I’m Sue and had my surgery 3 weeks ago. I am still finding my armpit very sore and all the way down to my elbow. Has anyone else found this? Thanks

This is pretty much the case with lymph node clearance I’m afraid. They have to cut some of the nerves to take the nodes out, so it takes a while to repair. I had mines cleared October 2006 and this was followed by 6 weeks of sharp stabbing pain and a burning sensation (I had to sleep on my back with a pillow under my arm for support). I then had months of having a tingling pins and needles sensation in my upper arm and across my bag, I often had to take painkillers before bed so I could sleep. I’ve been pretty much OK since about September of last year, but I get a needly pain in my elbow area from time to time, also a numbness on the outer part of my arm.

Whilst it’s painful at the moment, it is best to keep up with the physio exercises the hospital will have given you as you need to strengthen the arm. When mines stiffens I do stretching exercises and a bit of yoga as this helps immensely. My BC nurse told me her mum had BC surgery 20 years ago and back then they didn’t think to give women exercises or physio - her mum now has very bad mobility problems in her arm because of this.

hi sue,i had surgery on 24/1/08 and my armpit is still sore too.check out the discussions on cording because it may be that this is the cause of some of your discomfort.seems like it is all quite normal so i am not too worried.

Hi Sue

Had mine done on 10/1/08 mine is sore, still keeping up with the exercises but some days are easier than other. Cording is the worst for me.

Armpit is still numb which I fine the worst.


Thanks every one for your comments. It seems that my arm is doing the ‘normal’ things. I may have cording which seems to be the main problem. I 'm soon to start chemo just waiting for my first appointment, ordered a bandana to try today,let you know how it looks later.


hi Gill
thanks for your comments, my surgery was on the 30 january2008 I was just about to start a new job. They are keeping the job open for me but I hope I can go to work soon feedup at home.Sue

Hi all

Breast Cancer Care have written a booklet called ‘Your operation and recovery’ which you may find hepful to read as it contains information about some of the symptoms you can expect following breast and axillary surgery, you can read it via the following link:

Please feel free to call our helpline for further information and advice on 0808 800 6000 which opens Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Best wishes

hi sue.strange cause i had just been offered a promotion before i was diagnosed and luckily they are holding my job open too.the doctor has signed me off and i am due to go back on 10th march all being well.i am really enjoying the time off and having a great time going out for coffee and lunch with friends(money is running low though ha ha)dont know about you but i sit waiting for the postman hoping he is gonna have the appointment letter.dont forget to give us an update on how the bandana looks.gill

Hi Gill
My cert lets me go back to work on the 13 March, but I’m hoping my chemo has started by then. Most of my friends are at work all day, and by not using my car the battery has gone flat, just something else to fix. I lost patience today and phone the hospital about appointment, should hear sometime this week, at lest I’m still in the system ( not forgotten). Sue

Hi Sue.Phoned my hospital that i am due to have radiotherapy at and they said my name is not even on their system yet!! (Feeling very forgotten and sorry for myself today)I am hoping this is normal but am worried as it is now nearly 5 weeks since the op and 2 weeks since the surgeon said she was going to refer me.I do hope you get your appointment through soon.Dont know about you but it is so difficult to organise work and things until we have these dates.

Hi Gill
Well my phoning seemed to have worked, they phoned yesterday and I start chemo next wednesday 5 March. They have advised me to have my hair cut short so going on Monday not looking forward to short hair. The bandana came not sure I like it , it’s a bit smaller than I thought it should be, now going to try a different web site I do hope you here soon, let me know. Sue

Hi Sue,just had phone call from hospital and i have an appointment for 11 oclock tomorrow 28/2.Glad you got your start date.Sorry you not looking forward to having your hair short.There are many short bobs around at the moment so maybe it wont be too bad.Good luck with the bandana search,there must be one out there for you somewhere !!I Did think i would have to go through what you are going through but i had 14 nodes tested and they were all clear so just radiotherapy for me.Good luck with the new hairstyle and let me know what style you choose.GILL

Hi Sue do you know about Buffs?You get them from Blacks outdoor shop and they are great;lots of different colours and a leaflet to show you how to make it into different styles.They are a lovely soft cotton jersey fabric and you can order them online.Good luck,horacex

Hi Sue,

LIke Horace, I found Buffs wonderful, and no tying involved as they are just like a stretchy tube. I got mine through the website and was thrilled with them, they have a fantastic choice and arrived really quickly.

I do have a beautiful wig as well which I wear to work now, although, initially I wore my buffs and had loads of compliments.

All the very best to you,

Tracy x

Hi Horace and Tracy, what a good idea! I have a couple of Buffs that I use as lovely neckwarmers when I’m riding, and can’t find the leaflet… hoping very much that post-op report won’t recommend chemo, but if it does, I’ll get some more!

Hi Gill Horace and Tracey
Gill, Hope your radiotherapy went ok yesterday, let me know. Horce do you know the web site for buffs please I’ll try anything. Not looking foreward to next week. Reading to much of what can happen and getting worried. Sue

Hi Sue,

The website for can be found by googling buffwear

Have a lovely weekend,

Tracy x

Hi Everyone

I agree buffs are great, but another website recommended by Kelly on this site is An american company but range of headgear is great, cheap and quick to deliver. I ordered mine on line on Thursday, arrived the following Monday! Faster than Royal Mail! Came by Fedex. Have a browse!

Love Carol

Sorry Louise, I forgot!!