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Wardrobe pics for boobless days

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Comments

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited May 2013

    Mothers or other family? Reactions? I told my mom that I had found you lovely peple and that I was particularly inspired by those of you who go flat and look great. She was clearly uncomfortable with the idea and then, "I guess, if it wouldn't bother your husband ..." I told he rit was his idea to begin with, and that the thread was just a happy coincidence.

    Anyway, not that big a deal, but how do you deal with this kind of thing, when it is someone close to you whom you WILL end up seeing and spending time with? 

  • Tina337
    Tina337 Member Posts: 516
    edited December 2011

    You might trying thinking (and be prepared to say) what Barbe1958 has worded so perfectly: "Why should I wear fake boobs so YOU feel comfortable?"

    You are what matters, and it's nice your husband happens to think going flat a good idea. My husband is on board, too. WE are the ones who had BC and have had to suffer the consequences . . We don't need to justify our choices about reconstruction or prosthetics. 

  • Djustme
    Djustme Member Posts: 105
    edited December 2011

    It's a bit tricky tring to find clothes when you still have one boob, but luckily I was only a 34B prior to surgery.  Anything that draws attention to the remaining breast, makes it obvious that the other one is missing. You have to try on lots of clothes - take everything that might work to the dressing room - you may only find one top for every 6 or 8 you try on.

    Momine - everyone in my family automatically assumed I would get reconstruction, and take the 'opportunity' to make the remaining breast larger.  I just told them I had no intention of going through the pain and recovery of surgery that I felt wasn't required. I told them that if they researched the procedure that I'm sure they would make the same decision.  I think the missing breast reminds people of the ugly truth that breast cancer exists and that no one is immune and that makes them uncomfortable - if you reconstruct, they can pretend it never happened.

    I'm surprised that my husband is okay with it (and actually a better husband after going through this), but it is my body and my decision - if he couldn't or wouldn't accept it, he could find the door.

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited December 2011

    Momine, I "use" my flat chest to remind those around me that my cancer journey is NOT over! Your Mom probably wants to forget the fear she had when you were diagnosed and was looking for everything to be back to normal. Is YOUR life back to normal? No? I didn't think so. So why should you go through 2 years of multiple surgeries and PAIN to make HER feel better????

    If you REALLY truly need an "out", tell her that you have truncal (chest) lymphadema and cannot ever wear a bra again.  I couln't get recon now if I wanted to as I have mild truncal LE and wouldn't want to piss it off and make it worse! There would be no way for her to know different. PM or ask me questions here - as our chatter and posts help those that don't post, but just read.

  • crystalphm
    crystalphm Member Posts: 277
    edited December 2011

    About family, I think Barbe got it right, if we look "normal" then mothers can forget what happened. I get that, because I have a daughter with a chronic illness, I would prefer to forget too.

    But such is not reality. My mother in law thinks I humiliate her with my flat chest, she is quite horrified and feels I should be ashamed.

    My Mom gets a bit teary, but I am only 5 weeks out with my second mastectomy. She will get used to me :-)

    My daughter though...she is 30 and absolutely encourages me to go flat...because she sees in me a struggle (cancer) and an example of *choosing life*. She feels every time I smile and laugh and show confidence, I make it easier for the "next woman".

    Off topic sorta, but I bought silk cami's to wear against my ultra sensitive scars...it feels decadent. I feel sexy, and I have not felt sexy for 2 years since this cancer nightmare began. I got my hair cut short and flirty, so I can wear long earrings...

  • Tina337
    Tina337 Member Posts: 516
    edited December 2011

    Chrystalphm, your daughter sounds sweet. Love her compassion and understanding!

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited May 2013

    Tina, yes, that is what I feel like saying, but it is my mother and I don't talk to her that way. It is no biggie, just tok me aback a little. She generally suffers from foot in mouth disease, the poor thing.

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited May 2013

    Thanks all, I think you are right that my mother probably just wishes this hadn't happened, and a flat chest obviously puts it rather in your face. But I think it is also that she is rather old-fashioned. Sort of the Euro equivalent of a Southern Belle. Appearances matter and on some level she probably thinks it is slightly rude to force other people to think about your own illness. Something like that. She and her sister have been wearing their wigs religiously all through chemo, for example.

    Djustme, lol, on your family thinking you would welcome larger boobs.  

    Barbe, I do have very light lymphedema and at this point I am so happy I chose not to reconstruct, because I would be afraid to do it now for fear of "pissing it off" as you so aptly say.

    Crystal, your mother-in-law sounds like a charmer. Almost as good as mine ;) My daughter has thankfully also taken things in stride and has been really supportive all the way through. 

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited December 2011

    Momine, so interesting that you say that about forcing others to deal with our cancer. I had a therapist say to me to "Go out and get reconstruction so you can stop thinking about cancer and making everyone have to think about it with you!" Wow!! I got rid of HER pretty quick. I guess I made HER feel uncomfortable, eh?

    I never 'forced' anyone to look at my chest before. You don't have to look at it now, either!!

    But strangely, I DO know what she means....!

  • Starak
    Starak Member Posts: 311
    edited December 2011

    Momine:  I think I would like to offer a little different perspective.

    Medically, pursuing recon would have been akin to Russian Roulette or even suicide.  Flat, for me, was an empowering, optimistic choose life decision.  I have never looked at it as making a statement or as a reminder to anyone of the cancer.  Far from it.

    I am grateful to be upright and doing well.  Anyone close to me better see that as the most important thing too.

    Yes, some of my very closest friends thought I might opt for prosthesis.  Now as time has passed and my clothes are so much more likely to be in style, they feel I look better now than before.  My family was not at all surprised that I opted to go flat and have steadfastly supported me in that decision from the get go.

    So much time has passed and all the people in my world are so accustomed to seeing me this way that it is just Barbara and normal for them now. 

    I really suspect that even your Mom, given time, will learn to accept it if not embrace it.

    Barbara

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited December 2011

    Barbe, I am not saying I agre with the attitude, I am with you. But I think that is where my mom is coming from. She is old school, you don't talk about yourself etc.

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited December 2011

    Thanks, yes I hope she will. If she doesn't it is ultimately her problem, it just surprised me a little that I even had to justify the idea.

  • river_rat
    river_rat Member Posts: 317
    edited December 2011

    Crystalphm, the message that your daughter sees is the one that I am trying to convey to my daughters and friends.  My daughters seem to feel the same way but many of my friends just don't want to think about it.

    I only have one friend who really pushed me to have reconstruction.  She herself had a single MX and waited four years to have reconstruction, during which time she says she was severely depressed.  She repeatedly told me that I would be depressed and regret not having reconstruction.  I had to repeatedly tell her that people are different, that what was right for her just wasn't right for me.

    She pushed it so hard for awhile that I really had to bite my tongue to not tell her everything about reconstruction that bothered me.  But it wouldn't have helped me and would have hurt her for me to start down that list. 

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited December 2011

    Momine, I knew what you meant!! I was just saying that in some way, some very, very small way I agree with your Mom. But then, I didn't make them look at my boobs while I had them either.

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited May 2013

    Yeah, I got you. Since I will probably do a bit of both, I guess I could wear boobs for mom, since I only see her 1-2 times a year.

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited December 2011

    She'd probably appreciate it...my Dad is SURELY spinning in his grave right now because of me!!!

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited May 2013

    LOL, although with a lech for a dad, there is something quite gratifying in no longer having any boobs for him to ogle. Not that I see him anyway, but if for any reason I will in future, I will be sure to go flat and show it.

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited December 2011

    OMG!! I had a LECH for a father too!! Made me ashamed of my breasts!! Like I say, he'd be having a FIT!!

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited May 2013

    Weird, huh? I have wondered here and there, if the lechery had something to do with my eagerness to lop the darn things off.

  • Djustme
    Djustme Member Posts: 105
    edited December 2011
    As with Starak - I consider the additional surgery not worth the risk. I am not trying to make people think about breast cancer by being flat, I was just pointing out that it is one of the things that offends people about it.  People may also push if they have had recon or wear prothesis and feel the need to justify their decision (which means to me that they have not truly accepted their own decision).  If your family and friends truly love you - the fact that your health has stabalized and you are satisfied with the way you look - should be enough for them.
  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited December 2011

    Good point DJust!! I find those that push the hardest for others to get recon had some sort of trouble and are still in acceptance/or not mode....

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited May 2013

    The biggest thing to me, I think, is not even the risk of the additional surgery, although that figures, it is the pain and misery of additional surgery and the possibility of further problems and complications. I have stage 3 cancer. I hope to stick around for a good long time longer, but if my time is up in a few years, I don't want to have spent my last years recovering from surgery and dealing with surgical after-effects any more than absolutely necessary. I have better things to do and plan to enjoy myself as much as possible. Hospitals and surgery are not my idea of a good time.

    Besides, I see my mastectomy scars as a kind of badge. Given my extreme weeniness, I feel sort of proud that I got through the ordeal and lived to tell the tale. 

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited December 2011

    Momine, we think alike!! I didn't want to be the corpse with the perkey breasts.....AND I've often said that I 'wear' my chest like a badge or shield to prove that I'm winning (so far!).

  • Djustme
    Djustme Member Posts: 105
    edited December 2011

    lol - you are so funny Barb1958.  But Momine is right - I don't want to waste any of the time I have, feeling miserable for surgery that is avoidable.   And like you said before Barb - in a wierd way, surgery would make it possible for everyone else to forget you had bc, but we still have to live with it.   I messed my back up big time in an accident - but because no one can see it, it is all better as far as they are concerned. I still have to live with the chronic pain, but when anyone asks how I am, they don't want to hear about it - my pain is somehow fake because it is invisible. 

  • Linda-n3
    Linda-n3 Member Posts: 1,713
    edited December 2011

    I am so happy to find this thread today!  A am flat & fabulous.  My BS insisted I see a PS to plan for reconstruction even though I told her I probably wasn't interested (I am also one who gets the rare complications and SEs), and the PS was ready to schedule me right away for TEs on the day of my BMX.  I briefly considered immediate reconstruction with implants, but BS and PS said not a good option for me in case they recommended rads.  I declined, and I think they both thought I should have followed "the program." 

    I also went boob shopping for prostheses this week, and it was disappointing.  Nothing available, has to be ordered, so I have to go back when she gets bras and small prostheses in.  After seeing all of the pictures here, knowing how free I have felt since October, and all the hassle I seem to have with clothes anyway, I am probably going to just go flat.  I tend to dress "preppie" so pinpoint shirts and jackets or vests are my favorite, and seem to work fairly well for me.  I wear a lot of turtlenecks, but with sweaters or jackets, so don't feel too self-conscious.

    I DO have question/concern about wearing my "slinky" more form-fitting holiday dresses, but you have provided some great ideas.  And I want to get back to my water aerobics classes, and haven't figured out the swimsuit plan yet.  I don't sew, but my sister does, so if anyone has some specific suggestions/directions, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Jstunme, I had BMX on Oct. 3, asked my BS if I could do it as OP, she compromised on an overnight.  I was out of surgery into recovery about noon or 1, into observation until 8 or 9 am the next morning.  I was pain-free and feelin' fine, don't remember lots of details (lol!), but was so glad to be home away from the risks of infection, careless caregivers, etc. (I ended up with infection anyway, but that is another story).  Anyway, good luck, and if you haven't done so, join one of the surgery threads.  That was really helpful to me to reduce anxiety and improve optimism.

    This is an old picture of me, typical shirt & sweater vest, and except for chemocurls persisting and 25  pound weight loss, still look pretty much like this.  Will post newer photo when I get one.

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited May 2013

    Barbe, you do have quite the way of putting it, lol, but yeah. I guess boobs just aren't important enough to me to put up with more surgery. It is actually a liberating realization, to me anyway.

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited December 2011

    Linda, I had to go to a 5-star resort for a destination wedding my DD had in Punta Cana less than 6 months after my bilat!!! What I did was cut the foam inserts and all the attached beige fabric from the inside of my tankini. It fit like a dream!!! Was obvious I had no breasts, but I strutted around that resort like I had the best two out there. Every once in a while you could see 'the penny drop' on someone who was looking at me. Due to my attitude, I didn't get any pitying looks, thank goodness!!! Still feels WONDERFUL to not have to wear a bra!!!

  • Starak
    Starak Member Posts: 311
    edited December 2011

    Well Ladies, If I was bound and determined I was going to have foobs in 2012, today was my deadline to provide for them.  At the end of the day, I decided flat has worked well for me so far and so I have opted for Flat & Fabulous in 2012.  Please keep the photos and all the creative ideas flowing.

    Barbara

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited December 2011

    Congrats Barbara!! It must feel good to get that monkey off your back!

  • crystalphm
    crystalphm Member Posts: 277
    edited December 2011

    It makes me smile to drop in here and read or reread your posts...I have now put off buying foobs since the bad experience at the fitter, and honestly I am not sure i want to deal with the discomfort of it all anyway.

    I have read it here before and now I find it is becoming true for me, the longer I go without foobs, the more comfortable I feel. only one crazy moment so far, when my dh reached for a breast and got...well, nothing, but we both laughed and fine, so be it. Anyone else with an experience like this?