Coping with my two boys

Hi everyone,

I’ve got grade 3 IBC in left breast. I’ve got WLE and sentinel node biopsy booked in for 11th May. I am just wondering if there is anyone out there who could give me some idea as to how they were physically after the op and what their recovery time was like. I’m really worried about being able to cope with my two boys(they are 3 and 5).

I’ve had lots of offers from friends and family to look after them and my husband can be home from work for a while but I am just wondering how much childcare to arrange ahead of time.

Thank you,



I have 2 boys, aged 4 and 2. I had WLE and SNB a few weeks ago. I was in hospital for one night and was fully mobile and had a lot of arm movement and not much pain when I came home the day after the operation. Paracetamol sorted it out fine. I had a bad time in hospital as was on the wrong ward and that set me back psychologically but I could certainly engage with the boys.

The general anaesthetic wiped me out a bit and i felt sluggish for a few days so was happy for my mum to take over a bit and take them to school etc and do their tea. My op was Monday and by weekend we all went to the pictures and for a meal and coped well.

It was Easter holidays then and mum helped a lot, but that was just due to my head being terrified at the results day that week. Once my results were in, I switched straight back to coping ( ie. 9 days post op). Lifting into car seats is hard and running to catch up with them if they run off is hard as I have to grip my boob and run or its too much pressure. Thats tons better now though.

I would accept help definitely for first few days and let them look after you and your boys.I would plan not to be on duty at all really for that time (maybe 3 to 4 days?). Then physically you may well be fine to do quite a bit of it ( though not everything) but due to brain mush may still need help. I was pretty snappy with my boys at that time as my patience was nil, so it helped to have other people around to pass them on to.

Hope that helps, ask specifics if you need to as I have just reread it and it seems woolly.!

Hope it goes well for you


PS my husband helped too, but was v busy juggling work and home so my mum and sisters were also great, and especially at giving me neck and shoulder massages as they cheered me up!

Thanks Tors,

Not woolly at all, that’s exctly what I’m looking for, I really wanted some specific advice. I’ve been really worried about it and my BCN gave me a really vague answer about different levels of pain.

I know what you mean about the results appointment I am already far more worried about that than I am about having the operation.



I totally agree, the operation seemed like a blip on the way to getting my results, and all my focus was on that rather than getting through the operation. I didn’t have drains by the way, as far as i know you don’y usually if you have a snb, but if you have drains recovery takes longer. I could cuddle the boys fine after ( with a bit of care). The dressings are all off now and it looks fantastic, can’t believe it.

I think alot of it depends on how your body copes with anaesthetics(sp?). I felt washed out for about 10 days and needed iron. My advice is don’t let them send you home too soon. I have two kids 5 and 2 and although I wasn’t physically in pain I was drained. Make sure you have back up just in case. good luck dx

Hi Jo

I didn’t find the pain a problem at all. One practical issue - my breast surgeon told me not to drive for a while afterwards - I can’t remember precisely how long, but I think it was a week.

I had a full left mastectomy 10 days ago. Pretty much back to normal now, I drove the car today and cooked the super last night-
I found it really helpful to tell my kids that my right side is now my ‘cuddle side’ so they know they can always come to that side and dont need to worry about hurting me. They really like the idea and even the 10 year old comes for a snuggle just to try it out!

i forgot to mention the driving, took me just under 2 weeks to drive, but that was because of psychological part rather than physical, again once i had my results i felt better. Don’t underestimate the anasthetic effects, wiped me out for few days

take care

Thanks everyone for your advice, I’ve arranged for my aunty and my best friend to help me out with the boys.

They are the people I’m closest too and so I’m looking forward to having them with me through this.

I really appreciate you all taking the time to help.



I think it depends on how you are as an individual. I took a bad reaction to the anaesthetic and was wiped out for some time. I also had a lot of pain in my arm and shoulder and wasn’t able to do much for a couple of weeks, it was a month before I felt safe to drive.

I would give yourself some time and certainly get some practical support from friends and family if it’s available. Save ‘your’ time for love and cuddles, and have others do the housework.

HC xx

Thanks HC,

Thank you for the advice. When I went in for pre-op and they said I won’t be able to drive for 4-6 weeks, I thought it sounded like a long time but given what you’ve said makes total sense.

Thank you,

Hi i have a 5 yo and 2 yo. presently i am being treated with chemo before any surgery, just completed my 4th yesterday. i will have e my a meeting with my surgeon on 10th June and will hopefully try to havesurgery towards the end of july as it looks as if i will be having a bi lat masectomy. After chemo which is on a thursday my mum and dad take my boys for the weekend afterand they willl have them from today as alex on long weekend fronm school it justs let me rest as i do crash and burn generally on the sunday till tehe tuesday. ihave had to ask for help with mums doing puick ups etc from school but you will know within your own body what you can do. also be honest within their age rasge as my 5 year old does get anxious a times


Hi Jo

I had a w
WLE and node clearance four weeks ago.

My children are all old enough to look after themselves, but i just wanted to say, i feel fine at the moment, no pain, still bruising, but can do everything necessary to get by.

I was driving after a week, was desperate to get on with the housework but hubby wouldnt let me, how sad am i. As i said, i have no small children, but i think it all dpends on you yourself, you will probably be suprised what you can do, quite quickly afterwards.

Make the most of any help that family and friends want to give you, and you will fine.

I am back to looking after my 18 month old twin grandaughters while my daughter works full time, i feel fine , you will to. When i start my 6 FEC cycles next week i will find it all a bit harder,but where ever possible i dont want to let my daughter down with looking after the girls.

I think if you have children, you know yourself, you have to get on with it for there sake, although i was fortunate i didnt have small children to look after, i wanted to get on the mand asap so that i didnt let my daughter down

I hope all goes well for you, and all i can say is, for me, it was nowhere near as bad as i thought it was going to be, so hopefully you will mange just fine with a little help.

Take care

Sandrae x x