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Topic: Summer Clothing/Healing ????

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: May 9, 2007 10:36AM

tos wrote:

I had my bilateral w/no recon 4 weeks ago and am having problems. For one thing I had a infection but the antibiotics helped w/that but I'm still swollen, especially on one side and have been going in numerous times to get aspirated, the doc says maybe one more time.
Then evidently I will still have some swelling cuz he said the rest of the fluid would seep back into my body.
Also I really still feel pretty tender, how long does it take to heal from this surgery or is it different for different ladies?
My other problem is what kind of top would someone wear since it is getting hot and not being healed enough to get a prosthetic yet? I did get a cami for right after the surgery and I loved it but it is too hot for a longish top underneath something else but thought I might use the softie pads that came with it.
It isn't so bad around the house going flat but I am very uncomfortable going anywhere. It wasn't so bad if I could throw on a little jacket but it's just too hot now. I have noticed that I hunch my shoulders in so know it is bothering me. I did order a pocketed sports bra from TLC to try w/the softie pads until I get healed.
Does anyone any suggestions and did it take anyone else this long too heal?
Thank you all for any help, Log in to post a reply

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May 9, 2007 03:50PM caaclark wrote:

Hi Pam,

I had my mast. right in the middle of summer ( July 5th last year). Funny how I do not remember how long it took to heal but I think that by mid August I was wearing regular mast. bras with the prosth. I think I remember the fitter saying that I healed quickly. Anyway, what saved me in the meantime was the camisoles made by "Still You". They have a built in bra with pockets (similar to the softee) but look more like a regular camisole. They also come with the poofy stuff. I would wear that (they come in black, white and beige) and put a linen shirt on top-but I would leave the linen shirt opened. If you end up getting the "still you" camisoles make sure you do not dry them. I dried the black one by itself and it came out looking all pilled. Suprised me since I washed it alone and dried it alone. I still wear them now but with a reg. bra underneath. These camisoles are also ones that you can wear with no shirt on top.
Carol Clark- Author of WHEN OUR MOM HAD CANCER Diag.1/06 at age 40, 1.6cm, 6+nodes, stage IIIa, er/pr+, her2-, chemo, mast. rads, no recon
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May 10, 2007 08:46AM tos wrote:

Carol thank you so much, it never even entered my mind that I could wear a pretty cami and leave the button front shirt unbuttoned! lol Sometimes I wonder what happened to my common sense, chemo I guess, thinking too hard.
I will check out the Still You camis and thanks for the laundry tip!
Yes if it were winter we could wear whatever and it wouldn't show.
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May 10, 2007 09:45AM Erica wrote:

I also love the Still You camisoles (they call them "tank" tops on their website). I'm wearing one right now, in fact! I've noticed women wearing regular camisoles that basically look the same. Though I normally wear size 2 or 3 silicone prostheses, when I wear the camisole, I use the unweighted Amoena Leisure forms (style 126) in a size 4. They have a nice shape and don't weigh down the camisole. Sometimes, I wear the cami the way Carol described, with an open blouse. I also bought a couple of shear blouses and use the camis underneath. It's a nice way to feel sexy without being too revealing. (; BreastFree Blog (; Twitter @BreastFree
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May 10, 2007 09:54AM tos wrote:

Thank you Barbara for your advice, having some different options makes a gal feel a little better. I'll check out your information.
You're always a big help!
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May 15, 2007 02:11AM Ter wrote:

Doesnt really bother me having no boobs, or having any reconstruction done on both first it was no biggie as it was winter and my first masct in NOv 04 and one in Nov 05,

I was never big busted and always got to get away with wearing cute little tanks with no bra if I wanted to...then a bit back as I have been going through a bit of depression I got mad but again now I still dont feel deformed etc. and no I dont use prothesisis, just me...and on the right side the first the tissue from the arm pit gets swollen "lymphodema" and using my arm it gets hardended a bit, and I use a large to cover that excess bigness or Ive been calling it my "extra boob", alot of my cute t shirt tops are too small on the right side in the arm pit, ugh, I use a size large as i have a large back side, yes i was a swimmer for with summer here again I have and use tons of tank tops by themself at home, or even out at times, as its hot where i live and I thought if someone doesnt like the looks of what i look like, pooey to them...but I do use them as I can go into the lingerie dept and find tons of undershirts, cute ones of all colors, and I buy a large, some a medium, but to cover up that excess boob /muscle as it helps. but being I dont work outside the home Im disabled and now in a wheel chair recently, also a walker as I was stuck at home as when I was out w/my walker Id get so tired my doc thought Id get more out of life if I have to use a wheel chair so I wont get so exhausted, and the "C" in my hip, just makes it easier on me but that extra skin that is getting a workout gets hard and I do try to cover it so I am having to use my arms quite a lot to get around and now my bicep is getting a work out, yes very tiring on that..but I have found as I wear jeans and a tank and have been looking for like a short sleeve light fabric w/buttons down the front as when i bend over yep you can see right down to my belly button, and the style of wearing 2 tanks are good, but even that gets hotter here.

the problem I do have is that my left side I can shave under, but my right side, its too painful not just to shave it, but the growth afterwards ugh.
Any ideas on that one? Id really would appreciate it, but mainly Im home and that is just that, I deal with it but going out, Id put on a button down.

Maybe some summery beads might look good, I cant wear metal, as im allergic to it, so Im answering a bit of my own question as I didnt care what I looked like but now I am beginning to, which I guess is good and bead just might look and make me feel better about my appearance. Just the shaving is the big problem, but overall I shouldnt even complain.

As of healing,hmmmmm I was in hospital all last week as I thought I was having heart attack, but no, the pains were from a long story portacath that apparently has damaged my heart, nothing I was told life threating and the right chest is what they said is in pain from the healing, and that was in Nov 04, as they had to cut so much out of me and took about 19 nodes and peal all my ribs and cut muscles and tendons etc and will and can take years for the pain to go away, plus I have 2 more lumps we found there, but they say its nothing...well see, but Im finding out in MY case the healing process is a long one, and they said it can be and I can still always have pain as the muscles etc are trying to heal still, as it can alwalys be this way....

Long ago when I first joined here in 04, remember Diane 3strikes, and Janelle? Well we were planning and I was trying to come up with a good idea and I did, a clothesline just for BC they have peties, talls, xtra large etc etc, why not us, as I planned tons of stuff as I had connections w/a relitive in the speciality of manufacturing business, she thought it was great idea and well needed, as we need larger armholes, sofrter fabrids in certain areas, and my ideas are all written down of what I would like, as an itchy top just doesnt get it, plus Diane said she would wear her husbands shirts and Janelle also would, and we all thought it would be a great idea and came up with tons of good if anyone here has the ambition etc and wants to know some of mine let me know as I know what Id like, and Im sure there are tons of women who have not had reconstruction, or wear prothesisis whem going to work etc...oh brings back lots of good memories of those 2 angels. I now just dont have the energy anymore, but my brain works, and I think its about time WE all had what we want...and yes there are tricks to the trade for clothing.

ok ok Im gone its late and i know im rambling...

let me know what you think..

I'll try not raising my right arm high if only in a

It's better to be effective than it is to be right.-
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May 15, 2007 08:04AM tos wrote:

Hi Ter, I so enjoyed hearing from you! Yes please keep the arm down! Just kidding, the shaving is a problem. I'm sorry I don't have an answer for that one as of yet, may run into something similar later on. When I had my lumpectomy on the rt side over 4 yrs ago I always had problems shaving there, have mild lympedema and swelling occasionally plus the numbness but have noticed recently w/my glasses on that I don't think I even have hair there now maybe cuz of rads, I have heard that or maybe the chemo.
I do have that "extra boob" on my left side right now cuz of the swelling from fluid so I understand a bit about what you're saying, it does show in tighter clothing and I can't figure out how to shave that area. I love the tanks, they look so cute on everyone else, I do wear a couple at home or to sleep in but most of them are so tight! I'm not skinny but not real heavy either but I really don't have the midriff for a tight cami. I'm 60 and something that drives me mad is that I'm not ready to wear clothes for the older ladies and I keep finding myself wandering over into the juniors cuz they seem to have all the cute clothes. lol Then whoopsie back I go.
I have turned towards sleeveless blouses w/prints for distraction which I learned on this board I think but they have been hard for me to find. I live in a rural area so no big stores w/lingerie departments for me. I guess there is online but I would be worried about fit.
Anyway how in the world did your portacath damage your heart? I'm so glad it isn't life threatening but what a scare! My goodness you have been thru alot. I sure hope those lumps are nothing like they say, fingers crossed.
I guess we all just have to try different clothing to see what works for the season, it can be maddening. Yes we certainly do need a line of clothing. Right now I could even use a smaller armhole on one side, don't think that is gonna happen.
Thanks for writing,

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