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Double Mastectomy Recovery - No Reconstruction (The First Few Weeks)

I meant to write this blog around the week 2 mark but i'm kinda glad I waited. This will give an overview of what my experience was like. I think it is important to note that, we are all different so my experience may not look the same as yours.

Day 1

A few hours after Surgery
I came round to a heavy-ish feeling in my chest and feeling very hazy from the anaesthetic. I hadn't eaten all day so I had some toast at about 6ish. I slept the evening away. I had 3 drains in. I did my first wobbly steps around the ward to use the bathroom. Pain wise , It wasn't as bad as I expected. I only needed paracetamol.

Day 2

I felt more human, still tired but in good spirits. my arms felt restricted, I also had a wide dressing all around which i think contributed to that feeling. I got to go home that afternoon. I used my Jen's Pillow for a smoother ride home. That night, I had major anxiety about sleeping in my own bed with my drains. I had images of drains tugging at night and blood soaked sheets. My husband helped me tuck them in a way that I wouldn't tug at them. They were in my drain bag and then hung on the knob of my bedside table. I slept on 2 pillows with my "V" pillow on top of that and my Jen's Friends heart pillows on either side to rest my arms on.

Day 3

I started my exercises. Just doing shoulder circling & shrugs. This was my first day home alone and boy was I nervous. By lunchtime, I had ordered myself a reacher as my arm movement and range was still minimal.

Drains Galore
Day 4

District Nurses finally came by. I had one drain removed so was left with 2 . I felt better just by the drains being emptied and getting a new dressing.

Day 5

Another drain came out today. The one remaining had an output of about 45mls so the district nurse thinks it should be ready by tomorrow. I told her I was willing to be patient. I didn't want a Seroma forming.

Day 6

The final drain came out today. I felt so light and free. I still only needed Paracetamol through the day.

Day 7
Feeling Flat & Fabulous
Huge lesson learnt today. I decided it would be a good idea to go to the county show but literally walking from the car park field to the entrance tired me out. I totally forgot that these shows are all about standing about. I was gutted about missing out but glad to have made it out. I also got to wear my white Broderie Anglaise top that I previously couldn't wear as my boobs were too huge for it.

I learnt that my body was not ready for all that agro. I needed to slow my roll!

Second Week
I still wasn't ready to drive. There was an awful tugging, pinching sensation when I attempted it. I got myself a bus pass. I used this week to slowly build up stamina again. I started walking a bit more, I went to a craft morning with my WI Group and I started doing the school run with the bus.

Day 10 - My Post Op Appt

I didn't see my Surgeon but the Surgeon who did my initial Wide Excision. He took my dressing off with no time for me to prepare. I didn't want the first time I saw my chest to be that way. That night I was so low. I wrote this on my instagram " Earlier today, I saw my new chest in a way I really didn't want to be introduced to it. At my Post Op Appt, they removed my dressings, my psychological band aid without much pomp and circumstance. It wasn't a big deal to them but it was momentous to me. I looked down and one word popped into my brain .... FRANKENSTEIN".

I didn't like how raised and sewn it looked. It was ugly and I felt incredibly mutilated. I decided the only way to accept it was to see it as often as possible. So I spent the evening with my chest out and looking at it in the mirror helped as it didn't seem so awful from that view.

Week 3

I drove to Tesco after testing by driving around the corner and all was fine! This felt momentous as it gave me my independence back. The seat belt rubbed at my scar which made it sore. I also did my first Pilates Class this week. It was great as I felt a bit more like me. I was expecting to sit out most of the moves but I made it through with no pain or discomfort.

I found that on days where I did that bit too much, my scar stung. I soon learnt just how much my body could tolerate.

Week 4
I started back at work by accident. I popped into my office to fulfil an order and then realised how much I missed my space. I had initially thought I'd have to reopen in the Autumn but I decided to start now. I had a few orders to do and the end of the school year to contend with. I also celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary . I appreciated my journey and the love I had around me!

Our 10th Wedding Anniversary Party.

I hope this insight into my journey, helps if you are facing a Double Mastectomy with no reconstruction. You can be Flat & Fabulous. Any Questions, please contact me. I'll try my best to help!

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