The Loose Ends of Healing (literally)

(Hi friends – a quick one here as I am in the US with my family for the holidays and on borrowed computer time.)  

I had an appointment with Dr. Fabulous a couple of weeks ago. He’s pleased with everything, but he did ask again if I had been able to start swimming. I was guilty of not having done so, though I’ve started to pick it up a bit now. He stresses that it will help everything “heal smoothly, so that it’s more supple.” Hey, sounds good to me. I am so pleased with the results, but I can admit that everything is very firm. In particular I wouldn’t mind a softening of the ligaments of my armpits. The left one was mostly back to normal (from the mastectomy) before the recontruction and it has now tightened up a bit again. On the right side the ligament is actually a tough knot…I know from last year that swimming is the best thing by far for recovering range-of-motion.

Indeed, the first time I went the other week, all the movements felt a little awkward. Nothing hurt but I could feel things pulling everywhere, making my strokes a bit tentative and choppy. Just 3 days later I went again and presto! Already about 90% improvement. Just thought I’d share for others doing this. Swimming is key! You will thank yourself later.

Dr. Fabulous also gave me some stuff to make my scars better. It’s a sticky silicone bandage type thing called Scarban. In Brussels style the entire city (apparently) only has one pharmaceutical stockist, who had a “rupture of stock”, so I got sent to 4 different stores looking for the stuff before this was explained to me. In the end my awesome pharmacy tracked some down one box.

It’s pricey stuff, but I’ve only heard rave reviews of it. You cut it into strips and wear it on your scars everyday (for about 6 weeks). When the sticky is gone you hand wash it with special soap and rinse, and when it dries the sticky is magically back. It’s pretty crazy stuff.

It is a little bit high maintenance for my lazy self, but it’s not so bad and I hear the difference will be worth it. Have any of you guys used this stuff? (I’m curious as it seems hard to find and I can’t imagine why given how popular I should think it would be – even Google doesn’t have anything useful on it – and also I might need to track down more). 

I will keep you up to date on any results. Until then, Hope you guys are gearing up for happy holidays! I’m off to make the Christmas bread (from scratch, impressive for such a lazy girl huh?).  



Filed under breast cancer, reconstruction ("upgrade"!), recovery, this time THIS year

2 responses to “The Loose Ends of Healing (literally)

  1. Thanks for the advice on swimming. We are going to St Kitts in a few weeks so we’ll definitely get a chance to get in the water. Next Friday we have an appointment with PT who specializes in lymphedema. I’ll ask her about swimming as well.

    Glad to hear that you are back home with family. Have a great visit.


  2. Swimming is wonderful…I was going 3 times a week and then dropped off when summer hit and the kids were home. I intend to get back to it in January…it really does wonders.

    Glad you are back in the U.S. for Christmas with family…hope the bread baking has gone well.

    Sending you the best of wishes for Christmas…may you have magic, love and joy with those you love most and sending wonderful wishes for a healthy, prosperous and joyous new year!

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