AN INFORMED DECISION: Understanding Breast Reconstruction by Marilyn Snyder

AN INFORMED DECISION: Understanding Breast Reconstruction

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Marilyn Snyder was in her early forties, a busy actress with ""a family of four beautiful teenaged children,"" when she found she had breast cancer. Her own mother's uncomplicated, successful experience with the disease and mastectomy left Snyder expecting the same; but because of the particularly virulent form Snyder developed, treatment eventually included a course of chemotherapy and prophylactic simple mastectomy of her remaining breast. Snyder relates her ordeal in human, matter-of-fact terms--she was not Super Patient, but relied heavily on the support of loving family and friends (including that of her first husband, who, most unusually, had also had a mastectomy for breast cancer), and was additionally helped by psychotherapy. Snyder went on to have breast reconstruction: the first attempt was unsatisfactory, due to scarring and adhesion complications; but the second left Snyder awed and completely happy with the results. After relating her own story, Snyder discusses reconstruction generally. In a chatty fashion, she tells about her interviews with various specialists; she simply and clearly describes the initial surgery (lumpectomy versus mastectomy), the actual techniques of reconstruction (graphically described), and other women's experiences with the technique; she explains how to find professional counseling (""Ear Lending, Ear Bending"") when the going gets rough. Berger and Bostwick (A Woman 's Decision, above) cover the ground in more detail for women pondering the difficult choices; Snyder provides welcome, first-hand support.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1984
Publisher: Evans--dist. by Dutton