***This is another page I found on my friend Charlotte’s blog and found it to be very useful and knowledgeable.  Thank you Charlotte!! ***

While they are recovering after completion of all treatments:

Either you or someone you know will get breast cancer. 1 in 8 women is the official statistics. If it’s you, here is a list of things you’ll need while recovering. (Don’t waste your time taking a lot to the hospital because you will only be there 24 hours)

  • Button or zip up front pajamas and robe (to access drains) with pockets is handy!
  • Warm socks or house slippers
  • Kleenex
  • Lozenges (tube down throat leaves it scratchy and dry)
  • Small pillows for under your arm that’s affected (or both depending on the cancer)
  • Pillows on the affected side to rest your arm on
  • Wedge to be able to sleep in bed (you won’t be able to sleep flat for a couple weeks. Some find a recliner works best, but that is a personal preference) The link will take you to the Charlotte purchased from Amazon. It has a removable cover to wash. 
  • Books, magazines, and things to help you pass the time while recovering. You won’t be able to lift or do anything for 2 weeks!

Charlotte described her recovery and how important it was for her to have the wedge pillow, a pillow on each side of her arms, two heart shaped pillows under her arm pits and a pillow under her knees for while she was in the bed.

Post surgery, reaching for things may be difficult (especially if lymph nodes are involved), so here are some items you may want to keep close by for those “just in case” moments:

  • Kleenex
  • Note pad/pen
  • Meds
  • Carafe of water
  • Tervis or Yeti with a lid & straw
  • Kindle
  • Phone/charger
  • Diffuser (I love using essential oils)
  • Small fan
  • Lip balm
  • Lozenges 
  • TV remote
During recovery, you may find having to remain in bed during all hours of the day to be miserable and uncomfortable, so it is recommended to have a recliner to be able to move to.  This will enable you to not only start the moving process slowly but it will help you to rest better at night.

***VERY IMPORTANT***And this I have found out even during treatment because of my pain.  STAY AHEAD OF YOUR PAIN!  Please don’t be brave and try to get through your first couple of weeks without your pain meds.  I know that everyone’s pain tolerance is different, but you need to stay ahead of your pain otherwise once it starts, it will get worse even with the dose you are given.  While they will constipate you, make sure you continue with a stool softener or laxative if needed…but please don’t be in pain.

It is recommended to keep your incision tight during the healing process.  It will help with the swelling and drainage.  The hospital may provide a binder, but an Ace Bandage will do just the same.


The breast cancer center where I had my surgery gave me the heart pillows for under my arms! These were life savers! They also supplied me with a mastectomy cami with pockets for the drains. If you aren’t given one, you can use a safety pin to pin them to your binder or pajamas. When showering, I clipped mine to a lanyard around my neck which worked just fine.

It’s very important that you don’t over do or you will create more drainage buildup. I had to have mine aspirated. Take it slow. At 2 months, I was still tender and couldn’t lift my arms too high to get things off a high shelf. Gentle stretches for now.