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    Gaurea asked a questionBreast Cancer

    is there anyway to prepare for a mastectomy?

    20 answers
    • Nonnie917's Avatar
      Nonnie917

      I had a double mastectomy July of 2012. I bought one of those reclining like pillows from a medical supply place. It helped me to be able to sleep in my bed. I also put a pillow under both arms to make myself comfortable. There were days where I had to sleep in my recliner, but as you heal you will find it getting better to lay in bed. I had to use that pillow for a little over a month with sleeping in the recliner on and off during that time. Be sure you have warm jammies on and a blanket, if you are going to sleep in your recliner. I don't know what your weather is like there this time of year, but here in WA State the nights can be cold during the summer. The other advice given to you about staying on top of your pain killers is a must. If you let time lapse between taking them, you will find that the pain is harder to get rid of. So stay on top of the pain killers, if you are having a great deal of pain. Be sure to keep us posted on your outcome.

      about 6 years ago
    • mofields' Avatar
      mofields

      I agree with having someone with you whenever you first see your medical people. Your brain will go numb and you will have forgotten whatever the detail were. The other person can perhaps take notes so if you have questions later (when the shock wears off), then you'll know what to ask. Plan what do to regarding work, childcare, housework, etc. while you are post surgical. Don't overpack for the hospital - you won't need much. As for the drains, my husband bought two canvas nail holders from the hardware store - so useful to put the drains in while I showered, or didn't want them pinned to my clothing and hanging. You tie it around your waist and put the drains in it. Also, have baggy tops for a while to hide your drains and any wraps you will have around your surgical area.

      about 6 years ago
    • mofields' Avatar
      mofields

      I almost forgot the most important part - pray - for good results, skilled surgeons, and the people who will be helping you into this new "club".

      about 6 years ago
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    Gaurea shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): Just had my first dose of Cytoxan and Doxorubicin yesterday. Mild nausea and dizziness at bed time. My legs and arms were tingling all night which was weird. But today I feel ok, just tired.

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    Gaurea posted an update

    Hello everyone. Im so anxious because I will be starting chemotherapy soon. I will be getting cyclophosphamide, adriamycin, and taxol. I believe im as prepared as I can but I just can't get rid of these nerves.

    3 Comments
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      Pack a chemo bag (article on the 22 items you will need on What Next website). Line up a family member or friend to go with you especially for your first chemo. Have ice chips or a Slurpee drink ready for when the chemo begins, saves the taste buds. Line up prepared meals for when you get home or arrange for friends to drop meals off.

      Chemo is no walk in the park but for most people it is very doable. For me it felt like I had the flu minus fever and nausea (make sure you stay ahead of nausea by taking anti nausea meds as directed, don't skip a dose). You can do this, remember it's not forever.

      Most people find it helpful to imagine that the chemo is something good fighting the invading cancer. This is silly but for me I imagined that the chemo was delivery trucks delivering me pretty presents and the cancer being removed by garbage trucks.
      It might be worth it to try some form of meditation, I used Headspace and Mindful both apps and on the internet free introductory lessons, as I didn't have time to find a mediation teacher.

      Good luck!

      over 6 years ago
    • mdybas' Avatar
      mdybas

      I am starting chemo tomorrow and even though I am being brave for my loved ones, I find the unknown very scary!! There are so many stories out there about side effects! I love your advice msesq and will go in with those thoughts. Thank you!

      over 6 years ago
    • Cricket2354's Avatar
      Cricket2354

      Msesq's advice is pretty much the same things that I did. My diversion was I called going to chemo - going to "the infusion spa " . Not sure if all the places where chemo is administered are the same but mine actually looked like a spa and they would bring you warmed blankets if you needed and they had snacks and beverages ( I couldn't handle the snacks ) but would sometimes sip a warm cup of tea until the actual chemo drugs were given and then I'd switch to the ice chips. I took books, magazines and an iPod with headphones too. Whenever saline was sent through the Iv i would chew on an altoid because I didn't like the taste of the saline. Before the actual chemo drugs I was given intravenously a steroid, pepsid and Benedryl . Most of the time the Benedryl kicked in and I slept through the chemo. I did stay ahead of the nausea and took medications prescribed and chewed ginger. Try to eat even if you can only think of a few things that are palletable - I craved fresh fruit and devoured pounds if it. I have heard others drank nothing but smoothies. Drink lots of water too. You can do it. The A/C chemo is a bit harder than the Taxol but is usually only a few treatments. The Taxol is much easier .

      over 6 years ago
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    Gaurea shared an experience

    Procedure or Surgery (Sentinel lymph node biopsy): My armpit is still soar 1 week after procedure. 2 positive nodes :( I see onc tomorrow for treatment plans. Also had port implamted. Feels weird when I sneeze.

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    Gaurea shared an experience

    Oh No (Problem with doctor): I was scheduled for lumpectomy surgery tomorrow (1/28/15) and just received a call from Doc who said change of plans they are doing a Neoadjuvent and lymph Node Biopsy.