The Pink RIbbon Boutique encourages all women going through this process to not only communicate with their doctor but to ask them to refer you to a Nurse Navigator.
The goals of the Breast Nurse Navigator are:
To provide information and education, thereby reducing a portion of the stress involved
To improve patients’ understanding of treatment plans
To empower patients to participate in their own personal care and treatment process
To ensure patients complete all treatments as prescribed
She is a teacher, a liason, and an advocate throughout the entire cancer journey or until her services are no longer needed.
The Breast Nurse Navigator also provides breast health/cancer education to the community at large as well as other health care professionals, she may also be involved in a variety of community support groups that she can share with you.
One of the most important aspects of this journey is to take care of your mental health. This can be just as important as your physical health and along with having a nurse navigator and trusted doctors by your side, you need to have a support system outside of your treatment. The Pink Ribbon Boutique cannot stress enough that reaching out to friends and family can make all the difference as you go through this process. Please ask your doctors about support groups and mental health assistance. We also have information on resources available in the community so do not hesitate to ask questions and explore those options. They are out there and they are available to you.
After surgery you may have drains placed and/or open incisions that need to be cared for properly. The risk of infection is real and very common. Please be sure to ask your doctor for instructions on your care and ask questions if you have them.
Lymphedema is also a common occurrence and something to keep an eye on. Watch for swelling and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns. Be sure to do any and all exercises prescribed to you.
When do you start wearing bras and forms? This process will start when your doctor allows you to come in for a fitting, a prescription is required and you will have to be all healed and without swelling.