You're right we do sound to be in similar circumstances and thinking along the same lines. Nice to know that it's not unheard of. I've seen breast cancer nurses during Covid but not the physio or oncologist as they work out of a separate hospital and don't come into the Breast Cancer unit. Which is very understandable. I've been told it's the nerves regenerating, so let's hope that's the case.
Let's hope it improves with time and we have to think positive that at least the cancer was discovered in time.
Whether or not it’s ‘normal’ to have ongoing discomfort after this period of time I couldn’t say. But I can say that I am right there with you!
Our paths are very similar. I too had a mastectomy in December 2019, followed by an axillary node clearance two months later, so two lots of surgery. I also swerved chemo but had radiotherapy and the Nasty One, Anastrozole. So our timelines run pretty much parallel. I still religiously stretch, massage and moisturise every day but there has never yet been a day when I have not experienced discomfort/ pain. Some days it is worse than others, but always, always there.
Follow-up for me in the time of Covid has been pretty much non-existent. I hope you have fared better. I saw an oncologist only once, on the day the first Lockdown was announced over a year ago. He said, “See you in 3 months time... “ And that was it. I haven’t seen a living, breathing doctor since. The couple of phone consultations I have had with some anonymous member of the team have been less than helpful. The only advice I have been given is to take paracetamol: ‘some women just DO suffer from ongoing chronic post-mastectomy pain.’ I feel that the discomfort and weird sensations that I have are more related to the lymph node clearance and are probably due to nerve damage. My BCN suggested I try Amitriptyline and I did take a starter 10mg dose of this for a month. It gave me a dry mouth and made me a bit dozy but didn’t touch the pain. Perhaps I should have persevered with a higher dose but I really don’t want to be on any more medication, particularly one that takes the ‘edge’ of life.
Like you, I try not to allow the background discomfort to affect my everyday life, but I find it wearying to say the least. I have read that some people can suffer pain as an ongoing side effect for months if not years. Rather than finding that depressing, I prefer to think that it suggests there is still the prospect of improvement, even this far down the line.
I had a single mastectomy and axillary node clearance in October 2019. No chemo but radiotherapy and hormone treatment (tried Anastrozle, now on Letrazole, waiting to speak to oncologist about changing again due to side effects). First year check up clear.
My question of you lovely ladies is does anyone still have discomfort underarm after this period of time? The discomfort doesn't effect everyday life but i thought, perhaps naively, that by now it would feel 'normal' again.