The 19 Things I Always Recommend to Someone Having Breast-Cancer Surgery


Last September, at 28 years old, I was weeks into an MBA software when I was given the smartphone call that might turn my global upside down: I had breast cancer. I had a 2.5 cm hastily developing tumor that required 12 rounds of extensive chemotherapy. I had no family history of the ailment and felt the healthiest I ever had — to mention I became taken aback would be the globe’s finest understatement. Cancer remedy actions fast. Before I may want to even top up my condominium or say goodbye to my buddies, I changed again with my circle of relatives, getting ready to fight my lifestyle.

On top of that, docs found a mutation in my ATM gene (meaning I’m greater at risk of breast cancer than the overall populace), so I made the exceedingly difficult, however also mind-blowingly simple selection to dispose of my ticking-time-bomb boobs altogether. That required a full double mastectomy observed via what is referred to as an “autologous reconstruction” manner (rather than implants, surgeons built my new breasts from my stomach — jealous?). Then came an emergency surgery for a hematoma (lengthy tale). I have become every day on the working desk.

Through all of this, social media ended up being a surprising savior. Sharing my story on Instagram introduced me to many others in similar conditions. I talked to dozens of ladies about the hacks and products that helped them get via their medical institution and eased their pain after surgical operations. Following my first operation, I compiled all my “ought to-haves” into a list I subsequently shared on Instagram. Slowly, however, increasingly, humans reached out to me about it.


Statistically, that’s no longer so surprising: One in 8 ladies get breast cancer, so sooner or later, we all will possibly understand a person battling it. Below is my listing of products to make one significantly unlucky state of affairs extra comfortable. (And these don’t practice most effective mastectomy sufferers; they’re suitable for all breast cancer surgeries.) Still, it can be tough to realize what items are eligible to give to sufferers.


Abco Tech Bed Wedge Pillow With Memory-Foam Top

The various pillows I used for recuperation duration are possibly the most critical objects on this list (I slept in bed with all of them after my mastectomy). A wedge pillow reduces the strain of having up because it positions you at a steep angle. I endorse this one because its reminiscence-foam frame is cozy in opposition to you even as nevertheless managing to stay very firm. I appreciated it so much I hung on to it; now I use it once I’m vegging out and looking at the TV on the mattress.

Gaiam Yoga Bolster Rectangular Meditation Pillow

During my restoration, I had to put something more supportive than an everyday old pillow below my knees to inspire blood waft and ease the strain on my lower back. So, I sold this bolster (which I’d already been coveting for my yoga exercise). Its consistency is quality and company, and the machine-cleanable cover makes it smooth to clean up.


Small pillows are needed to maintain your palms at ease and separate from your torso put up-surgical operation (which you’ll want to do due to tenderness within the breast place and the removal of any lymph nodes). The Axillapilla is made especially for this purpose; we can see it perfectly beneath your armpits in its heart shape.

Queen Rose Full Body Pregnancy Pillow
$50 (became $60, now 17% off)

You are studying this effectively: The U shape of a traditional pregnant pillow makes it the precise device for side sleeping (once it is allowed) post-surgery. You want to avoid rolling over and putting undue pressure on the breast vicinity, and these pillows provide a barrier to prevent that. I like this one as its company is sufficiently supportive; however, it is malleable enough to curl into whatever position is most comfortable.

Therapedic U-Neck Pillow

The last and final pillow is (in my view) the essential one for back sleepers like me. I located the simplest manner to not experience as I changed into lying ramrod-immediately on my lower back. The submit-surgical procedure was to place a journey pillow around my neck similar to the pads beneath my head. But now, not simply any journey pillow — the fancier ones I had lying around from previous trips had layout info (fuzzy exteriors, adjustable straps) that rendered them unusable—this simple style supplied simply the right quantity of consolation and aid.