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All TopicsForum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy → Topic: I look for other flat chested women. A rant.

Topic: I look for other flat chested women. A rant.

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: Jun 13, 2012 02:39PM - edited Jul 2, 2012 06:56PM by MT1

MT1 wrote:

I know many of you wear prosthesis, so I probably wouldn't be able to see or 'know', but. I look for you. I want to see you. I want to form a union, lol. I wish it were even more accepted, acceptable to be flat. To not wear prosthesis, not feel the need to, to opt out of reconstruction-if that is your choice. I do hope that women who see me, flat as can be, see there are options, that reconstruction isn't par for the course. I want to make flat beautiful, sexy, stylish. Normal. And it is normal for me, is becoming normal, but I am talking about society, norms and expectations. Breast cancer is not about 'boob jobs'. Yes, many of us opt for them, want and need them. But it is also about choosing to be flat. 

Geez, would I like to meet up with other flat chested women. I would love to take over a hotel, make noise, laugh, cry, be flat together-to see you. I want to meet other women who, like me, have decided not to reconstruct. I want to be able to see you and high five! I want to experience our society of normal.

I was picking up my vegetables from the CSA and a man could not stop looking at my chest, I wanted to yell, 'Breast Cancer did this!! Get it together, man!' I wish all of us would!

Rant complete.

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Jun 13, 2012 03:00PM Wrongchick wrote:

MT,
Rant away my flat sister! I live on the other side of the country from you, but if your life ever takes you to CA, yes indeedy we could give each other a high five. I'm trying to be ok with giving up my beloved red wine, but we could clink our glasses of lemonade as well.
Do you know the essay about this topic by A. Lorde? I read it decades ago in college, but even then, in the bliss of youth, health, and perky breasts, it made an impression on me. Let me know if you are interested in reading it. I'll try to find a digital copy.
Just so you know, the dude at the CSA probably was the type to stare at your chest no matter what was or was not there. Or maybe his sister/ mother/daughter/aunt/ grandma/niece is fighting BC. I do my best to think spiritually generous thoughts when I catch people staring, but oh me oh my do I want to yell sometimes, too.

Dx 11/11/2011, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 2/9 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 13, 2012 03:03PM River_Rat wrote:

MT1, I know just what you're talking about.  I've gotten some new forms but I don't expect that I'll ever wear forms all the time.  I had worn them rarely for several years and very rarely over the last two years.  I found myself feeling very sisterly toward every flat chested woman I saw.  But here's the thing - I didn't know how many of them were flat chested due to cancer or how many were just flat chested because I noticed a lot of flat chested women.  Every time I pick up a magazine or catalog I notice how flat so many of the models appear.

Of course there's the opposite extreme too.  It seems like there are so many big breasted women and especially with warm weather clothing I notice all the cleavage and get a little twinge, a little feeling of "I used to have that."  But I still feel like I made the right choice for me.

I too find the idea of a flat chested get together very appealing. 

Fear is the highest fence. ~Dudley Nichols
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Jun 13, 2012 03:09PM alexandria58 wrote:

MT1

I go flat exclusively.  Never wear a bra - or anything.  Moat people don't seem to notice anything other than I'm thinner than I used to be.  I had a bit of a problem the first few months, but now, it's fine.   I'm not sure where you're located, but I'll get together for a flat fest if it's anywhere near my locale.  

Dx 2/22/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Jun 13, 2012 03:35PM MT1 wrote:

Flat Fest! I love this!

NYC.

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Jun 13, 2012 07:49PM crystalphm wrote:

I want to be invited to the First National Flatfest... :-)

I do think about this, I work with all women mostly, and I glance at chests. The interesting thing is when I was coping with cancer issues and working, I would talk about it, and I was shocked at the women who had breast cancer, there are ALOT of us out there...but of course there are many lumpectomies and probably not near as many of us who choose to be flat.

I am fortunate to have a friend who has sent me photos of flat...and it has helped me feel "ok" because I look like her. If that makes any sense.

One interesting moment, I saw a woman with one breast, and the remaining breast was large. I was working with probably 30 other people and I was the only person who noticed.

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Jun 13, 2012 08:04PM Sian65 wrote:

I had a left mx.  I often don't wear a prosthesis - and never at home/to go around the corner.  Great patterned shirts do the trick.  I figure -  give them an education if they notice! ... and almost always no one does... :)  I sometimes wish I had got a double mx cause then I would never have to wear a prosthesis.

Diagnosis: 9/6/2011, ILC, 11.5cm tumour, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 10/13 nodes, Luminal A ER+/PR+/HER2- Surgery 9/21/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/5/2011 Ellence (epirubicin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 11/16/2011 Avastin (bevacizumab) Surgery 2/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 3/28/2012 Navelbine (vinorelbine), Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 6/26/2012 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 13, 2012 08:07PM alexandria58 wrote:

OK, so how about first annual flat fest either in NY or NJ (I'm in Trenton, NJ) sometime over the summer or early fall?  

Dx 2/22/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Jun 13, 2012 08:12PM mrsnjband wrote:

I went flat for 3 years & most people didn't notice unless I brought it up. I really didn't care what people thought.  

But I started infections in my arm because my mastectomy scar was burnt to a crisp through the rads.  So last summer I had a bi-lateral diep.  I am truly happy I did it because I am in less pain now than I was before the surgery.

I fully support you & others who go flat. NJ 

Norma June, Bi-lateral MX 2008, Bi-lateral DIEP 2011 Dx 1/10/2008, IBC, <1cm, Stage IIIB, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/24/2008 AC Chemotherapy 3/9/2008 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 5/28/2008 Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/9/2008 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/10/2008 Surgery 8/14/2011 Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 8/14/2011 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Surgery 12/11/2011 Reconstruction (left)
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Jun 14, 2012 12:10AM Momine wrote:

I like the idea of a flat fest, lol. We should do it in one of the hotels in Vegas, home of the cleavage. To those who are only half-flat, you are obviously welcome too.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/19/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/12/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/8/2012 Surgery 3/7/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 14, 2012 05:58AM barsco1963 wrote:

Love the idea of Flat Fest! However, being Canadian I will likely be there in spirit only as a Half-Flatter. Fortunately I am small breasted and can often get away without wearing a form, but do wear it when wearing tank tops etc. I go without a bra & form whenever I can though.

Be flat - Be happy!

It isn't knowing the worst, the worst is not knowing. Dx 5/30/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 21/29 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 7/24/2011
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Jun 14, 2012 06:48AM - edited Jun 14, 2012 06:50AM by Flat_for_Life

I was sitting here....on my recovery couch....surfing for some sort of connection to the outside world.  A world I used to belong to 9 days ago.  It has been 9 days since my bi-lateral mastectomy due to cancer in my right breast.  The decision was relatively easy since I made it so many years ago....losing a number of good friends to this disease puts things in perspective for you. 

I came across this discussion board (and this thread) and it just made my day!  Flat Chested Fest!!!!  I immediately felt like I belonged somewhere in the world again....The Flat Chested World!!!!!  I have to tell you that I have never joined any chat room or discussion board until today...I wanted the Flat Chested World to know they have a new member from PA!!!!  I wanted to yell....I AM HERE!!!!!

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to belong again... I am so newly diagnosed that I can't even put my recovery information at the bottom of this reply....this topic was the inspiration for my username!!!! Smile

Dx 4/9/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/5/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 14, 2012 07:01AM MT1 wrote:

Flat Fest 2012! Half Flat Fest! How very flattering! So two people might like to meet up in NYC in the fall?

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Jun 14, 2012 07:11AM Tina337 wrote:

Flat for Life, welcome to the Living Without Recon forum. This is a lovely group of women, so supportive and thoughtful.

One of the members here, Barbara, has created a website that has excellent info on living without recon. Check it out:

Breastfree.org

MT, "flattering" ha ha! Funny.
"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 14, 2012 07:15AM Flat_for_Life wrote:

Thank you for the website and the welcome!

Dx 4/9/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/5/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 14, 2012 08:36AM River_Rat wrote:

Hello Flat for Life, I'm glad you found us.  I think you'll enjoy the website that Tina gave you too.  When I was feeling like I was alone in the decision I had made I saw a book called "Show Me" and I found http://breastfree.org/ and read the stories there and suddenly I didn't feel so freakish and alone.  I looked at the pictures and saw beautiful strong women.  As I healed, after the drains were removed, I looked at my chest in the bathroom mirror every time I went in there; and it wasn't long before I saw a beautiful strong woman there too.  

I can't do New York but I'll be there in spirit.  If there's an interest for a Flat Fest in the Detroit area, that I can do. 

Fear is the highest fence. ~Dudley Nichols
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Jun 14, 2012 11:35AM crystalphm wrote:

Welcome Flat for life....we do belong here, we can  share all of the ups and downs here...we are sisters with a bond.

 And it seems appropriate to post here that I got a call from my fitter (had an appointment today for my first set of silicon forms) and it seems I have to pay the first $400. I am astounded.

  So no silicon for me so i am truly  "flat and fabulous"

I will worry about silicon some other day....

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Jun 14, 2012 11:48AM thepinkbirdie wrote:

i had a left mastectomy in 2009.  i tried the prosthesis and hated it.  then i tried loose fitted shirts.  then i said to hell with it all and wear what i feel like.  nothing quite says "breast cancer awareness" like one boob in a tight tank top!

patterned shirts do help to camoflage.

love "flat fest"!! 

thepinkbirdie.blogspot.com Dx 6/2/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 14, 2012 11:52AM - edited Jun 14, 2012 11:59AM by Flat_for_Life

Nice to meet you River Rat and Crystalphm....I went to the Breastfree website and realized that I had already travelled there in my frantic attempt to gain information before my surgery.  As I went back through the pics, I wondered if any of the women pictured were Barbara...I have such immense respect for each woman who gave of themselves so those of us who would come after could find some relief as we found proof of what we might look like after.....

I live in PA and would love to come to NYC for a FLAT FEST!!!!! 

MT1....you are a hilarious!

Dx 4/9/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/5/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 14, 2012 12:00PM greenfrog wrote:

FlatFest! Excellent idea.

Maybe this should be a virtual international festival of flatness? Laughing

Some profile raising of this issue is long overdue. Koo Stark is a poster woman for the resolutely breastless - she looks fantastic. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2136178/Prince-Andrews-lover-Koo-Stark-to-launch-phone-hacking-claim-U-S-Murdoch-empire.html

Hope you are on the road to recovery soon Flat For Life.

Dx 5/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/19 nodes, ER+, HER2-
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Jun 14, 2012 12:05PM Flat_for_Life wrote:

Hey GreenFrog!  I love the idea of an international festival of flatness!!!!  Thanks for the kind words as well.  Best to you!

Dx 4/9/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/5/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 14, 2012 12:18PM Linda-n3 wrote:

MT1, thanks for starting this thread! And wrongchick, I would LOVE to read the essay you referred to.

I purchased silicone boobs after BMX, was informed they were out of pocket because I had not met my out-of-provider network minimum - they didn't tell me that before I picked them up and used them - told me later - and of course, being me, didn't put up much of a fuss - found they were soft, comfortable, provided a "buffer zone" from all the huggers in my life. But at home I went without, and have been going out more and more without them and last week at work one of the secretaries asked if I had lost weight - LOL! I was thin initially, so not major change in appearance, and I never liked wearing a bra, so wearing one to just hold some silicone in place is NOT my idea of fun. But I AM having a little difficulty with the bathing suit issue - flat is one thing, concave is another.... *sigh*

So, when and where is the Flat Fest? Will be there if at all possible!!!

BTW, there is another thread here called Flat and Fabulous that may be of interest. And there is another one with suggestions for wardrobe - can't remember the name of the thread, but there were some pics and ideas there.

Linda - "Loving to learn; learning to love." "Gratitude leads to joy. Joy leads to prayer. Prayer leads to gratitude." "Oh, what fresh new hell is this???" - Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory Dx 7/14/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 19/23 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 8/2011, IDC, Stage IIIC Dx 9/2012, IDC, Stage IIIC Dx 12/2012, IDC, Stage IV
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Jun 14, 2012 12:56PM River_Rat wrote:

Greenfrog, wonderful picture at the link you posted.  Koo Stark is still beautiful.

Fear is the highest fence. ~Dudley Nichols
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Jun 14, 2012 01:33PM MT1 wrote:

resolutely breastless- I love this statement. I did not know Koo Stark, thanks for the link Green Frog.

If I hadn't found Sentenced2Live's photos the night I returned from the plastic surgeons office, I don't know what I would have done.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sentenced2live/sets/72157594534895235/

Then I found this blog:

http://nofnpinkribbons.blogspot.com/

and this one:

http://ddlatt.blogspot.com/

and I knew everything would be OK. I knew I did not have to go the traditional route and get reconstruction. So, I know that we are out there. I just want to see other women like me. Like, with all this breast cancer awareness crap, why doesn't anyone mention that many women who go through treatment don't have nipples? Choose not to get then, want them, whatever. Don't get me started on the pinkypinkness. But the pictures you see are of women with breasts, I can't tell if lumpectomy, reconstruction, if they are just advertisements, I don't know the details.

But I am real. This choice is real. The choice not to reconstruct is a choice, reconstruction is a choice. This is part of breast cancer too. 

I wonder if we could have a skype or video chat? Hell, in person would be even better, but we should figure something out! 

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Jun 14, 2012 02:45PM alexandria58 wrote:

The summer is such a hard time to plan.  I think a Saturday in September in New York or Philly would be great.  Hey, maybe even Atlantic City - home of the former Miss America contest.  We could do a flat swimsuit competition.

Dx 2/22/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Jun 14, 2012 03:04PM Tina337 wrote:

MT1, I wish I had had your strength and insight. I was on the fence - didn't like the unnatural aspect of implants - but I thought recon might help maintain my pride of body and sexuality. Boy, was I wrong about that one! They were like a stupid white elephant in the room. My husband has told me he thinks I look more like my old self without the implants. Oh, well, here I am. Better late than never.

I am game for meeting in Phila. I have been trying on bathing suits recently, which has temporarily taken me into the sad zone. Lymphedema, concavity, extra flesh around the arm pits, saggy butt, bleck. At 55, my contest will be to just wear a bathing suit after four years! :-)

"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." ~ George Bernard Shaw Dx 11/13/2007, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 14, 2012 04:19PM coraleliz wrote:

I also find myself looking at other's chests hoping to find someone else who is truley flat. My friends who I considered flat before BC, now look much bigger. I also have to look away from any one displaying cleavage. I still not to wear any kind of forms. I figure it would be for others to look at??Undecided So, I guess that makes me selfish??Undecided Seriously, I 'm good being flat. Couldn't look flatter when I go to the gym. I swim laps & go flat there as well. As for the other times I'd need a swimsuit, they are so few & far between, I just throw a rash guard over a running top & put on some bikini bottoms. These times are usually beach or lake related & i'm in & out of the water so much. It works. But, yeah, where are all the flat women??

"flattering" I'm a little slow today, so a belated haha

Dx 2/28/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/15/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 15, 2012 08:08AM havingfaith wrote:

High Five to everyone, I'm so glad this thread has started.  I'm 7 weeks past my surgery and yesterday was the first time I went without a sports bra or a cami and let me tell you it felt so good in the 100 degree weather. I'm out there too looking for other flat chested women.  I have to be honest and tell you before when I would notice women and their cleavage I would think "cover yourself up", but now I feel sorry for them because they may not know the danger of breast cancer.

I'm going through chemo right now so I'm also looking for other picc lines or ports.

Kelli - Phillippians ch.4 vs.13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Dx 4/20/2012, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 4/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/27/2012 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 6/6/2012 AC Chemotherapy 8/8/2012 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/1/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 11/19/2012
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Jun 15, 2012 10:04AM cooka wrote:

I am totally down for the FlatFest 2012! A Saturday in September or October in NY sounds perfect:)   

Dx 7/15/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/11/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 9/16/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 15, 2012 02:13PM greenfrog wrote:

If you managed to meet up for FlatFest we foreigners could Skype in to someone's laptop for a virtual cup of coffee maybe?

That's a great pic you linked to MT1 - nothing overly heroic or posturing - just a woman with kids on the beach living her life.

Dx 5/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/19 nodes, ER+, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2012 02:39PM wallycat wrote:

I never gave wearing bras/prosthetics a second thought.  If I had to lose my breasts, I would enjoy the FREEDOM and expense from all of that.  I was large breasted and bras were never comfortable for me, so I considered the side-effect of the horror of cancer as the benefit of no more undergarments.

I have not had anyone make any comments and if they look or notice, they are very discrete.

I am with the gals that posted they don't care what others think.  I guess I cannot imagine someone coming up to a naturally born smaller chested woman and asking her or telling her it is unacceptable.  If you and your significant other are dealing well with it, power to you!!

If the stem cell/fat injection stuff becomes well accepted, I may consider it, simply because the hollow areas are not the best looking in tighter t-shirts, but otherwise, I will just leave well enough alone.

Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012

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