oh thanks ladies.
i had a delayed recon which i waited a year and a half for so i could fit it in with my nursing diploma holidays. i had full node clearance with mastectomy in dec 09.
i will check out that LINK for some exercises too 😉
It is just so frustrating not to be able to get around and do the things i normally do,especially playing with my niece down the park i have to stop myself picking her up to get her on the swings!!! I am being careful.
i NEED TO GET TO M&S,i went shopping other day and tired a couple on in primark but then i was in alot of pain so didn't get to go onto Marks but i will do soon as i can.
I'm 7 weeks on and not too bad. The flippin 'iron bra' feeling is persisting and although I'm sure its lessening it's difficult to say as the improvements are so small.
I wear a maternity bra if I'm feeling sore and a M&S total support when I'm not - actually, thinking about it, I'm wearing the support bra more so it must be getting better.
I've got the BCC exercise DVD which I do everyday and have a massage twice a week, which is helping with my arm movement, which again is improving ever so, ever so slightly each day.
Whilst searching for more possible exercises I came across this website about recons - it's great - everything you could possibly want to know AND photos.
DON'T PANIC! It's really early days and everything does settle down - but it does take time.
My PS wanted me to wear a sports bra 24/7 fot the first few weeks. (I got given a Triumph Triactive - v supportive but doesn't squash you down too much.)
Was yours a delayed or immediate recon? If you've had a node clearance as well it will affect what exercises you do and how quickly you do them. Do you have an appt with your surgeon soon? He should be able to give you some exercise sheets. I saw a physio for a few sessions and that really helped. The main thing is GENTLE stretches to get mobility back, also gently massaging the scar areas with the flat of your hand to keep the tissues mobile (but still allowing them to heal)
Re your course, my PS wouldn't allow me to drive for 6 weeks and wanted me to be v careful with what I did with my arm/shoulder for 10-12 weeks after. After 6 weeks, I had almost full mobility, but not full strength. I'm still not 100% (6 months since op) but chemo has got in the way.
Hope this helps.
Hi this is just the post i have been looking for.i HAD MY LD FLAP WITH IMPLANT ON fRIDAY 5TH AND FEEL so many weird sensations. i AM REALLY MISSING THE muscle in my back,when i walk around after a while i have to put my hand in the place where the muscle was as almost to support it.
What exercises are you doing? when should i start swimming as i am so anxious to get fit again because i start back on my nursing diploma in 4-6 weeks time and must have full mobility in my arm,is this unrealistic?
i feel like there is constantly a rolled up newspaper under my arm at the mo!!
any tips on what sort of bra support you are wearing too. i KNOW not to wear underwire bras for a long while but are non wired ones ok,are you supposed to wear them at night. i DIDNT ASK ALL THESE QUESTIONS WHEN I LEFT THE WARD and when i called up i spoke to a nurse who didnt really seem to know what to advise.
I'm still a bit 'puffy' under my arm - not sure if it's from the node clearance or where everything has got shoved up a bit from where the muscle goes thru under my arm - I've got a check up with my PS on Thurs, so I'll ask then.
I couldn't find where I'd posted this - so thanks for getting back to me and i've just seen the responses!
I did take a bit of arnica just after op - I had asked my surgeon about it and they were fine, if dismissive. At the appt last Friday they said it was completely normal, although it's swollen a bit more since then. I think it's normal, just was very unexpected as nobody at the hospital had mentioned this would happen! I'm finding I can only wear a stretchy vest top as bras are too tight and made it worse I think.
I'll take more arnica I think. And learn to be a bit more patient!
But if it gets worse I'll check again it's not a seroma.
Impatiens - sounds like a seroma to me...
SCACO - on the subject of seromas...
I got a seroma on my back that had to be drained several times and was becoming a drag.
Suddenly thought about arnica tabs - I've used arnica tablets and cream (homeopathic remedy) for years. Tablets for shock after accidents, major trauma, help relieve the stiffness of unusual physical exertion. Cream for more localised bruising.
Became convinced of its benefits when I took it before and after having 3 wisdom teeth out under general anasthetic 20yrs ago (with hosp permission). My case was quite severe - x-rays made them raise their eyebrows. operated on by the same team that did all the others that morning and I had hardly any swelling or bruising - compared to some that looked like blue hamsters.
I read the leaflet and it said it could reduce fluid build up round joints and so gave it a go. started taking it the morning of a drainage session - 200ml removed - continued for a week and a half after - no further build up! Could be coincidental - seromas can just resolve themselves.
WARNING - if are thinking of trying the tablets ensure you check with your consulant 1st - while they are available in the supermarket here, the Americans seem to think they can be highly dangerous! Although I didn't...
Hi Impatiens - i can't help on that front i'm afraid (had chemo first, then SNB, then mx+LD recon) but after my initial biopsy at dx i was sore around there for ages. I would imagine it's normal swelling.
Hot off the press: I went to have seroma drained earlier and my breast suregon (who is also my PS and consultant)asked me to try using a deodarant with a ball to massage the underarm area. She said another patient had used it and it had worked well on loosening everything up. Worth a try. I did ask about use of deo' after surgery and it's fine. - I thought you might like to give it a go too (after checking it's ok with your team of course).
I had an MX on my left breast and a tissue expander put in. I'll have full recon, I hope, when chemo and radiotherapy are out of the way. It was ten days ago and have my first outpatient appt this morning. I think I'm fine except I think I have a build up of fluid under my arm. I didn't have any nodes removed apart form one for a biopsy - well I think that's what happened, they told me what they'd done when I wasn't really with it. But my left side feels enormously swollen and tender. It actually doesn't look really swollen but I feel as if I can't put my arm down as if there's a big squidgy thing between my side and my arm. Anyone else get that? I'm sure they'll say at the appt if something's not right but it would be nice to know if anyone else felt this.
Excellent news SCACO!
It will continue to get better! I'm now 6 months down the line and just waiting for the effects of my last (ever I hope) chemo to wear off - the chemo does make everything feel a lot tighter.
I've been too shattered after chemo to really test out how strong my arm and shoulder is now - and of course I've got to be careful cos I've had 15 nodes removed on that side. Still horse riding and gardening though.
Got an appt with my PS next week - good timing as he can assess me before my rads start. Keeping everything crossed that they don't have too great an affect. They are splitting the dose over 25 sessions, rather than 15 to try and help - I'm hoping that this will also reduce the liklihood of me getting any bad skin reactions.
Thanks for all responses.
I have to say that I've had a much improvement since last posting. The 'iron bra' has definitely eased off and Ive realised that my arm thing is more like a weakness than an inability. I've spent a small fortune on bras as they wre too tight on my back scar but have found solace on a M&S maternity bra (I did warn hubby in case he stumbled across the packaging!)
I'm having twice weekly massages at my Hosp which isn't the norm apparently but it is REALLY helping. I can't stress how much it held me so if you can get one - do! X
It will be three months for me on August 3 and I'm pleased to report the 'iron boob' sensation does wear off after a while.
I started out with a fixed silicone implant but unfortunately developed necrosis after the chest wound failed to heal. I've now got a tissue expander instead (which is a month old tomorrow) and it's much more comfortable. My back wound healed beautifully.
I even went swimming yesterday for the first time since April and am not feeling any ill effects today despite managing 16 gentle lengths.
Keep up the arm and shoulder exercises but don't overdo it. Let other people carry your shopping if possible and expect to feel a bit tired as you up your activity levels.
Re foundation garments, I love the white cotton support bras in M&S which look a bit like sports bras but are not as tight under the ribcage. I've also got a couple of nice white total support bras from Marks which my bloke says have something of the Mildred Pierce/1940s housewife about them. Not a bad look in his book!!
Good luck to you and BABS. She's a work in progress!
HI for me it's five weeks yesterday. Can wear a bra most of the time but feel a bit sore by evening. Arm not up to full strength but improving. Have just about stopped taing painkillers and am down to three pillows. Am feeling a bit more tired but have been doing more around the house. Must pace myself more as being overtired is not good. I think as women we do as much as we can which is sometimes too much. We have had a major op and the body needs time to heal. Hope you are getting on ok and things are improving.
It's funny how we all get given different information, I was told not to wear a sports bra? I just wore vest tops and it's only been the last couple of weeks that I've started wearing bras again - I'm 7 weeks post op this week - before then I was too bruised on my side for it to be comfortable. I didn't have an expander, just silicon implant and also didn't have full node clearance as had had SNB done previously, so slightly different, but I'm sure you'll notice plenty improvement over the next few weeks. I've definately regained full movement and the breast now feels so much softer as the remaining fluid build up has dispersed.
Best wishes to you both and BABS! xxx
My PS had me in a sportsbra 24/7 (I'm a 'C/D' cup) and that kept everything in place. A good make is Triumph Triactive - supportive but doesn't squash.
Unfortunately it's a matter of patience - it takes ages for your new boob to start to feel like it really belongs. Just take it staedy on the excercises - I started the day after surgery, but really gentle easy ones, and built it up.
Take it easy - it is a major op you've had!
Just wondering ..
I had my immediate LD recon with implant expander to use if needed after rads and full node clearance 4 weeks ago and was just wondering when things would generally begin to feel normal.
I've got the 'iron bra' feeling and the drain sites are sore. I've managed to get myself into physio in record time, but after my first massage session my arm has developed a lack of control (it's not running around trying to rule the world or anything, just not quite reacting in the way it should). I'm guessing a nerve has been trapped as it has improved since Friday. I was advised to wear bras to pull Babs across (name of new boob) but I'm having a day off today as it's so sore.
Has anyone else had these feelings - I'm sure it's normal - and how long for? I've got the exercise DVD but is there anything else I could do to speed recovery?
I'm being constantly told by friends and family that I need to be more patient and I am aware that I've improved a lot in a short time , but would really like to know where the end of the tunnel might be!