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I look for other flat chested women. A rant.

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Comments

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,102
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    Congrats MT1!!

    I'm an out and proud uniboob! I generally wear a cupless sports bra for comfort, but no foob. I've gotten a lot of positive responses from women who have other BC survivor friends, who are considering going flat themselves, or who just appreciate seeing women being their authentic selves.

    Another group who I've gotten thanks from is nonbinary and trans people. Your body can be what it is without having to display what others expect you to look like. This is my body. I have to live with it, so you can too.

  • goldcity
    goldcity Member Posts: 54
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    I am also half flat. I felt removing my “good boob” would be unnecessary surgery. My breast surgeon did an absolutely spectacular job. She left just the right amount of skin for complete range of motion. Her mission is to teach other surgeons “how to do it right”. I couldn’t wait to get measured for my fake boob. At first I wore my prosthetic when I went out (I was a little self-conscious) but a fake boob can be hot and uncomfortable after a while. Now I just wear a sports bra. I’m very comfortable with my look. My husband doesn’t seem to care about my missing boob, but does comment often on how good my scar looks. It’s been a little over a year since my surgery

  • wren44
    wren44 Member Posts: 7,890
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    Another half flat here. I was going to have the good one removed but Covid had other ideas. Now I just don't care. I can't wear any bra for longer than about 2 hours, so I don't wear one at all.

  • prairiedweller
    prairiedweller Member Posts: 11
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    Hello again. I just want to share something. We were out having dinner with friends last week, beautiful weather, so we were seated outside and I saw a woman walk by that I know just had to be someone that went flat. Walked by just like anyone else wearing a light summer blouse in a flowing fabric. It was obvious, but I don't think I would have noticed at all if this weren't something so much on my mind lately. Just like the opening post of this thread says, I look for you. I guess I was wanting to see someone brave enough to do it. They are out there.

  • eladnarra
    eladnarra Member Posts: 2
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    I just wanted to post a thank you for this thread - I first read it 7 years ago when I tested positive for a BRCA2 mutation. I already knew that when I was ready to quit surveillance and have surgery that I was going to go flat, but this thread was my introduction to the flat community and the flat activism going on online. It made me feel even more secure in my decision.

    I've started the process of finding a surgeon recently, and I found myself searching out this thread again. It's wonderful to see it is still going!

  • jh40
    jh40 Member Posts: 140
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    newbie half flat here. had surgery June 16. no regrets whatsoever. there’s some weakness on my surgery side but nothing I can’t build back up again.

    I do have a question if anyone can answer: I’m due to get my chemo port surgery in 8 days. my breast surgeon says she has to place it on my flat side (right). Did anyone have trouble with their port on the flat side? Any advice? I was hoping to get a picc line but my oncologist says no. Not sure why; I’ve seen women in England and Australia on far tougher chemo regimes using picc lines. I’ll be on weekly Taxol/Herceptin.

  • tovahsmom
    tovahsmom Member Posts: 8
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    Dear mt1, thank you so much for that rant!!!!! I myself am unilaterally flat having opted for a unilateral mastectomy without reconstruction. I also choose to be lopsided without wearing a prosthesis. After I read this quote from Audre Lorde, I was floored and even more steadfast in my decisions to go about as I am - lopsided. I too look for women like me so, like Lorde says, we can be visible to each other.

    Resonated with me. From poets.org: "Lorde was a noted prose writer as well as poet. Her account of her struggle to overcome breast cancer and mastectomy, The Cancer Journals (1980), is regarded as a major work of illness narrative. In The Cancer Journals, Lorde confronts the possibility of death. Recounting this personal transformation led Lorde to address the silence surrounding cancer, illness, and the lived experience of women. For example, Lorde explained her decision not to wear a prosthesis after undergoing a mastectomy in the Journals: "Prosthesis offers the empty comfort of 'Nobody will know the difference.' But it is that very difference which I wish to affirm, because I have lived it, and survived it, and wish to share that strength with other women. If we are to translate the silence surrounding breast cancer into language and action against this scourge, then the first step is that women with mastectomies must become visible to each other.""

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,102
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    OMG, I love that!!! Thank you for sharing it.

  • surviving60
    surviving60 Member Posts: 2
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    I have cancer in one breast opposite quandrants so I will loose that one for sure. Currently going through treatment then surgery. I believe I want to go ahead and remove the other as well for asthetic purposses as I don't want implants. I am looking for input as to any regrets or satisfaction in simular situations. I have DD breasts so i know it will be a huge change but I hate wearing a bra and I can't image trying to wrestle one with one natural breast and one prosthetic.

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,102
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    I can only imagine what a DD prosthetic would be like to deal with. 0_0

    I'm a borderline B/C cup. My surgeon told me that at my size, a unilateral mastectomy would probably be easily manageable. She said that women who were larger sometimes developed back pain because of the weight imbalance on their chest. Breasts can be heavy! I usually just wear a cup-less sports bra, and am very comfortable.

  • alliegator
    alliegator Member Posts: 8
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    I'm almost 2 months out from my single mastectomy and feeling fantastic about my decision for an aesthetic flat closure. No more surgeries, no pain, no range of motion limits, no reduction in muscular strength, no doubts about cancer hiding behind an implant, and no worries about an implant causing internal scarring or a secondary cancer later on down the line. I wish more surgeons encouraged their patients to consider this option rather than pushing patients to schedule reconstruction.

    Recommendations for new bras if you are tired of wearing sports bras or traditional zip front post surgery bras:

    For the half flat ladies in the house, I just discovered a new type of bra from OYSHO (ZARA sister brand for lingerie/undergarments/loungewear) that is designed for those with unilateral mastectomies (for B and C cups). Search “surgery bra" on the website to get the full selection of zip front post surgery bras and single cup bras (select the R/L side of your healthy “keeper" breast). They even have a flirty lace version that is absolutely stunning and comfortable (Lola Multi-way Bra with right or left cup…can’t post the link).

    I've also recently discovered the brand Soma. The Enbliss Wireless Brahas a comfortable, wide band that doesn't irritate my incision lines and a soft molded cup that I don't even have to fill with a prosthetic to have a gentle shape under my clothes (for reference, I'm a small B cup). (Sorry…can’t post the link).

  • alliegator
    alliegator Member Posts: 8
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    @jh40 — As for the port vs. PICC line, I’d like to share my experience with an alternative. Because of my high risk of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT or blood clot) and Factor V Leiden mutation, I insisted on starting with a peripheral IV for 12 weekly rounds of Taxol + Trastuzumab (Herceptin biosimilar — Trazimera). I just completed Round 4 of 12 and no issues so far with my veins tolerating the infusions. I’ve had 2 bad sticks on my lower forearms during Rounds 1&2, but the nurses found better vein access on the second poke and no leakage on my skin or tissue during any of the infusions. I hope to keep switching back and forth from left to right for my remaining infusions. If I get to a point where my veins no longer tolerate the sticks, we will then transition to a PICC line or port. My goal is to reduce my risk of a DVT — each treatment without placement of a vascular access device gets me closer to treatment completion without a life threatening complication.

    if you have had a previous DVT or are at an elevated risk for thrombosis, talk to your oncologist about your concernsor seek out a hematologist opinion to discuss your risk factors and infusion options.

  • Blinx
    Blinx Member Posts: 82
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    Newly flat here -- my BMX was almost 4 weeks ago. I'm still adjusting to my new shape. Sadly, I'm only flat up top -- my round belly is much more obvious without breasts to balance it out. My side silhouette is very much pear-shaped! I've been trying knitted knockers for now, but the sports bras I have with pockets seem to space them too widely. Still, they give me a little confidence to go out and about in a T-shirt. If this were the middle of winter, I wouldn't bother with anything since a puffy coat conceals a lot!

    For now, I'm thinking of ordering a pair of connected foobs from Busted Tank along with a cami or bralette -- they're inexpensive. I can't get a prostheses until sometime after radiation, which will be a few months away.

    The other thing I might try is pinning the knitted knockers into one of my regular bras to see what that looks like. If it looks OK, I might try adding pockets. It would really help if it wasn't so hot -- I'm rally looking forward to cooler weather!

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,102
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    With October BC awareness month coming up, Stand Tall is gearing up to get flat-visible teams at BCA 5Ks around the nation. (No one's started a team in my town yet, but I hope they do. I'm not sure I have the energy to organize now. I'm busy starting a labor union at my studio.)

    If one's happening in your town, or if you can start a team, please do so!

    https://standtallafc.org

  • kat333
    kat333 Member Posts: 38
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    surviving60 I was diagnosed @ 61. The thought of having a bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction was the only option that came to mind. I hate bras and couldn't imagine any other option being comfortable for me. First visit with surgeon I asked if she would do that and she said sure. My concern was if insurance would pay for bilateral and she said yep they will... for the sake of symmetry. It has been two years now and absolutely no regrets. I am happy to have made that decision.

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605
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    I think that's a thought-provoking Lorde quote but I take issue with the expectation that we "must" do it. Is being visible to others a positive result of being an obvious mastectomy patient? Sure. But no one should feel obligated to do it for the benefit of others. Not everyone wants to be a walking billboard displaying their medical history to every passing stranger. I for one would hate being approached by strangers to talk about my body. My body is least interesting part about me. I spend the vast majority of my life NOT thinking about cancer and would not like somebody bringing it up, especially if I was with people I didn't feel like discussing it around. I'm also Stage 4 and don't want to open myself up to discussions with people who assume I'm healed or that I will be healed. It's not an "empty comfort" to avoid these things. It's a GREAT comfort.

    And why is it that breast cancer patients specifically are expected to do this? Must all women decline to wear wigs, make-up, fake lashes, fake nails, dyed hair, etc. so everyone can see them as they really are as an educational lesson? Should amputees be expected to always display their prosthetics so people can see the result of what happened to them? Should people with awful and visible cosmetic injuries be expected to skip plastic surgery to repair the damage so other people can see the "real them"?

    It's just a boob prosthetic. If you don't want to wear one, great. If you do want to wear one, great. But women are already under so much pressure to conform to societal expectations of what women and bodies and boobs should look like, so let's not add another one to the pile. You can lift the silence about breast cancer while wearing a prosthetic.

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,102
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    If the quote doesn't fit you, that's fine. You are completely free to educate or not, advocate or not, be visible or not.

    If you re-read the quote, it actually says, "If we are to translate the silence surrounding breast cancer into language and action against this scourge, then the first step is that women with mastectomies must become visible to each other." Not ALL women. Just enough that women who feel obligated to wear a prostheses, but hate it, will have an out and visible validation of their desire not to be burdened with a fake boob. They will know they have the option of putting their physical comfort before someone else's social comfort. But if no one does it, no one will know it can be done. That is why the word "must" is included. That it MUST be done - the ice MUST be broken - by someone - but we all get to decide for ourselves. And there are plenty of other post-mastectomy women who are happy and willing to break the silence around surviving.

    I was out shopping one day, and a lady timidly approached me and asked if I had had breast cancer. When I said yes, she broke down crying. Her husband was kinda supportive during the initial diagnosis, but when they said she would need a mastectomy, he left her the next day. He called her a freak and not a woman anymore. (Yeah, what a peach.) For her, seeing an otherwise normal looking woman doing normal things in a normal store, it helped her see that her life didn't end at the loss of her cleavage. She was still deciding what she wanted her body to look like afterwards, but she felt so much better knowing that she had real choices that she could make for her own wellbeing.

    There could have been 50 other post-mastectomy women in the store that day. But since there was just ONE who was comfortable being in her altered body, another woman found reassurance and relief. That is what the quote was calling for.

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605
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    Of course, I agree with what the quote was saying. I was merely saying that women shouldn't feel like they MUST go flat, or feel obligated to go flat, because some do and then they struggle with feeling that they don't want to. I've seen it many, many times in flat groups. There are many women who are embarrassed that they don't want to flaunt their flatness for everyone to see or don't understand why they don't feel like doing it, even though their desire to wear a prosthetic is perfectly valid. And I also see women who actually shame those of us who opt for prosthetics, either implying or explicitly saying we are doing something bad or that there's something mentally wrong with us.

    Opting to wear a prosthetic does NOT mean someone is uncomfortable with their body. I am comfortable in my altered body too, just like you. I simply choose not to display it publicly for the reasons I mentioned earlier. How I choose to present myself has nothing to do with how comfortable I feel about my body.

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,102
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    "And I also see women who actually shame those of us who opt for prosthetics, either implying or explicitly saying we are doing something bad or that there's something mentally wrong with us."

    That's horrible, and I totally disagree with shaming in either direction. Prostheses are a perfectly valid rout, same as choosing reconstruction. You are neither bad nor wrong.

    But even today, openly flat is the least accepted and least visible option for women. If the smallest percentage of us choose that, that's fine. But I'll bet dollars for donuts there are a lot more women pressured into presenting with two full breasts than there are women pressured into presenting flat or uniboob. That's why it's so important for the few of us who are already comfortable with it, to be so openly. To give those closeted women the ok to look like they want to look. And even for the women who choose reconstruction or prostheses, they can do so because THEY WANT to look like that, not because they are EXPECTED to look like that.

  • Blinx
    Blinx Member Posts: 82
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    Newly flat here. I loved that I had "knitted knockers" to help me adjust. I wore them after surgery but stopped during radiation -- the bra was too uncomfortable. I'm thrilled that it's now cooler weather and can venture out to do errands wearing jackets or light coats. I still look flat, but less so. After radiation is over and I'm fully healed I'll look into prosthetics, so that I have choices.

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,102
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    Welcome Blinx! I hope your surgical recovery went well, and that rads go easy for you.

  • hastalavistaboobies
    hastalavistaboobies Member Posts: 1
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