Bonnie Annis is a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed in 2014 with stage 2b invasive ductal carcinoma with metastasis to the lymph nodes. She is an avid photographer, freelance writer/blogger, wife, mother and grandmother.
What do you do? What should you know? Here are some practical pieces of advice from someone who
Hearing the words, “You have breast cancer,” are frightening, and those four words can bring on a vast array of emotions, but hearing you need a mastectomy conjures up palpable fears as you come to the realization that you’re about to lose a body part.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I’d only heard the word mastectomy once or twice before. I was unfamiliar with the medical procedure, other than understanding it meant a breast would be removed. After my oncologist referred me to the breast surgeon, I gained a better understanding. She drew detailed sketches and as she diagramed the procedure for me, she allowed me to ask questions. Although her information was very helpful, going through a mastectomy was quite a difficult experience for me. My hopes, in writing this post, are to give some practical hints and tips to women who might be facing the removal of one or more breasts in the very near future.
Before your mastectomy:
After your mastectomy:
A mastectomy isn’t something anyone would choose to go through, but thankfully, the procedure has evolved greatly over the past years. Scars are much smaller and breast surgeons are cognizant of their patients’ desires to have a pleasing outcome. Your mastectomy surgery will greatly depend on whether you’ve decided to have reconstructive surgery or if you’ve decided against it. Either way, your doctor will do the very best to give you a good result.
There’s a whole army of women who’ve already faced this procedure. More than likely, you’ve been in the presence of some of them without ever suspecting they might not have two real breasts, but who really needs to know? It’s always going to be a private matter unless you tell your story. May your experience be a good one and hopefully, some of these tips will prove helpful to you.