Sleep needed

Hi all. I’m after advice please. I’ve had a mastectomy and reconstruction - sentinel nodes clear -yippee- but HER2 positive and ER positive. Waiting to see oncologist for first time. The surgery was excellent - a bit swollen but in the grand scheme of things better than I thought. Despite my results being as diagnosed last week -which is good - nothing else to contend with - I feel quite emotional but put g it down to about 3-4 hours sleep a night waking up 6-8 times. I’ve got a V pillow - thanks all for the recommendation. - just started to lay on good side for about an hour but feel exhausted. Someone suggested magnesium glycinate- can I take that without interfere with any potential chemo. I also take Fexofenodine so thought nurses might know? Just would like a good run at a chunk of sleep to feel better! Tips welcome!! Thanks this wonderful group.


Hi collywobbles

Thanks for posting. It’s good to hear that your surgery went well, but it is understandable that you are feeling emotional following your diagnosis. Many people feel overwhelmed when having treatment for breast cancer and this can often result in difficulty sleeping.

You ask if you can take magnesium glycinate and if it will interact with your chemotherapy and other medication such as fexofenadine. Many people ask about vitamin and herb supplements. but there is much we don’t know about them, so it’s important to speak to your treatment team, GP, or a pharmacist before taking any.

Herbal treatments don’t have to comply with the same regulations or rigorous testing that conventional medicines do. For many products there is a lack of research to support their use, and some can interfere with conventional medicines including chemotherapy.

You can search this American website, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, for information about individual herbs and vitamins. Each has sections on existing evidence and what known interaction there is with other medications. You may find that that some herbs have different names in America. You can also search herbal products and supplements on the American website Medicine Plus

We are hosting a Facebook Live tonight with Dr Liz O Riordan who will be discussing supplements, diet and myth busting, which you may find interesting.

Many people find that complementary therapies and relaxation techniques such as mindfulness can also help to improve sleep patterns.

The NHS also offers advice and information on how to sleep better.

We offer a range of free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in. They include face to face and online courses and events.

For more details about all of these services, please see the information on the link, or call our free helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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