Asked by anonymousSurvivor since 2011
I heard Lady Grace is fabulous , but don't know if it's a chain. In in BostonComment 0
Try "bra fitting specialist" on google or yp.com. Or mastectomy supplies in your city or zip code. Or ask a nurse on your ps'office. Good luck.... Jan1 comment 0
Asked by anonymousLearning About Breast Cancer
Ask your surgeons nurse what they prefer you to wear as far as bras some surgeons have reconstruction bras and some want you to wear sports bras with a front openingComment 1
Good morning, I was told to wear a underwire bra that morning. They did put it on me over my dressing and under the ace wrap. I was to wear underwire bras to help form your new breast with the implant in the healing process. Make sure you also take a loose fitting button down blouse. It'll be...
Good morning, I was told to wear a underwire bra that morning. They did put it on me over my dressing and under the ace wrap. I was to wear underwire bras to help form your new breast with the implant in the healing process. Make sure you also take a loose fitting button down blouse. It'll be hard to raise your arms to get a Tshirt on for a while so stock up on button down blouses. You may have drains in so they will safety pin it to the inside of the blouse so light denim or something similar that no one can see the drains is good. Also loose fitting pants for me my swelling from the surgery went all the way down to my coccyx I had taken jeans and couldn't button them. In the car for the ride home have a bucket or basin and towel I was nauseous from the anesthesia and pain meds.
Asked by anonymousLearning About Breast Cancer
I had excruciating pain with the first mammograms I had a year after my lumpectomy. I have dense breasts which were tender even before breast cancer. I have a small seroma [fluid filled sac] under the surgical scar that causes shooting pain, even with mild jiggling. Then there is the scar itself,...
I had excruciating pain with the first mammograms I had a year after my lumpectomy. I have dense breasts which were tender even before breast cancer. I have a small seroma [fluid filled sac] under the surgical scar that causes shooting pain, even with mild jiggling. Then there is the scar itself, which remains tender. My skin can also break if put under pressure. Many women with skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema or even just thin, ageing skin have told me mammograms are much worse for them.
By the second year, when I came up for second mammogram, I was determined not to tortured like that again - ever. If you are already worried about the pain, then to me that is a good indication you may already have tender breasts and pain issues - so you deserve to have that respected and taken seriously. Many women sail through their post breast cancer surgery mammograms, but I urge you strongly to listen to yourself, listen to your own knowledge of your body and make plans based on actively alleviating your concerns. After all - some people are capable of cutting off a pinned arm with a blunt pocket knife without no pain relief- but it would not be sensible for those of us who know or strongly suspect we could not do that, to live our lives built around the assumption we too are capable of it! You need a plan:
1. Write to the head partner of Managing partner of the imaging clinic you will attend 6-8 weeks in advance of your mammogram. Clearly state your concerns including any history of pre existing breast tenderness, easy bruising,slow healing, seromas, scar management problems, existing pain post surgery as well as any other problems with pressure or mammogram techniques pre breast cancer. State you are very concerned about pain levels and ask them if they are willing to provide you with EMLA cream to rub on an hour or so before the mammogram. and or an injection of lidocaine before the compression. Ask them to reply to you and get this sorted out well before the mammogram date. I was able to get mine to agree to both.
2. I also went to the GP and explained the problem - so I got a script for a muscle relaxant [Valium] which I took a few hours before the mammogram. I also had a stronger pain killer called Oxycontin 5mgs left over from surgery recovery period, so half an hour or so before the mammogram, I took one of those as well. The medication meant my muscles were not tensed and I was relaxed from the Valium, and the Oxycontin is an effective pain killer especially for the deeper internal structures. The EMLA cream numbs the skin on the breast. The lidocaine numbs the fatty structures in the breast. It is a multi pronged approach to addressing the different levels of pain from mammograms.
3. When I arrived at the clinic I had been making this arrangements with, I again raised the issue and the agreed solution with the operator. There is always a risk the operator has not been told or communication systems went awry. She appeared to know about it, but also my impression was she trying to talk me out of accessing pain relief. I made it clear I was not going to be talked out of it, at which point she called her supervisor to oversight the process. He was the one who also gave me the lidocaine injection - which they normally do not do. The compression also seemed to be less intense - not blowing the blood pressure through top of my head like before - so I think my preparation plan meant they were more attuned to being careful. She was also very gentle. I have dense, larger breasts so mammograms often meant many more images taken and a lot of repositioning, which extended the pain. On my third last mammogram the female operator had been so rough, pulling my breasts this way and that, that she actually tore the flesh where the breast met the rib cage.So I was being imaged with blood dripping on to my shoes! I made sure I told the gentler clinic about that experience, so they understood how mistreated I had been with past mammograms, so they knew why I was insistent.
4. The mammogram at the clinic where I undertook all this preparation was the best I have ever had. So - it worked for me.
5. You may notice many sporting events, if a great big fit male footballer twists a leg or pulls a muscle, the medics rush on to the field and give them as green tube to breathe on. Ambulances in Australia also carry them and use them at car accidents. These green tubes contain aerosolised pain relief. I have often pondered at the sexism here - big, fit male athletes accustomed to pain get this instant form of pain relief yet women who know in their bones a life saving test like a mammogram will be agony or significantly painful for them, are not offered this cheap, effective and easily available form of pain relief. I genuinely believe women's pain is constantly being under-rated, under-acknowledged and under-treated. Society places less value on women's pain as opposed to men's pain and therefore less resources, less empathy and less interest in alleviating it. It is even more noticeable when the pain relief solutions are so obvious, yet not offered.
6. I have met women who avoid mammograms because of the pain and the mammographer professions lack of respect or interest in seriously attending to women desire for pain relief. Really, it is sadistic to behave this way. My view is you inhabit your body for 40,50, 60 years. You know far better than anyone else the tenderness levels of your own breast, as well as your own subjective ability to tolerate pain. There is a massive pain tolerance variation in humans, as well as between women. Red heads are well known for being far more susceptible to pain for example. It should be mandatory for every mammogram clinic to have the woman self assess her own pain history/levels on a scale from 1-10. Any women who report pain sensitivity or past history of mammogram pain above say a 6, should AUTOMATICALLY be offered pain relief options - without the condescending attitude, without any put downs and without value judgements.
I for one am sick of medical staff using the ultra tough, stoic patient as the 'Normal" model on which they base their answers to the questions - does it hurt and do I need pain relief. Doing this is nothing more than lying to patients. The correct response is there is a wide range of responses to the pain from eg., a mammogram, from a zero all the way to someone fainting or screaming. Medical imaging staff obviously need mandatory pain management systems imposed on them and included in all Protocols because frankly, left to their own devices, they can become so calloused by repeat exposure to women's pain, that they simply blank it out or worse still, lie to us so they can get the image and get on to their next job in the least amount of time. Many operators have become highly institutionalised to the point where they deny mammographic pain even exists, or if it does, that it requires any pain relief.
The only way for us to reclaim our bodies and to blast mammographers out of this state of denial about our mammographic pain is to insist our reality gets taken seriously, and insist that proper pain management systems be agreed to and implemented. To wait till a few minutes before your mammogram to raise this with the mammographers is ineffective. They need time to absorb your statements and for you both to come up with a pain management plan you agree to. Or for you to drop them if they won't and go to a clinic that treats women with dignity.
I would also be super careful of any responses that dismiss or play down the pain levels. The experience of pain free or low pain mammograms may well be the genuine experience of 85% of those receiving mammograms, however, for the percentage who are bruised for weeks from mammograms, already have had painful mammograms in the past, have awkward surgical scars, breast seromas or other problems like broken skin or just know you have a low tolerance to pain - THAT is their reality. It is just as valid, just as real. Do not let anyone whose experience their own subjective pain thresholds are low ever convince you that if that is how it was for them, that is how it will be for you too.
Keep in mind - you can also have a dual breast coil MRI instead of a mammogram. It is more expensive, but much, much more accurate than a mammogram. You are not exposed to radiation with an MRI and there is no compression of the breast. The MRI takes longer than the mammograms, and it is noisy, and you may need a contrast dye, but I found all that infinitely better than 99% of the mammograms I had had.
The very fact that you are expressing this concern about this is already a red flag to me and that you have sound reasons for raising this issue, and there may be reasons not shared with or understood by those who sail easily through their mammograms.
Sincere best wishes that irrespective of what path you take - that your mammogram is pain free and that you do not became a member of the group who avoid necessary mammograms because of unattended to pain.
I just had my first mammo and am still sore as well. It wasnt bad. It did hurt a little, but nothing like what I have been through. You could always take tylenol or ibuprofen. Good luck2 comments 0
Asked by anonymousStage 2A Patient
After I recovered from mastectomy And a miscarriage i walked -jogged- 3 miles every day. Then I was able to run 3-5 miles for the countdown to my chemo even that very morning before I received chemo I ran , my mantra was "screw u cancer , not gonna stop me".... Now im almost 6 weeks out of...
After I recovered from mastectomy And a miscarriage i walked -jogged- 3 miles every day. Then I was able to run 3-5 miles for the countdown to my chemo even that very morning before I received chemo I ran , my mantra was "screw u cancer , not gonna stop me".... Now im almost 6 weeks out of chemo but still getting Herceptin I'm back to running 3 miles everymorning "slow but steady " .. And i do strength training exercises , eventually I hope to train for a triathlon I'm no athlete by any means im just not gonna b taken down by this crap not gonna stop me ! You will get your running stride again , one step , one boob , at a time ;-)
Yes! You can do anything you work hard enough to do. We have cancer it doesn't have us. We have to be smart but we can do and be what want.1 comment 1
Asked by anonymousStage 0 Patient
I have the dogs ears as well but they will be removed at the same time I have my exchange, speak to your doctor about them I am sure he will be able to do something1 comment 0
It's been a year since my surgery and it took a month for the swelling, tightness and rash (from adhesive) to finally start healing. I have a tiny little fold of skin near my breast bone. I decided on No reconstruction so, your results could be due to the upcoming plastic surgery you'll need....
It's been a year since my surgery and it took a month for the swelling, tightness and rash (from adhesive) to finally start healing. I have a tiny little fold of skin near my breast bone. I decided on No reconstruction so, your results could be due to the upcoming plastic surgery you'll need. I'd call my surgeon if I was feeling very uncomfortable. Take care
Asked by anonymousSurvivor since 2012
I know you girls that have had a mastectomy have a real chore when it comes to finding exercises to keep stiffness at bay. I only had a partial mastectomy in April and I have to stretch everyday to get relief. Xmas has been tough finding the time and I'm paying now. Was about to hit the floor for...
I know you girls that have had a mastectomy have a real chore when it comes to finding exercises to keep stiffness at bay. I only had a partial mastectomy in April and I have to stretch everyday to get relief. Xmas has been tough finding the time and I'm paying now. Was about to hit the floor for some stretch time when I read this post. Don't give up the fight to stay loose. :-) Jo
Sounds like you need to see a Lymphedema therapist to help with your range of motion. I know some women also get frozen shoulder also.Comment 1
Asked by anonymousStage 1 Patient
I live in Oklahoma too. Just south of Norman. I went and got me a mastectomy camisole for my double that I just got yesterday. It's a zip up, soft boobs and it will hold your drains. You should look into it. What part do u live in??1 comment 1
Susan, there are mastectomy camis you can get, they are covered under ins. Button, zip, or step into are best for at least the first 2/3 weeks. The cami has pockets for your drain bulbs. Or pin them inside a shirt. They can go in the pockets of a robe. Use a lanyard to pin them while bathing. You...
Susan, there are mastectomy camis you can get, they are covered under ins. Button, zip, or step into are best for at least the first 2/3 weeks. The cami has pockets for your drain bulbs. Or pin them inside a shirt. They can go in the pockets of a robe. Use a lanyard to pin them while bathing. You just don't want them hanging. Also, little heart shaped pillows for up under your arms. Cancer centers give them free. This is all do-able, the waiting is the hardest. Thanks for the military service, my son is in as well, Navy Aircrew. Prayers to you.
Asked by anonymousStage 3C Patient
Put on those big girl panties and fight like hell. Hang in there darlin', you can do this.
Take care, SharonComment 2
Yep. Hang in there. Read and eat good stuff and don't add to your receptors. I think that's about all we can do. We do the best we can.
Wishing you a good teamComment 2
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