Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel, Where are you registered?
We’re used to wedding and baby registries, we’ve all had one or bought something off of one. So perhaps it was a little unconventional, but heck…it made sense. Mackenzie’s Mastectomy registry has been great!
Let me rewind a bit…
As I was researching and shoveling in all the information I could in order to prepare for my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy I found so many good blogs and listicles on…wait for it…Pinterest. *raised eyebrow, confused face* Who would of thought Pinterest would be my most citable source through all of this.
But seriously, my fellow BRCA Mutants, Bloggers, and Breast Cancer Survivors really helped a girl out!
So as I was gathering lists, these MUST HAVES for a successful and comfortable recovery, I saw the dolla dolla bills, cha chinging by the hundreds. I started to tailspin a bit, wait I need this and this and that costs what?! *eyes bug out of head* I’m taking 5 weeks off of work, how in the world are we going to do this!?
Fast forward to multiple conversations with Josh telling me to cool down, and family + friends pushing me to just make it. I decided that the way everyone could help was by making a registry, yes…a Mastectomy Registry…that’s a new one.
So here is my pre-surgery list. A compilation of others lists and some additions that I found along the way. I will be sure to post a post-surgery list of those things Josh randomly has to run out and find for me. BUT I think I’ll be pretty damn prepared and I hope anyone going through this takes a page from my, err..umm, blog!
MyRegistry.com is a great website and app that allows you to add items from outside websites, partners with PayPal for cash contributions, and allows easy sharing and tracking of purchased items.
Mackenzie’s Mastectomy Must Haves
- Pillows: Every single list I came across has pillows galore. Neck pillows, bed pillows, underarm pillows, seatbelt pillows, pregnancy pillows. PILLOWS! This is a list, within a list…because, well you’ll see.
- Contour Back Wedge Message Pillow: As you won’t be able to lay flat for a bit after surgery. I’ve already received mine in the mail from my lovely Aunt Sue!
- The Angle, under knee pillow: To help with back pain and those uncomfortable bed moments. This is currently on its way to me, gifted from my OU Girls, Ashley, Danielle, and Tasty. I did see a lot of people enjoyed sleeping in a recliner, and a nurse at The Center pointed out the recliner in the room and said the same. SHHH though…I don’t want Josh getting ANY ideas here. I think these two pillows listed above will be perfect. #ReclinerFreeHome
- Leacho Back N’ Belly Contoured Body Pillow: Yes, this is a pregnancy pillow. However I found so many suggest it to use once you’re allowed to lay more flat. It will help from those accidental rollovers in the middle of the night. The girls (•)(•) aren’t going to need any added pressure! I also found one blogger who said that the U shaped pregnancy pillows helped her sleep on her back more with her arms up on the sides versus rolling to the side. This one is being shipped all the way from good ole’ Marysville and I have Chelsea and Mark to thank!
- My Breast Friend: These seatbelt pillows are surely going to come in clutch on our 3 hour drive home a week after my surgery. Also, the patterns are adorable. Also, the gal who got them for me is adorable. <3 Lucia
- Axilla-Pilla: These surgery pillows were all over the mastectomy blogosphere! Made to prevent pressure under your arms after a chest surgery. I’m currently test driving them and I’m super comfortable. Thanks to Josh Seward for these must haves.
- Specialized Mastectomy Drain Apparel: The Breast Center provides a drain pouch luckily, however I found an awesome surgery shirt made by Tender Fit, with drain holders inside to hide them. I just received this one in the mail from my Mother-in-law and I hate to pick favorites but this gift gets so many ♥s! I absolutely cannot rave enough. The quality of this shirt is astounding, the style adorable, and I plan on wearing it long beyond my drain removal (I can hide secret snacks in there or something). This is great if you want to be outside, in public, or in my case wandering hotel hallways without making someone want to puke.
- Button-ups/Comfy PJs/Robes: Basically I’m told there will be major lack of mobility as far a lifting your arms above your head. SO, button ups and front closures will be key. Good excuse to put that cute Victoria’s Secret Robe on your registry. *wink wink*
- Surgery Bras: Now, I’ve seen many mastectomy specific bras out there, but they’re pretty pricey. I am lucky that The Center does provide a surgery bra. However I have put front closure, zip up bras on my registry for when I am a bit more healed and need that support. A few of mine came from a great list that Lesley Murphy published on her blog after her mastectomy. You know, that adorable blonde who we all fell in love with on The Bachelor and then even more so when she let us into her own personal BRCA experience.
- Step Stool: Again with the mobility and movement. In my case, with the DIEP Procedure, I will have a incision across my lower abdomen area. Those large steps up into say, beds, shower/tubs, and SUVs may be a bit painful. As silly as it seems, a step stool may just be my best friend.
- Desk/Bed Tray: While it is important that you keep moving, I imagine it will be exhausting. So, a bed tray for when you leave the hospital will be key for both eating and in my case blogging! duh! My Push10 family knew I needed this to keep myself sane.
- Dry Shampoo: There wasn’t a list I found that didn’t tell me to start testing dry shampoos to find my favorite one. Washing your hair will be a special treat shortly after surgery and won’t even be done by you. Sorry Joshua.
- Electric Toothbrush: I know this seems silly, but once I kept reading it made sense. Not having to make the brushing movements will be key when in pain shortly after surgery.
- The Basics: Lotion, Chapstick, Face Wipes, Rosewater Sprays. A lot of sponge baths will be in my future, these basic items that many people might forget will help one stay fresh and feel less..hospital-y. Yes, it’s a word.
- Loofa + Back Scratcher: I lumped these two together because they’re both on long sticks…?! Anyways, obviously going to make showering easier and the back scratcher will come in handy so you don’t drive your lovely helpers nuts. Also, apparently some people can get pretty itchy on some of the meds.
- Mederma Scar Gel: This one will come in handy a bit later, and I am sure your doctor will have their own recs as well. HOWEVER, I can definitely vouch for this stuff from prior surgeries, and…well, clumsiness. This is magic in a bottle. A very small, very small bottle…costing around $15. BUT, it is so worth it!
- Snacks/Books/Movies: Obvious ones, but there will be down time. Try not to focus on the struggle and enjoy some good ole’ binging on episodes. Read those books on your reading list, mine consists of books written by comedians primarily…keepin’ it light!
Phew! Now add all that up and I’ll give you a minute to have a mini freak out. $$$ Dolla dolla bills ya’ll.
That is why I started preparing ahead of time, made my lists, and created my registry. Everyone is going to ask how they can help, don’t let it fall wayside, give them something solid that you need so you don’t end up with a room full of flowers. Yes, they’re beautiful but let’s be real, are they going to help when you have back pain or can’t climb into your tub?! NOPE.
Also, it’s been quite enjoyable getting mail and small surprises leading up to surgery. Gotta find that silver lining!
i know it’s getting sunnier…