Our first story is one that was told to me a few months ago. A woman I spoke with told me about her 67 year old mother. We’ll call her Barbara for the sake of this narrative.
Barbara is a cancer survivor. She had a mastectomy on one side and reconstructive surgery later. He daughter didn’t share with me the length of time between the mastectomy and the reconstruction. It is generally suggested that a woman either get reconstruction done immediately after a mastectomy (breast removal) or wait two years for the chemotherapy to be completely out of the system.
The chemicals used in chemo affect the circulation and can interfere with healing after surgery. As a side note, chemo can also leave behind little blue spots in the skin.
Barbara opted to wait and still developed necrosis. Her daughter didn’t share with me how severe it was. She only told me that her mother was SO sick of surgeries that she decided not to have the damage repaired. Barbara said that at her age she just didn’t want to deal with any more of it.
That is a pretty standard attitude with people who have been through a great deal of medical treatment. It’s exhausting. It eats away pieces of your life and by the time you’re done, you just don’t want to deal with any more.
I’m still looking for plastic and reconstruction surgery stories to share so please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. All names are kept confidential unless otherwise requested.