I hesitated about sharing this project on the blog, since it touches on the unpleasant topic of cancer, but the more I thought about it the more I wished that I had been able to find a post like this when I was Googling “mastectomy drain pouch.”
When my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, her mastectomy surgery was scheduled within a few weeks right before the holidays. My mom suggested that I make a mastectomy drain pouch for her post-surgery recovery, which might help make recovery even the tiniest bit more comfortable.
Since I didn’t know much about this type of surgery and how the pouch could be most effective, I definitely wanted to use a pattern that had already been tested. I looked online, but it was difficult to find a pattern and I couldn’t find any step-by-step tutorials with pictures. Finally I found this free pdf pattern for “Breast Cancer Bags” from Online Quilting Magazine, with information about collecting these pouches to distribute them to hospital patients.
The steps are pretty simple, but pictures always help me when I’m doing a project for the first time… so here are a few from the one I made.
A few notes: I used dark fabrics to hide any stains that might occur, and I used the same fabric throughout instead of using a separate fabric for the lining. The strap is adjustable by tying it through the tab. I cut a strip for the strap as suggested, but it would be just as easy to use a jelly roll strip since it’s a handy width and length.
Even though this is a simple project, hopefully it helps someone else online who’s looking for something thoughtful (and practical) to help a breast cancer patient going through this tough experience. Lots of love to my cousin who’s recovering from the surgery now.