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 05:39PM - edited Jul 2, 2012 09:56PM by MT1

Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 05:39PM - edited Jul 2, 2012 09:56PM 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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Nov 10, 2012 05:40PM crystalphm wrote:

It is all unnerving, I feel my body doesn't play by the same rules anymore. it could just be winter dry skin, or shingles like suggested. Rashes could be for a hundred  small reasons...

I am keeping a good thought for you...let us know.

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Nov 10, 2012 05:58PM Dawn7 wrote:

Dear MT1,
Hopefully it is not shingles but the headache and sleeping made me think of a viral condition. I don't know if the radiation is a factor but it might be. There are medications that can help especially if you start them early. Is there anyone you know who could take a look before Monday, just in case? Hope you feel better soon. Dawn

Surgery 10/25/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Nov 10, 2012 06:01PM BoobsinaBox wrote:

The itching, nerve pain, and area (from back to front) all sound like shingles. Stress is a major cause of shingles onset, and you have had plenty of stress lately. Thinking of you and hoping you get good answers soon.

Dawn (another one)

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Nov 10, 2012 07:43PM Linda-n3 wrote:

MT1, if you DO have shingles, getting treated ASAP will help reduce long-term pain issues, and delaying treatment can increase chances of persistent pain.  Call your doc or whoever is on call, you need to be seen!!!! 

I think I am especially empathetic with all of you who are having pain issues right now - having a few bad days after having a few good ones.  PT has been helping, but after a year of dealing with the misery on the back of my ALND arm I finally saw an interventional pain specialist and then did some more reading and research.  I am scheduled for some  kind of ultrasound-guided injection next week - she seemed to think there is a good chance that will give me a lot of relief.  I am hopeful.  In case any of you are interested, there is a really interesting web site on post-mastectomy pain issues by one of those surgeons who actually seems to be listening to and learning from his patients:

I will check Mel's site to see the new artwork.  I went to a professional educational meeting a couple weeks ago on art therapy (I am NOT an art therapist, but was interested in the topic) and found it extremely interesting.  I didn't realize how much counseling is involved once a person has created art during a therapy session, so it isn't just about the art, but about how one feels about it, and what one can do to feel better about the artwork.  We did a little hands-on exercise, and I discovered that my first art did NOT make me feel good, but I was able to identify things that would make it feel better, such as softening some lines, blending some of the harsher colors, bringing a little more harmony to the overall piece.  So working through the creative process can really help to focus on "being in the moment" and then kind of coming to some understanding or resolution.

IMHO, those energy drinks should be banned to begin with, and the pink lemonade one ought to be used as an enema for the idiot that created it.  And Avon should be ashamed to accept funds from them (I don't know what Avon does with their fundraising anyway, but that's another issue....).

Hoping all of you have a good weekend.

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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Nov 10, 2012 08:01PM Dawn7 wrote:

I hesitate to bring this up because it sounds kind of trite in the scheme of things but it's bothering me so here goes . I have decided I feel comfortable flat- its been two and a half weeks since BMX- and I have yet to feel " lacking" so I am not going to purchase bras and prothesis etc. just because I have insurance right now. Only thing is that one side has a ridge, like a mini boob and the other side ( big C side) is totally flat! I don't understand why it looks that way- I was hoping to match. Can anything be done later to fix it? What causes this? If this is not the correct forum for this, I apologize in advance- Dawn

Surgery 10/25/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Nov 10, 2012 09:06PM Granellie wrote:

MT1, I'm crossing my fingers and praying that shingles is not what's going on with you. Hope you feel better soon.

Dawn 7, Your feelings about living flat and the concern about how it looks are both that I've been having. What's been said to me is that time (up to a year) is needed before we'll see the final results. Go back to Nov 9th in this thread to see my post and then some feedback after that.

Surgery 6/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 8/15/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 10, 2012 09:08PM crystalphm wrote:

Hi Dawn, I have a puff on each side so it sorta looks like cleavage, but the rest of the breast is missing. There is also a ridge at the bottom of where the breast would have been, and I am not sure why. My sides do differ, the cancer side seems to have more missing, and it hurts more.

You are very recent with your surgery, ask your doctor when you see them, and absolutely things change as they heal.

Congrats on feeling secure being flat! me too. I do admit to having fun with elegant scarves. You are wise to wait  for buying boobs and bras, first of all you are too soon out and they will hurt. Secondly, you may change your mind over and over as to what you want, so just move forward until you feel better and then have the chance to try stuff on.

But that said, I have a 'collection" of breast forms, I wear only the TLC microbead forms which are feather weight, when i wear them.

Your concerns are very real and very important! It is about you, needing support, wanting to feel fantastic again. me too.

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Nov 10, 2012 11:11PM lindakr wrote:

MT1 - about four weeks ago I developed a rash just along my MX scar, it was growing slowly, but didn't wrap around.  My MO sent me to a dermatologist immediately, to rule out skin mets, and to figure out what it was.  They did swabs to test for Shingles and herpes simplex virus, and they did two punch biopsies.  The results came back as radiation recall dermatitis, which is most commonly caused by changing meds, but stress, or ???? can also trigger it.  It was kind if itchy and prickely feeling (but I don't have much feeling there, so hard to tell).  Anyway they prescribed a steroid cream and it started healing immediately.  If it were a herpes or shingles thing they were going to put me on anti-viral meds.  There is a small catch though, my LE started acting up on the way home from the punch biopsy and I'm still trying to get it back under control (can you imagine what havoc reconstruction would cause?) and when they took the stitches out the biopsies popped open, they hadn't even started to heal.  I was given the option to have them stitched back up, but chose to let them heal from the inside out instead, it's taking forever. 

I don't want to scare you, alll in all it wasn't bad, but watch for side effects if you have a biopsy done.  They said it will probably take much longer to heal because of the scar tissue and radiation damage.  But on the bright side, the rash is gone Undecided

Modified Radical MX w/axillary dissection; 6xTCH, Hercpetin for a year, Rads, trying 3rd AI Aromasin. No Reconstruction. Lymphedema. Dx 3/19/2010, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/2/2010 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Targeted Therapy 5/15/2010 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/15/2010 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/25/2010 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 10, 2012 11:13PM Dawn7 wrote:

Dear Granellie and Cyrstalphm,
Thank you for your responses and good advice. I really appreciate it. I am not scheduled to see my surgeon again but at this point sounds like I need to see how things look this time next year anyway. I guess I was just surprised. My surgeon was not a great communicator! Of course, not having cancer now or hopefully not in the future is the important thing- I guess I must be a little vain. Sometimes everything still seems surreal- it was only about two months ago when I got the mammogram callback... Sometimes I forget I don't have breasts until I reach up for something, then Owww! I'm really lucky that I feel I look okay without them though and my husband has been supportive in this regard. Oh- Granellie- I ordered some of those jockey camisoles- thanks!

Surgery 10/25/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Nov 11, 2012 04:17AM Momine wrote:

Mel, I hope you can get the rash checked pronto, so you don't have to worry.

Dawn, I think your concern and questions are totally legit. We may be titless, but that doesn't mean we can't be vain or that we shouldn't be.

My surgery was in September '11, so more than a year ago. I finished rads in February of this year, so about 9 months ago. At first the chest looked as if Dr. Frankenstein had butchered me. Then after the rads, it looked liked Dr. Frankenstein had been there and then had it fried as well, just got for good measure. Just the other day, I noticed how much the rad burn had healed, and what bumps and lumps there were at the beginning seem to have smoothed out. It doesn't look splendid or anything, but it looks way, way better than it did the first 6 months.

What has surprised me with this surgery is both that it wasn't as bad as I imagined, in terms of pain and recovery, but then also that the recovery is very, very, very long. It seems like a ridiculously slow process and it can get to be frustrating at times.

By the way, the docs keep asking if I want recon, nicely not pushy, and when I thought it through, I realized that if I ever were to go under the knife for cosmetics, it would not be to get boobs, but rather to get them to remove the loose skin on my stomach that my pregnancy with dd left behind. I am pretty sure it could be done with a mini-tuck, i.e. only cutting skin, no messing with muscles and the like. Just to say that you bet I am vain, and as long as I don't go overboard, I don't see the problem.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)

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