Double mastectomy How long till I feel better

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Buddybutton
Buddybutton Member Posts: 32 Member
edited May 2023 in Breast Cancer #1

I know it takes a while but I was wondering when the swelling and discomfort might stop?

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  • Tamiann
    Tamiann Member Posts: 23 Member
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    Hi, Buddybutton!

    I'm so sorry you are feeling so miserable! I only had a lumpectomy, so I can't relate to your misery, but I wanted to at least let you know that we're all rooting for you and wishing you well. 🙏My understanding is that it will take 4 - 6 weeks to start feeling "normal" (Not that any of us really get to feel normal again).

    What I CAN say is to follow doctor's orders and rest so your body can heal! I only had a lumpectomy, and I felt very little pain afterwards, so I thought I'd be OK doing my usual stuff. Now I am dealing with a seroma (that will NOT go away) and lymphedema, and I'm sure it's because I didn't rest and follow the recovery plan as well as I should have.

    Hang in there... this too, shall pass. ❤️

  • Buddybutton
    Buddybutton Member Posts: 32 Member
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    Thank you so much. Hope you start feeling more you too soon.😘

  • Saramee
    Saramee Member Posts: 3 Member
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    I had my left breast removed and several lymph nodes and experienced very little pain except under my arm. Found that ice packs really helped and it seems that the more water I drank the faster the swelling went down - don't know if the water really helped but it sure seemed to do the trick for me.

  • Buddybutton
    Buddybutton Member Posts: 32 Member
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    Hey saramee, pain really isn't an issue, really just swelling more in the evening than during the day.It's been done since Valentines Day.I'll try drinking a bit more water that may help. Thank you.

  • Saramee
    Saramee Member Posts: 3 Member
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  • Buddybutton
    Buddybutton Member Posts: 32 Member
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    Yes, it's my dominant side. I'm 69, so healing slow seems to be a thing lol.I do seem to feel better everyday so slow seems to be the road.I'll be glad once the chemo is done it's wiping me out this time.So how are you doing?

  • Buddybutton
    Buddybutton Member Posts: 32 Member
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    So how is the seroma, getting any better?I hope so just wanted you to know I'm rooting for you too. I think we're all rooting for one another.

  • Tamiann
    Tamiann Member Posts: 23 Member
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    Hi there! Thanks for checking in on me. 😁

    The seroma seems to be reducing in size, thanks to my lymphedema massage therapists. They have an electromagnetic pulse machine (I have no idea what it's really called, but it's cool) that they use to massage my arm, breast, and axila area, and it has done wonders for the lymph fluid build up.

    They were finally able to get the edema down enough to measure me for my permanent compression glove and sleeve, so I'll be continuing therapy for the next few weeks while the sleeve is under construction. Once that's ready for me, they will probably need to do massive compression again to get my arm to the right size again, but hopefully that won't be for too long. The edema really seems to be doing better - I am encouraged and hopeful.

    How are you holding up? It sounds like the chemo is taking its toll.😥 I'm rooting for you, for sure! 🙏

  • Buddybutton
    Buddybutton Member Posts: 32 Member
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    Glad things are getting taken care of for you😊 Chemo this time is being a bummer I got off easy the last go round. Just gotta keep on truckin' and remember only 3 more treatments to go.You take care.😻

  • Buddybutton
    Buddybutton Member Posts: 32 Member
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    Have you gotten your sleeve?If so is it helping?My incision is completely healed now, doctor said I can start using mederma(?) on it to soften it up a bit sometimes it tightens up it seems like.lymphedema massage therapists, this is something I'd never heard about. I'm glad it's helping you.I'm so glad I didn't have the arm swelling.Keep being encouraged and hopeful, I'm convinced a good mind set helps with healing😃

  • Tamiann
    Tamiann Member Posts: 23 Member
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    I haven't gotten the sleeve yet - I guess it takes about a month because they order from a company in Germany (Jobst??). The seroma is still a factor - I have constant compression on it, and do regular massages to try and help the serum fluid to absorb. The therapists help with this as well.

    The lymphedema therapists are officially called "Occupational Therapists" because they work with many patients that are trying to get to a functional level. Lymphedema is only one of the conditions they treat, but my therapists are specialists in the field so I think they do it with arms, legs, necks, torso's nearly 100% of the time.

    It seems to be helping - if I can just get the seroma to heal and the lymphedema to stay under control, I think I'll be almost "normal" again (not that I was normal to start with, but you know what I mean). 😂🙏

    I'm so glad to hear that your incision is healed up - that's a start. How are you feeling otherwise? When are your chemo treatments complete?

  • Buddybutton
    Buddybutton Member Posts: 32 Member
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    #3 more treatments to go. 2 weeks between each and a hgh shot the day after to make my bone marrow produce more white cells.I have to see how I feel after this week, treatment Monday shot Tuesday.At least the treatments are less 10 months worth the 1st time(colon cancer) I will be soo glad when they're all done and "normal" life can resume (😂)Please let me know how things are progressing.🤗

  • Tamiann
    Tamiann Member Posts: 23 Member
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    Buddybutton, good luck tomorrow. I hope you don't get too sick with this round. Keep us posted on how you're holding up after, k?🤗

    I won't have any "real" updates on me until the sleeve is ready. At this point I'm just going to my therapy sessions and hoping that the swelling will stay "Not too bad" until then, but we'll see. 🤞 The seroma comes and goes, but I guess that's actually a good thing because it means that it's still a size that my body can re-absorb, so that's a change for the better.

  • Buddybutton
    Buddybutton Member Posts: 32 Member
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    I'm doing much better thanks The discomfort from my double mas has pretty much gone. Thought I'd have a bit more time till the hair fall lol got in the shower got out looking like a white yeti 😂 What a mess that was. As for side effects the shot still gives me flu symptoms yuck but it all passes after about a week. Smell this time as opposed to tastes.

  • Tamiann
    Tamiann Member Posts: 23 Member
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    @Buddybutton I'm glad to hear that the pain has receded and that at least now you are only dealing with the chemo. Sorry about your hair... I can't imagine the mess, but hang in there, it will come back eventually. I'm impressed with your positivity despite the misery you are going through. Are you down to only one more treatment now, or are you done?

    I'm doing pretty well now. My lymphedema seems to be somewhat under control, so that's a positive. The seroma is still there but seems to be slowly shrinking, so that's a positive. The cording under my arm is still being difficult and painful, but even that could be much worse so I'm grateful that it is relatively mild. I am about 90% of normal - able to live life with very little disruption, and I'm relieved to be on the upswing despite the continued complications. 😊

  • Buddybutton
    Buddybutton Member Posts: 32 Member
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    Hair grows back and I'm looking forward to making it some silly color just for the fun of it.I'm glad things are looking up for you and almost back to normal. Had a treatment last Monday The 22nd only 1 more to go it's the hgh shot that's the worst blah and yuck lol I'll be glad when they're done and I can start to go back to the gym. I try to be positive some days are better than others. I miss my hubby more than anything when I don't feel well. But it is what it is. Hugs ☺️