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Hello Everyone, my name is ERMA, I'm new here.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February, grade 3. I'm on chemotherapy now. After the treatment I will have a mastectomy and a few lymph nodes will be removed. I'm closer and closer to my surgery and  I'm in stress. I don't know how  quickly I will recover? Can I use my arm properly? How can I manage mentally? I'm very worried.

  • Hi Erma 

    I didn't have a mastectomy I had a lumpectomy and removal of nodes. I was unable to drive for 2 weeks and unable to do chores for 3 weeks. 

    I am 3weeks post op I didn't have much pain more discomfort.

    Before your op the staff will explain recovery times and exercises to keep your arm and shoulder healthy. They will also explain wound care. Treat yourself to some non wired bras if like me you didn't have any. 

    Maybe someone who has had the same procedure will have more tips for you.

    I wish you well with your upcoming surgery and recovery.

    The macmillan nurses will also be able to give you lots of information xx

  • Hi Erma

    I had a mastectomy in April and nodes taken out. I stayed in overnight. I was fine the next day, a bit of soreness and discomfort but no real pain.  I followed the exercises and my shoulder was soon quite mobile. I felt tired but after having family here for 6 days I was able to resume normal chores taking care not to overdo it. I drove again after a week. I am over 80 but have been fit and well. I know I am lucky. I now have 3 weeks radiotherapy in a couple of weeks. Try and stay positive, it is different for everyone but it helps to be in contact with others in the same situation. Hope your op goes well, thinking of you.x

  • Hi,

    I had a mastectomy and nodal clearance in October. It was about 6 weeks until I felt safe to drive (I was being cautious until I felt my arm moved enough) - but the surgeon said 3 - 4 weeks. My arm movement was affected, but doing the exercises had me back to normal within about 7 - 8 weeks and did help with the pain somewhat. Pain wasn't too bad, but I did need something for a couple of weeks for the nerve pain from my axilla surgery - it may be different if you only have a couple of nodes out. I wasn't doing heavy lifting, but managing light tasks after a couple of weeks. I was tired for a couple of weeks, but managed some short walks with hubby after a couple of days. Everyone is different, but try not to worry. The surgeons and BCN gave lots of advice.

    Mentally, I expected to feel different, but the loss of my breast wasn't as bad as I thought, but after chemo and radiotherapy I'm having some counselling to prepare me for going back to work.

    I recommend having precooked meals in the freezer, extra pillows to support your arm on the affected side and magazines/films etc ready. Some recommend front fastening bras, but I used back fastening post surgery bras (M&S) which I found easier, with loose clothing. I went home with a drain for a week, but was given a bag for it.

    I didn't have reconstruction, so I have nothing to add about that.

    I wish you luck with your surgery and a speedy recovery. I hope my experience reassures you a bit.

  • Thank you very much for your answer. Yes, I know, I'll get lots of information from nurses but the own experience is different. I wish the best.

  • Hi Photogirl, thank you for your answer. You are lucky you healed so quickly. Yes, you're right, good to be contact with people in the same situation. I hope, everything will be ok with you. 

  • Hi LuckyD, thank you very much for your answer. You gave me  lots of information, they are very useful. I am very grateful for that. Sorry to hear you had so long healing. Everyone is different like you said. I wish the best.