Now What?

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Sample Chapter: Chapter 1

Now What?

A Patient's Guide to Recovery After Mastectomy

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All the information you need after mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery so that you can focus on what matters most: healing and staying well.

Why am I so tired all the time? What about these drains? Should I worry about lymphedema? Your mastectomy (with or without reconstruction) doesnÌt end when you leave the operating room. In Now What?, Amy Curran Baker, an occupational therapist who has had a double mastectomy and direct to implant breast reconstruction, and her co-authors, two registered nurses, answer all of your post-surgery questions in this comprehensive and empowering guide. Now What? helps you:

  • Consider your options and make the decisions that are best for you
  • Deal with frozen shoulder syndrome, wound care, swollen lymph nodes, and other side effects of mastectomy
  • Organize the nitty-gritty issues of wound management post-op care with helpful charts and logs
  • Hear real stories from other breast cancer survivors who have had a mastectomy

Product Details

  • Publication Date December 14, 2011
  • Page Count 192
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9781936303250

Editorial Review(s)

"...a good book-well researched, well though-out and useful. Tons of practical useful tips...bringing up things you should think about ahead of time, and tips to make the recovery go a little easier. This is a great book."

"As a Certified Mastectomy Fitter, I often work with women that have gone through a Mastectomy. This book gave me a greater understanding of the personal and medical challenges they face on a daily basis. Clinical terms are explained in a comfortable, easy manner and it is full of suggestions to ease the healing process. Amy Curran Baker does an excellent job portraying life dealing with breast cancer. I would recommend this book for both mastectomy patients and their caregivers. Good for CFM's to read about recovery from a patient's point of view. This is a great guide for patients! It clearly and concisely explains many aspects of the mastectomy and post mastectomy processes and the helpful review of clinical terms will help patients more effectively communicate with their healthcare team."-Jeanine Doty RN, CPO, Operations Department, Active Life, Inc.

" immensely helpful, supportive, realistic and comprehensive book about how to prepare for and what to expect after mastectomy. Curran Baker’s writing is honest, clear, empathetic and personable; she covers the full spectrum of experiences on topics like drain management and pain, since every patient is unique. Now What? is an invaluable resource for the breast cancer patient who wants to be prepared and empowered."-CAPHIS, Consumer Newsletter of the Medical Library Association

“When facing mastectomy, you can never ask too many questions, you can only regret not pushing for more details ahead of time. While this is true, you also need true and thorough answers. In Amy Curran Baker’s book you find these answers.” —Ingrid Kollak, RN, PhD, Co-author: Yoga and Breast Cancer

“The open dialogue [in this book] explores the multiple facets of complete healing and heightens the reality that no two journeys are the same. The upbeat and reassuring content is a must read for those considering a mastectomy.” — Nancy Sokolowski, RN, Breast Health Specialist, Co-author: The Breast Cancer Companion: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed

About The Author(s)

Amy Curran Baker

Amy Curran Baker, MA, OTR/L, has over 13 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist, including treating adult populations at all stages of post-surgical recovery. Ms. Baker became interested in mastectomy/reconstruction care in 2008 after helping her sister Linda recover from a prophylactic mastectomy. Less than two months later, Ms. Baker was diagnosed with breast cancer herself and underwent a mastectomy with reconstruction. Ms. Baker is an active breast cancer awareness advocate having participated in print and media interviews on the subject of hereditary breast cancer and reconstruction options. Ms. Baker shares her personal story on the Breast Reconstruction Matters website, which was a finalist for the "Best Disease Education Website" award by the Medical Media and Marketing Association in 2010. As a rehabilitation professional and mastectomy/reconstruction patient, Ms. Baker is uniquely qualified to write this book.

MaryBeth Curran Brown

MaryBeth Curran Brown is a veteran nurse with nearly 20 years of experience. Ms. Brown has treated patients in intensive care and during all stages of post-surgical recovery. Ms. Brown was previously employed as a traveling nurse, working in New Orleans in the months following Hurricane Katrina. Her professional interests include oncology nursing, wound care, and providing nursing care to rural populations.

Linda Curran MSN, APRN

Linda Curran has practiced for nine years as a board certified Advanced Practice Registered Nurse specializing in women's health. Her professional interests include breast cancer screenings, BRCA, and other hereditary cancer syndromes. She has been previously published in the nursing journal Lifelines and is employed at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center in Kapolei, Hawaii.

Table of Contents

1. Making the Difficult Decisions
2. Now What?
3. After-care, Recovery and Complications
4. Voices
5. The Forms You Will Need"