21 answers

Hospital Stay After a Mastectomy

I have a friend that was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and I would like to put together a little package of things she will need while in the hospital. I was thinking things such as pony tail holders, chapstick, chocolate....but I was wondering if there was something else that might be needed. The kind of things you would want but forgot to pack. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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This is a very silly suggestion, but every friend of mine who has been in the hospital appreciated it. Pack a coloring book and crayons. It satisfies the need to do something, keeps the patient busy, but doesn't require much mental energy. Each time I've done that my friends have scoffed, but in the end I always get a very grateful phone call saying how much coloring alleviated boredom without taxing them.

1 mom found this helpful

The best gift I received and still enjoy is a very small pillow, size of for a baby and pillow cases. I still use it for under my arm,it is priceless!!!

More Answers

This is a very silly suggestion, but every friend of mine who has been in the hospital appreciated it. Pack a coloring book and crayons. It satisfies the need to do something, keeps the patient busy, but doesn't require much mental energy. Each time I've done that my friends have scoffed, but in the end I always get a very grateful phone call saying how much coloring alleviated boredom without taxing them.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
As Breast Cancer Survivor and double mastectomy, I can say that you are a great friend to be thinking ahead for your friend.
She will need a little pillow that will help with coughing/pain. Mine had a really special pillow case. I also used a dolphin (my love of water) that cradled over my breast to hug. She was always a conversation piece for visitors.
She will also need button down shirts-easy in and out, as she will have limited range of motion.
Be careful on the chocolate after surgery- great for visitors not always good for the stomach.
If she likes tea- comfort teas and music can turn a difficult day into a tolerable day.
Please feel free to contact me for you or your friend.
I send many good thoughts and prayers for her speedy recovery.
M. Conner
____@____.com
aquafitplano.com
Aqua~Fit-Best Warm Salt Water Aquatic Center

1 mom found this helpful

Very thoughtful...here are some ideas that I really enjoyed while stuck in the hospital for a month...
Warm fuzzy socks
Calling card to call out of town friends/family
little random snacks
nail file / clear polish
magazines
dvds (just rent some and then return them for her)
soda
air freshener (so the room didn't smell like a hospital) OR a flameless candle

Usually too, they will have a fridge and can put her sticker on it so coffee creamer or extra sodas and they can refrigerate and she can ask as she wants them.

Hope these ideas help!

1 mom found this helpful

A roll of quarters is always nice in case someone needs something from a vending machine. Puzzle books, crosswords, word finds, easy to eat fruit (grapes, oranges, apples), fuzzy socks, lotion, a soft towel for the bathroom.

That is all I can remember from our last hospital stay!

1 mom found this helpful

Just heard about this website on the radio this morning....http://www.dearjohnnies.com This might be something unique to give her along with all the other wonderful suggestions.

Hi M.,

I had a double mastectomy 3 1/2 years ago. One thing that was a huge blessing was a simple pouch to hold my drains. She will have a drain under each arm. Take two pieces of cute soft/fabric and sew together to make a pouch with ribbon on the corners to tie around her neck. This will not only hold the drains under her clothing but while bathing or showering. She will have the drains for a minimum of 7 days. Also a front closing sports bra. Academy is where I have seen them. Your friend will not be able to lift her arms and will not be able to do house work. Coordinate to have meals delivered. Tell her about www.CarePages.com or www.CaringBridge.com. Both are sites she can journal her feelings and share with friends and family. She can also look for ladies going through the same thing. If you have a local American Cancer Society or Komen Foundation office you can get information pamphlets or inquire about support groups.

You know your friend best. The littlest thing can mean so much. If she likes chick flicks ask her if you can rent her some movies. If she likes books, buy her the next Twilight book. If she likes Sonic call and ask if she would like to get out of the house for a tea...drive up does not require getting out or being out of pajamas.

Hope you find the answer you are looking for.

I have a friend who went through this 3 yrs ago. She preferred her hospital stay private and of course we respected that. I don't know any favorites for the hospital stay.

We were in a bunco group of about 16 women and 16 on a substitute list so we all got together and took turns with meals for at least a month....she had very limited motion and was in pain. We also hired a house cleaning service to help her out and ease her mind. When she was going through chemo, we also had meals at her house for her family, although she didn't much feel like eating.

She had 2 teen boys and a hubby...her mom (a breast cancer survivor 10+ yrs) was at her home with her.

Her boys were active and we made sure they always had a ride to and from any activity to try to keep their routine on schedule as much as possible.

Bless you for thinking ahead and helping your friend during this difficult time.

TF

I had a hysterectomy this past year and was in the hospital a couple days.... I really slept a LOT! so she might too..but things I liked were some magazines or a book, definitely chapstick, and maybe some yummy smelling lotion or things like that!

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