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How have you adjusted to being Half Flat?

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  • Chenye_Tripp
    Chenye_Tripp Member Posts: 2
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    I had a mastectomy in April followed up with immediate reconstruction, a pediculed tram flap. That failed. My tissue was removed in August and was replaced with a prepectoral tissue expander. That also failed. Two days ago I had my seventh surgery since my mastectomy to remove the expander. I'm not quite sure what I'm feeling right now but reading all the posts in this topic has been helpful. Thank you.

  • aussie-cat
    aussie-cat Member Posts: 5,496
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    Chenye, I'm sorry you've had to have so much surgery without good results!! It's okay to be feeling whatever you're feeling and it's understandable that it's sometimes hard to pinpoint what we're feeling. Please be kind to yourself.

  • bennybear
    bennybear Member Posts: 245
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    yikes.chenye! I am so sorry that you have gone through so much. I wasn’t able to do immediate reconstruction and can’t do an implant because of radiation, So I have opted for over a year to be this way. Most days I don’t think about it. I bought a good prosthesis and it enables me to look normal. I just can’t face anymore surgery or being a patient at this time. Hopefully you will adjust well.

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,073
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    All the best to you Chenye! I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to have done so much with so little of what you wanted to happen. I hope you can find some closure, and I'm glad our experiences are helping. No matter what your body looks like, you're amazing.

  • Chenye_Tripp
    Chenye_Tripp Member Posts: 2
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    Aussie-Cat, bennybear and Miriandra, thank you for your kind and inspirational words. It all helps.

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,073
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    JO-5, my surgeon did have the pre-thought to warn me that some women, more often bustier women, may have back or shoulder pain from the weight of the remaining breast. As a borderline B/C cup, she didn't think that would be a problem for me, but said I should pay attention to how my body adjusts to the single boob. She said that if I chose to have the other side removed for any reason (pain, aesthetics, etc.) insurance is obligated to cover any surgery "to restore symmetry". So it's nice that options are still on the table.

  • bennybear
    bennybear Member Posts: 245
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    I too am single breasted, and am a D so it is quite a difference. I wear a bra with a prosthesis that balances out the weight. I have read that you can get back pain because of the difference in weight. Don’t know if that is your cause but something to experiment with. I too can’t face more surgery, with many possible serious complications.

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,073
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    Totally legit, JO-5. The back and shoulder pain could be muscle tension trying to keep the torso balanced. Another possibility is scar tissue from the surgery site pulling on the ribs and causing pain in the facet joints where the ribs meet the spine or the sternum. That's what I've been working through recently - bound up ribs. I have fallen in love with my yoga wheel for helping keep my spine loose and stretched out. It's helped a LOT with rib pain.

    If you can find a good massage therapist, they can hopefully help ease your muscle tissues to feel more comfortable. If the pain is in the remaining breast itself, that could be something else entirely. My first thought is lymph stagnation which can cause discomfort, and potentially can be reduced with lymph self-care techniques. However, it's certainly worth asking your docs about if it's intrusive. You deserve to live a life as pain-free as possible.

    (Disclaimer: I am a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Manual Lymph Drainage Therapist, but not a doctor. Any advice or suggestions are not to be taken as a diagnosis, nor are they intended to replace medical assessment and care from a licensed doctor.)

  • AnnC2019
    AnnC2019 Member Posts: 93
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    I have been half flat with a tissue expander so although I am not completely flat, I haven’t adjusted. Today I was lopsided because I still haven’t picked up a fitted prosthesis and the one I got from Amazon is awful. I felt very self conscious about it today. Also, the tissue expander is so hard and my boob has a weird shape and I still have pain especially when sleeping. Can’t wait to be done with radiation so I can start the six month countdown until reconstruction

  • alto
    alto Member Posts: 82
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    JO-5, have you tried a camisole that accommodates a prosthetic? I’ve found the Amoena Valetta less restrictive than a bra, but with good support/lift for the remaining breast.

    I do have some weird back and rib/breast discomfort on my remaining side. Have been thinking about asking for PT to see if that helps

  • bennybear
    bennybear Member Posts: 245
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    yes it is big enough. If you order on Amazon, you can return it if it doesn’t fit. I went a size up and would recommend the dark colours.

  • tb90
    tb90 Member Posts: 280
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    JO-5. Your shop could also order it for you and then you can try it on first. Most shops that deal with Mx fittings will special order. I prefer this ad then you can ensure proper fits.

  • alto
    alto Member Posts: 82
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    JO-5,

    I get my Valetta camisoles from Amazon (with Amazon as the seller) for around $25 (these go on sale a lot).

    I order a size 12 in the Valetta, but am typically a size 10 top, 36C/D before surgery (38D in Amoena bras after surgery. I have no problem getting a size 7 prosthetic in/out.

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 2,073
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    Hello Ladies! I just posted my latest Half-Flat fashion creation on the Artists' Gallery. You can view it through the link, if you'd like. I'm very pleased with how it came out. :)

    https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/135/topics/835245?page=55#post_5715761

  • msphil
    msphil Member Posts: 185
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    hello sweetie I had reconstruction at time if my Lmast but not to long after I was out of hospital at home with my fiance at time week before Christmas I had severe pain in chest felt very tight and heavy. He rushed me to ER was taken immediately into surgery with temp 103. The implant that only had 1 filling was removed my body rejected it as a foreign object. Been flat chested on that side since I wear a prosthesis in my bras and bathing suits cant tell difference. I sleep in one also makes me feel complete. So hope this helps and for Inspiration in am now a 27 yr Survivor PRAISE GOD. Hope Positive thoughts. msphil idc stage2 3mo chemo before after Lmast got married we were planning our 2nd at diagnosis. Then 7 wks rads 5yrs on tamoxifen. Pray this helps.

  • pixy
    pixy Member Posts: 7
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    Dear Half Flat Sister,

    I too am half flat and will not have plastic surgery. Honestly, it feels strange to be half flat. I have no shame in having no right breast and feel 'odd' having 1 normal breast. Kind of incomplete. Am considering having my left breast removed and then I will feel 'balanced'. Hope you find your answer. There is no shame in being completely flat xxx