Hugs will feel different after a bilateral mastectomy.
Updated: Oct 7, 2018
One piece of advice I have given to a number of friends about to have a bilateral mastectomy is to hug your family, kids, husband tight and think about how it feels because this is one thing that will feel very different after you have reconstruction. What was once a soft squeeze will be replaced with something different.
When I was diagnosed with cancer and sat my older daughters down to tell them I was nervous. I asked them what they thought of when they heard the word cancer? My oldest daughter who was 8 at the time said, "Dying". I said there are som kinds of cancer people die from but that the big bump I had in my left breast was cancer, but it wasn't the kind you die from. I told them that the surgeons and doctors that were on my team were the best around and that they were going to take the cancer out. I explained to my middle daughter who was 5 that it was like if something happened to the stuffing inside her favorite stuffed animal. They would have to take the bad stuffing out and replace it with new stuffing. That was what was going to happen to me. They were going to take the bad stuffing out and put new stuffing in. My youngest daughter was only 6 months had no idea that in just a few short weeks not only would mommy look different but I wouldn't be able to hold her for 4 weeks after my surgery. That was the hardest part. Every surgery I had, and there are 4 I had a recovery that involved not holding more than 5-10 pounds for a period of time. It was an adjustment for us all and I still think about this when I hug someone, anyone. I am aware of how different it feels. So my advice to anyone about to have a mastectomy, you are making the right decision, get that cancer out of there but also prepare yourself that hugs will feel a little different after.