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Painkillers / Conflicting advice


Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Lactulose worked for me x

Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Yes that's right Anniej, they don't think the lymph nodes are affected but from what I am reading they can't be sure until they go in and check.  Yes I am having the blue dye job and been told I will cry blue tears, pee blue wee and have a blue boob.  Not sure if the blue boob will be so much of a shock as it was black and blue after the biopsy.


No I am not a fan of apricots but I do like prunes so will stock up on those.  


Can anyone recommend a stool softener. Not bought any of this before now so not sure what to get.


Thanks and hope things are going well for you.


Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Thank you tgregory!


Tinned fruit... good idea.  I am one of the few people who actually like prunes to will stock up! x

Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

BCN all the way. Everything my pre-op nurse told me was incorrect. And I stocked up with tinned grapefruit etc so could have plenty of fruit and little hassle for my husband in prepping it.
Community Champion

Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Hi Ladymondegreen, yes, I had biopsies done on LN and 2/3 showed signs of cancer. I had a full lymph node clearance because of that. It was a very wise decision on my consultants part as 7/15 showed cancer. Everyone has a different number of LN, and as they all stick and jumble together it's easier to just whip them out. I guess what you're having is a sentinal node biopsy with the blue dye jobby?

Drued apricots are also good for constipation . Do you like those? X

Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Hello Anniej


Thanks for taking the trouble to reply.


Oh that was good having both your pre op and BCN appointment at the same time.  Your treatment sounds very similar to mine except they are only talking one lymph node unless there are signs that the cancer cells are on the move (so if all goes according to current plan).  Did you have more than one node removed?  


After the BCN chat, I am feeling worried about the threat of Lymphodema so I will do my exercises religiously too, hence wanting to make sure that I am not in too much pain if at all possible.


Well done for getting back full arm movement in time for the rads - again, the BCN impressed upon me that this is one of the other reasons why it is a good plan to take the painkillers as a course and then doing the exercises proplerly.  Thanks for inspiring me.


My BCN also mentioned the probable constipation with co-codamol.  I will have to purchase something to counteract that then, not sure what to get but am sure I can get advise in the chemist.  I don't really like liquorice so that won't do the trick for me.  


All the best to you on the treatment plan as it progresses.  


Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Ah yes Basia, the BCN did mention that to me.  Thanks for the reminder.  I need to get something to counteract that then.


Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Dear Michele

Thank you for replying - I agree and will follow your advice.  


Community Champion

Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Hi, just concurring with advice here re BC nurse. Boobs are indeed her bread and butter! My prevop was also with my BC nurse so no conflicting advice, fortunately.  I had a WLE in March - full LN removal . It can be quite painful as it really isn't a dainty op under the arm, more a rummage and remove job. I was given Ibroprufin and co- codamol, and my op nurse checked I had paracetamol. I followed advice re keeping on top of the pain as I was very worried about Lymphodema. I started my arm exercises on third day - religiously! Going in for rads next week and my consultant is very pleased that I have full arm movement. If I had needed physiotherapy it would have held my treatment up.

As someone mentioned, and from my experience, co codamol does tend to constipate, and I bought a stool softener plus bags and bags of liquorice. The Pontefract cakes worked for me! Wishing you well. X

Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

I was told to take both for the first few days, which I did   I had forgotten though how constipated Co-codamol makes me, so if it has that effect on you get some stool softeners in house before your operation x

Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Hi Anne (Lady),


As a nurse myself, I would advise you to listen to the BCN.  The pre op nurse deals with people having dozens of different operations so the advice she has given you is generic, whereas the BCN deals only with BC ops so is specialised and knows the best way forward for you.  The pre op nurse isn't wrong per se but as I said, it's generic advice.  I would always listen to the advice of the specialist nurse ....... boobs are her bread and butter, lol.


Michele xxx

Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

OK thanks

Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Best to post on the other board, as the nurses only reply there. 


Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Thanks Ann... your experience definitely seems to fit with the recommendation of the bcn.  


Is it OK to cross post across to the other board - will they see it on this board anyway?


Re: Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Hi Anne,

It might be an idea to post in the 'ask our nurses' board, but probably both can be right depending on the surgery you have, but I would probably pay more attention to what the bcn says, as they deal with it all the time. 

I had a WLE, with 2 nodes removed through the same incision, so I did not have issues with arm pit pain & pain for me was not to bad & arm exercises were not a problem - so I got off lightly, really. 

I was prescribed co-codamol which I took more or less regularly for the first few days. As ever, it is best not to let pain get too bad before taking it & in the early days, taking it more regularly can help prevent this happening & it's perfectly safe to do so. 

Exercises are important, so it's good to be as comfortable as possible.

do take care

ann x


Painkillers / Conflicting advice

Yesterday I met one of the BCNs who went through with me what I can expect with the WLE surgery on 1st August and possible scenarios plus treatment thereafter.


Among many other things, the BCN talked about pain management after the surgery.  She said I would be written up for ibuprofen and Co-codamol and said I can stagger with ibuprofen 3 x day and co-codamol 3 x day.  She said that new research has recommended taking that combination for at least 7 days (regardless of pain levels) as they are finding that people who stop taking pain killers too early tend to not do their exercises to prevent lymphedema as adequately so if they are hesitant because if it is painful then they may not do them properly.  She also said we need to be able to get a good range of movement back in time for the radiotherapy so doing the exercises will help with that too.  


However I went for my pre op assessment today with a nurse from the ward I will be on for surgery and she just said take painkillers according to my need, which can be paracetemol or ibuprofen.  So I mentioned the advice I'd received yesterday and she said she didn't know about this and that she just recommended taking painkillers according to need.  However, she also promised she would follow this up with the BCN team as I was concerned about which advice is correct!  It concerns me that two different parts of the team are saying different things.  I am in the hands of the medics but do need to know if I am being given the right advice.


I am up and down like a yo-yo (depending how much sleep I have had) but feel better when I talk it all through.  Thanks for listening.