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BY Uniqua Smith, Ph.D.

As a former nurse in MD Anderson’s Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), I felt pretty familiar with breast cancer surgery. So, I thought I knew what to expect when I scheduled my own mastectomy last August.

But, as it turns out, going through the process as a patient myself held some surprises. Here are five things I didn’t anticipate and how I handled them.

1. Embrace your range of motion exercises

When I was a PACU...

Triple-negative breast cancer survivor and nursing administrator Uniqua Smith, Ph.D.

BY Cynthia DeMarco

Lori Shults didn’t know much about clinical trials when she first came to MD Anderson in May 2017. “I thought they involved some people getting...

BY Jennifer Wilson

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2017, I was so stunned initially that I felt paralyzed. I didn’t know what to do, where...

BY Ilyasha Hosea

After being diagnosed with stage III triple-negative breast cancer in the summer of 2017, I was treated at MD Anderson with a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy.

I experienced a number of side effects from those treatments, including skin burns, lymphedema, fatigue and bone pain. Most of them are resolved now, but thankfully, the ones that remain aren’t very bad.

Dealing with lymphedema and radiation...

Triple-negative breast cancer survivor Ilyasha Hosea

BY Kellie Bramlet Blackburn

We often hear about lymph nodes when we talk about how cancer spreads. That’s because when cancer starts to spread, it often goes to the lymph...

BY Ilyasha Hosea

I never expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer at age 24. So, when I found a mass in my left breast in the summer of 2017, I wasn’t really...

BY Lavinia Middleton, M.D.

When I first went to medical school, I thought I’d be a cardiologist. My dad was very sick with heart disease while I was growing up, so I...

BY Meagan Raeke

Abbey Kaler’s earliest memories of MD Anderson aren’t exactly fond ones. It’s the place she returned to dozens of times for follow-up care...

BY Laura Nathan-Garner

Courage. Hope. Love. Faith. Strength. Wisdom. These are a few of the gifts that our cancer survivors shared with us on Cancerwise this past...

BY Cynthia DeMarco

Remaining hopeful during cancer treatment is as much an art as it is a skill. And, our cancer patients and their families demonstrate this...