Why are you recommending this procedure? What are the options?
What are the risks? How do they compare with the benefits?
How do I prepare for surgery?
What type of anesthesia will I have?
What happens during and right after surgery?
Who do I talk to about breast reconstruction?
How long will I be in the hospital?
Are there any complications?
When can I go back to work and resume normal activities?
What are the risks of lymphedema?
Before surgery, your surgeon should...
Write your questions down so you don’t forget them. If okay with your loved one, feel free to ask the doctor these question at an appointment. You may want to share your questions with your loved ones before you go.
Be prepared for changes in your loved one's behavior and mood. Medications, discomforts, and stress may cause your loved one to become depressed, angry, or fatigued.
Encourage your loved one to be active and independent, as much as possible, to help her regain a sense of self-reliance and control.
Be realistic about your own needs. Be sure you are sleeping enough, eating properly, and taking some time off for yourself. It is hard to offer much help when you are exhausted. If you take care of your needs, it may be easier to meet the needs of your loved one.
Don't hesitate to ask other family members and friends for help. They will appreciate the opportunity to help.
Family members and friends of a person coping with breast cancer may also find themselves under a great deal of stress. To reduce your stress:
Keep a positive attitude.
Accept that there are events you cannot control.
Be assertive instead of aggressive. "Assert" your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, combative, or passive.