“You have Breast Cancer”! Those words strike fear in the hearts of women who hear it – and the men too! While less than 1% of men get breast cancer, the diagnosis is no less devastating! In my case, it was even more shocking for me because the breast cancer diagnosis came 10 months after I had a robotic prostatectomy to address prostate cancer. Even though my mammogram (I can appreciate what you go through, ladies) only showed a mass on my right side, because both my nipples had inverted, and at the urging of my surgeon, I decided to have a double mastectomy. As it turns out, there was cancer in the left breast also.
I feel so fortunate because so many men who find out they have breast cancer are in the later stages because they have no symptoms. When I was first diagnosed, I spent a lot of time learning about breast cancer, particularly in men. I found myself, in one breath, cursing my body for this disease, and in the next breath, thanking it for inverting my nipples. That is how I knew something was wrong. The message here is “Listen to your body!” I told my wife, “I beat prostate cancer, and I will beat breast cancer”. Even though I was confident in saying that, a cancer diagnosis has a way of making you look at life differently, including starting to think about getting your affairs in order and realizing that some things you thought were important are really not so important.
The other thing I realized after both of my diagnoses, is that your life becomes a series of important decisions. What kind of treatment will you have? Who is the doctor or team of doctors to treat you? When will you start treatment? What happens after treatment? I found it so helpful to have a strong support system headed by my wife. She has been so important in both my recoveries.
After my double mastectomy, my surgeon recommended TurningPoint and I am so glad he did. The staff is warm, welcoming and accommodating. Both of my therapists were great! They were knowledgeable, kind and caring, (but they still made me do the work)!
My range of motion is very good and I continue to do my exercises at home (I can still hear my therapists’ voice checking on my progress)!
I highly recommend TurningPoint for anyone after breast cancer surgery!