Visiting a friend after surgery

alicegrace Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi there! My best friend was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and she will be having a double masectomy this Monday. I am flying home to be with her, and I have no idea what to expect as to how she will be feeling post surgery. I think I would feel more confident and comfortable about hanging out with her and helping her after the surgery if I knew how other people tend to feel, emotionally and physically, after this intense experience. If anyone would care to share their experience with me, I would be so grateful! Were you exhausted, in pain? Were you relieved to have the surgery over? Worried about recovery? Were there things that friends and family did for you that you especially appreciated or that drove you nuts? She has chosen to have reconstructive surgery, So I'm not sure how she will feel about her new breasts....Obviously, I have many questions, and I realize that everyone must deal with this in their own way and feel things uniquely, but I'd really like to be as helpful and supportive as possible and I feel that hearing about other people's experiences would be a great help. Thank you so much.


  • DeeNY711
    DeeNY711 Member Posts: 476 Member
    I had my surgery on February 20 and found that there is a window of time post-op when you are just glad that you survived the operation and happy about how much you really can do. I only stayed overnight, though, and cannot say how someone else might feel about being seen sans make-up, groggy etc in the hospital immediately after surgery. Hope this helps. Denise
  • squeeboo
    squeeboo Member Posts: 29
    Hi! I had a mastectomy and reconstruction last April. I was in the hospital for three days (mainly from the reconstruction) and was pretty out of it most of the time. However, it was great to have friends and family visiting. After I got home, one of my best friends flew out to stay and it was great to have her there. Right after surgery and even through chemo and radiation, I was mainly concerned with recovering physcially from the surgery. I don't know what kind of reconstruction your friend is having, but I had a TRAM flap and the recovery from that was the hardest part (couldn't sit up in bed without pulling up on something and couldn't stand up straight, which is really hard on the back).
    Personally I was very glad my friend could come out and take my mind of things somewhat.
    hope this helps!
  • rizzo15
    rizzo15 Member Posts: 153 Member
    Speaking just for myself (had mastectomy in March 2003), the most helpful thing was having somebody around to keep an eye and ear open for what going on for me. My husband hung around a lot not because I needed a lot of moral support...but he actually kept the staff from drawing blood from the wrong side and keeping track for me how long it had been since my last pain medication, etc. He even had to remind the student nurse to put the plastic sleeve on the electronic thermometer. Also it was nice for him to keep my family updated on what medical things they were doing to me. It was hard for me to remember everything and I wasn't interested in going over the "gory" details over and over and over again. Everyone is different. But that is what I was the most happy about.
  • ksfc
    ksfc Member Posts: 251
    What a great friend you are! I'm sure she'll appreciate just having you there. Don't worry too much about saying or doing the wrong thing. It's the people that don't say or do anything that are frustrating. More than anything, be prepared to be an advocate for her with her nurses and doctors. She won't remember a lot of what is explained to her during this stressful time. You can help immensely by being a second set of ears to write things down. Then, just be her friend. She'll set the tone for you. My family and I used humor a LOT, but that doesn't work for everyone. Again, just knowing you cared enough to be there with her will make a huge difference. Diane
  • isaiah4031
    isaiah4031 Member Posts: 240
    The most wonderful thing my sister could do for me was to come and stay with me for a few hours. She didn't force me to talk or visit...she just went around doing household things, and I was free to sleep, cry, talk, whatever. She cooked and cleaned and visited with my hubby. I appreciated that so much because I was free to heal...and rest...and whatever. During my treatments, my best friend would occasionally pop-in just to clean house...didn't say she was coming, she just came in, cleaned and left. Those things meant so much to me. Even though I was post-surgery, life still goes on, and those little things that I took for granted still needed to be done. That's where my sister and friends took over. It allowed both my husband and me the time we needed to absorb all of the diagnosis and to heal..together. My sister has been the greatest listener too. No platitudes, just listening to me. She and my friends have been priceless. May God give you wisdom and peace as you help your friend. She is blessed to have you as her friend.
    Love, Jayne
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member

    I'm sure that just your being there will be great
    support for your friend! Good friends are one of life's greatest treasures, in good times and bad, so don't worry too much. That you care and will be there for her is THE most important thing. As is typical for close friends, we usually have no problem telling them what we need or asking them what they need. Trust her to let you know. If she doesn't, just ask.

    Hope she does wonderfully well and good luck to both of you.

    Love, light and laughter,
  • bullfrog13
    bullfrog13 Member Posts: 213
    Dear Alice
    What a great friend you are. Like the others have said, just take your cues from your freind. Just jump in and do what is needed. Wishing you and her all the best. God Bless you both. JB
  • banker
    banker Member Posts: 317 Member
    What a great friend you are, wish you were mine. Just beeing there will be of great help. God bless you. emmi