Fed up with not being able to lie down!

Hi guys,


Has as anybody else been unable to lie down comfortably a week and a half after WLE and node biopsy?


My boob really doesn’t give me any trouble during the day, unless I knock it or anything, but, like others, my armpit is still quite painful.


When I try to go to bed there just doesn’t seem to be any comfortable way to lay, that will allow me to relax and sleep.  Every position has it’s own discomfort, and because my hubby sleeps on that side of me, I’m also terrified of getting knocked - he has been known to fling arms out/over in his sleep.


i’m still wearing my sleeper bras, which helps, but still too much discomfort to stay laying down. I’m using soft pillows around me, but again, if I get them in the right place to support my arm comfortably, they seem to press on my boob and make that ache!


Also, I have always slept on my left side, is it ok for me to try laying on that side, or should I avoid the pressure on the affected arm?


Just feeling a bit concerned that I’m still propping myself up on the sofa to sleep, when surgery was ten days ago.  Is this normal?  Should I be worried?  Should I just continue to go with whatever allows me to sleep, and not be concerned?  Will this work itself out?


Sorry about the ramblings! Tired from restless, painful and anxious night of trying to make myself sleep in my bed! 


Any advice/reassurance would be gratefully received! 





Hello Jaynes1208, I can relate to this problem! I think it is quite normal after surgery and is very frustrating. I found I had to prop myself up to sleep. It isn’t a natural position to sleep in, hence the difficulty sleeping. Have you a spare room that you could use, as you say you’re worried about being knocked by your husband when he moves? Also have a look at support pillows, especially the v shaped ones which may be more comfortable for the time being. It does improve and you will be able to sleep pretty much in your preferred position, however I still find sleeping on my left side a bit uncomfortable six months after surgery. I hope you can find some relief and I’m sending you best wishes. xx Lily

Hello Jayne, I’m almost 2 years on from my WLE, but can remember being uncomfortable for quite some time - a week and a half doesn’t seem very long. For quite a few weeks I would sleep on the opposite side, and threw hubby into the spare room as he was in the way!   I put a pillow under my affected boob and then very carefully lay that side, but it did take a good while, possibly a couple of months. You will get there though - can remember the huge relief when I realised I’d turned over and could actually sleep on ‘that’ side.  Funnily enough, I’ve now changed sides in the bed and now sleep on my ‘good’ side.  Sometimes we are impatient to ‘get back to normal’, and it takes us all different lengths of time, so don’t really compare yourself to anyone. You will get there in your time. Hope you are  more comfortable though very soon. :cathappy:xxx

Thanks Lily59 and Rubycat!


I’m going onto Amazon in a minute to look at v shaped pillows!  And I might decamp to the spare room for a bit.  Thanks for sharing your experiences, when you haven’t been anywhere or done anything much it can seem like ages since the op! Have to remind myself it’s early days. You’ve eased my mind a bit and it’s much appreciated. 




Hi Jaynes 

just to say Iv read the posts from yourself and the other ladies . The advice all sounds pretty good , I did have three nodes removed and although the scar was small it did give me quite a bit of jip for a while . I also went on to have other surgery and I was in the same gang as the other ladies … pillows everywhere …under my arm …under my boob …at the back of my legs … anywhere  that took the pressure off and I was comfortable ha .

I dont think it matters where you lie as long as you are comfortable …but I get where youre coming from I think . Im guessing youre frightened of damaging something and putting yourself backwards . I worry by wearing a sports bra day and night Im going to end up with squashed pancake booby ha … but I suppose if I put the worrying to one side and put my rationale hat on I know thats not going to happen . 

Im ten weeks down from sentinel node removal and seven down from mastectomy and diep … Im almost back to sleeping normal again and I can sleep on my side hurray !! … still pop a pillow under boob though . Its all about thr comfort . Good luck with your Vpillow and hugs xx

Thanks Ladies,


i’ve been a back sleeper.  I hope it doesn’t become a habit, hubby will never let me back in our bed cos of the snoring!! ??



That should say “never been a back sleeper”! ?

Hiya Rosie im sorry to hear all the problems that you have had. Hopefully the DIEP will have worked for you. You’ve had massive surgery so we all heal individualy. I must admit this forum and Steph and Schummi have really helped me before and now after my operation, as to what to expect. I’ve had a DIEP on one breast on 31st January. The next day i never thought id walk again. Lol i came home yesterday and was worried how i would cope in my own bed. I’ve been ok but like you all im not a back sleeper, so was awake most of the night. I ve had the pillars under my leg and neck. I think it takes time to get over the hourly checks they give you at the hospital. Im sure each day gets better

V shaped pillows on sale on aldi today ! ?

All of you are awesome. Some of you have been through, and are going through so much, yet you take the time to reassure and help.


i took all of your advice and have “nested” until the last couple of nights, when I have been back in the marital bed! Lol! Still with lots of supportive pillows, and making the husband move over to accomodate me, but I’m back!! 


I’ve had some really horrible nerve pain, from the nodes being removed, the surgeon said they had to separate a main nerve.  When I asked how long it would take to stop feeling like I had shingles, he said it might never go away!  I was gutted, because it was so painful!


However, kind ladies on here told me to wait at least six weeks befor panicking.  I am now at 5 weeks since surgery, and this week it has made an improvement! Yaaaay! I’m so relieved!


I felt like I should be grateful and on top of the world that the op removed all the cancer, and I just needed some rads, but was soooooo down at the thought of maybe living with that pain forever! I feel so much more able to cope now.


So, if there’s anybody out there, currently in the early post op stages, who has that terrible burning and shingles like pain, do not panic prematurely!  Give yourself time.  Do what you need to do to be comfortable.  Do not beat yourself up because you’re still needing strong painkillers and can’t do much!  Stay positive and believe that it will improve! 


Keep well!




I’m also sleeping in an odd pillows everywhere on my back , semi seated position. I’m usually a front sleeper so struggling to sleep through. I found that if I wake up comfy then I don’t move the pillows to ‘make the bed’ then I can get back in if I want to without the rearranging.