69.3K members
1.2M posts
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

44 REPLIES 44
LyndyLou
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Nine years on, and sorry, it still feels numb and odd, but not uncomfortable after first few months. Reaching in to deep shopping trolleys is the worst thing as my prosthesis hits the side and still feels wrong even after all this time. However, life is good, I feel well and happy with myself, so is choosing the small shopping trolley a big problem.

Witchypoo
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

I had my mastectomy and clearance in December last year and I'm still numb under my arm and all down the outside of it too - I've also been lumbered with lymphodema as well which doesn't help much!
what is weird is that after chemo, the hair under my arms has never grown back so at least I don't need to worry about that (mind you, in the grand scheme of things, hairy pits isn't too big a deal lol). Only seem to need to shave my legs once a week too - Brucie bonus!

Julia
x
Tonsky
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Thanks all for your responses glad to hear the numbness is quite normal i have to say shaving the armpit it quite funny cant feel a thing and keep missing bits ooppsss

bio oil is helping the scars to go away and slowly getting to lie flat on my front i keep trying it, i will get there.

For those doing wall walking i got full arm stretch back in 6 weeks with no tugging
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Just a quick note if you are suffering from nerve pain following mx and ANC. I was suffering with nerve pain even touching under my arm so my BCN recommended I try Amitriptyline. Got some from the Dr and all the nerve pain has gone although the area is numb 6 weeks after mx. I do expect it to stay numb forever although I too dont like the feeling of numbness.
Lols
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

You been on the wine Annie? Xxx
Annie62
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Sorry! I meant the hand brake - what was I thinking? I seem to have chemo brain before I've even started it....

Annie x
Annie62
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

It was the physiotherapist at the hospital who told me my insurance wouldn't be valid until a certain time after my ANC. I know I found it painful to yank the gear stick up, as you'd have to do in an emergency stop, but perhaps it depends which side you've been operated on.

Annie x
Jacquie08
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Hi have taken Emma's advice and started new topic for August chemo starters.
Ref driving post mx and anc I found I could be a passenger more comfortably than driving as seat belt hurt on my right operated side. As far as I know you have to be able to do an emergency stop without hesitation so as our legs and stomachs aren't affected your insurance will be valid. After hysterectomy you can't drive for 6 weeks if you have an abdominal wound. I was fine after 2 weeks to drive without pain so maybe delay your trip just for a bit?
Annie62
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Hi Claire,

I was driving a week after my mx but it was about a fortnight before I felt safe after ANC.

There's the insurance aspect as well - you may not be covered in the event of an accident if you haven't been declared fit to drive by your consultant or GP.

Annie x
Melrose15
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Hi Claire. I had an mx with ANC so I might be different. I agree with Lols, although the first few days were fine as everything was still numb it isn't a comfortable procedure. I only had drains for 3 days, each hospital is different, some you have none. Definately take all your pain killers, a v pillow to rest your arm on, keeping it raised helps both in bed and sitting, and some comfortable loose botton through tops and stretchy vest tops. You may find another small cushion handy to put under the seatbelt too. Good luck and enjoy your trip. ( Although like Lols id have been happier at home ;))
emma x
Lols
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Hi Clare, awake at mo cos ANC causes my arm to hurt in bed. Having ANC for me was the harder part the lumpectomy x 2 was easy. You have a drain approxaimetly from 7 To 9 days depends on your output from it, normally when under 50 mls a day thwill ill consider taking it out. I couldn't have drivennsafelybfor perhaps first 2 and a half weeks. Or maybe more. It's quite a sore feeling, completely numb under arm with a strong sunburn feeling on inside and back of arm, basically a nerve or two are cut to remove lymph nodes and it takes sometime to repair. Your shoulder , quite stiff and you have exercises to do as you will find it difficult to reach up as you used to. Also they advise you don't overuse arm in first few weeks and monitor for swelling, once you've had ANC arm care becomes everybody important as high risk of lymphodema. I was due to drive approx 300 miles few days after and glad I cancelled. Have plenty of pillows to get comfy in bed, v pillow good, also moisturiser for arm keep skin supple, cut free. It's not the pleasantest of procedures but worth it for some piece of mind and although takes a awhile my arms feeling loads better than it did. Other people might have felt a lot better than me we are all different. Good luck hope it goes ok, I found the worst thing was the drain, big relief when that was removed. Take care xx ps it's Scotland I was due to go to but from Swansea x
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Can I ask those that's have had ANC. What is it like after? How big is the scar? will I have a drain and hw long for?
i was going to visit family in Scotland, driving from Manchester, this may be a few days after surgery, even though date isn't confirmed yet.
is this a silly idea, or should I just crack on with it?
any advice with ANC would be great.
thanks
Claire x
Melrose15
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Hi Ladies. Go to 'undergoing treatment - chemotherapy' and at the top click on New Post. Then you can start an August Group. Its great having the support from others going through the same thing. Feel free to pop into June Jewels anytime if you need advice, we're becoming old hats now ;)) Good luck all xx
Annie62
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Thanks, Lois - probably will as BCCN gave arm a good massage today after fluid drain and some of the cords popped! Feels a lot easier now...sorry, off-topic again! xx
Lols
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

I have same problem Annie, that's why I pm you. I spend ages looking for replies xx have good sleep x
Annie62
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

See what I mean? The ideas for August chemo ladies shouldn't be in the 'Mastectomy - does it ever feel normal' section! And probably tomorrow I'll never find it again unless I make a note of it...

August...awesomes, alkies () - can't think of any more at the mo!

Annie x
Lols
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

2 suggestions so far , August orchids, ace august avengers.
Lols
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

I will have a think!! Xx keep posting all ideas good x
chezzap
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Cant find an august one for 2013
August is really pants for names cos of the sound - maybe August orchids?????
come on who is gonna be brave and start the post????
Lols
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Don't know what happened then only typed one x
Lols
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Hi ladies April chemo group called angels, any suggestioXxxxxxxxxXxxxxxxxx
Jacquie08
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

I know I probably should have posted this under chemo but I was interested in the numbness as mine is still totally numb as well 4 weeks on! I have read quite a lot of your posts Lols but more by good luck as you say Annie.
Annie62
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Perhaps there isn't one for August - may have been just mentioned in passing. I'm finding it difficult to negotiate this site - posts about various things all over the place, it's hard to keep track! It seems to be pot luck whether I ever catch up with others I've 'spoken' to or not on here....
Jacquie08
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Hi girls I have been following the July junkies but have just seen onc today and I will start chemo on the 2nd of August so will need to join the August group if that's ok? Do we have a name yet?
Lols
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

no idea with me but the sooner the better as far as I'm concerned just want to get on with it xx
chezzap
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

cheers Annie will have a look as Im right at end of July so will be able to fall into both camps - just call me Switzerland ha ha
Annie62
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

I thought there was already one - August Angels - but can't find it now!

Looks like I'll be joining as well - appointment with Onc on Thursday and likely to start chemo the week after...gulp!

Annie x
chezzap
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Ha yes with dressing on after the mx and anc wasnt allowed to get it wet or shower for 9 days. When breast surgeon took out stitches the poor cow nearly passed out!!

My chemo starts on MOn but am having 8 rather than 6 so will be part of the August group too whenever that may emerge
Maybe we should start one for August we can be the founding members!!!
Lols
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

I pad again sensitive veet not vet sori x
Lols
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Still waiting for onc appt, who knows when, I use roll on dove but don't put on wound sort of roll on around it. Have to do in front of mirror as can't feel it at all, no idea when it's wet or dry!!! I was paranoid under bad arm was a smell, had no prob with roller, can't shave at mo tried and hate feeling or lack of it,tried sensitive vet worked ounopened side but had reaction on good side, still got to solve that one, hope a positive from chemo is lack of underarm hair. I can get full range with arm now, not as good as non op side but 100 percent better than month ago, and exercise helps with aching sand stiffness xx
chezzap
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Cheers Lols thats good to know that it gets bit better. HAvent tried deoderant on that side yet as am scared will get infected near where the wound drain was.
Lols have you started chemo yet are you a June Jewel or a July Junkie????
Lols
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Hi chez zap, I'm 5 weeks post full ANC today and its only the last two days the arm and tightness feeling more bearable, I'm doing the walk up the Wall exercises and all others 3 times a day, I thought it would never improve but it happened all of a sudden, hang on in there and don't give up with the exercise , I've got sunburn feeling in arm but that's slowly improving, back of arm numb and completely numb in armpit apparently that's for ever it's ok though you get used to it, good luck just takes time, don't over do it though x
chezzap
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

ha ha loaf of bread - perfect analogy
Mine was three weeks ago and skin feels so tight especially the lymph node clearance. The exercise where you have to walk your arm up wall is the worst it just all pulls down the back of my arm and still cant straighten my arm above my head yet.

Please God this has gotta get better, not tried driving yet or picking up my nine month old. I just hope in a few weeks time I will be able to resume to normal activities
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Good for you Kath, I don't think I'd have the guts to do that! I had a double mastectomy in 2006, no rebuild and I've never regretted it. Still got a couple of numb patches on the back of my shoulder where it joins the armpit, I also get nipple sensations under the skin on one side. Most of the time I forget I ever had cancer and stopped worrying about 'if it comes back' scenario. Just lovin' life.
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Hi had my op nealy five years ago still can't get the feeling back under my arm sometimes it itches but when I scratch it it doesn't go away and sometime I can still fee like Iv got a nipple when I'm putting body cream on. Last week I went out without my bra for the first time because it was to hot with it on I got a few stares but it's not put me off I don' care what other people think.
Melrose15
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

I liken it to carrying a clutch bag under your arm! I too cuddle a pillow in certain positions as makes it more comfortable and gives my boob something to rest on!! 😉
poemsgalore
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Hi,
had my mx December 12th 2012 and my mx scar feels fine. It's just where I had nodes removed which sometimes feels a bit numb. I have full movement of the arm and can sleep on either side. Don't wear my prosthesis that often as it's a nuisance putting bra on and tucking prosthesis in. Usually go braless and lop sided!!
Morwenna, I too love your loaf of bread comment, I've been saying it feels like I'm wearing a pillow under my arm.
Tonsky
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

thankyou all for your comments and im glad to know im ont the only one with the weird feelings.

I got my prothesis on tuesday and its great feels really comfy so thats a weight off my mind next mission is to try swimming

Morwenna i love your loaf of bread comment i had been struggling to describe it but you have hit the nail on the head
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Hi, I'm nearly 18 months out from my MX, honestly it has settled down so much. I can now sleep normally (even arm under pillow sometimes!) I can reach for most things, although around the car seat to my littleun' in the rear seat is still uncomfortable. I can't say I have much feeling, still feels pretty numb and rolling deodorant on is strange. I did have radiotherapy so put this numbness down to that really. I can wear bras comfortably with my prosthesis, I never thought I would - I bought loads of 'secret support' vests with the aim of using my softie, but honestly they stay in the drawer now. Only thing I find now is in bed I have this kind of 'void' under my arm, so I sleep hugging a pillow - gives my arm something to rest on!
Given how awkward it felt this time last year I'm amazed how normal it feels now 🙂
Morwenna
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

I'm six months out from my Mx now and can comfortably lie on either side and put my arm anywhere, although sometimes I do still get that "loaf of bread tucked under your arm" feeling, its nowhere near like it was. I'm getting used to wearing my prosthesis in a pocketted bra as well.

I still have numbness over the scar, and am down to skin over an area of my ribs where the BS took some muscle. Not really looking forward to rads starting next month!
Nextstep
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Tonsky,
I had my op on 1 March and when I got my proper prosthesis I told myself that one day it would feel normal, not the same normal as before, but a new normal and I think I am almost there with that. I can now lie on my bad side but not with my arm under the pillow like I used to so that's another new normal.
Tonsky
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Thanks aangie I have been using the pillow technique for laying on my right but the left is currently a no no your right it does change the way you do a lot of things fingers crossed it starts to ease a bit more
angiepops
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

hi
ihad mx and anc on 5th march. i dont think it ever is going to be the same. i went to hospital today for chemo flush and i asked the nurse because my underarm fatty bits, although numb, are starting to feel like pins and needles and it hurts a bit. i was told its nerves starting to come back to life, so i'm expecting to get a bit more feeling but i think its not all going to come back. I cant lay on that side, but i can prop myself up a bit with a pillow and sleep that way. I can only just lay on my unaffected side because it pulls that way as well. normally, now, i sleep on my back and nothing pulls that way. I think it changes a lot of what you do and you have to get used to different things. i still turn in my sleep,on to my mx side , then it wakes me up because it hurts, just a habit ive always had. Its early days yet for you, i would give it a few months, it does improve a lot.
hope this helps
angie xx
Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Hi Toni

Please feel free to call our helpline to talk through your queries on 0808 800 6000, lines are open 9-5 during the week and 10-2 Saturdays

Take care

Lucy

Tonsky
Member

Mastectomy - does the area affected ever feel normal again?

Sorry about the strange subject I wasn't sure what to puput background had mastectomy on 9thmay due to 7cm high grade dcis coming up for 5 weeks post op and the area where my left boob used to be feels hard under the skin

laying on that side is uncomforneedle in bed will this hardness which I guess is scar tissue ever soften?

Im doing the exercises given to me as wrll
well
thanks

toni