My Little Bs Have the Big C

A Breast Cancer Blog For Young Women

What To Pack To A Mastectomy

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Mastectomy Must Haves

Clockwise from the top: Rosebud Salve, lavender sachet, Cetaphil Facewipes, Vera Bradley Duffel Bag, Drawstring Pants, Button down shirt

One of my concerns for my mastectomy was making my hospital stay as comfortable and convenient as possible.  Here is a list of the things I packed that was helpful and somethings I wished I had brought.

1. A light but easy to carry weekender bag or duffel bag

2. Toothbrush and toothpaste.  I had no problem lifting my arm enough to brush but everyone is different so you might just want some mouthwash too, which I did not bring.

3. Gum or mints.  I didn’t bring it but wish I had for when I didn’t want to get up but my mouth tasted a bit funky.

4. Lip Balm.  I use Rosebud Salve.  It’s one of the things I’d bring with me on a desert island so I brought it to the hospital.  You’ll want some sort of chapstick or lip balm because your lips will be dry from dehydration and from being intubated.  My lips were cracked and I had some splits in my lip.  This helped the healing tremendously.

5. Face wipes.  I did not have it in me to do my whole face cleaning regimen so my mom bought me face wipes and it helped me to feel clean and fresh.

6. Lavender sachet or oil.  I do not like the smell of hospitals so this was to help offset that smell.  Luckily, NYU did not have that hospital smell so I never used mine but if you’re sensitive, you might want to bring something like this.  You never know.

7. Drawstring pants.  Do not pack your skinny jeans.  Your trousers.  Whatever.  You will not have the muscle to pull up anything tight.  Or bend down to pull them up.  Drawstring pants are the easiest thing to wear home from the hospital.  I got a cheap pair from Costco.

8. A button down top.  You will not be able to lift your arm over your head so this is the easiest thing to get on.  I hate button down tops for myself.  I never feel very feminine in them but they were very helpful for the first 2 weeks of recovery.  I got a few on sale at Ann Taylor Loft and borrowed some from my mom.

9. Comfy Button Down Pjs.  I never changed into mine and stayed in the hospital gown.  I didn’t have the energy to change into them.  You might feel differently.  Who knows.

10. Hair band or elastic.  I have short hair so I got a cotton hair band to keep my hair off of my face.

11.  Make-up.  Never used it.

12.  Travel sized hair brush.  My mom brushed my hair for me and that felt good.

13. Tampons.  Because it’s just my freakin’ luck to get my period the day before my mastectomy.  But they wouldn’t let me wear them so I had to wear pads.  7th grade flashback!

14. Easy to slip on shoes.  You don’t want to tie your shoes or zip up a pair of boots.  An easy pair of sandals or ballet flats are the way to go.

15. Chargers for your phone and tablet.  Because, duh!

16. Phone and tablet.  Because, duh!

17. Anything else that makes you happy.  A picture, cards, teddy bear, whatever.  I didn’t bring this but others might want to.

18. Pillows.  We didn’t bring it to the hospital but had it in the car just in case I found the hospital pillows uncomfortable.  I never used them.

19. Mastectomy Camisole.  Some insurances will cover it but it’s like a tank top with pouches to hold your drain.

That’s it, I think.  I hope you find this helpful if you are preparing for a mastectomy.


One thought on “What To Pack To A Mastectomy

  1. Pingback: Two Year Mastectaversary | My Little Bs Have the Big C

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