March 3, 2005 6:57 PM   Subscribe

A dear family member is having a mastectomy/reconstruction/biopsy this friday. She's across the country, so I can't be there. I'd like to hear any success stories and warnings, plus any advice on how I can help or what I can send.
posted by stray to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
I'm sorry I don't have much, but . . . one of my friend's moms had a mastectomy about 10 years ago, and at the time she felt strongly about just getting the cancer out, and she did not ask to have the reconstructive surgery. She now regrets that decision, and wishes she had done it. Otherwise, though, the mastectomy was completely successful, and she has been cancer free for a long time. Good luck to you and your family member.
posted by onlyconnect at 9:31 PM on March 3, 2005

My mum had a mastectomy about 15 years ago. The procedure was a complete success and she has been healthy ever since. She chose not to have reconstructive surgery for various reasons. One that she often cites is that women who have breast reconstructions can often regret it later because does not feel like their real breast. Maybe that is something you should be prepared for.

Mum was also quite upset by how dismissive the doctors were about her concerns about her physical appearance after the mastectomy. It did damage her body image, and that is probably the longest lasting consequence of her having had cancer.

Apologies if this is not very helpful. All I can add is my sincere wish that everything goes well for you and your family.
posted by arha at 11:37 PM on March 3, 2005

Hi, stray ... I think I can help. My address is in my profile.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:51 AM on March 4, 2005

Hey stray, I don't have any specific answers. But there are some good threads on helping friends from afar undergoing cancer treatment and ways to help those confined to bed rest. Hope that helps a little - there are good answers in there.
posted by fionab at 7:10 AM on March 4, 2005 [1 favorite]

My mom had a single mastectomy & reconstruction about 10 years ago. She's doing great now and is active in a breast cancer survivors group. If you or your relative would like to contact her to ask about resources or anything else, let me know. My email is in my profile.
posted by belladonna at 8:09 AM on March 4, 2005

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