You've Just Been Diagnosed. Now What?
You’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, now what? We’ve been in the business for 40 years and have seen it all, feel free to come in anytime to check things out or just ask questions.
Things you'll want to discuss with your doctor
- What type of procedure am I having?
- How long will my stay be?
- How much pain will I be in? Will I receive medication? What will I take home?
- What are the possible side effects of surgery?
- What about treatment?
- Are there any restrictions on my activities after surgery? What? How long?
- Is lymphedema a risk for me after surgery? How can I prevent it? What are the symptoms? See our guide here.
What experience has taught us
Although everyone’s experience is unique there is a progression of needs that most women will follow.
Prior to surgery it is important to come in to be fit for a post-surgical camisole. We recommend getting a prescription and coming in about a week before surgery. This garment is designed to be stretchy and comfortable for right after surgery. The camisole comes with fiberfill puffs to give you some shape and to match a remaining breast as you heal. It also has pouches for your drain bulbs to make getting through your first weeks easier until they are removed. Many women will use this camisole for the first four to six weeks until they are healed and ready to be fit in their breast form and bras.
Everyone heals differently after surgery but most women can expect to be sore with limited mobility. Many women find ice packs to be a great relief on their surgery site. Make sure that you listen to your body and don’t push your limits while healing. Follow your doctors post-surgery instructions.
If you are having chemotherapy but not radiation, you can still come in to be fit for your breast form and bras. During chemo, be sure to find time for rest and personal care. Stay well hydrated and eat well. You may find that your tastebuds and appetite are different during chemo. Avoid illness as much as possible – with a compromised immune system you are more susceptible to germs and your body will not be able to fight them off like normal. You will learn how the chemotherapy drugs affect your body and will be able to find the best routine for this chapter in your life.
If you are going through radiation you will see significant changes to the look and feel of your skin. Expect the radiated site to look and feel like a really bad sunburn. It will probably be extra sensitive to touch and will need lots of appropriate moisturization. We carry a great line of products to help your skin through this stage – body washes, moisturizers, and a cooling pad to ease the hot burn feeling and provide moisture to your radiated skin. Using these special products that you may not be informed about can make a huge difference in getting through this stage of your cancer journey.
When you are going through radiation we typically suggest that you wait to get your breast form and bra fit due to the changes in your skin before you are fully healed. If you feel that you are ready to be fit, or need to have something to get you back to feeling normal please come in and talk with us.
Once your surgical site has healed completely, there are no open wounds, any swelling has gone down, and you are not overly sore or tender you can come in for your fitting. We will talk to you about the styles of bras that you liked and were comfortable in prior to surgery and will do our best to fit you in something similar. Once we have a good fitting bra we will use a breast form to balance your shape and to make you symmetrical. There are several styles, shapes and weights of breast forms that we carry in stock to do this. Most insurance companies allow for a new breast form every two years and bras every year.