There is nothing like a support system to help you get through cancer diagnosis and treatment. After you have surgery, your family members and friends will probably want to stop by and visit. They may also want to cook for you, clean your home or just keep you company as you recuperate. While seeing friends and family can be a positive part of your recuperation, it can also be overwhelming. You might not feel up to having company or you might feel self- conscious about how you look. Here are some tips on how you should handle seeing friends and family for the first time since surgery: 1. Talk About it Ahead of Time If friends and family know when you are having surgery and want updates, use that time to tell them what you expect about having visitors. For example, you—or the person updating everyone for you—can say, “Mary is out of surgery and recuperating. If you’d like to stop by and visit, please text or call us ahead of time so Mary can pick a time when she’ll be up to enjoying your visit.” 2. Limit Time Once you know when someone is going to stop by, it’s okay to limit how long they spend with you. Visits can be fun, but they can be tiring. Let your friend or family member know how much time you have to spend with them before you have to lay down, change a dressing, etc. This is especially important for those who just drop by without calling ahead of time. Feel free to say something like, “Thanks so much for stopping by to see me. We can chat for a bit and then I’m going to lay down for a nap.” 3. Keep the Sick Away You just had surgery and should be doing what you can to avoid getting sick. Let your guests know that if they are germy or feeling under the weather in any capacity, they should change their visit to another time. If they show up sick, it’s okay to tell them you’re not feeling up to their visit and plan it for another time. For example, you can say, “I’m excited to see you now that surgery is over, but it sounds like you’re getting a cold. Can we reschedule your visit until you’re feeling better so I don’t catch it?” 4. Say No When You Need To It’s okay to say no if you’re not up to having visitors on any particular day or only want certain family members or friends to visit. This is your surgery recuperation and, honestly, you have the right to handle it however you want. Simply say, “Thank you so much for caring enough to visit, but I’m really not feeling up to guests right now. Can we get together at another time?” 5. Don’t Let Feeling Self-conscious Get in the Way of Enjoying Visitors Some women are self-conscious about having visitors, especially after surgery. While it is normal to feel this way for a little while, think about who is visiting you and whether they are worried more about how you look or how you feel. In most cases, your friend or relative is there to see you and do what they can to help. They probably don’t care about how you look, so it’s best to remind yourself why they are really there. To learn more about natural breast reconstruction and find out if it might be the right choice for you, contact The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction at NaturalBreastReconstruction.com or toll-free at 866-374-2627.