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Post mastectomy clothing help!

8 REPLIES 8
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Member

Re: Post mastectomy clothing help!

Hi Maggi, 

 

You’ve had exactly what I’m having, except I’ve only had 3 months to get my head around it (and TBH I haven’t yet).  Had WLE in January then another op to get rid of margins in Feb. Still got extensive margins after 60mm removed so all they can do now is complete mx 😞 

 

They tell me I’ll probably be going home the same day (which worries me slightly), but I will check that again and take on board your suggestions for what to take case I do have to stay in. I’ll also ask about bra too, I really can afford anything too expensive so hoping I’ll be given one.  I’m not a girly girl either and have never worried much about how my body looks - but this has all knocked me for six. 

 

You sound quite chipper though which is definitely encouraging! I hope your recovery is going well and thanks for taking the time to reply x

 

 

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Member

Re: Post mastectomy clothing help!

Hi Kate,

I'm 17 days on from my Mx & immediate pre-pec implant reconstruction after being diagnosed with DCIS again (I was first diagnosed 2 years ago & had a lumpectomy but that was followed by 2 cavity shaves & I can remember thinking Well that escalated quickly! when they first mentioned that the next step would be a mastectomy - luckily I didn't have to have one then & I feel really fortunate to have had 2 years to get used to the idea - I'm sure it helped me deal with it so much better now).

 

I'm one of the lucky ones as the hospital provided the post-surgery bra for me which they've advised that I wear day & night for 6 weeks after the surgery 😯 (I am allowed to take it off to wash it regularly!!) The one they use is Design Veronique #4510 "Georgette" - fully adjustable implant stabilising bra (link: https://www.designveronique.com/post-surgical/breast-wear/fully-adjustable-implant-stabilizing-bra) but it's very expensive. The reason they like this one in particular is because it provided the support you need & it's the only one that comes with the attached band that sits across the top of the bra. You can get stand alone chest bands for about £25 that you could use with other post-mastectomy bras / front fastening bras - personally I really couldn't be doing with the extra faff of trying to get bras or any tops on over my head especially in the first couple of weeks while the drain is in (mine came out 4 days ago) & when they are checking it quite frequently - easy access takes so much less energy 😂 ! It seems like the total opposite of what you expect but the more supportive the bra is the better as it helps minimise bruising & swelling & definitely helps me feel more secure.

 

But everyone's different so go with whatever you feel is best for you!

 

Your other replies have covered all the essentials (front fastening pjs & shirts / cushion / dolly bag for drain / lip balm) and I also took in a good hand lotion, dry shampoo, headphones & an eyemask (to block out the light when I was trying to sleep) & put together some of my favourite music, snacks, drinks, books etc & made sure I could access Netflix boxsets (took my laptop in) - one of my friends commented that it was like I was on a spa break - I'm not a particularly girly girl & I don't usually spend time pampering myself at all, but if you can't treat yourself when you're dealing with this when can you?

 

Everyone will have their own specific things that make them smile but I think it helps to surround yourself with them at times like this - they just give you a bit of a boost & we deserve it!!

 

Sorry - this has ended up so much longer than I'd intended - hope it helps.

 

Maggi x

 

 

 

 

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Member

Re: Post mastectomy clothing help!

Thanks Jay68, yes in some ways I know I’m 

lucky as haven’t needed (and hopefully won’t need) any other treatment, but it’s still very daunting - perhaps more so because of that I think. I’m glad your memories have faded, that is reassuring in itself.

 

I have been out today and found some tops that I will hopefully be able to get on, either button/zip up or with wide stretchy necks that I can step into and pull up (I’m not very big), so I feel a bit better now. Seems like just now I think of something to worry about and it takes over my life. Just didn’t want to have to spend weeks in pyjamas as hope to be able to accompany my dog walker when I feel up to it.

 

I still need to ask the nurses about bras but I have several stretchy no-fastener ones that will hopefully be ok for the first little while.

 

My heart cushion is like my comfort blanket already x

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Community Champion

Re: Post mastectomy clothing help!

Hi - I had a mx and complete node removal in Sept 2017 so my memory is a little faded in this respect.   However, what has already been suggested are great tips - button top pj's - leggings and open baggy shirts.  I also had bra tops rather than bras to begin with.  One of the things I can still remember though was how dry my lips were after the operation - so I'd recommend a lip balm.  Also, I remember feeling jubilant - which wasn't quite what I was expecting - on reflection I think the reason why was simply because I knew the beast had been removed from my body (for sure!).  I had already been on chemo and targetted therapies before my surgery and I can quite clearly say, the surgery was a doddle compared to that!  Good luck for your op - I just know you'll be fine - in safe hands and you'll be treated exceptionally well.  Take care. x

PS - the heart cushions are the best accessory ever - I still sleep with mine!!

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Re: Post mastectomy clothing help!

I have a heart cushion and drain bag already from my breast clinic, and yes the cushion was a great help even just after my excisions. Maybe a second would be handy. 

 

Crikey 10 weeks?! Hopefully I won’t have mine that long ...

 

Thanks for for your replies they have been really helpful x

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Re: Post mastectomy clothing help!

Hi Kate, glad to have been of help. I too am a T-shirt’s and jeans kind of a girl so had nothing suitable. I bought far too much stuff, I’ve just taken 6 front fastening shirts to the charity shop. They were too low at the front. I hadn’t realised my bra would sit so high it would show so they were a complete waste of money! 

One of the best things I invested in was a mastectomy gift set from the cancer research uk shop ( online ). It had a velvet heart shaped cushion which I used daily for 4 months, a cushion to protect you from the seatbelt in the car ( fabulous ) and a black corduroy drain bag. My drains were in for 10 weeks ( most unusual ) so I was glad I had something more subtle to keep the drains in while I was out and about. The hospital provided on but it was very busy and not me at all. Isn’t it fabulous that ladies give their time to make these things. 

Jens friends on Facebook are fabulous, they will send you a heart shaped cushion if you donate the postage. I used this to support my armpit while I slept. I actually got two so I could rotate them as I didn’t want them to get whiffy. Again ladies who donate the cushions to those of us who need them.

such an anxious time for you, I remember it all too well. Keep busy and take good care of yourself xx Melanie 

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Re: Post mastectomy clothing help!

Thanks Melanie, I have a range of bras but not a front fastening so will have a look at those and also give the nurse a ring for advice. No idea if they provide something or not but will check. Just realised today that no one’s actually told me what clothing I’ll need and as you say I don’t want to buy a load of items that I won’t need or won’t be appropriate. 

 

I’m a t-shirt/sweatshirt type of girl and don’t own any casual front-opening tops for when I’m at home. At least I have a couple of weeks still to search for something now.

 

Thanks for your help and good wishes. I’m getting more nervous the nearer it gets and this was just another thing to worry about that I didn’t need!

 

Kate x

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Re: Post mastectomy clothing help!

Hi Kate, isn’t it madness that with everything else we have to worry about we have wardrobe concerns too. I drove myself mad before my mastectomy and reconstruction and purchased far too much stuff.

Good bras are vital. Your breast care nurse will be able to recommend what type and size you need and where to get them local to you. I was unable to raise my arm for a long time after surgery while my implant settled so had to use front fastening bras with hooks and eyes and a zip ( I think you can use a good sports bra ). It needs wide straps and a wide band under the bust. I was a 40E but, I’m so lucky my hospital supply the bras, I had to have 42E after surgery due to swelling and eventually 44E as the swelling increased. I’m 6 months on now but still wear a hefty bra unless I’m in the shower.

front fastening pj’s are a god send when the hospital are checking your wound. I lived in leggings as my belly was swollen due to the drains. I had two front fastening oversize shirts and lived in those. Couldn’t stand seams near my armpit and was able to button up higher than I normally would to hide my strapping and undo buttons for the drains to go into my dolly bag . 

Many questions let me know, take care, stay strong and I’ll be thinking of you xx Melanie 

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Member

Post mastectomy clothing help!

Hi all,

 

I am due to have single MX with tissue expander recon on 3rd June due to extensive DCIS (have already had 2 excisions). I have just ordered some front fastening pjs with drain pockets from Asda, but not sure what I need to do about bras or other clothing for immediately afterwards? I have stretchy pull on bras but will I be able to get these on ok? Can you get clothes over your head or do I need to get some button up items? (Having sentinel node biopsy too).  I’ll ask my surgeon but not seeing her to sign forms etc until 23 May which only gives me a week or so before the op to get anything I might need. 

 

I’m very stressed about the op and just want to try and make sure I’m not having to worry and rush about at the last minute, so any help/experiences gratefully received!

 

Thanks Kate x