Friday, October 16, 2009

Breast Navigation Program

Today, I was contacted by a very young and cute female Breast Navigation Specialist.

I just sensed the ears of all my male readers perk up.

(At least, I hope it's your ears.)

Calm down, boys, because your fantasies - as usual - do not resemble reality.

The Breast Navigation Program provides support for women who are undergoing mastectomies.  It helps them get items they need after surgery and also gives them with information on how to get emotional support.  They also will provide home visits, rides to doctor's appointments, and even financial assistance for those who need it.

Some clothing items are covered by insurance, I was told, and they will take care of the pre-authorizations for me.

"Clothing items," I asked.  "Like what?"

Men, my fantasies can run rampant too.  I'm thinking Prada bags, Jimmy Choo shoes and maybe even a Badgley Mischka gown.

Sadly, we are in the same leaky fantasy boat. 

The item I will get is a camisole for after mastectomy.  The garment has inside pockets for you to be able to tuck your drains into so they aren't dangling out when you walk through the grocery store, and I guess it has some padding to fill out your empty space.

I'm sure you cancer-free folks are wondering what I mean when I say drains. After a mastectomy, fluid gathers in your chest with nowhere to go, so they leave airline tubing in you that drains that fluid into a bulb-like device.  I may have one drain or two, depending on how many lymph nodes need to go.  These drain bulbs need to be emptied often and are left hanging from your body like Christmas lights until there is only a small amount of fluid draining out of them.  Hence, the need for a garment with inside pockets to hold the drains.  You don't want them peeking out from under your clothes, attracting small dogs and scaring children.

I know, I know.  Sexy.

So, Tuesday morning I go pick up my camisole.  I also will be getting some information about free massages, art therapy classes (where presumably I'll be painting pictures of breast-less women until I feel better), and meditation and visualization classes.  

I'm so visualizing a martini right now.


  1. I hate the 'free to cancer patients concept'. If you have cancer, you are already paying way too much. My drain arrangement involved safety pins and adhesive tape. It worked. Little pockets might have been easier.

  2. I don't know, as long as it's not coming from the taxpayer, I'm okay with it. I'm sure this is a Komen or ACS perk. I won't be doing any visualization or art therapy but it can't hurt for those who are into that sort of thing.

    Safety pins and adhesive tape. Who knew?

  3. Welcome to the wonderful world of post masectomy fashion and impossibly gorgeous patient navigators.

    Here's my personal Nordic goddess guide to cancer art therapy.

  4. Oh my. Clarice. She's beautiful and I'm sure one of the kindest woman alive and probably the last person I'd want to see after getting my boobs cut off. LOL.

  5. I signed up for Learning to Love Your New Body Through Finger Painting.

    From what I understand we'll be stripping down and will use our own bodies as a canvas to express our angst.

  6. !!! Clarice!

    I'm so not signing up for anything like that! And, I'm the flighty California girl, not the practical Alaska girl.

    I think all the therapy I'll need is a Sex and the City marathon and good Stone IPA.


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