Things My Friends Didn’t Tell Me #BreastCancer and #NailArt

I have many friends in the Breast Cancer Recovery Club (not a real club), and they told me things to expect, and there were things I anticipated. For instance:

  • no eating or drinking after midnight before the surgery
  • no deodorant, perfume, or lotions for the surgery
  • no jewelry, not even a wedding ring, for the surgery
  • have somebody drive me to and from the surgery
  • no heavy lifting after
  • have somebody stay with me for at least 24 hours after
  • keep easy-on-the-stomach food to eat (if I can eat) until the anesthesia gets out of my system
  • have undergarments easy to put on and remove, particularly the top part fastening in front rather than in back
  • have button-in-the-front shirts so I don’t have to raise my arms
  • move around after, but not too much

But it wasn’t until I was given my instruction sheet at the pre-op exam that I learned these things:

  • Not eating or drinking includes no gum, candy, or mints!
  • Don’t shave around the site (i.e. under the right arm, which is okay, since menopause means the only place I shave is my face).
  • Shower the night before and the morning of with a special scrub (p.s. It stinks like chemicals — because it is.).
  • Wear clean pajamas and have clean sheets the night before the surgery.
  • Wear fresh pajamas EVERY NIGHT and have clean sheets EVERY TWO OR THREE DAYS after the surgery!
  • Don’t let pets sleep on the bed with you the night before the surgery OR AFTER THE SURGERY until you heal! (We shall see about that. I mean, it’s not as if they snuggle me at night, because they don’t!)
  • (My friend Barbara told me this, but I didn’t believe it until I read it on my list of dos and don’ts) NO NAIL POLISH FOR THE SURGERY!!! ! !! (They have to monitor your blood oxygen level, and polish can interfere.)

So my nail polish this week has to come off prior to the surgery.

The base polish is MK Signature’s Whipped Pink Rose Fouetté, and the stamping polish is Maniology’s Cinnablush. The plate is Maniology’s M153. That base polish is a sheer, and it took four coats for full coverage. Just sayin’.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: An unexpected and unwelcome list of criteria.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Things My Friends Didn’t Tell Me #BreastCancer and #NailArt

  1. Dan Antion

    January 10, 2022 at 7:31am

    Are you sure there’s no exception for you to that last “Don’t”? I mean, come on…

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  2. bikerchick57

    January 10, 2022 at 10:57am

    I agree with Dan. Sorry I haven’t been around, Marian, and I almost missed the news about your surgery. I’ll say a prayer for successful surgery on Thursday and fast healing afterward. No pet snuggling after? Isn’t that what heals?

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  3. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    January 10, 2022 at 12:52pm

    No nail art! That’s, uh, not mean – they DO have to be able to look at the color of your nail beds.

    As soon as you’re past that part, I’m sure it will be cheering to get some beautiful fresh art. I hope you had enough time to get everything you needed – they don’t seem to think about how hard it will be to have clean sheets that often, and if you buy stuff from an online vendor whether you’ll have enough time for it to be delivered…

    Think of you every day.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 10, 2022 at 1:41pm

      I have two sets of fleece sheets, one of flannel, and two of cotton, so I should be set. I’m digging out pajamas and nightgowns I forgot I had. Sara says she doesn’t mind doing laundry for me every few days as long as I need it. 🙂

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      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        January 10, 2022 at 1:45pm

        It’s all very logical, but sometimes those ‘instructions’ they issue so blithely are a lot of work.

        I wonder how much they actually expect patients to do! Or will they be happy with at least some of their mandates being observed.

        Good to have these beforehand – imagine getting some of them in their ‘discharge summary.’

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  4. joey

    January 10, 2022 at 8:56pm

    Changing the sheets during recovery sounds horrendous. I mean, truly, your Joey does not recommend you do this, or attempt this. Changing of sheets must be done by a loved one.
    When I had my surgery, despite being SO CLEAN upon arrival, without lotion or fume or deodorant and not shaving ANYTHING for two weeks prior (They tell you that two weeks before, so no head start!) they made me strip and wash up with weird orange chemical baby wipe things that did not smell nice (You know what a soap snob I am!) and then the cleanery chemical crap made me sticky. STICKY! My gown was sticking to me and it was so gross. Sensory overload.
    But hey, all the bad bits are gone and yours will be too 🙂 <3

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 11, 2022 at 8:55am

      Oh, my gosh, another thing to add to the things experience and thought hadn’t led me to expect! Washing in orange Kool-Aid! And Amazing has volunteered to change my sheets for the duration. I tell her what my mother used to tell me, “You’re a quality daughter.” And she tells me what I used to tell Mom, “You’re a quality Mom.” 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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