Breast Cancer Survivor Mary Manasco: Mastectomy After Breast Cancer Recurrence


Picture of Mary Manasco WebMD senior writer Miranda Hitti interviewed breasts removed. “I simply want to get rid of it and hopefully really move on with the rest of my life,” she says.

Manasco had no family history of breast cancer, but her mother had died of chemotherapy. She says the radiation therapy didn’t hurt, and the health care providers were wonderful. But she found herself “dreading” it because she had to go for radiation so often — five days a week for seven weeks. “That’s just a mental thing,” she says.

When Manasco completed her first round of radiation therapy in 2008, after her lumpectomy, she got to hold her first grandchild, who had been born a week earlier. But after her mastectomy, she couldn’t pick her up while she recovered from the surgery. “She’s a squirmy, wiggly, heavy 11-month-old and she was just way too much to hold,” Manasco says.

“She doesn’t really want to be held anyway … she’s probably, like, ‘Thank goodness that old woman isn’t breasts.

“If I were younger, it might have,” Manasco says. “I’m old enough — having a breast or not did not matter one bit to me. I even considered not having reconstruction and, who knows, maybe wear a hair. “My husband washed my ,”>

“Having casseroles or salads or food — that’s awesome. Flowers are wonderful. But the little things, like clean sheets or going to find you a new pair of pajamas that button down the front because you’re sick of the others — those are the little things that women understand,” Manasco says.

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