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Daughter having mastectomy

(30 Posts)
Nanabanana1 Mon 26-Aug-19 11:28:39

Any Ideas for a gift to give my daughter when she has her mastectomy. She is having her operation in a couple of weeks time and I am going to look after her when she comes home. Wanted to give her something before she goes in hospital.

Framilode Mon 26-Aug-19 11:55:35

Some really nice moisturising body and hand cream. From another thread on mumsnet where people are in hospital a lot this is what they seem to appreciate. The hospitals are so overheated their skin gets dry. Also, one of those cooling water sprays you can buy.

MissAdventure Mon 26-Aug-19 11:58:26

A nice nightie or pjs, some wet wipes, dry shampoo, deodorant, a new pair of slippers, and a book or some magazines.

DoraMarr Mon 26-Aug-19 11:59:22

Well, I know what I would like:
But it is quite pricey. Otherwise, some nice loose lounging clothes for when she comes out of hospital. Some days she may not feel up to more than a little bit of exercise and a long lounge on the sofa reading and dozing.

Nortsat46 Mon 26-Aug-19 12:01:51

So sorry to hear this Nanabanana1, sending all good wishes to you and your daughter.
My suggestion (for what it's worth) is luxury toiletries - especially hand lotions and lovely fresh fragrances.
I was given a lovely bag of Molton Brown goodies by my partner after having a radical hysterectomy.

I know it might sound rather odd, but I very much enjoyed using them.
Of course, you don't need much in the immediate aftermath of a significant operation. However during my recovery at home, I made it a habit to have little treats and luxuries every day. Molton Brown hand lotion was one of those treats.

I hope your daughter has a successful outcome to her operation and you must also remember to look after yourself, in the middle of being a lovely supportive mum! 💐💐

DoraMarr Mon 26-Aug-19 12:02:16

As to moisturisers and deodorants: I was advised not to use deodorant or any scented moisturisers, soaps or shower gels. Aveeno moisturiser is well tolerated, but check with medical staff first.
I actually made my own poultice from live yogurt and porridge oats- messy but very soothing!

clementine Mon 26-Aug-19 12:02:31

There is a website, think it's called don't buy flowers or something like that , that might give you some ideas. It's basically alternatives to buying people who are unwell, flowers.

If you are thinking of a nightie or PJ's, make sure to go with ones that are easily got on and off as she might not be able to lift her arms too high post surgery.

If she hasn't already got one, then I would suggest maybe a kindle ? They are light to hold and she could download some books to read whilst convalescing .

dragonfly46 Mon 26-Aug-19 12:08:54

I too am having a mastectomy last week. I have bought myself PJ's from Asda which have a pocket for the drain they send you home with. I have also from them got a dressing gown with said pocket. A V-shaped pillow is useful for when she comes home and has to sleep sitting up. I also have a small V-shaped pillow for under my arm and a shoulder bag for the drain.
I shall also take my ipad which is not dependent on wifi and some extra batteries. I get the feeling there will be a lot of sitting around as I have to be there at 7.30 but my op could be anytime. A kindle and magazines is a good idea. I am assuming she will only be in overnight so she will not want a lot of stuff.
Maybe a nice pancho to come home in if the weather is cooler and certainly pull on trousers and button up tops.

stella1949 Mon 26-Aug-19 12:10:17

When I was undergoing cancer treatment, a friend gave me a bottle of lavender pillow spray. I thought it would just make my pillow smell nice, but the lavender had a wonderfully relaxing effect. I still buy and use it at home , it's lovely and I'm sure it helps me to sleep better.

crazyH Mon 26-Aug-19 12:12:18

After my breast op, I was so glad for button fronted pjs. Get her a couple of pretty ones - when she comes home, she can wear them all day and night, if she chooses.
Btw, no deodorants. I was advised against it.
Some flowers for your daughter.

harrigran Mon 26-Aug-19 12:50:26

When I had my bowel resection my sister gave me a pretty make up bag which contained a pack of tissues, facial wipes, lip balm, hand cream and moisturiser all greatly appreciated. She also gave me two pairs of bed socks because it was January and I did a lot of sitting around.
Loose pyjamas are so comfortable and practical too.

Nanabanana1 Mon 26-Aug-19 13:17:15

Thank you all and good luck Dragonfly46 💐for you. I will certainly look at pyjamas.

dragonfly46 Mon 26-Aug-19 13:26:14

Yes should have said my op is next week not last week!!

Granarchist Mon 26-Aug-19 14:12:20

the website is called '' it is brilliant and started by someone going through chemo whose hospital would not allow flowers so many of her gifts were not able to be delivered.

notanan2 Mon 26-Aug-19 14:20:40

She will initially need some soft non underwired bras until the scar settles and she is fitted for proper mastectomy bras a few weeks later.

Nice soft breathable non wired bras in her usual size.

If she is not having an immediate reconstruction she will initially fill the bra with "softies". If you have any crafty friends ask them to knit some "knitted knockers" as spares.

Vit E cream or bio oil to massage the scar once healing.

She will need to do physio exercises to avoid frozen shoulder but also needs to avoid lifting her arms too high so easy to wear button up tops are good. Also good for dignity whilst having her wounds checked in hospital.

Its usually a short day or overnight stay in hospital so dont go overboard with things for the hospital bag

notanan2 Mon 26-Aug-19 14:24:15

She will be advised not to "rest" as it can cause problems so dont buy her stuff you would buy for soneone who will be "laid up". She will need to be moving her arm normally (raising it up to shoulder height) so I would not advise a pillow etc for "resting" it on.

Drain bags are usually provided but can be made with "old lady" material sometimes. Not all mastectomies need drains though and they usually only stay in for one week

notanan2 Mon 26-Aug-19 14:29:51

She may be advised to wear Ted stockings once home. In this weather one pair is not enough so maybe some spare flight socks from boots if you can get her size so that she can wash/rotate them

dragonfly46 Mon 26-Aug-19 14:33:53

The pillow I advised for under the arm is for in the car and when at rest. I do not anticipate I will be sitting with my arm in the air all the time. I have been told I will need one. I have a leaflet with exercises for after the op to get mobility.

I got my knitted knocker direct from their site as advised by the hospital. I also have been given a bag and pillow by a site on Facebook. A tank top is useful for wearing immediately after the op or I will go without as I do not need too much support.

I do wish your daughter luck.

notanan2 Mon 26-Aug-19 14:37:46

Even at rest it is usually best to not hold the arm in a "protective" position, i.e. up on a pillow. Increases the risk of frozen shoulder.

However if your surgeon adviced otherwise it might be because of the particular way he/she does the OP so take that advice yourself, it is right for you! but it does not usually apply generally.

Re softies/knitted knockers, yes she will be given one, but as with teds, in this weather it is nice to have a fresh clean one daily so thats why I advised getting spares

notanan2 Mon 26-Aug-19 14:41:20

Its hard to do in practice, but what she will need to avoid doing is holding the arm in a sling like still position and needs to try to hold it in a natural normal posture, and use it normally just without stretching up.

Just doing the exercises but otherwise holding the arm protectively can cause issues. Which is why advice has changed relatively recently.

dragonfly46 Mon 26-Aug-19 14:58:12

notanan how recently was your mastectomy?

notanan2 Mon 26-Aug-19 15:02:17

Im talking about general advice and rates of frozen shoulder have shot down since people have been advised to not "protect" the arm, but of course all sugeons operate slightly differently so if they have given slightly different advice, of course follow that! It may be that they use different techniques that needs different after care

notanan2 Mon 26-Aug-19 15:07:41

OP what about a nice box file for all the medical letters and info?

dragonfly46 Mon 26-Aug-19 15:09:27

notanan2 I have never said you have to protect the arm. Everything I have said you have contradicted and stuff I haven't said. I was just wondering how you know so much about it - maybe you are a nurse. I had my pre op last week and have been told exactly what I must and mustn't do. I was just trying to help the OP in every eventuality. From FB sites I also know what my hospital's protocol is and isn't, how long the drain is likely to be in for example and what exercises I should do and which I should not.
Anyway you obviously know a lot more than me so I will just go away.

notanan2 Mon 26-Aug-19 15:19:58

Dragonfly I havent contradicted you at all, I have said that the specific advice you have been given is right for you

It just doesnt necessarily apply to the OPs daughter unless she is advised otherwise. Generally it is not recommended to rest the arm on a pillow like that BUT different surgeons do use different techniques so I am not at all doubting that you are correct to do so.

Just advising the OP to not rush out and buy one unless it is aftercare her team advise.