,

      about 3 years ago

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