Melanoma

A support group for anyone affected by melanoma to come together, share experiences, and ask questions.

Surgery on Thursday and worried

MH20
Posted by

Hi All,

I'm due to have a WLE and SLNB on Thursday and, of course, am very worried about it. I keep thinking the worst and am losing sleep over it.

I'm wondering if anyone can tell me how they've healed and gotten on with things after a SLNB under their arm? I drive everywhere as I don't like to use public transport (anxiety) and have two children (aged 7 and 11) with additional needs so they can sometimes be quite hands on. I'm also at uni full time and drive there each day.

Basically I'm hoping that I can get back to driving as soon as possible and that my wounds won't be too painful. WLE is in the centre of my back, above my bra strap and SLNB is expected to be in my right armpit but possibly both. 

Thanks for any feedback!

MH20

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."

~Louisa May Alcott

Sailor2
Posted by

Hi MH20,

I can't tell you anything really about your operation and healing times as mine were on my leg. That said I expect you will will find on Friday that you feel much better knowing that the operation is done and behind you.  

Goodluck on Thursday, I'll be thinking of you whilst I'm getting my Ipi/ Nivo review with my consultantant.

Take care,

J

Don't wait for your ship to come in, swim out and find it!

latchbrook
Posted by

Hi

That's great to hear that you've got your date for your WLE and SLNB and it's perfectly normal to be worried about it, I know I was. I'd never had a general anaesthetic before and I was worried about having the canula put in but I explained my worries to the anaesthetist and he was lovely and reassuring.

When I went for my pre-op I was given this leaflet which explains what will happen and, the bit you're interested in, what happens afterwards.

If you scroll down to page 10 you'll see that it says you should take it very easy for the first week and that you'll probably be okay to drive after 2 weeks. I followed the advice about getting up and about straight away and went for a daily walk but my husband did all the household chores, cooked dinner, etc for the first week and I made sure that I didn't do any lifting or anything strenuous with the arm that had the WLE and SLNB. I gradually eased myself back into my normal routine during the second week.

My SLNB was taken from my left armpit with my WLE done on my upper left arm. The paperwork I was given on leaving the hospital said to take paracetamol and ibuprofen regularly for at least two days, which I did, but after that I found I didn't need to take them. My arm and armpit were both sore but not painful enough to take painkillers. If your SLNB is from under your arm you'll probably find that you won't have much movement in it initially but by the end of the two weeks I could lift and move it again as normal.

I think you'll probably have to get someone to take you to uni for the first couple of weeks and maybe longer as they advise that you shouldn't attempt to drive until you are pain free. However, I don't think you'll feel like going for the first couple of days at least as you'll probably feel more tired than normal and in some discomfort.

I realise this probably wasn't what you wanted to hear but it's an honest account of my experience.

Let us know how you get on

x

 "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

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latchbrook
Posted by

Hi

How did the WLE and SLNB go? I hope you're not too sore and that everything's healing nicely.

x

 "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

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MH20
Posted by

Hi ,

Everything went well. I had the WLE on my back and needed 2 lymph nodes removed from my left under arm and 1 removed from my right underarm. The surgeon told me that the right side was pretty difficult to get and they had to dig quite a bit so I'm still quite sore on that side. I was in surgery for a total of 3.5 hours, quite a while!

Everything is healing nicely and I got my external stitches removed on Friday, they were just to reinforce the wound on my back. All of the other stitches are dissolving. The wounds under my arms are larger than expected but I'm not too bothered about them. 

How is everything with you?

Thanks for checking in.

MH20

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."

~Louisa May Alcott

latchbrook
Posted by

That's great to hear that everything went well and, although you're still sore, it's all healing nicely. 

My stitches were dissolvable ones too which meant that I didn't have to worry about having them out. My SLNB wound was probably a couple of inches long and the WLE about 4 inches so bigger than I'd expected too. However, now nearly 3 years later you can hardly see them, especially the one in my armpit.

Everything's going well for me, touch wood. I had my last check-up 4 weeks ago, which is always a slightly worrying time even though I'm not expecting them to find anything. However, it's still a relief when I'm told that everything's fine.

Do you have a date yet for getting your results?

x

 "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

What is a Community Champion?