op this week

Please dont think im being daft  but although  i am being  positive,  because i know how lucky i am (been told its a small cancerous lump that is treatable  probably with radiotherapy )  but i am wondering  just how sore , knackered  i realy am going to be? Been told i cant work for 6  weeks  due to the op then due to the radiotherapy  ill be shattered. . I think the thought of not being able to do anything is worse than the op itself. 

I dont want to sit feeling  sorry for myself  but i know i have to be sensible. . Very sensible. 




You’re not daft at all. Before my op (WLE and SLNB) I did all the jobs I didn’t think I’d be able to do post op - ordered and stacked the logs, hoovered the stairs, did the ironing, and stocked up on books and DVDs as I thought I’d be reclining in front fo the fire for weeks. Well, I came back to a very clean house but actually did not need to have busted a gut beforehand, (though hoovering stairs was probably a good idea…) as I did not feel too bad at all. The key after the op is to take the painkillers they give you, even if you don’t feel sore, as the painkiller they give you during the op will wear off, and do the arm exercises regularly from the day after the op to get your mobility back before radiotherapy. I was very surprised at the lack of pain and the fact that I could do most things immediately apart from heavy lifting which they advise against. I obeyed the instruction not to drive for 2 weeks, due to insurance considerations, although in fact could have driven within a week with a little pillow between me and the seat belt, but it’s best not to in case of accident and liability for not following medical advice. I could have returned to work 2-3 weeks after the op but didn’t need to as am retired, and my radiotherapy was 6 weeks after the op for three weeks, so if I were still at work I would have had to have minimum 9 weeks off, and they do suggest a couple of weeks off after rads finish due to fatigue, which would bring it to 11 weeks. Some ladies return to work after the op and before the rads, and work though the rads, but it is very individual. See how you feel and if you can return to work in between, do so, but play it by ear. Important thing is to listen to your body and do what is right for you - don’t be a hero!  I seemed to avoid a lot of the anxiety around diagnosis and treatment mainly because like you, I felt incredibly lucky that mine was found early and treated and I was mainly concerned with practicalities rather than fears. My op was 12th December and Radiotherapy finished 10th Feb so I’m home and dry now apart from the daily hormone tablet. I was walking a couoe of miles daily throughout so I doubt you’ll be sitting around unless you want to! (I never did watch all those DVDs!) The whole process was SO much easier than I thought it would be and I remain feeling VERY lucky. All the best with your op and the radiotherapy - I’m sure you’ll be fine and will be surprised at how doable it is. Come on here and let us know. xxxxx

Hi Liz, I echo what Optimissy says, but I would also add that you should not underestimate the emotional toll the whole process can take on some people. I am 70 and found the operation so much easier than my fevered brain imagined. Anaesthetics were wonderful, no sickness or nausea following the op. The drain I had was a nuisance, but came out after five days. Pain medication was efficient, and I made sure I used it sensibly. No point in biting the bullet, is there? Nutrition was a big part of the in bed regime, plenty of fruit and veg , as well as oceans of water to flush the anaesthetic. Fresh air was a big must, even if it was being driven to a beauty  spot to admire the daffs when I felt unable to walk far. I am having both chemo and rads due to the nature of my cancer, and the long series of hospital appointments and tests getting me ready for my treatment has led to some ups and downs. I have a Maggies centre near by which has provided caring support in a positive environment. Everyone is different, so be positive mentally, stay fit physically and listen to your body. You are not alone. Best wishes. X