It's now over five weeks since the mastectomy and there's good news: my left arm is nearly back to normal.
After three weeks I was feeling very discouraged by the limited movement in my left arm. As I was away on holiday, I still haven't seen a physiotherapist but I think the mistake I was making was to exercise it frequently for short periods of time. I would find that it would loosen up a bit then an hour later it would have seized up and I'd have made no progress.
So after three weeks, I started spending at least 20 minutes intensively exercising and stretching, several times a day. That way, I would make a good deal of progress with each movement and when it seized up again, it didn't go right back to the beginning.
Now it is still a little stiff, especially in the mornings, but once I have exercised I have almost full mobility again.
Otherwise, I was a bit concerned yesterday that the area around my scar (which has healed up well) started to feel tender, was something going wrong? Then I realised that this was the area that previously felt numb: it is just the nerve endings coming back to life.
Coming back from holiday to face the world again has made the clothes issue more difficult. I tried putting my little cushion-boob into an old bra and found I had one boob much higher than the other, not a good look! My moulded under-wire bra does the job perfectly but I'm not sure I should be wearing underwiring yet. So my solution tends to be to pin the cushion-boob onto a little strapless top and wear it underneath another top. It's just another week until I can go and get the prosthesis and buy some proper mastectomy bras.
So all in all, I'm feeling that I'm well on the road to recovery from the mastectomy. Next stage, chemotherapy.
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