In 2008, Amy Curran Baker was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma and opted for bilateral mastectomy with Direct to Implant Reconstruction. Within three weeks of being diagnosed she had a mastectomy and was on the road to recovery. But after the surgery she had a lot of questions, the same that most women will have. As an Occupational Therapist, she knew some of the answers from her own clinical training and experience. But many more came from speaking with other women who had undergone mastectomies, from researching message boards, and a little bit of luck.
Now she and her co-authors have brought together the answers to the questions that women face in chapters that cover everything from how to prepare for going to the hospital to when you come home Amy and her co-authors answer:
- Why am I so tired all the time?
- What about these drains?
- Should I worry about Lymphedema?
- Implants or flap procedure?
- And more
Although everyone's experience is slightly different depending upon one's individual choice: mastectomy alone or mastectomy with reconstruction; the majority of the information applies to all women who had a mastectomy.
Amy and her co-authors include chapters on key issues all women face including wound management, scar massage, dressing and bathing, emotional recovery, and more. And although mastectomy is frightening, the authors make clear that today's procedure is not what it used to be.
Now What?, is the first resource to provide all the information that women need after mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery so that they can focus on what matters most: healing and staying well.
"When facing mastectomy, you can never ask too many questions, you can only regret not pushing for more details ahead of time. While this is true, you also need true and thorough answers. In Amy Curran Baker's book you find these answers "
-Ingrid Kollak, RN, PhD, Co-author: Yoga and Breast Cancer
"The open dialogue [in this book] explores the multiple facets of complete healing and heightens the reality that no two journeys are the same. The upbeat and reassuring content is a must read for those considering a mastectomy."
- Nancy Sokolowski, RN, Breast Health Specialist, Co-author: The Breast Cancer Companion: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed
- 1. Making the Difficult Decisions
- 2. Now What?
- 3. After-care, Recovery and Complications
- 4. Voices
- 5. The Forms You Will Need
About the Authors
Amy Curran Baker, MA, OTR/L
has over 13 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist, including treating adult populations at all stages of post-surgical recovery. Ms. Baker became interested in mastectomy/reconstruction care in 2008 after helping her sister Linda recover from a prophylactic mastectomy. Less than two months later, Ms. Baker was diagnosed with breast cancer herself and underwent a mastectomy with reconstruction. Ms. Baker is an active breast cancer awareness advocate having participated in print and media interviews on the subject of hereditary breast cancer and reconstruction options. Ms. Baker shares her personal story on the Breast Reconstruction Matters website, which was a finalist for the "Best Disease Education Website" award by the Medical Media and Marketing Association in 2010. As a rehabilitation professional and mastectomy/reconstruction patient, Ms. Baker is uniquely qualified to write this book.
is a veteran nurse with nearly 20 years of experience. Ms. Brown has treated patients in intensive care and during all stages of post-surgical recovery. Ms. Brown was previously employed as a traveling nurse, working in New Orleans in the months following Hurricane Katrina. Her professional interests include oncology nursing, wound care, and providing nursing care to rural populations.
Linda Curran, MSN, APRN
has practiced for nine years as a board certified Advanced Practice Registered Nurse specializing in women's health. Her professional interests include breast cancer screenings, BRCA, and other hereditary cancer syndromes. She has been previously published in the nursing journal Lifelines and is employed at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center in Kapolei, Hawaii.