Around the house

After your mastectomy you will be unable to lift things heavier than about 5 pounds and it may be this way for approximately a month.  In addition, you won’t be able to extend your arms (you will need to pretend you are a T-Rex) so you will probably need to rearrange some things so that you can reach them.

  • Move the microwave, toaster and other small appliances so that they are within easy reach
  • Lower dishes, cups, etc
  • Lower things in the shower
  • Lower anything else in your house that you use frequently
  • Clean your house before surgery and have a plan for who will clean it while you are recovering, or be comfortable with the idea that it may be a little dustier than usual – you won’t be able to vacuum or do other cleaning for a while
  • Move your toothbrush, toothpaste and other toiletries to an easy to reach location
  • If you use liquid soap at home make sure the dispenser isn’t too difficult to press – if it is, find another brand or put some in a pour bottle
  • If your trashcan is usually in a cupboard consider moving it out – it’s a lot easier if you don’t have to open the cupboard every time you want to throw something away
  • Cook and freeze food prior to your surgery
  • Cutting with a table knife may be difficult so consider food that doesn’t need to be cut
  • Consider getting some straws to use for drinking because it is easier to use a straw than to lift a cup – metal straws are nice because they can be reused
  • Some food storage containers have lids that are very difficult to open – make sure you have some that are easy to open.  Jars with screw lids may be easier to use.
  • Plan for who can walk your dog since you won’t be able to extend your arms or have a dog pull on your arm
  • Someone to help you change your cat’s litter box