Now What?: A Patient's Guide to Recovery After Mastectomy

Overview

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) doesn't 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 ...

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Now What?: A Patient's Guide to Recovery After Mastectomy

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Overview

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) doesn't 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

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...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."-Cancervictory.com

"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.

"...an 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

From the Publisher

"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 helpfulreview of clinical terms will help patients more effectively communicate with their healthcare team.—"Jeanine Doty RN, CPO, Operations Department, Active Life, Inc.

"...an 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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936303250
  • Publisher: Demos Medical Publishing, LLC
  • Publication date: 12/14/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 669,639
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

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 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 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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Making the Difficult Decisions
2. Now What?
3. After-care, Recovery and Complications
4. Voices
5. The Forms You Will Need
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2012

    Exactly the information you'll need

    This book is worth twice its weight in gold! It contains all the information you'll need immediately pre-mastectomy and post-mastectomy. It was written by women who have had the procedure and have medical backgrounds, so they can tell you how something will actually feel. Most surgeons probably haven't had the procedure themselves so they can give you medical information but not the support you'll get from this book. I keep it beside my bed and refer to it daily since my procedure was only 2 weeks ago today. Get this book before you go in for your surgery; you'll be so happy you did.

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  • Posted January 12, 2012

    Invaluable resource for women facing this surgery

    I've just finished reading "Now What?" - and have to say it's wonderful. I am a breast cancer/mastectomy survivor, and I dearly wish I could have read this book at the time that I was preparing for my surgery and recovery. The authors have done a wonderful job of providing clear "plain English" explanations of complex medical procedures and what it feels like to go through them. The book is packed with information, insights, and practical suggestions for how to prepare. It is frank but upbeat and addresses some difficult issues (what to say to small children, "looking in the mirror" and so on). The author (and her contributors) have packed an amazing amount of truly helpful information in this book. From tips on how to sleep comfortably after surgery to suggestions such as to buy earplugs to take to the hospital (because "hospitals can be noisy places" - AMEN to THAT!), there are hundreds of helpful ideas that can make the whole experience a lot easier. My surgeons handed me little pamphlets about mastectomy and reconstruction as I went through the process - but nobody had such a comprehensive beginning-to-end description like this book has. When I went through it, I had no idea how many steps would be involved or how long it would take to get to completion (and, like many women, I never thought about asking those questions when I was actually with my surgeon...). I wish I'd had this book then - I'd have been so much more confident and well-informed. When I see my surgeon next (as a cancer survivor, I'll be having checkups every 6 months for a very long time), I'm planning to take a copy of this book with me to give her. I'm betting that if she takes the time to read it, she'll see it's value and may even give copies to her patients (she's the kind of person who would do that, I think).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

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