I also encourage you to view my favorite, most inspiring mastectomy photo by clicking here. All I can say is "Wow.")
In Human Dev class we had a case of a woman just referred to occupational therapy from her doctor due to a radical mastectomy (complete breast removal and some muscle, skin and other tissue) as a result of breast cancer. To illustrate how we project our ideas on our clients we had to name her based on our interpretation of the situation. I named her ADORING MOTHER because in the profile she stated that she just wanted to be able to take care of her children and her home. I thought that was interesting because here she is, with breast cancer, recently from surgery, and one of her most pressing concerns is an IADL--taking care of those around her. Wow.
The conversation then went on to describe the things we'd like to know to start our first treatment session, such as
- how is she dealing with her illness
- which occupations are most important to her and why
- how does she see her future
- does she have hope or does she feel hopeless
- does she understand lymphedema and other possible effects of breast cancer and mastectomy
- how is her social support
- does she understand her current limitations (no lifting her children, heavy things, etc. for awhile)
- what theoretical approach and assessment tools will we as occupational therapists use to treat her and why
- what questions do we, as occupational therapists, have about breast cancer, mastectomies, the psychosocial effects, normal cognitive and developmental changes in a woman of her age (40s)
- where will we find the answers to our questions--what books and other resources
- many other things I'm too tired to write right now.