• Just had bi-lateral mastectomy with expander immediately put in 2 1/2 Weeks ago and am still experiencing a great deal of pain at night

    Asked by Sherwin1986 on Monday, July 9, 2012

    Just had bi-lateral mastectomy with expander immediately put in 2 1/2 Weeks ago and am still experiencing a great deal of pain at night

    The pain is when I lay on my back but that is the only position possible right now. Is it normal for the pain to last this long? I am getting depressed that I am unable to do much of anything yet. I have always been very active and before this did yoga five days a week. I feel I should be much further along and am certainly discouraged. I had been a 15 year survivor and then had this recurrence out of the blue!

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • speedy's Avatar

      I had a bi- lateral mastectomy with expanders immediately put in on 18 April this year. I could only sleep on my back until the last 2 drains came out after 3 weeks. I slept most of the time with an extra pillow under my head and one under my arm. I too was very active, going to the gym 4 days a week. Your body needs time to heal. Take baby steps. Do you still have drains under your arms? Did they take any lymph nodes? All this takes longer to heal. the first week I could not even reach for a coffee cup, it was so painful. Once my drains came out I started the" after surgery" exercises and everything was getting much better. I went back to work 5 weeks after my surgery. I'm in the middle of six rounds of chemo.
      Don't give up. We are survivors.

      over 4 years ago
    • Sherwin1986's Avatar

      Thank you so much for your reply. My drains are out now but I still do use an extra pillow under my head and it still hurts a lot to have to lay on my back. But I can not lay any other way so I try to sit up and sleep which is not very successful. I was fortunate and no nodes were taken. Can you tell me what type of exercises you were told to do for your arm movement. You are right that I am so anxious to get back to my yoga but I guess I have no other choice but to wait for the healing to occur or I could wind up doing a lot of harm.Thank you for letting me know that it took you five Weeks till you were ready to get back to work.I am just so anxious to put this all behind me and have my life back.I certainly hope your chemo is not going too rough on you. I know you are definitely a warrior and a survivor.

      over 4 years ago
    • speedy's Avatar

      The exercises are Range of Motion Exercises. The first couple of days I could only do a few. I wish I could mail you the pages with the exercises. Flexion, external rotation, shoulder abduction, shoulder flexion, standing shoulder extensions, shoulder rows. After you can do all these 10 times do them standing up. I did the exercises twice a day because I pushed myself. Then I started going back to the Gym. Have you heard of the ABC program (after breast cancer) at the Y? Even if you are not a member you can sign up for the program. It is a very good program, you get 8 sessions with a personal trainer, 4 sessions with a nutritionist and see a lymph edema specialist and 16 free weeks at the Y.
      Don't give up.

      over 4 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I had a bilateral masectomy with immediate reconstruction with gel implants on Feb 3. Had drains for 2 weeks and couldn't sleep on my side for close to 3 months. I used one of those round travel neck pillows to sort of support my boob on my side but I still have some soreness on my sides where the scars are. I can sleep on side and stomach now but I wake up sore sometimes.

      I finally went back to the gym about 6 weeks ago but since I am in chemo I am often too fatigued to go but I try to stay as active as possible.

      I write a blog as well which tells way more about my experience than I can here...and it's kind of funny too.

      over 4 years ago
    • whirl's Avatar

      I was miserable for months. If on my back the weight on the expanders became unbearable. If on my abd no better. What I found to work best for me was I slept on my abd with a pillow under my head and one under my abd. This let the expanders be suspended. Keep going to the gym if possible. becareful of the arms. I did a lot of easy eliptical. When all healed I did not baby them. I think it is the reason I have full motion of my arms and little or no lymphadema after pt

      over 4 years ago

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