Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Sorry about the strange subject I wasn’t sure what to puput background had mastectomy on 9thmay due to 7cm high grade dcis coming up for 5 weeks post op and the area where my left boob used to be feels hard under the skin

laying on that side is uncomforneedle in bed will this hardness which I guess is scar tissue ever soften?

Im doing the exercises given to me as wrll


Hi Toni

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ihad mx and anc on 5th march. i dont think it ever is going to be the same. i went to hospital today for chemo flush and i asked the nurse because my underarm fatty bits, although numb, are starting to feel like pins and needles and it hurts a bit. i was told its nerves starting to come back to life, so i’m expecting to get a bit more feeling but i think its not all going to come back. I cant lay on that side, but i can prop myself up a bit with a pillow and sleep that way. I can only just lay on my unaffected side because it pulls that way as well. normally, now, i sleep on my back and nothing pulls that way. I think it changes a lot of what you do and you have to get used to different things. i still turn in my sleep,on to my mx side , then it wakes me up because it hurts, just a habit ive always had. Its early days yet for you, i would give it a few months, it does improve a lot.
hope this helps
angie xx

Thanks aangie I have been using the pillow technique for laying on my right but the left is currently a no no your right it does change the way you do a lot of things fingers crossed it starts to ease a bit more

I had my op on 1 March and when I got my proper prosthesis I told myself that one day it would feel normal, not the same normal as before, but a new normal and I think I am almost there with that. I can now lie on my bad side but not with my arm under the pillow like I used to so that’s another new normal.

I’m six months out from my Mx now and can comfortably lie on either side and put my arm anywhere, although sometimes I do still get that “loaf of bread tucked under your arm” feeling, its nowhere near like it was. I’m getting used to wearing my prosthesis in a pocketted bra as well.

I still have numbness over the scar, and am down to skin over an area of my ribs where the BS took some muscle. Not really looking forward to rads starting next month!

Hi, I’m nearly 18 months out from my MX, honestly it has settled down so much. I can now sleep normally (even arm under pillow sometimes!) I can reach for most things, although around the car seat to my littleun’ in the rear seat is still uncomfortable. I can’t say I have much feeling, still feels pretty numb and rolling deodorant on is strange. I did have radiotherapy so put this numbness down to that really. I can wear bras comfortably with my prosthesis, I never thought I would - I bought loads of ‘secret support’ vests with the aim of using my softie, but honestly they stay in the drawer now. Only thing I find now is in bed I have this kind of ‘void’ under my arm, so I sleep hugging a pillow - gives my arm something to rest on!
Given how awkward it felt this time last year I’m amazed how normal it feels now :slight_smile:

thankyou all for your comments and im glad to know im ont the only one with the weird feelings.

I got my prothesis on tuesday and its great feels really comfy so thats a weight off my mind next mission is to try swimming

Morwenna i love your loaf of bread comment i had been struggling to describe it but you have hit the nail on the head

had my mx December 12th 2012 and my mx scar feels fine. It’s just where I had nodes removed which sometimes feels a bit numb. I have full movement of the arm and can sleep on either side. Don’t wear my prosthesis that often as it’s a nuisance putting bra on and tucking prosthesis in. Usually go braless and lop sided!!
Morwenna, I too love your loaf of bread comment, I’ve been saying it feels like I’m wearing a pillow under my arm.

I liken it to carrying a clutch bag under your arm! I too cuddle a pillow in certain positions as makes it more comfortable and gives my boob something to rest on!! :wink:

Hi had my op nealy five years ago still can’t get the feeling back under my arm sometimes it itches but when I scratch it it doesn’t go away and sometime I can still fee like Iv got a nipple when I’m putting body cream on. Last week I went out without my bra for the first time because it was to hot with it on I got a few stares but it’s not put me off I don’ care what other people think.

Good for you Kath, I don’t think I’d have the guts to do that! I had a double mastectomy in 2006, no rebuild and I’ve never regretted it. Still got a couple of numb patches on the back of my shoulder where it joins the armpit, I also get nipple sensations under the skin on one side. Most of the time I forget I ever had cancer and stopped worrying about ‘if it comes back’ scenario. Just lovin’ life.

ha ha loaf of bread - perfect analogy
Mine was three weeks ago and skin feels so tight especially the lymph node clearance. The exercise where you have to walk your arm up wall is the worst it just all pulls down the back of my arm and still cant straighten my arm above my head yet.

Please God this has gotta get better, not tried driving yet or picking up my nine month old. I just hope in a few weeks time I will be able to resume to normal activities

Hi chez zap, I’m 5 weeks post full ANC today and its only the last two days the arm and tightness feeling more bearable, I’m doing the walk up the Wall exercises and all others 3 times a day, I thought it would never improve but it happened all of a sudden, hang on in there and don’t give up with the exercise , I’ve got sunburn feeling in arm but that’s slowly improving, back of arm numb and completely numb in armpit apparently that’s for ever it’s ok though you get used to it, good luck just takes time, don’t over do it though x

Cheers Lols thats good to know that it gets bit better. HAvent tried deoderant on that side yet as am scared will get infected near where the wound drain was.
Lols have you started chemo yet are you a June Jewel or a July Junkie???

Still waiting for onc appt, who knows when, I use roll on dove but don’t put on wound sort of roll on around it. Have to do in front of mirror as can’t feel it at all, no idea when it’s wet or dry!!! I was paranoid under bad arm was a smell, had no prob with roller, can’t shave at mo tried and hate feeling or lack of it,tried sensitive vet worked ounopened side but had reaction on good side, still got to solve that one, hope a positive from chemo is lack of underarm hair. I can get full range with arm now, not as good as non op side but 100 percent better than month ago, and exercise helps with aching sand stiffness xx

I pad again sensitive veet not vet sori x

Ha yes with dressing on after the mx and anc wasnt allowed to get it wet or shower for 9 days. When breast surgeon took out stitches the poor cow nearly passed out!!

My chemo starts on MOn but am having 8 rather than 6 so will be part of the August group too whenever that may emerge
Maybe we should start one for August we can be the founding members!!!

I thought there was already one - August Angels - but can’t find it now!

Looks like I’ll be joining as well - appointment with Onc on Thursday and likely to start chemo the week after…gulp!

Annie x

cheers Annie will have a look as Im right at end of July so will be able to fall into both camps - just call me Switzerland ha ha