A travel towel can be very useful for drying after a shower or washing. Apart from being very lightweight, most have highly absorbent properties, so all you have to do is wrap it around you for a couple of minutes, and you are dry, ready for adding your cream or body lotion. I find it more comfortable than patting with a traditional towel.
Finding bras can be a nightmare. If you can move your arms ok (exercises before surgery can help), try sports bras. They have to go over your head but are more supportive and forgiving for different sized breasts, as well as being available at much lower prices.
John Lewis is very good for their bra fitting service, and have front opening bras for those checks by the surgeon or nurses.
M&S did not match my expectations, and were unsympathetic to my needs. When I returned there for a post-op fitting (6 weeks later), I was told they would not touch me until I was 8 weeks post op.
Also, you know those exercises you were given to prepare you for surgery, and use afterwards? Keep doing them for the forseable future if you can - they help to guard against lymphoedema.
This is so thoughtful to share. It can be really scary going into your first appointment (or any) so a nice checklist like this is wonderful.
Looking online, I've found a few others. Most have the same tips you have detailed, but a few have some extra stuff:
Thanks again for sharing! x
1. Get a blouse that opens at the front. You will have so many breast examinations that constantly pulling tops over your hair can become a pain.
2. A soft cotton bra that opens at the front if you must wear one.
3. Nail files (not metal) Your nails (hand and toes) can become brittle after chmo and cutting may be tricky so just filling down is easier
4. A small soft towel to pat yourself dry in the affected area/s after showering etc and also to put between your arm and side.It stops the arm rubbing especially if you have had surgery/rads.
5. If no towel available try sitting with the arm of the affected area over the back of a chair
6. A few old loose teeshirts preferably mens ones (borrowed or charity shops) You do not want your clothes rubbing on the affected area and also you do not want your creams getting on your good tops
7. A set of clothes just for visiting hospitals etc as these places can be full of germs these days. I put my in a black bag when I come home neatly folded for the next time
8. A gentle moisturizer for all over but especially the affected area . If you are have rads check with the radiotherapist. The skin can be very dry for a long time so I will be applying moisture for a year after the
9. A small water bottle for hydrating while on the move/waiting for appointments
10. A mobile phone organiser with alerts so you can set alarms for all your appointments and also
you medicines as ther can be alot to remember