How to Care for Mum after Masectomy

Posted by anitawv on 26 Jan 2014, 11:03PM

My mother, who's also my best friend and hero, is undergoing a double masectomy this week.  Apart from the obvious help with housework and emotional support, I would love any advice about caring for her during the recovery.

I'm just looking for really basic stuff like - should I buy her front-opening nighties and blouses?  Basically anything at all that helped make someone else's recovery easier

We are lucky in that she will probably not require radium or chemotherapy.

.Cost is not an issue.

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Hi Anita

Deanne's picture

I am so glad that you are going to be such a wonderful support for your Mum at this time. My daughters have been fantastic during my treatment and it makes such a big difference both on a practical level but also emotionally.

I had a left mastectomy in May last year and was surprised at how little pain I experienced. It was more a very tight feeling. It will be difficult for your Mum to lift her arms for a while, so front opening clothing is important. She will also have drains in for a little while, so you need to allow a bit of extra room for these under clothing. I found tops and bottoms were easier than nighties or dresses because of the drains. They gave me a little shoulder bag for mine which then made getting around a lot easier. Loose little singlets give you a bit of extra coverage under button up tops that may gape a little. I found some at Target which were made of bamboo cotton. They were very soft against the skin which helped too.

I found sleeping on my back uncomfortable so I used lots of soft pillows to help me get more comfy in bed. It is also a good idea to have a pillow to hold against your chest for support and protection in the car.

I am sure others will give you their advice too. Hope everything goes as well as possible and that your Mum is soon recovering with your wonderful support. Sending hugs to you and your Mum. Deanne xxxooo

thank you

anitawv's picture

Thank you for your help and support, Deanne.  Let's hope Mum has very little pain as well.  A xox


Robyn W's picture

I also have a gorgeous daughter,who was the best help for me after my mastectomy.I wore cotton pj's as they are the best against your skin.I had front opening ones,and like Deanne said,I wore loose(very loose) singlets underneath.Make sure they are loose enough so you can pull them down rather than over your head to start.I bought a large boomerang pillow,and that helped me sleep on my back,propped up.I couldn't sleep on my side for about a month,comfortably.Also,a couple of small soft pillows to put under the arms,to keep them elevated while in bed,it is more comfy I found.I also put a plastic chair in the shower,and this was really helpful.Perhaps put some things in the kitchen onto the bench,that your Mum uses daily,like tea,coffee etc.That way,when she wants to do some things for herself,it won't be too difficult,because stretching up is hard for a few days.All the best,and I am sure that with such a special daughter,your Mum is going to be just fine:). xoxo Robyn.P.S.Afetr the mastectomy,make sure your Mum does her exercises,as they are so important in regaining full movement of your arm.

thank you

anitawv's picture

Thank you for the great tips.  That's exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for.  All the best with your recovery.

SamzRusty's picture

Mine is in 4 weeks.....Thanks for the tips. Off to buy new PJ's today & rearrange the kitchen a little :)

Sam xoxoxo

supporting mum

Gay's picture

Anita, I know that your mum will really appreciate your company and support. as my lovely daugher has just spent a week with me post mastectomy, my 2nd. I found that by looking good i felt good, so i bought colorful pjs for hospital, washed my hair often and put on some lipstick and perfume and have continued to 'look good' at home. Have several ets of pjs or open front nighties as drainage tubes often leak. A friend gave me a tube of travel washing liquid  which was very handy in hospital. All the previous tips are good. There will days when she will fluctuate between feeling relieved that she does not need further treatement then teary. Is your mum having any reconstruction.? I decided not to, so if she ant any comments on that i and happy to do so. Best wishe to you both.



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