I really do not know how they allowed you to get the wound so bad it it weeping. Is the wound following sentinel node removal? My wound was checked while the strips were being removed and I am sure they would have recommended something if the wound had looked suspicious The same was after my masectomy checked by nurse at my local GP surgery and by BC nurse.
After radiontherapy I had an itchy bit and was warned not to scratch it as it could break the skin and cause a weeping wound. I was given patch things which I just used at night in case I scratched in my sleep as I wanted to let the air get at it during the day. It took nearly 2 weeks but I managed not to get the skin broken.
Oh dear Jacq
I do see why you need balancing surgery and am disgusted your health authority won't sanction this. We are, no doubt, at the thin end of a very long wedge when it comes to what we can and cannot have done on the NHS.
Best of luck with the chemo; I hope you are one of the luckier ones who is not hit too hard by it. (That sounds rather back handed but I have yet to meet someone who's had no problem at all with chemo.)
All the best with everything.
I'm not planning to have balancing surgery, although I was offered it at the outset. The tumour was 25mm and came out easily, with an adequate margin. Looking in the mirror, naked, my left breast is now noticeably slightly smaller than the right (it was in any case), but when I'm wearing a bra and loose-fitting clothes, the difference isn't at all noticeable. (I wear M&S bras with slight padding and no underwires. The padding tends to even things out.)
It was the thought of extra surgery that put me off, although had I been 20 years younger I might have gone for it. (I'm late 60s.) Considering I've had to have a second op to clean out the axilla wound, I'm quite glad I kept things simple and opted for the WLE with no re-construction. I've never been one for sun-bathing in the nude anyway, and don't intend to start at my advanced age.
Have you asked your BCN if you can have a pad to insert into your bra for the time being, and then have a think about possible reduction of the other breast to match? For younger women who are very shape conscious, having a boob job on the NHS is as good as it comes.
All the best.
This is very common Pinkllily; it happens to many of us.
I had this problem for five weeks and then had to go back in for surgery to revise the wound, clean it out, pack it full of antibiotics and stitch it up again. That sorted it, but it was then a four week wait before radiotherapy could start. (I didn't have chemo.)
It's clear you've had treatment for this. Were you supplied with waterproof dressings that allow the wound to breathe? The large ones keep the area dry.
I provided myself with easy-to-put-on, easy-to-wash, tops that are very loose and allow air to circulate well, and which enabled me to get my arm out easily to check what the wound was doing.
Don't expect miracles. It's now 19 weeks since my original WLE and axillary node clearance. Both wounds have healed well now, but the axillary wound is very tight and, when I lower my arm, it feels as though there is a sizeable obstruction below my armpit. That's permanent and is a feature of the wound. My armpit and upper arm are still fairly numb to the touch, and I get some pain in my upper arm. My GP tells me this is due to nerve damage, is long term and will only correct itself very slowly as nerves take a very long time to re-grow. It's yet another thing to get used to.
Good luck with the chemo.
Just as I thought things were starting to settle into place, even though I'm still waiting for an appointment for the oncologist, the wound under my arm has got an infection and is weeping.
I've been told the infection is from the bacteria off my own skin, my body does not like having the stitch in it. I started with a build up of pus and when that started to come out, the wound then begane to look a little bit inflamed, only at the top where the stitch has come through. It's only a tiny hole according to my nurse, but this morning it started to bleed, which I suppose is good, as there is no more pus comeing out.
I'm on a course of antibiotics, but it is so annoying as the wound looked like it was healing really well and of course it will set me back possibly as I can't have chemo until it is totally healed.
It's like taking two steps forward and one step back, the pain has reduced in my arm, but the wound is now quite sore and I've been told to keep it as dry as possible, bit difficult when it's the most sweaty place on your body.
I'm feeling frustrated and fedup, so I've treated myself to some nice new hats and headscarfs for the winter and when my hair drops out.
As I said to my friend, I can't cry about it, I just feel so angry about my own body being a pain.
Apart from batwing blouses, has anyone got any ideas on what the best way is to keep the arm pits dry, with a wound?