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I look for other flat chested women. A rant.

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  • wren44
    wren44 Member Posts: 7,907
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    Somewhere back in the archives there was a series of photos of women with and without foobs wearing the same clothing. It wasn't that noticeable. Women reported friends thought they'd lost weight. That said, patterned tops make it less obvious. Workout tops would be quite noticeable so I would save them for actually working out.

    There's a website called Flat and Fabulous with a lot of photos.

  • alto
    alto Member Posts: 82
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    This one is really good -

    Comparative photos, with and without breast forms: https://breastfree.org/photos.php?ref=20

    And another woman who looks fabulous! https://www.flatfriends.org.uk/flat-friends-uk-lau...

    I wanted a workout top with a little interest, and found a cute Life is Good tee with a toucan - very cute and colorful.

  • whatjusthappened
    whatjusthappened Member Posts: 178
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    Thank you Aussie-Cat for your suggestions. It is possible that I started looking at prosthetics too early and that I am still too sensitive. I tried the silicon ones and they were alright, but the bras the fitter had for me to try on were really irritating, as I'm very sensitive where the band goes. She's ordering some softer ones for me to try and we'll see. I did some clothes shopping today and came away fairly depressed. I think I can dress for winter easily enough with layers and scarves and such, but summer is going to be a challenge. Definitely a learning curve here!

  • whatjusthappened
    whatjusthappened Member Posts: 178
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    Alto, I'll check out those suggestions! I appreciate the encouragement- my husband is like yours and tells me I should be proud and not hide myself. I'm getting there, but it's a process. I always hated wearing bras before, and I think that not having to wear one could be my silver lining in all of this.

    I think that I'll be open with the students and allow them to ask some questions. I teach science so it fits right in. They know about my cancer and have been supportive so far. I do think there will be some talk, but after a day or two they'll move on to something else:)

  • wren44
    wren44 Member Posts: 7,907
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    I have found coobie bras to be more comfortable than specialty bras. I have a size 5 lightweight silicone prosthesis that fits just fine in the modesty pocket.

  • lezza13
    lezza13 Member Posts: 579
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    I am a retired teacher. I am also flat chested and quite happy. At first I wore a coobie bra for a year at school. Did not like bras when I had breasts so I ditched them. The students looked at me but none of them said a word. Whatishapppening. Just be proud of how you look. Being breast free shows you are a survivor. A couple of girls asked about my breast cancer and I told them. Turned out one of their mothers went through it too. If you feel like sharing go for it. They will move on afterwards... Best of luch

  • whatjusthappened
    whatjusthappened Member Posts: 178
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    I'm going to check out those coobie bras for sure.

    Lezza13, thank you for your input about teaching. When I told my students that I needed to take off some time from work and why, there were quite a few students who cried and I later found out that several have been impacted by or lost loved ones to breast cancer.

  • Sunocean
    Sunocean Member Posts: 121
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    I recently had a double mastectomy with no reconstruction (5 weeks post op) and have tried the coobie bras. I liked them but not the one size fits all. I'm a 36 and bought a large and fits good. Also be sure you look for discounts. I ordered 2 and got 2 free. I have been able to use my knitted knockers as well with them.

  • lezza13
    lezza13 Member Posts: 579
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    Whatjusthappened. I am glad your experience with the students went well for you. It's amazing how much students had their own family members impacted by breast cancer. If you are into wearing bras, I think the coobies are the best. There are some very comfortable inserts for them as well on line.

  • whatjusthappened
    whatjusthappened Member Posts: 178
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    Thank you ladies for your suggestions. I got a couple of coobie bras and I do like them. I've been wearing one with some knitted knockers behind the removable pad and it looks ok. I'm having to adjust the knockers quite a bit though as they tend to move around too much. Definitely don't want to be adjusting all the time in front of a class!

    Lezza13, what kind of inserts would you recommend? I've been looking into the microbead ones, either making some or having them made (I think the commercial ones are overpriced).

  • lezza13
    lezza13 Member Posts: 579
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    Whatjusthappened. There was a lady online who sewed her own microbead type. Her link might be under the bra section of this forum. I think you might want to try to make your own if you can. Just like she did if you are so creative. They are pricey otherwise. I got hers years ago and they were the most comfy. Hope this helps and good luck if you make your own.

  • wren44
    wren44 Member Posts: 7,907
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    The lady's website is Mastectomy Solutions. She has complete instructions for making microbead foobs. I made some from her instructions and it wasn't hard. I found the microbead ones felt hard against my scar but were otherwise fine. There's a weighted foam for purchase online. It was a little lightweight, but I added a couple of quarters inside the cover and that made it much better. It was nice and cool during the summer. I currently have an Amoena whipped foam prosthesis and love it. It's the right weight and feels light. Probably half the weight of the heavier ones.

  • Erica
    Erica Member Posts: 237
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    Here is a link to instructions for making a micro bead breast form. These directions were created by LindaLou, whom I met on this forum (she sadly has since passed away). LindaLou is also the woman whose photos were linked to by alto, above, on my website, BreastFree.org.

    In the intro to the instructions, I mention a micro bead breast form that was originally created by a company called Silique. The form is no longer marketed under the Silique name, but can still be purchased from the American Cancer Society's website, TLC: https://www.tlcdirect.org/Micro-Bead-Lightweight-Breast-Form-Mastectomy-Prosthesis-American-Cancer-Society-TLC-Direct. That form is unweighted. There's also a very lightweight combination form available through TLC, which combines silicone and microbeads with a cloth backing that can be worn in an unpocketed bra: https://www.tlcdirect.org/Comfort-Lite-Lightweight-Silicone-Breast-Form-Mastectomy-Prosthesis-American-Cancer-Society-TLC-Direct?did=33

    p.s. The instructions on Mastectomy Solutions, that Wren mentions, are also excellent. The woman who runs that site will also make the micro bead forms for you if you send her your size, or at least she used to do that a few years ago.

  • marylinn222
    marylinn222 Member Posts: 5
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    I'm 40 and wore a 34AA before surgery so going flat doesn't phase me one bit. In fact, I find it very freeing that I don't have to worry about bra straps falling down or an underwire digging in. I do have a few small microbead forms for when I wear something a bit more form fitting, but for right now, I'm happy just as flat as can be. Soon to be as bald as can be but I'd rather be living life flat and bald than not at all. :-)

  • Sunocean
    Sunocean Member Posts: 121
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    I also went flat and dont regret it. I miss my breasts of course but the surgeries arent worth the risk.

    I just have one small area in the middle where is super sensitive. I'm 6 weeks post OP. Anyone else have this whose flat? The area is sensitive to the tough and even clothes. But its just one small area in the middle of the two incisions.

  • alto
    alto Member Posts: 82
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    I made my own breast form out of flannel and polyfill after finding nothing that worked well for me. I started out making round ovals as wide as my former breast, and then ended up adding a stem to the top of the oval (so it looks like an upside down hot air balloon), which fills out the top part of the bra (and you can fold it over at the top so no stuffing escapes). The flannel helps it stay put, as does the fact you can fill it pretty full, so it doesn't shift in the bra but is still comfortable.

    I did end up trying out a beaded form, and it was pretty comfortable, but it's a little more firm and has a sort of beanbag sound if you press on it. I had to let some beaded stuffing out so it would look more natural on me, and boy did I make a mess! The pillow stuffing has been "I forget it's there" comfortable for me, it doesn't make noise, and is way less messy to deal with. They're both great comfy options,though.

    Now I just have to figure out a similar rigging for my prosthetic. This stuff is a lot of work sometimes. . .

    Sunocean, FWIW, the area near the breastbone was the last part to be less sensitive for me. I still get some pains there sometimes (I'm a couple months+ out now).

  • Sunocean
    Sunocean Member Posts: 121
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    alto thanks for responding. The area feels so sensitive but everywhere else feels fine. And since I just started rads even putting on aloe vera after is so gross. That area in middle just feels super sensitive.

  • wren44
    wren44 Member Posts: 7,907
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    Alto, The instructions on mastectomy solutions for making a bead form start out "Get your vacuum cleaner out and ready to switch on." I agree that they can really make a mess, even when you're trying desperately not to.

  • Christene502
    Christene502 Member Posts: 47
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    Thanks Wren44

    I looked at Mastectomy Solutions. Will follow her instructions for making microbead foobs.

    https://www.tlcdirect.org/Micro-Bead-Lightweight-B... sales them for $68 OUCH! That's a hefty price to pay for beads...

    Wonder if microbead breast forms are covered under Insurance?

  • IllinoisNancy
    IllinoisNancy Member Posts: 99
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    My problem is that my ribs are bigger than my chest so it looks ackward to wear anything that is at all fitted or clingy.

  • beesy_the_other_one
    beesy_the_other_one Member Posts: 170
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    Christene, the prosthetics place here in Houston had two types of microbead forms that would be covered under insurance (they weren't quite like these linked above). Before surgery I ordered the ones above from a place that was selling them less expensively but not much (ouch is right) but I totally ordered the wrong size so I returned them and decided to wait to get insurance to cover them. I have an appointment with the prosthetics place on the 26th--I'll send you a report on what I find. Stay tuned.

    I can't sew (only glue), Wren44, but once I read the part about the vacuum, I knew that making them was not for me! For some reason the microbead forms just seem like the right amount of weight for me, but we'll see. When I wore ½ prosthetic for the 22 years, it didn't add that much weight, but I am just not sure I want further dents in my shoulders with weighty prosthetics since I don't have to!

  • Christene502
    Christene502 Member Posts: 47
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    Beesy -

    I have dents in my shoulder from holding up my D's.

    I don't want to wear any heavy Foobs... I have a frozen shoulder with 24/7 constant pain...

    I really like your knitted knockers - they seem to be the best solution on not being weighted down.

    I am not sure about the weight of the microbead breast forms, but will give it a try, I can sew but not knit.

    Let me know how it goes on the 26th.


  • whatjusthappened
    whatjusthappened Member Posts: 178
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    I made a set of forms out of the removable pads from some old sport bras (I also saw a post where someone said you can buy the pads online). I used cotton for the back so they would be breathable, and I stuffed them with polyfill, though microbeads would probably work well too. They look fairly natural, and don't have a lot of projection, which is what I want.

    This is similar to alto's suggestion, and they are very comfortable. After wearing them to work all week, the only issue I have is that they do tend to ride up a bit from lack of weight, so I might have to add a bit of weight to them.

    I really just want to go flat and not worry about it! I'm a lot like IllinoisNancy, in that I have protruding ribs and my clothes just look so off without anything there. Plus my BS said I really need to wear something for compression (six weeks out and I still have fluid build up).

    image

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  • BlueGirlRedState
    BlueGirlRedState Member Posts: 900
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    SunOcean - after the bi-lateral I had stinging sensatons where the nipples used to be, and other minor discomfort. These eventually sent away, but even after 2 years, I sometimes still feel something, now mostly a tightness, but once in a while, a mild sting. I did radiation/lumpectomy the first time, and radiation was uncomfortable. THe second time it was chemo and bi-lateral. So if you are doing surgery and radiation now, you are very likely to experience, discomfort. Do the exercises your surgeon recommends to avoid having the shoulders seize up, as well as other exercise. But be careful of over-doing it. The right side (non-cancerous) did not heal as well as the left (cancer and lymphnode biopsy). I probably should not have shoveled snow at all that winter, gotten more help lifting things, and done resistanace (weight training) with less weight.

    2009 ER+ left breast. 52 yrs. Lumpectomy, Sentinel node removal, negative. – 1. Radiation 6 weeks, tamoxifen 5 years. Dense lumpy left breast, normal right. Acupuncture offered at facility as part of integrative medicine. It really helped with anxiety/stress during radiation treatment.

    2016 ER+ left breast. Probably a new cancer, but unknown. 4 rounds TC Aug-Oct 2016, Bi-lateral (my choice) Nov 2016, no reconstruction. 2 sentinel nodes remove, negative. Cold Capping using Chemo Cold Caps (DIGNICAP not available). Anastrozole 1 mg starting May 2017. Joint issues noticed immediately. Stopped Anastrozole after 3-4 months due to joint stiffness in. After several months of no AIs, fingers were feeling better. Started tamoxifen March 2018

    10/2018 noticed stiffness and some trigger finger again. Was eating meat a lot more (daily) than normal. Usually 1-2 /wk. Have cut way back on the meat, seems to help, but one finger still very prone to trigger finger. 2/2019, trigger finger and stiffness much better.

  • kathindc
    kathindc Member Posts: 1,667
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    Whatjusthappened, my BS had me wear a tight sports bra that he suggested filling with sanitary napkins for six weeks to prevent the fluid build up. It worked but I found and used thick cotton reusable diaper inserts instead of the pads. I do live flat and initially had a Buddha belly. I even wear t-shirts. If someone doesn’t like it, it’s there problem not mine. Seven years now and it is a very freeing feeling not to have to wear a bra. It’s all in your flatitude

  • aussie-cat
    aussie-cat Member Posts: 5,502
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    Whatjusthappened, well done on making some polyfill forms. You have given me ideas.

  • MsMungo
    MsMungo Member Posts: 2
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    Hi all, there is no doubt in my mind that being half-flat after a left MX in 2004 helped pick up two subsequent chest wall recurrences, one in 2011 and another in 2018. They were clearly there as either a raised lump or red rash in the MX scar. (Although admittedly in 2018 I mistook the redness for ‘chafing’ from doing extended long runs! Oops!). I think if I had had a recon in 2004, either one of these would have been hidden from view under layers of other tissue, and possibly not been picked up early enough. I do wonder why this risk is brushed off by many surgeons. For my latest surgery I had to be very very clear with my newly acquired plastic surgeon that I DID NOT WANT a BREAST reconstruction (DIEP or TRAM) and so eventually we decided a CHEST recon using a thigh flap was best to fill in the area left after the tumour removal. The plastic surgeon still couldn’t help himself and gave me a small raised bump/cleavage on the inner upper part, so I’m now sort of half/half flat. But I’m here! That is the main thing!! Love to all




  • whatjusthappened
    whatjusthappened Member Posts: 178
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    MsMungo, you bring up a good point about chest wall recurrences. I also had never heard of a chest reconstruction instead of a breast reconstruction before your post. My BMX left me with a very concave spot on the upper part of my chest that I would be interested in filling in somehow. Interestingly enough it is on the prophylactic side where not as much was removed. I attribute that to the fact that my rib cage was pretty asymetrical to begin with.

    Kathindc, thanks for the suggestions. It doesn't appear that this fluid will be absorbed any time soon, but I'm looking forward to not having to wear anything if I choose not to. I feel self-conscious whether I wear forms or not (everyone KNOWS they're fake when I wear them, so I feel like I'm pretending to be someone I'm not). Those of you who have chosen to go flat give me courage that I can eventually be confident in whatever I decide to do.

    Aussie-Cat, I'm glad that you have gotten some ideas- do let me know if you can improve upon this one!

  • alto
    alto Member Posts: 82
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    Whatjusthappened, those are lovely! I wonder if you could use a spot of Velcro to keep the foob anchored.

  • Sunocean
    Sunocean Member Posts: 121
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    BlueGirl thanks for responding. I have one area that's super sensitive. In the middle of the two incisions. omg i cant even touch it, it's so sensitive to the touch. I am hoping ot gets better. Since I'm going through rads I have to keep putting ok cream on and it's been a challenge having to do that. Glad to hear it gets better.