Op tomorrow - Need words of encouragement!

Hi everyone
As you can see from my pic I have been through chemo already and am now facing my op tomorrow. WLE & lymph node clearance. Feeling a bit nervous as I’ve never had an op before so I’m just in need of some encouragement.
I think I’m more worried about after I come home, how I will cope and how much looking after I will need as I don’t have a partner and I live with my 15 year old who is possibly one of the laziest people I know (although I love him dearly). My sister lives a long way away and is a very nervous driver so I don’t expect her to visit. My mum and dad are both registered disabled now so they can’t really look after me. Friends have offered help so maybe I should swallow my pride and take them up on it.
Or maybe I’m over exaggerating and I won’t need any looking after at all. I have no idea!
Anyway, thats enough from me. Any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated
Debs x

Debs, as it’s necessary, I sincerly hope you have the same sort of experience as I did. Other than having a purple & yellow boob and a bit of numbness, I’m back to where I was pre-op.

I had WLE & SNB on Tuesday 11th - admitted at 7.30 am & home at 4 pm. I was anticipating having virtually no movement on my left side for a good fews days at least, but I had no restrictions at all. I even felt well enough to cook tea for me & OH!

My hospital notes recorded that they gave me some pain relief whilst being operated on, but I’ve had nothing since.

I showered the very next day, dressed in my regular clothes (over head jumpers) and looked after my 1yr old grandaughter (including nappy changes) whilst my daughter went to work. I removed my dressings after 48hrs and had a good scrub & hair wash on Thursday morning (just avoided the immediate wounds - two of approx 5cm each).
I’m being careful with movements, just in case I end up stretching too much & splitting stitches.

I hope this helps - Good luck tomorrow - I’ll be thinking of you &lt;&lt;<hugs></hugs>

Hi Debs

I am sure you will be fine. We are all nervous going to theatre but you can do this.

I am like yourself - on my own with 2 daughters and since I have been ill they have done so much for me. My family are up north.

Many of my friends offered help and a couple of close friends have come into help me with cleaning, shopping etc and I could not do without them. You will certainly find out who your true friends are. So yes, if they are offering take their help.

Even my 16 year old who hates cooking has come home from school and made me pasta or beans on toast. Not major cooking but I did not feel like this anyway. My eldest daughter has been there for emotional support and care - even sleeping in my bedroom when worried over chemo.

Keep posting and we will be there to support you.

Will be thinking of you tomorrow.
Janette xxxx

Had WLE and SNB on 1st of December and was really scared. Started chemo 7th January. The op was a doddle compared to chemo and as you have done it the other way around you should find it a breeze!1 Take Care I will be thinking of you x Alison

Hi Debs, wishing you all the best tomorrow and a speedy recovery… as Alison says, you have done chemo - you can do ANYTHING now!!

Debs I’m sure you will be fine. I had my wle and snb this time last year. Mine was day surgery too. Had to be at hospital at 7.30 and home mid afternoon. My daughter stayed overnight as hospital said I shouldn’t be on my own first night but she had to go first thing in the morning and from then on I was on my own. Managed showering, cooking etc with no problems. Friends did visit to give emotional support which was great. x

Hi Debs
I know what a worrying time you are having. I had my MX Oct 09 and was equally as nervous/scared as you sound, but I found the surgery to be quite trouble-free. I dont know if you will have drains with a WLE but they were nothing to worry about.

Coping at home can be tricky. I too live alone and took up the kind offers from friends, which was hard as Im quite an independant person!! Just remember, be kind to yourself -you need time to recuperate.

I found that planning and thinking ahead helped. Eg Boil the kettle and fill a flask to save you lifting a heavy kettle more than once. Wear clothes easy to get into. And just forget about the housework-you are more important. Maybe get some meals frozen in advance so you can ‘ping’ them in the microwave to save cooking.

Its amazing how 15yr olds can adapt when they see mum in a vulnerable state-maybe the making of him/her!!!

Id also ask the breast care nurse about support services where you live. We have a service that provides up to 6 weeks care at home for those who need it-they can do some chores, such as help with bathing etc (tho you will probably be ok to do ypurself)
I also had the district nurse call for several days as I had a drain in and they were a great source of help and can refer you to other services if needed.
Id also say, the hospital I was in was very good at not sending me home too early as they knew I lived alone, so again, mention this to BC nurse.
Best of luck with op etc
Cathie xx

PS Really important to do your exercises after surgery, It will help you regain your mobility.

Thanks ladies! I am going in at 7.30 in the morning so maybe I will be out the same day too. I have spent today doing housework so I don’t have to worry about it for a while. I have got some microwave meals in (M&S yummy ones!) for my lunch during the days when my son is at school and have warned him he may have to test his culinary skills this week!
The surgeon told me I will be sent home with a drain so I’ll have a visit from the distrct nurse in the week and will have a word with her if I need anything else.
Thanks again for all your helpful advice

Good luck, my WLE and SNB wasn’t too bad at all, hope your is as easy. (I had to have Mx and am now on Chemo which I am finding much harder). Do the exercises, take things easy and be kind to yourself. Pxxxxx

Same as the others, Buzzy, the surgery is usually pretty straightforward, and as long as you don’t stay on your feet too long at a time the first 24 hours or so you will be fine. The microwave meals are a sensible idea, and do tell the nurse of any problems at all. Don’t try to be brave about the painkillers you are given or prescribed, because they are meant to promote healing as well.

And just as with chemo, if anything scary or unusual happens, phone for help straight away.

Good luck,

Good luck to anyone having surgery tomorrow. Don’t feel you HAVE to go home the same day if you’re not up to it. I was desperate to get out because I felt guilty (yeah, silly I know, but hey!) about taking up the bed that they needed for the next people, but they made me stay in overnight and I was very glad of it as I really wasn’t ready to go home that evening.

If you’re having axillary clearance you may find you need to stay in a bit longer as it’s more of an op than SNB, which is what I had. You may also find you have more difficulty getting the mobility in your arm, but the exercises are supposed to really help. I was lucky not to need them as I just has SNB.

I’m sure your teen will step up to the mark, and is probably capable of boiling up some pasta or doing beans on toast. Simple meals, boil-in-the-bag fish with rice and frozen veg, you never know you might be pleasantly surprised. If you give him a little responsibility I’m sure he’ll be really helpful.

Leave the housework, a week or so of no hoovering won’t kill anyone. Get out the instruction book for the washing machine and let teen have a go. It will do him good to have someone rely on him, and may well bring out the best in him.

Carry a sports drinks bottle around with you and drink loads afterwards. The sports bottle is because it’s so much easier to drink from if you’re lying down and feel too tired to sit up.

For the day of the op, bring in some trashy reading and some kind of music player with “chilling” stuff. The last thing you need is to be completely stressed out.

Anyway, best wishes for tomorrow.

Hi buzzy like you i did my chemo first and it was such a relief to have it removed it was like well thats it its gone even though i knew it was gettin smaller it was such a brilliant feeling for me i had no nerves whats so ever i walked to thearte had a mx came home day after felt fine had a few arm issues as i had lymph involment but it was nothing compared with chemo your hard work is now done hurray the rest will be a walk in the park good luck and let me know how you get on

Hey Buzzy. Good luck for tomorrow. I’ve had WLE, SNB then went on to have mastectomy and auxillary clearance. I have to say that chemo (I’m 7 days post fec2) is much, much, much worse than the operations! You will do fine, just take it easy for a few days xx

Good luck for tomorrow! I had mx then anc - but was more than capable of putting kettle on by the next day - the most irritating thing was the drain I had in for a week, and not being able to drive - I left it two weeks before driving, but everyone is different and you may find you can drive much sooner than me.

The absolute hardest thing of all is the exercises… but you must do them! Could not believe how pathetic I felt struggling to do shoulder shrugs… but persevere and you will get movement back much quicker.

Even though the op itself may not leave you in any particular discomfort, do be prepared for the ‘hangover’ from the anaesthetic to take a few days to completely shift. I thought I was fine, but couldn’t understand why I was so tired - doh!! Just listen to your body, rest when you need to, and ignore the mess in the house. It won’t go away, so it’ll still be there when you’re ready to deal with it.

My 16yo is desperately idle, but even he managed to make the odd cup of tea… so good luck with yours!!

Sophie xxx

Good luck for tomorrow! You’re bound to be nervous but the sooner they operate the sooner you can start to recover and start to rebuild your life. It’s a shock and it’s horrible news but you can and will get through it. We’re all rooting for you.
With every good wish for a speedy recovery.
Love and hugs, Julie x

Hi i am also having my op tommorrow and understand the nerves i have had 4 operations up to now for other various things and i am still nervous evrytime. Im sure we will both be fine and recover well xxx good luck xxx


All the best Penny xxxx

Good luck for tomorrow. I have WLE and SNB on 25th so know exactly where you’re coming from. From everything i’ve read on here it isn’t that big a surgery and you’ll be so glad it’s behind you in a couple of days. Let us know how it goes and big cyber hugs xx

Thinking of you, take care :slight_smile: xxx

Well its all done and I’m home now. Wasn’t too bad at all. Had WLE and axillary clearance. Have a multi coloured boob but not much pain. I have been sent home with a drain in a handy little shoulder bag which quite horrified my son! So its all good. And the best bit is I’ve been signed off work for 3 weeks! So my resting begins now.
Hope yours went well too Penny.
Thanks for all the good luck messages