Cancer stories

Pam’s story

I had found two lumps but, after a mammogram and ultrasound, the doctor said they looked like hormonal cysts. I decided to have surgery to correct my inverted nipple, and they found that my two hormonal cysts were in fact cancer. I then had my breast removed along with 14 lymph nodes with one infected.

After the mastectomy, I was in a lot of pain as the wound had been stitched up tight and firm. I took strong Panadol every four hours for two months.

A few years later, a mammogram picked up a tiny spot. I was told it was precancer, so I had the other breast removed. After the surgery I was in a lot of pain and resumed taking strong Panadol every four hours. Exercising my arm also helped. I would stretch my arm regularly, pointing my fingers to the stars, and gradually it became easier to move my arm. I also attended a breast cancer support group, and this was a good way to share the emotional pain with people who had been through the same experience. Losing a breast is like losing your womanhood; I felt disfigured and needed time to heal emotionally.

To help with the pain of the implant, I was given Panadeine Forte®, but this made me feel not connected to the world. I was then given tramadol, but this made me feel dizzy. As these didn’t agree with me I took strong Panadol for a while.

After the surgery and the implant, I developed lymphoedema. The swelling was painful but I saw a physiotherapist and he massaged my arm. I did this every week for a couple of months and this really helped.

The combination of Panadol, massage and being with my breast group has helped me cope with pain during my breast cancer diagnosis.


This information was last reviewed in September 2015
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