Come join others currently navigating treatment in our weekly Zoom Meetup! Register here: Tuesdays, 1pm ET.
Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

I look for other flat chested women. A rant.

Options
1139141143144145

Comments

  • JJ62
    JJ62 Member Posts: 36
    Options

    What a great story Momine! Thanks for sharing it! I hope you surgery went well and that your recovery is uneventful Glennie19.

  • glennie19
    glennie19 Member Posts: 4,833
    Options

    Surgery was Nov 30th. Had anti-nausea meds pre-op and that made all the difference for me in recovery! Surgery at 8:30 and out of there at 1:30. Had drain pulled on day 13 post op, but having some puffiness now,, hoping it is not a seroma, but I had one last time, so it won't be surprising. Aside from that tight, puffy feeling,,,, I feel pretty good otherwise. Thanks everyone!

  • kathindc
    kathindc Member Posts: 1,667
    Options

    Glennie, my BS had me wear a tight sports bra with extra padding for a month to prevent swelling after the drains came out. It worked for me. Just a thought.

  • Jeremiah29-11
    Jeremiah29-11 Member Posts: 5
    Options

    Great stuff, Momine! Thank you!

  • Hogwarts
    Hogwarts Member Posts: 26
    Options

    Hi all,

    Just found this thread and love the rant that started it! You guys are great and I love not feeling 'alone' on this journey of trying to figure out my new flat self (silicone forms not comfy, especially in summer heat) or how not to feel self-conscious in the summer going flat. Caught between a hard place and a rock.

    Time to get new forms and hope there is something that won't irritate chest wall nerves (fingers crossed that the gabapentin will help!) as everything I've tried so far isn't comfortable. Maybe the molded foam or beaded forms won't irritate or hold in the moisture in GA summer humidity.

    Opted for a BMX as I knew intuitively this was right for me. No more awful mammograms (it's awful when you are small and get smashed like that; I always felt violated afterwards.)

    Hope some of you got together for a flat fest. Couldn't read thru all the posts, but it would be great to be amongst other women, physically, who find flat is their new normal.

    Trying to find tops with prints is the new rule for me for comfort in the summer heat. All my wardrobe tops before surgery was in solids! Black doesn't suit me, otherwise I'd wear black tops in the summer. Sigh....

    Does anyone else just cringe when they try on summer tops, when we can't hide under layers? Regardless that friends don't notice that I'm now flat, not that there was much to begin, but to find something that's comfy and adds a little curve would feel so good in the summer if I didn't want to go flat!!!

    But, even though I'm whining a bit, I am so very grateful to be nearly 3 yrs. out and very healthy with some holes in my chest to show how the yucky stuff was removed. Small price to pay when I reckon what could have been in a different universe/timeline.

    So glad you are here and love that I'm not the only one who is tired of the pink-wash that often accompanies a BC dx in our society. I don't want to be reminded about that period in my life when there was high anxiety and I couldn't eat or sleep. I just want to enjoy feeling so healthy now and normal and put this all in the past, because that's where it lives now. It's not a part of my future.

    So grateful for your being here. Hugs to all, Hogwarts

  • wren44
    wren44 Member Posts: 7,907
    Options

    Hogwarts, Knitted knockers might be the coolest forms. The foam ones are a lot cooler than the silicone. I wonder if some of the 'bralettes' I see would work. I'm stuck with one real one that sags, so they don't work for me.

  • Hogwarts
    Hogwarts Member Posts: 26
    Options

    Hi Wren, Thanks for your thoughts. Have 2 pr. of knitted knockers and any texture after a while is an irritant, unfortunately.. Got some cheap foam forms for right after surgery while waiting for the swelling to go down. Wore those and later realized that their 'edges' irritated. Ditto with the silicone forms, if you can believe that. Hoping that either the beaded forms or the formed foam foobs will work. Fingers crossed!

    Have a drawer full of nylon coobie and Genie-type bras. They all work to a point and then the nylon becomes irritating. Did end up getting some all cotton exercise bras, cut slits in the sides and put my silicone foobs in them. Then used safety pins in the middle to keep from having a uniboob. The cotton seems to work better than anything else and this bra isn't hugging my chest like mastectomy bras, which also helps. Not perfect, but that's life....


  • BlueGirlRedState
    BlueGirlRedState Member Posts: 900
    Options

    Thank you for posting the duet from the Magic Flute. I heard Thomas Quasthoff - baritone, years ago in a different performance ( I forget what). He is fantastic. I did not do any reconstruction after a bi-lateral at the end of 2016, still debating a tattoo, maybe monarchs

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    Options

    Bluegirl, I just think Quasthoff is so gorgeous in his whole attitude and the art he produces. When he sings, you don't think about his handicap and it clearly doesn't impede his ability to be a mensch and share his talent. Good thing to keep in mind.

  • aussie-cat
    aussie-cat Member Posts: 5,502
    Options

    Hi all, I was so glad to find this thread today and I've read the first 3 pages. I had a double mastectomy without reconstruction in June and 2 weeks later I developed nerve pain, so I haven't been wearing forms since then. I've felt somewhat alone on this journey even though some people have been supportive. I'm taking Lyrica (pregabalin) for the nerve pain and it's not too bad but wearing a bra and forms makes the pain worse. It's spring in Australia and I'm feeling stressed about the idea of having to go flat in the hot weather that's coming. I've not worried too much about going flat during winter with all my layers of clothes. It's a good idea to try patterned clothes to disguise the flatness. I hope some other flat or half flat women will come to this thread and share their stories too.

  • ksusan
    ksusan Member Posts: 461
    Options

    Welcome, Aussie-Cat. I've posted earlier in the thread, but want to say that I still find that most people don't notice.

  • kathindc
    kathindc Member Posts: 1,667
    Options

    Aussie-Cat, I wear patterned, darted and knit tops. One thing I don’t miss is sweaty bras in the summertime. Believe it or not, the majority, and I do mean the majority, of people don’t notice you going flat. In almost six and a half years I’ve caught less than 10 people stare and all it takes is a hard stare back at them and you should see their faces when they’re caught. My mantra is, It’s all in your flatitude. I wear mine proudly! It is so liberating forme.

  • aussie-cat
    aussie-cat Member Posts: 5,502
    Options

    Thanks, ksusan. That's what I've heard too but it's still hard to get used to being flat when it's such a contrast to how I used to look. How are you doing?

  • snickersmom
    snickersmom Member Posts: 599
    Options

    Hi Aussie-Cat

    I had BMX with no reconstruction. I had originally tried to wear the big old heavy mastectomy bras (my insurance pays for 9 a year for me!) with the nasty heavy silicone inserts. But they were uncomfortable and gave me a nasty kind of heat rash. The fitter at the hospital breast cancer boutique said "now don't you feel like your old normal self again?" I want to kill her now. What a horrible thing to say I just didn't realize it at the time. I think I was too numb and thought I wanted to try to look like I used to. I tried sports bras with knitted knocker inserts but those weren't comfortable ether

    I soon realized that the summers here in Florida were perfect for braless, and that's the way I am now. Most of the time, I love it. I went out and bought a bunch of new tops and most are camouflaged with patterns and so I choose to think that people don't even notice I'm not wearing a bra. It's wonderful not having sweat running down between my boobs!!

    I spent 6 weeks in Australia 4 years ago (mostly Sydney and the Alice Springs area) and I sure wouldn't have been comfortable in the mastectomy bras there either!!


  • ksusan
    ksusan Member Posts: 461
    Options

    Hey, Aussie-Cat. I'm doing well! 3.5 years out from active treatment, 3 years of Tamoxifen taken (1131 pills and counting), full range of motion. Now working on knocking my Tamoxifen weight gain down, ounce by ounce.

  • aussie-cat
    aussie-cat Member Posts: 5,502
    Options

    Snickersmom, I'm sorry that silicone forms gave you a rash and the fitter was so unhelpful. It's a pity that Knitted Knockers weren't comfortable either. I can understand you wanting to go braless in Florida summers. Most of the time in Melbourne I'm too cold but it can get quite hot here (40C) in summer at times, so it will be nice for me to go braless a lot of the time. I tried on some silicone forms and I thought the lightest one was the best, so if I stop being sore I will consider getting some of those but I would have to get used to foam forms first. It's certainly nice not wearing them at home but I'll have to see how I go being flat over the summer. Thanks so much for telling me about your experiences and feelings.

    susan, I'm so glad you're doing well! Good on you for working on your Tamoxifen weight gain. Life always has challenges.

  • beeline
    beeline Member Posts: 193
    Options

    Hi Aussie-Cat, I am new to this but wanted to reiterate what others have said about people not noticing. I had a umx nearly 10 weeks ago and between nerve pain and a seroma in my armpit have found bras of any type too uncomfortable to wear for long. I haven't bothered to get fitted for a form since I wouldn't be able to wear it comfortably anyway. So I have just gone about half flat. I think of it as my pirate boob look. I'm quite small on the other side, but am almost more self-conscious of being braless than I am of being flat. That said, it has been pretty easy to disguise with layers, even an open cardigan, just about anything that breaks up the line. With the weather getting warmer that is definitely harder. I think finding the right neckline helps a lot -- for me it's no v-necks and no t-shirt collars, something a bit more open or like a boatneck that emphasises my shoulders. Anyway, I def don't have all the answers but I know we will figure it out!

  • feelingfeline
    feelingfeline Member Posts: 5,145
    Options

    Best of luck beeline. I am a uni also. DX'd at 44 6 years ago. Hope your recovery continues well. Those seromas are nasty! With nerve pain sometimes finding a different style of bra works. The light tee-shirt style crop top type can work for some, rather than the traditional back fastening bra, but I would not try anything too early. Keep up the pirate for now (Ooh aaargh. Where's me rum?) and let your body heal. XXX

  • aussie-cat
    aussie-cat Member Posts: 5,502
    Options

    Thanks, Beeline. I'm sorry you've had a seroma and nerve pain. That certainly makes it challenging and I hope you feel more comfortable soon. Today I wore a t-shirt plus an open blouse over the top, but I still looked fairly flat. I agree that most people don't notice but we don't know how many people may notice but not say anything. I was large-breasted before, so if I run into someone I haven't seen for a while, they will notice unless they are extremely unobservant.

  • MT1
    MT1 Member Posts: 223
    Options

    I am really thankful to have started this thread and that it still lives

  • aussie-cat
    aussie-cat Member Posts: 5,502
    Options

    MT1, I'm glad you started this thread too and it's good to see you here. I hope things are going well for you.

  • feelingfeline
    feelingfeline Member Posts: 5,145
    Options

    Hello MT1 Happy Christmas!

  • kathindc
    kathindc Member Posts: 1,667
    Options

    MT, I’m eternally grateful you started this thread. Wishing you all a wonderful, safe holiday season and a joyous, peaceful new year

  • MT1
    MT1 Member Posts: 223
    Options

    Flat Closure NOW

    I am well. I started a group on FB called My Flat Friends. I continue to advocate for the flat reconstructive choice. I am still making art. It’s all good. :)

  • aussie-cat
    aussie-cat Member Posts: 5,502
    Options

    That sounds good, I'm glad.

  • glennie19
    glennie19 Member Posts: 4,833
    Options

    *waving at MT* adding my thanks for starting this thread,, and thanks for that link!

  • MT1
    MT1 Member Posts: 223
    Options

    high five

  • whatjusthappened
    whatjusthappened Member Posts: 178
    Options

    Hi, I have been lurking around this site for a couple of months and finally decided to join. I am glad to know that I'm not the only person that goes around looking for other flat-chested women. I haven't really seen any, except in the oncologist waiting room (sigh). I will be going back to work soon and have to stand in front of a bunch of teenagers all day. I'm pretty nervous about it. I'm comfortable enough with the "new me" around adults, but kids are kids and say whatever pops into their heads. I am torn between going flat and wearing prosthetics. I know I can't go back and forth as they are very observant. I tried on the bras and forms and found them to be pretty uncomfortable after going braless for the past month, though I imagine I'll get them for special occasions at least. I'm thinking of committing to going flat and using it as a life lesson on being happy with yourself and your body. Does anybody have any experience with how teenagers react?

  • aussie-cat
    aussie-cat Member Posts: 5,502
    Options

    Whatjusthappened, well done for joining and posting. Welcome!! I'm sorry the bras and forms were pretty uncomfortable when you tried them on. It's possible that different bras or forms would feel more comfortable for you. Did you try silicone forms? Foam or bead ones may be better. I have been going flat since I developed nerve pain in July 2018 after my double mastectomy and I'm getting more used to it but I'm wearing patterned tops or tops with jackets so as not to draw as much attention to my chest. Is there any chance you could tell the students about your surgery? What do you teach? I don't have experience with teenagers' reactions but I wanted to welcome you anyway.

  • alto
    alto Member Posts: 82
    Options

    I don't know about the teenagers you work with, but some of them are pretty sensitive and aware of others. Anyway, I wouldn't worry what THEY think. :)

    I think the goal is for them to have a broader perspective - to understand there are a lot of people out there who are different and do things differently than they do, and they need to accommodate them as well. If anyone brings it up and you don't mind sharing personal details about yourself, you could say, Has anyone known someone with cancer? And talk about what it's like, how it can change your life, but there are lots of treatments to get people well, and it's one of the reasons we should be kind and accommodating of others, because you never know. And if you don't want to share, you can just say you don't want to take up class time talking about it, because the class's focus should be on work/studying.

    Going flat seems fine to me. Easier, cheaper, no muss no fuss - I'm all about that!

    I have one boob (size C/D), so I stuff the missing side. I like comfy things, and here is what might work for you if you want to wear a pocketed camisole/bra.

    AnaOno makes a comfortable camisole. It is built to work both on a flat chest or with forms. Because it's a cami and not a bra, you can tuck it in to get it to stay put, so it doesn't have to be too snug.

    I also like Amoena Mara bra - I went up one size on the band and down one size on the cup (was 36D before, went to 38C) to have a more comfortable fit. As long as I don't make the shoulder straps tight, it stays in place (I do have one 'anchor boob'). I have a silicone prosthetic but am still getting used to it. I won't wear anything past the point of comfort. I make my own forms out of flannel fabric and pillow fluff. I make a sort of upside down hot air balloon shape, (as wide as the area from my sternum to where my boob used to stop, just under my arm), and it works better to fill out a bra, and puts less pressure on my scars than the other things I've found. And only $6 for 1/2 yard of fabric and stuffing. I did get shipped a large microbead form from TLC by mistake, and they do seem great - but at $65, not sure it would be worth the upgrade. It's probably what I'd try next if I got tired of stuffing my flannel boobs, though.

    Amoena's Valetta camisole might also work, but it has a shelf bra, so I think the fit would have to be just right to stay in place. They do offer sizes as 6/8/10 vs S/M/L, so it's easier to get a good fit.

    Also, when I got my silicone form, I got a smaller, lighter one, and push polyfill in around it - it's more comfortable and lighter, but still gives you some weight in the cup if you need it to hold the bra in place or give it a more natural drape.

    And I've found the smaller bra cups are easier to fill with fluff and have them look natural.

    Flowy scarves are good for camouflage, too.

    I do think it's important to feel comfortable with your body. My husband pressed me not to hide things after the surgery, and I gradually got more comfortable with the new body. I was shy about it at first. Now, if anyone pointed it out, I wouldn't feel bad, I would probably just say, So what? I have one boob. Get over it. Who cares? It can be scary at first, but hopefully you'll get to used to it and feel more comfortable bringing all that you are, because you've been brave and tough and you earned that respect for you who are!