Pain and sticky tape


This is my first time on the Forum and looking back at previous messages has been really helpful - don’t know why I didn’t join before! It’s 2 weeks today I had a WLE with Sentinel node biopsy for Stage 2 lump. I was told what to expect, numbness etc but finding the pain in armpit quite unbearable at times - does it ever go? Also I’ve had a bad reaction to the sticky plaster, even the ones covering my stitches. Lots of sores and blisters - has anyone experienced the same? Had my results last Friday and VERY relieved to find it hasn’t spread to lymphs but the dreaded thing was a Stage 3. Now waiting for appt with Onco to discuss further treatment, already on Letrozole (flushes & sweats a nightmare) so not sure what the next step will be. What I would give for a good nights sleep! Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

I have always been allergic to sticky plaster and they’ve used micropore tape instead. I’d have thought that the plaster is doing more harm than good. Why not cover the stitches with lint and micropore tape? Or better still go and see your practise nurse for advice.
Hope things go well at your appointment.

Hi Kelley

Thanks, I hadn’t thought about micropore. I’ve never had a reaction in the past so it came as a bit of a surprise so I’ll either be down to Boots or at the surgery tomorrow. I haven’t had my appointment date yet but thanks for your thoughts.


I would suggest going to the practice nurse and asking for non-adhesive dressings and tape - you may go through quite a few of them and they can soon end up costing a fortune. Shame that you’ve had this reaction and are having to deal with the blisters as well as the wound.

As for the pain etc it does get better. I had WLE and node sampling in late Jan 08 followed by 29 rads (including the armpit) which finished at the end of April I still have a numb armpit and upper arm - but it’s a strange numbness, basically it’s ok unless I touch it then I feel it as numb. I get a bit of nerve pain in my upper arm too but nothing too drastic and only lasts for a minute max.

Good luck with your treatment plan - I hope it is not to drastic, but take whatever they offer and fight this nasty disease with everything that you can throw at it.

Let us know how you are getting on.

Thanks for your advice and the reassurance, it certainly helps talking to someone who has been through it. I’m abit in limbo at the moment as was initially told I would need rads but chemo could be on the horizon. It’s all a bit scary but as you say, anything to get rid of the beast for good. My appointment should be in the next 2 weeks so will keep you posted.

Hi Smileyface,

Sorry that you have had to join us.

I had WLE and SNB in May and I’m allergic to host of dressings so I found my own. I’m surprised that you are still needing dressings, as Lillacbushes says get down to your GP or practice nurse who will sort you out (hopefully).

Pain in my armpit became unbearable after 2 wks as well. I was so surprised, I have now seen a physio and I have some exercises to do and they have helped amazingly. Ask your GP at the same time.

Nights sleep - well I’ve watched the sun rise everyday of May and no sleeping tablet has helped but I’ve started writing a journal (somethigh I’ve never done) and at 3 am you can get a lot off your chest. No one is ever going to read it except you so give it a try. One night I wrote 5 pages and then went back to bed and slept for another 3hrs. I’ve started rads this last week and sleep now seems to come easily. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that the end is in sight.

I hope all goes well for you. Keep in touch.


I have to say I like the username - says a lot about you. I’m sure like all of us you will get there one way or another. I think it’s a case of just getting to grips with it and getting on with it. Easy for me to say as I was one of the luckier ones - grade 1, er+, no lymph nodes (just to be awkward I chucked in an intermammory node to give them something to have to discuss … I’m never straight fwd) chemo was talked about but the end decision was no chemo, 29 rads and 5 years of tamoxifen. So far so good with the tamoxifen … was a little on the warm side at nights to begin with (but that was Feb and they came in handy cos it’s cold in Scotland!) but they have settled down now. They are not entireley happy about my ‘active’ ovaries and if they don’t start playing the game by my next appointment in August they are going to add a monthly injection into the equation … all sounds really hellish but for me it’s not a major deal, I got the easier end of the deal compared to a lot of others.

Once again good luck.

I had problems with the dressings and ended up using micropore, Always Ultra came in handy with a leaky armpit, soft but absorbent.
The soreness does get better soon, it’s now a distant memory and its only two months ago! All the best you’ll feel better soon.

lol @ the Always Ultra - but having said that I used a panty liner when the skin started to split on my collar bone during rads and I had no dressings in the house … decided best not to wear it to work the enxt morning for fear of embarrassing the lads I work with!

Hi Toffee, lilacblushes and bubbles, thank you all for your advice and good wishes. I took your advice & saw my local practice nurse- all sticky tape off and I feel so much better now the blisters are drying up. It sounds as if you are all going throught it one way or another. Toffee, I like your idea of writing a journal, it sounds like a nice thing to do whilst listening to the dawn chorus. BC nurse told me the flushes should subside after 3 months of taking Letrozole, it’s 2 months now so I’m waiting with baited breath! I had to start meds early cos original op date was put back by 5 weeks, it’s a good job summer hasn’t started yet!

Have started the recommended exercises and some days I do feel better. I think sometimes I’m feeling sorry for myself because I’m having to rely on others (family) to do things for me, or drive me around (I’m itching to get back in the car but know I would probably get done for dangerous driving if I attempted it now).

My first appointment with Onco is next Weds so a bit worried how I’ll be feeling this time next week but trying to stay positive. Lilacblushes, I’m sure everything will work out for you by the time of your appointment in August, you sound strong and determined.

I send you all best wishes and hope you keep in touch.

Hi smileyface,

Good to hear from you and that you have some advice.

I always get so worked up when I have to see a medic now and really don’t look forward to it, but it’s great that you are feeling positive and the family are rallying around you. Enjoy it!

7 rad today and 13 more to go. Everthing going ok and the journey there and back improving.

Keep in touch.

Hi Smiley face

Glad to hear that the blisters are starting to dry up now that the tape is gone.

I am a strong and determined person … but my ovaries appear to be just as determined. I’m on tamoxifen AND have a mirena coil and still the little buggers continue to be active … oncology will intervene and shut them down tho, come hell or high water, or perhaps a stick of dynamite they will stop my periods!

Hi Lilacblushes

My one ovary gave up a few years ago and I started the meno at a relatively young age. Three years ago I went on HRT and I’m now beginning to wonder if that has been the cause of all this grief. Sometimes it’s best if things can happen naturally but it would seem that your body has other ideas!

Hi Toffee

You are nearly half way through so keep hanging in there. I am seeing so many docs/nurses at the moment I don’t know if I’m coming or going but I’m sure when I start treatment it will settle down.

Take care

Hi Smileyface and all,

I had mastectomy and node clearance on the 17th June., Physio gave me excersises to do and seemed disapointed that I wasn’t getting my arm very high etc but it was REALLY FLIPPIN SORE!

So I took it at my own pace, took as many painkilers as I dared and just last week it all eased up, so about 3 weks after op?

I still have problems with fluid building up and am getting it drained every week or so, so keep an eye on things and make sure you are not getting any build up of pressure too? Thought I was going to end up looking like a hermit crab, I was doing so much with my other arm

Happily driving again, just to the off-licence you understand.

Start chemo Friday, woopdedoody, have developed allergy to sticky things too so either look like a junky or as if I have been cupped, heh ho life is a scream sometimes,

Take good care of yourself smiley face, you are probably more stressed than you realise, i broke down in tears at the Onc meet, just with releif at knowing what I bloody well had at last.

All the best

Hi Smiley face - yes my body does seem to have it’s own ideas about how it’s going to work … the mirena coil happened last August cos I was in a steady relationship and went to the GP asking for the pill … given that I was a smoker and was days off being 40 she said no way to the pill cos it can increase your chances of breast cancer … so I didn;t get the pill but went straight to go with bc in Jan this year! Sods law or what!!!


sorry you are heading to the chemo ward … luckily I managed to avoid that bit. I think driving to the off licence is a jolly good idea … wouldn’t do to be on the bus with your junkie marks and your bottles of whatever!

Good luck to one and all.

hey i just wanted to say that through all the seriousness of this and only being diagnosed 3 weeks ago and the fact that at this moment i am waiting for my bcn and also my sister to ring me to tell me the news of her visit to the bcc you have brought a smile to my face
thanks a lot guys


Hello everyone

Been out of circulation for a couple of days due to arm pain & shock at first visit to Onco yesterday. As much as I try I cannot get this bloody arm to stretch very far despite doing my exercises(there has been no mention of seeing a physio). I now have cording in the armpit, like 2 big tendons sticking out that have a mind of their own. I have been assured they will go, I just have to keep on trying to get my elbows to touch the floor! Had a long visit to Onco and I’m going down the chemo route. They have offered me the whole package, chemo, rads, Herceptin and clinical trials in about 2 weeks. I got home with my mind in a whirl as I was totally unprepared for this outcome. I know I’ve got to do it to give myself the best chance of IT not returning but still feel scared. I was planning to go back to work next month but that’s not going to happen.

I wish I could jump in my car like you curtainqueen and pay a visit to the offie but not quite at that stage yet. Live in a village and it’s miles to the shops so I don’t want the neighbours talking about my junkie marks on the bus!. Do let me know how you get on with chemo on Friday - are you planning to get a wig?

Keep on smiling everyone, I know I’m trying to.

Hi Smileyface

Had my surgery a month ago now, and thankfully my arm is working fine, i returned to all my usual things with my arm apart from the hoovering and carrying of heavy bags, this has worked well for mem even after the first few days I was sitting on my drive pulling out a few weeds, very theraupetic, took it out on them. I also got a shock when I found my cancer had spread to lymph node, and they advised me to go almost the same route, chemo, rads and Tamoxifen, so I know how you feel. Thought I was going to get away with just the radio and Tamox. but never mind if it gives me the best chance then bring it all on.

Already bought myself 4 hats and 2 bandana’s, tried on a few wigs, but not picked one yet.

So I say to all the lasses (and Lads if you have it too, there is a few) We can beat the HELL out of this, and come out SMILING,probably wont be saying that next week after the first chemo!

May all our ANGELS walk beside us always. lol to everyone

Sorry to hear that the arm is not playing the game for you yet. Keep going with the exercises and hopefully you will see some improvement. Speak to your BC Nurse about physio.

The oncology visit sounds like an overload - but at least you are getting the full kit and kaboodle. I was initially told probably surgery followed by chemo then rads and/or tam/herceptin depending on lab report … then they decided on no chemo and I was kind of unsettled… it was like they had laid out 3 back-up weapons and then they took away the chemo which I considered the big guy and I was not happy to begin with.

Take whatever they are prepared to give you and fight it with all your might. My brother always used to support me throught the crap that life throws my way with the phrase ‘keep going - don’t let the B****rds grind you down’ … wise words for us all to follow I think.

Love Lilac