Help for partner's negative view of self?

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Question from jao: My partner uses the word "mutilated" to describe her condition—mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction. Is this something she has to work through at her own pace or is there something I can do?
Answers - Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W. Absolutely she has to work it out at her own pace. The job of the partner is to be patient and supportive. There's no way to tell her that she's wrong or misguided. It's more an emotion than a response to reality. The DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) reconstruction is one of the best available and generally produces excellent results. This person's response to it is intensely individual and internal, and in time will improve.
Marc Silver My wife had bilateral breast cancer and had lumpectomies. She has a dent in one breast as a result. Sometimes she'll ask me, "Do you mind the dent?" And I tell her, "No, not at all." I think when you're going through times like this, the words "I love you" become very important in a marriage.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Partners, Loved Ones, Caregivers: Taking Care of You featured Author Marc Silver and moderator Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W. answering your questions about how you can take care of your loved one and yourself during and after breast cancer treatment.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

A production of LiveWorld, Inc.
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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