Cancer

What They Don't Tell You About Breast Cancer Surgery

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As anyone who knows me can tell you, I am not a fashionista. I mean, I wear something that is clean and relatively unwrinkled (I don't iron) add some perfume (the most important thing), and am ready to hit the door. I usually remember to brush my hair again just before going out the door. Makeup is a slim possibility and periodically is visible. But that's on the outside.

There are other issues. I have had 8 surgeries. Most of them have minor scars and my body has returned to normal. But my breast cancer surgeries, which were almost immediately exposed to radiation, are the most disfiguring (I think that's the right word). We'll just say I am reshaped in certain areas... I also have a nice set of internal scar tissue that quite easily mimics an unwanted recurrence.... Lots of lumps and bumps. No one told me I would end up this way. Maybe if I had known, I would have looked at other options in a brighter light.

Evidently, I am not alone. There has been (yet another) study that says many women who were treated for early stage breast cancer are unhappy with their cosmetic appearance post-treatment. They never tell you this part. They tell you about lymphedema. They tell you about staging. They tell you about chemo and radiation and nausea and going bald.... But they don't tell you that you will look different afterward. That's a big fat oops! But at least I am not alone.