There is so very much information you must assimilate in a short period of time and become an expert in your own care. First and foremost, this is your body and your decision. It does help to talk to others that have been there but take one step at a time and get accurate information adn then talk to others including your health team. I often tell patients to make your list of questions before you come for your next visit or before your first visit and keep them in a notebook that you can refer to. Maintain hope and rely on friends. There is nothing to say that you have to be a superwoman.
First you have to decide if you want reconstruction now or later and then look at the pro's and con's. Are you ready to deal with a different body image, can you physically and mentally handle multiple surgeries as needed for reconstruction and scar tissue , will it bother you or the absence of feeling as your reconstruction will restore the shape but not necessarily the feeling? Will you take the time you need to recover as a mastectomy will take less time than a mastectomy with reconstruction to recover?
As you review all of these ramifications, you must also look at your family responsibilities, and workplace concerns as well as timing and costs as well as insurance coverage. Reconstruction does not change much for a lumpectomy patient but there are options with that as well. Truly think and ask clarification of what the outcomes will be and what your expectations are and if they align together are yet more for consideration. This discussion and all others related to reconstruction should start early when talking to your breast surgeon. Do know that you can have immediate reconstruction or in fact a delayed bbreast reconstruction at a later date of your choosing. Make
SOME WEBSITES THAT MAY HELP:
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons www.plasticsurgery.org
Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered www.facingourrisk.org
Your Breast Options www.yourbreastoptions.com