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Wardrobe pics for boobless days

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Comments

  • lisa-e
    lisa-e Member Posts: 169
    edited October 2009

    Judy,

     I have prosthetics but normally don't wear them.   They are comfortable, but it is much simpler to go without.  I can throw on a tee shirt and am out the door, versus dealing with the prosthetics, mastectomy bras and pockets.  

     I don't feel obligated to wear the prosthetics - they are more like toys to me, a way to play with my appearance.

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited October 2009

    Judy, I NEVER even considered prothesis except to say I would NEVER wear them. If I have to deal with a flat chest, so do the people who look at me. I wear almost all the same clothes to work and out and honestly, I bet more than half the people I deal with during the day don't even notice. I am 9 months out though, you'll get used to going comando.

  • mumito
    mumito Member Posts: 2,007
    edited October 2009

    I think I will buy a pair for special ocasions but otherwise will enjoy going comando.

  • 1Cathi
    1Cathi Member Posts: 58
    edited October 2009

    Hi Judy,

    I did get my prosthesis after surgery,  was actually quite happy/excited to do so,  wore them quite a bit when I first got them,  and then they just started to become a pain , heavy and bothersome,  I have 2  diffrent sets (insurance was good to me),  can't even recall the last time I wore them,  not to say that I won't ever again, the right ocassion ,  the right outfit,  I might,  I was a very small busted anyway,  hardly a B-Cup,  not that much of a change anyway.

  • JudyNaomi
    JudyNaomi Member Posts: 209
    edited October 2009

    Thank you all for your responses - I appreciate them. I am still wearing them for the time being, but I can see that I may stop at some point.

    Take care, have a good evening, Judy x

  • 61linda
    61linda Member Posts: 14
    edited October 2009

    Hee hee hee, comando. I usually don't feel aggressive about not having boobs. It's just me and this is how I am now. At first I did watch people to see if they noticed and what reaction they had but now mostly I don't think about it unless someone has some kind of very startled or uncomfortable response. Then I do get offended because that conveys their unstated expectation that I am supposed to look some way different from how I do look and HAVE BOOBS. Barbe's coment about making myself uncomfortable so other people can feel OK comes back to me then. In fact, most people don't notice. I remember just before surgery looking at women's chests in a different way and seeing a lot of flat chests out there. More recently I've started thinking women who really see me might be in the same position, trying to decide how to handle their bc surgery. We are role models, you know?



    I don't think I'd be comfortable in a gym or locker room yet, either. I think it has more to do with not showing the scars than not wanting other women to feel sorry for me. My experience in locker rooms is pretty much other women are really supportive whatever the issue is so maybe I'll try it one of these days just to see what happens. I did try on my bathing suits. Most of them rubbed my scars and that was really uncomfortable so I gave them away. That kind of irritation would kill a water aerobics class. I gave my bras to my grand daughter the night before surgery. She and her mother thought that was strange but hey, I sure wasn't going to need them anymore!



    None of my docs pressured me to reconstruct but they did push prostheses heavily after they got used to my BMX decision which they almost universally opposed until the pathology report came back. They seem more relaxed now they see me flat and not noticing, much less not caring. There is a social expectation to look a certain way but who says we have to go there?



    There have been a lot of really good sales lately so I've been doing some shopping. I still just have to try everything on. But, it's only been a little over 6 months and the first four were mostly recovery.



    This whole experience is a process and it takes time to adjust to a changed body. We are in charge of how we will react to that so give yourself however much time you need and be kind to yourself. You are all such great women. I really love the level of support and caring we show each other on this site and this thread.



    Linda

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited October 2009

    Linda, I found if I cut the foamy cups and "support" (even the part that goes around the back) out from the suit tops it was much better. Even when I bought a new one for the Dominican, I still cut out the boob area. It lies so much smoother and cleaner this way.

    I NEVER walked around a changing room before, so why would I now? I was the lady with her back turned all hunched over trying not to gross anyone out with surgery scars and stretch marks. I cannot imagine flaunting my flat chest bare to anyone!

  • JudyNaomi
    JudyNaomi Member Posts: 209
    edited October 2009

    You are all amazing! Every time I read this board, I am truly inspired. We can just be who we are and that is a great feeling!

    We need to learn to love ourselves for who we are and that takes time. I am only 10 weeks out of treatment and just feeling better and feeling my recovery day by day helps me to feel better about myself.

    Have a good evening everyone!

    Judy x

  • 61linda
    61linda Member Posts: 14
    edited October 2009

    Barbe, thanks for the tip. I'll try scizzors next time I haul out the remaining bathing suits. I was one of the women walking around butt naked and not thinking anything of it. It only took a little while for women with surgical scars and/or fat roles to stop worrying about how they looked and hop into the hot tub, too. From there it was a short step to acting like it was everyone's own personal dressing room. It's not like a bathing suit hides much. Sigh, I moved away from the area and left that club behind some years ago and just never got back into water aerobics. One of my docs continues to push returning to this particular form of exercise and I'm pretty sure it's for the upper body work I need to do. I bought some equipment on craigs list and use it regularly instead. Maybe I was lucky to find such a great environment in that gym...

    My girlfriends all wanted to see what my chest looked like post-op since I was the first dx'd with bc. Showing them turned out to be a concrete way of me accepting my new self. It gets easier all the time and the more I do it, the easier it gets. Have you felt colder without all the old insulation on your chest? I really can tell the difference.

    Judy, you'll be just fine with finding your own comfort zone. These are early days. I hope you continue to have a very smooth, uneventful recovery. For me, pushing the edges of comfortable has made my life easier. Easy is important! I never did go to much trouble with how I looked and can't think BMX is any reason to change. Part of this goes back to adolescence when I was sooo self concious. Some where along the way I figured out nobody else really cares how I look as they're too busy wondering about themselves.

    Linda

  • JudyNaomi
    JudyNaomi Member Posts: 209
    edited October 2009

    Thanks Linda - yes Easy does always help.

    Take care all, Judy x

  • MrsJay
    MrsJay Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2009

    Ladies you look great  - and I am on the fence for reconstruction.  I am a full figured lady and without breasts it looks a little more out of perspective - any great ideals for full figured ladies?  I do have the prothesis but those things are heavy and I even ordered the 'light' ones.

  • mumito
    mumito Member Posts: 2,007
    edited October 2009

    Mrs Jay I am not skinny am a size 16 here in Canada but I do notice my belly alot more now the breasts are gone.I am still planning to go comando but also will try harder to make the big old belly smaller.

  • JudyNaomi
    JudyNaomi Member Posts: 209
    edited October 2009

    Hi MrsJay, I have just started wearing my prosthetics, they are heavy at first, my shoulders and the back of my neck ached, but the more I wear them, the easier it has become.

    Good luck!

    Judy x

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited October 2009

    Hey Mrs. Jay, I, too am a size 16 like Mumayan (In fact we've met each other!) I find I stand straighter and carry myself way better without the LOAD pulling me down! I was a 38D or bigger for over 32 years! I had a reduction about 5 years ago and when I had my masts last December, they were 42D's! My neck and back are SO grateful I cannot imagine having to have to carry that load again! I even had arthritis spurs growing into the back of my throat. That's when I said I needed a reduction.

    I see some of these ladies going "big" and my heart breaks for them. They have no idea what it's like, but then, how could they? Your body is already used to carry what you have just lost, so it wouldn't be too dramatic. Just know that you can change your mind at any time.

    After all, that's a woman's perogative! Kiss

  • Raye99
    Raye99 Member Posts: 114
    edited October 2009

    Hi Judy, how are you doing? Chemo is all done!! Good for you.

    Like I mentioned many times, I wear my prostheses to work, but around the house I go flat and have been experimenting going flat on the weekend to places such as the grocery store, library, etc. and I must say, there are certain clothes that just look rockin w/o boobs! Seems strange, but for us, I guess that is a good thing.

    One thing I notice when I don't have my mast bra with prostheses on, is that my chest wall skin is tight. Maybe the slight pressure of the bra against my chest takes away the feeling of tightness? Does anyone else have that tightness in her chest wall? I cannot imagine doing reconstruction on this tight chest.

  • Erica
    Erica Member Posts: 237
    edited October 2009

    Hi Raye,

    I'm really glad you mentioned that feeling of tightness--I have the exact same thing! It's not painful, it's just that I'm aware of my chest as being very taut. And, like you, I don't have that feeling at all when I have my breast forms on. I think that's why I'm trying to find a happy medium solution--rather than going totally form-free, I've tried to find ultra-light forms that look and feel natural. The best I've come up with so far are the Silique Comfort Lite forms, which I wear in a Barely There Crop Top bra. And sometimes I wear my Anita (formerly Airway) Tri-Tex forms with the microfiber backs in a little Maidenform bralette. 

    It's definitely weird how a little bit of pressure from breast forms makes the tight feeling go away. If I wear forms that are too heavy or a bra that's too structured, I feel chafed by the end of the day. If I wear no forms, I have that slight odd tight feeling. With unweighted or very light forms in a minimal bra or pocketed cami, I feel good and can go all day without thinking about it.

    Barbara

  • BoobsinaBox
    BoobsinaBox Member Posts: 77
    edited October 2009

    Barbara & Raye,

    I, too, have the tight feeling, but I have noticed that as long as I keep something snug to my chest (a camisole or - my favorite - the $12 "shaper" I found at Wal-Mart earlier in the summer) I tend not to notice it.  I haven't worn forms since whenever this thread started, and I am so much happier and more comfortable.  And when I travel, I don't have to worry about boxes or boobs or any of the paraphernalia that goes with forms!  I gave forms a good trial last year, after going form-free for most of the time since my bilat, and I am glad to be back form-free.  And I did find that it was easier to stick with the plan to lose that "lower chest muscle" as my Dad called his, when I could look straight down and see it!  I was stunned at that right after my surgery.  I have recently lost 5-6 pounds that had been very stubborn, and I'm wearing the swim suit I bought earlier in the summer to the Y for aqua aerobics!  Just started this week.  Imagine my delight  - the new suit is a little loose!  I may be shopping for another suit soon, if I can find a cheap one in the winter!

    Dawn 

  • Erica
    Erica Member Posts: 237
    edited October 2009

    Dawn,

    Glad you're feeling so good about going form-free. And congrats on the weight loss! 

    Since posting my earlier comments, I've been form-free all evening, just wearing a tee shirt, and I've realized that the "tightness" isn't there anymore. As I think about it, it's more a sensation I experience when I first take off my forms and put my top back on and the fabric moves over my chest, maybe because I still have some superficial numbness there. I can imagine that wearing something snug would probably prevent that odd sensation in the same way breast forms prevent it. Even without a snug top, I do seem to stop noticing it after a while.

    It's amazing how much I'm still learning three years out from surgery!

    Your comment about not having to worry about boxes, boobs, etc. really strikes a chord with me. I never feel secure with just one set of forms when I travel, so my "extras" take up a lot of suitcase room. Since I try not to check bags, I wind up taking hardly any clothes since there's so little space left for them in my carry on!  Oh well. Compared to breast cancer, these are good problems to have . . .

  • BoobsinaBox
    BoobsinaBox Member Posts: 77
    edited October 2009

    Hi, Barbara!

    I also find that I don't notice the tight feeling all the time any more, but it just shows up mostly when I don't have something snug on.   

    I tended to take two sets of boobs on trips too, and it does take a LOT of room!  And the more sets I bought, the harder my decision was about which ones to take!   I LOVE not having to go through all that. I am really quite comfortable in most of my clothes, even though I am flat or concave.  I really don't think very many people are paying attention.  

    After my first aqua aerobics class last week, I was telling the instructor about my bilat and my concerns about LE, and another woman was standing by waiting to talk to her too, I thought. Actually she ended up talking to me, as she'd had a mast and reconstruction 11 years ago.  It seems like every time I am open with others about my surgery, then people open up to me.  That is another plus to not wearing the forms.  I've met some wonderful people, helped some of them, and been helped by others.  I wouldn't have chosen to join this sorority, but since I had to, I find it is certainly full of wonderful people!

    Dawn 

  • JudyNaomi
    JudyNaomi Member Posts: 209
    edited October 2009

    Hi all, how are you all doing today?

    Raye - Yes, I am feeling so much better, I am almost 11 weeks out of chemo. I never thought the day would come. I still have a few stomach issues, but there is definite improvement.

    On the subject of tightness - I find that when I take the prosthetics off at night, I feel the tightness across my chest, I don't feel it during the day, but then I feel the bra, so they could be combined into one. Does that make any sense?

    Good to hear from everyone - have a good week.

    Hugs, Judy x

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited October 2009

    It's probably like when I used to wear hearing aids. I was never more deaf than when I took them out!

  • Raye99
    Raye99 Member Posts: 114
    edited October 2009

    Barbara - Interesting about you not feeling the tightness after wearing just a tee. I will wear my tee tonight after taking off my sports bra and see how I feel.  This weekend, we had our Making Strides walk - 3 miles. I wore my mast bra (the Jada) w/o forms. If there is a forum to NOT wear forms, this is it! Interestingly enough, I had no tightness either with just wearing the bra without the forms. Perhaps having something up against the chest wall prevents the tightness, as Dawn mentions? I do note that when I wear my Under Armour compression tight shirt (I call it my Jacques Costeau shirt, as it looks as though I am going to do some deep sea diving with that thing on-maybe explore the Titanic), I don't have the taught chest feeling. Another thing, I seem to notice mine mostly during the morning, after sleeping form - free. A couple good stretches and I am feeling better.

    Dawn, Congrats on going form free, your water aerobics regimen and your weight loss!

    Judy - Glad to hear you are feeling better! Way to go.

    Raye

  • lisa-e
    lisa-e Member Posts: 169
    edited October 2009

    Interesting about the tightness.  I feel tight all of the time if I am not wearing some form of compression (compression shirt, mast bra with forms, or a jovi pack).  I assume that the tightness is related to my le.   I do feel less tight after exercise - whether or not I wear a compression shirt.  I usually wear one when exercising but not always.

  • JudyNaomi
    JudyNaomi Member Posts: 209
    edited October 2009

    Thank you Raye - hope everyone is doing ok today.

    Judy x

  • starzhere
    starzhere Member Posts: 16
    edited October 2009

    I'm so happy to see that this thread is still going.  It's one of the most uplifting and pro woman threads I've seen posted, here, and at other forums.

    ~elaine~

  • soapsnug
    soapsnug Member Posts: 24
    edited October 2009

    Hi Ladies,

    I've been reading all of your posts and really enjoy this thread.  I've been a member of breastcancer.org since I was diagnosed in Oct. 2008, but I don't post very often.  When I do, it's usually on the alternative board, but I do read this board quite a bit, as well.  I was diagnosed with DCIS last fall, and after a number of years of tests galore, biopsies, and scares, I decided to have a bilateral mastectomy.  I didn't reconstruct, and I don't wear any forms.  I thought about getting a pair or two, for special occasions, as I know my insurance would cover the cost, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.  I was invited to a wedding in the spring and considered going for forms at that time, but my head always started to spin about two minutes after I started doing research about various forms--there's so much information, and so many different types to choose from!  Plus, I was very small prior to surgery--I wore flimsy cotton bras from the little girls department.  When I went to pick up some garments with drain pockets prior to my mastectomy, the woman at the place was really trying to convince me to go back to see her and get forms after I healed.  When I told her I didn't think I'd be wearing any, she became really insistent, and started to take some out for me to see.  The smallest size she had at the boutique (maybe a size 3?) was way bigger than my normal breasts, and it felt really heavy to me.  I'm guessing I would have to have them special ordered in a smaller size to even approximate my pre-surgical look.  Anyway, I procrastinated the whole thing, and never did order the forms before the wedding.  When I went dress shopping, I took poofies along, and I found a dress that I liked that looked good on me with the poofies.  On the day of the wedding, I just couldn't get the whole thing to look right.  One side was larger than the other, I didn't like the shape, etc.  Time was ticking away, and the wedding was on a ship, so if we were late, we would have missed the entire wedding.  Finally, I felt that I looked decent enough with the poofies, and we left for the wedding.  In the car on the way, I moved in my seat to look for something, and experienced a slight relocation of my unweighted poofy.  That was the final straw.  I just reached into my sleeveless dress and pulled out the whole contraption.  I felt so much better!  I'm happy with the way I look, and that's good enough for me.  I rarely think about forms--at this time, I have no interest in wearing them.  I do still think, from time to time, that I should get them since they'd be free--just in case I might want to ever use them, but I've still yet to go to the boutique--maybe someday!

    I wanted to chime in about chest tightness.  As I said, I've never worn forms, but I've been using silicone scar sheets for the past 6 months or so, because my scars are hypertrophic.  I try to keep them on around the clock--just taking them off for a few minutes when I shower, or for an hour here or there, if they start to get itchy or hot.  A couple of weeks ago, I had them off for a longer period of time, and I noticed that my chest felt tighter!  So, even something as light as a scar sheet can ease the tightness!  I was really surprised, and a little bummed, as I don't plan on wearing these scar sheets forever.  Since reading all of your posts about tightness easing with forms, or sports bras, I've been thinking that a tight shirt or sports bra might be helpful when I stop using the scar sheets.  Of course, by then, I'm hoping that my tightness will ease up a bit more, and that I may not need anything to compress the area.  In any event, thanks for a great thread!  I hope you all have a great weekend!

    Audrey

  • kathimdgd
    kathimdgd Member Posts: 84
    edited October 2009

    I also had a bilateral mastectomy last Oct,08.I didn't have any reconstruction either nor will i ever do so.I was fitted with prosthesis last year and the only time i wore them was the final fitting,i wore them home that day and havn't had them on since.I wear the hanes sport bras from walmart,but i modify them.I think they come up too high,so i take my seam ripper and take off the top 2 hook and eyes,then i sew the corners down,after i tuck them in.This makes them look like they have a V form and they don't show above the top button of my blouse,makes them more comfy as well.Around the house sometimes i go commando,yet i never leave the house without my sports bra,and i hate those ones you have to slip over your head.

    Kathi

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605
    edited October 2009

    I had a divisional group work meeting yesterday where I hadn't seen some of the guys since the day before my surgery last year! There are only 4 women on the entire sales team of 28 of us. 2 have had uterine cancer and the other 2 of us had breast cancer! I totally forgot that as I was walking around talking to all the guys until I got to the other bc lady and as we were talking she said "It doesn't really matter if you have boobs or not." Needless to say, I was kind of surprised!

    I just continue to walk around as if I have the best pair out there! Wink

  • starzhere
    starzhere Member Posts: 16
    edited October 2009

    You go girl!

    Nothing is more attractive, to me, than someone who displays genuine confidence.

    ~elaine~

  • JudyNaomi
    JudyNaomi Member Posts: 209
    edited October 2009

    I agree Elaine, I just need a bit more of that confidence.

    Hugs, Judy x