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Mrs. Reagan Reported Feeling 'Wonderful' as She Recuperates

October 20, 1987|ROBERT STEINBROOK | Times Medical Writer

WASHINGTON — Nancy Reagan "feels wonderful" as she continues recuperating from breast cancer surgery, the White House said Monday.

On the second day after surgeons removed her left breast, the First Lady was reported to be eating well, walking in the halls at Bethesda Naval Medical Center and talking on the telephone with her children.

"Mrs. Reagan's recovery is continuing very well, and she feels wonderful," White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said.

"She looks terrific," Elaine Crispen, her press secretary, said. "She's smiling, laughing and taking walks. We're all perfectly pleased with her recovery."

President Reagan spent much of Sunday with his wife at the hospital and was expected to visit her daily throughout her stay.

"She is feeling just fine," Reagan told reporters after his Sunday visit. He said the doctors "think she's ahead of schedule."

During the 50-minute operation Saturday morning, surgeons removed Mrs. Reagan's left breast and the lymph nodes under her left arm, a procedure known as modified radical mastectomy.

The operation came immediately after a suspicious lesion detected in Mrs. Reagan's annual mammogram was biopsied and determined to be cancerous.

After examining the breast tissue and lymph nodes under a microscope, doctors described Mrs. Reagan's chance of a full recovery as excellent and said they were "completely satisfied with her progress in every respect."

Most women who undergo a mastectomy have temporary discomfort and difficulty in moving the shoulder, effects that usually disappear in four to six weeks.

The 66-year-old First Lady is expected to stay in the hospital at least five days.

The White House, citing her desire for privacy, has not made her physicians available to answer questions about her case.

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