Recovery advice after bilateral mx no recon and young children

I had lumpectomy, snb, rads, tamox, zoladex, oopherectomy, exemestane in 2008 when i was 34. 


Just been dx with recurrance near scar. 


Awaiting scans to check for spread…worst part.  Then bilateral mx with no recon as got 2 primary school aged children and not much family to help so cannot do a long spell in hospital and long recovery. 


Op is going to be at start of school summer hols so kids going to need full time attention.


Wondering how long til I will be up and about? I know everyone is different but need an idea.


thank u x

Hi Lolly73

While you are waiting for replies maybe you could give our free helpline a ring on 0808 800 6000 and have a confidential chat with one of the breast care nurses who are there to support you, lines are open to Monday to Friday 9.00 – 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 – 2.00.

Best wishes

June, moderator

Sorry to hear you’re going through this. I had a bmx with no reconstruction 5 weeks ago so hope I can help, I also had some nodes removed.

I was up and moving around the same day, I was in hospital for 4 days, but mainly because they didn’t want to let me out with the drains still in as I have young children too. The drains from my boobs were fine after 2 days, it was the one from the node site that keep me in longer.

My non-node side recovered much faster, I could move my arm normally (albeit gingerly) after a couple of days and was sore, rather than in pain (other side took a while longer).

I have needed to rest, I underestimated a little how much of a stress it was on my body and have needed to rest quite a lot my two have obviously been at school so I have rested during the day and then been fine when they got home.

I couldn’t drive for about 3 weeks, and then only as we have an automatic, my left side was my node side so changing gears would have been a problem.

Please feel free to ask if you have any questions.

I do get tired Lolly but not horribly so, just have very early nights (usually just after the kids go down!)

Rosie, I was up and about within a couple of hours of the surgery and walking normally with no pain from moving - the only previous ops I’ve had have been c-sections which were very debilitating, his time I was fine, could go to the loo fine and in fact had a shower, on my own, about 36 hours after the op.

As I think I said in an earlier post, I was never in real pain, obviously it was sore, but not painful.

Hope it all goes well both of you.

Hi Lolly - re your worry about healing because you previously had rads; I had rads following MX (which followed WLE, ANC and chemo) nearly 3 years ago and in the last couple of months have had 2 surgeries for a recurrence in my chest wall. I have healed very quickly following the ops despite lots of clearance in that area and it having been opened up numerous times (also had TRAM flap recon last year).


1st op - lumpectomy - I went home day after surgery, with a drain for nearly a week;

2nd op - MX - home after 2 days because I have a long car journey home and didn’t want to go day after op with drain to then go back day after that to have it removed;

Home day after op for recurrence, had drain out before leaving hospital; and

Home day after op for more clearance of recurrence area, with drain for almost a week.


Just make sure you crack on with the arm exercises as soon as they tell you you should. That makes a big difference to getting back to normal. Just don’t overdo things, and as others have said, make sure you don’t do any heavy lifting too soon.


I hope that helps. Take care.


Hi lolly73

I’ve attached a link to the BCC Publication “Talking with your children” which you might also find helpful.

Very best wishes


BCC Moderator