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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

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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Dec 17, 2017 12:39PM JJ62 wrote:

What a great story Momine! Thanks for sharing it! I hope you surgery went well and that your recovery is uneventful Glennie19.

BRCA1+, LVI. " Life is Good" Dx 12/29/2009, IDC, 2cm, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 1/31/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 3/16/2010 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/4/2011 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic ovary removal
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Dec 17, 2017 01:39PM glennie19 wrote:

Surgery was Nov 30th. Had anti-nausea meds pre-op and that made all the difference for me in recovery! Surgery at 8:30 and out of there at 1:30. Had drain pulled on day 13 post op, but having some puffiness now,, hoping it is not a seroma, but I had one last time, so it won't be surprising. Aside from that tight, puffy feeling,,,, I feel pretty good otherwise. Thanks everyone!

Fibromyalgia and Truncal Lymphedema,,, some of the fun things I live with. Total hysterecomy 9/29/14 Prophy MX Righty 11/30/17 Dx 6/27/2013, Paget's, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/8/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx DCIS
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Dec 17, 2017 07:57PM kathindc wrote:

Glennie, my BS had me wear a tight sports bra with extra padding for a month to prevent swelling after the drains came out. It worked for me. Just a thought.

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Dec 18, 2017 10:48PM Jeremiah29-11 wrote:

Great stuff, Momine! Thank you!

Dx 10/17/2017, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/29/2017 TAC Radiation Therapy 4/9/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 6/19/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 22, 2018 12:48PM Hogwarts wrote:

Hi all,

Just found this thread and love the rant that started it! You guys are great and I love not feeling 'alone' on this journey of trying to figure out my new flat self (silicone forms not comfy, especially in summer heat) or how not to feel self-conscious in the summer going flat. Caught between a hard place and a rock.

Time to get new forms and hope there is something that won't irritate chest wall nerves (fingers crossed that the gabapentin will help!) as everything I've tried so far isn't comfortable. Maybe the molded foam or beaded forms won't irritate or hold in the moisture in GA summer humidity.

Opted for a BMX as I knew intuitively this was right for me. No more awful mammograms (it's awful when you are small and get smashed like that; I always felt violated afterwards.)

Hope some of you got together for a flat fest. Couldn't read thru all the posts, but it would be great to be amongst other women, physically, who find flat is their new normal.

Trying to find tops with prints is the new rule for me for comfort in the summer heat. All my wardrobe tops before surgery was in solids! Black doesn't suit me, otherwise I'd wear black tops in the summer. Sigh....

Does anyone else just cringe when they try on summer tops, when we can't hide under layers? Regardless that friends don't notice that I'm now flat, not that there was much to begin, but to find something that's comfy and adds a little curve would feel so good in the summer if I didn't want to go flat!!!

But, even though I'm whining a bit, I am so very grateful to be nearly 3 yrs. out and very healthy with some holes in my chest to show how the yucky stuff was removed. Small price to pay when I reckon what could have been in a different universe/timeline.

So glad you are here and love that I'm not the only one who is tired of the pink-wash that often accompanies a BC dx in our society. I don't want to be reminded about that period in my life when there was high anxiety and I couldn't eat or sleep. I just want to enjoy feeling so healthy now and normal and put this all in the past, because that's where it lives now. It's not a part of my future.

So grateful for your being here. Hugs to all, Hogwarts

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Mar 22, 2018 01:24PM Wren44 wrote:

Hogwarts, Knitted knockers might be the coolest forms. The foam ones are a lot cooler than the silicone. I wonder if some of the 'bralettes' I see would work. I'm stuck with one real one that sags, so they don't work for me.

Lumpectomy and re-excision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Five years of anastrasole completed.
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Mar 22, 2018 07:19PM Hogwarts wrote:

Hi Wren, Thanks for your thoughts. Have 2 pr. of knitted knockers and any texture after a while is an irritant, unfortunately.. Got some cheap foam forms for right after surgery while waiting for the swelling to go down. Wore those and later realized that their 'edges' irritated. Ditto with the silicone forms, if you can believe that. Hoping that either the beaded forms or the formed foam foobs will work. Fingers crossed!

Have a drawer full of nylon coobie and Genie-type bras. They all work to a point and then the nylon becomes irritating. Did end up getting some all cotton exercise bras, cut slits in the sides and put my silicone foobs in them. Then used safety pins in the middle to keep from having a uniboob. The cotton seems to work better than anything else and this bra isn't hugging my chest like mastectomy bras, which also helps. Not perfect, but that's life....


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Apr 1, 2018 07:10PM - edited Apr 1, 2018 07:12PM by BlueGirlRedState

Thank you for posting the duet from the Magic Flute. I heard Thomas Quasthoff - baritone, years ago in a different performance ( I forget what). He is fantastic. I did not do any reconstruction after a bi-lateral at the end of 2016, still debating a tattoo, maybe monarchs

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Apr 2, 2018 01:51AM Momine wrote:

Bluegirl, I just think Quasthoff is so gorgeous in his whole attitude and the art he produces. When he sings, you don't think about his handicap and it clearly doesn't impede his ability to be a mensch and share his talent. Good thing to keep in mind.

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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Oct 6, 2018 07:37PM Aussie-Cat wrote:

Hi all, I was so glad to find this thread today and I've read the first 3 pages. I had a double mastectomy without reconstruction in June and 2 weeks later I developed nerve pain, so I haven't been wearing forms since then. I've felt somewhat alone on this journey even though some people have been supportive. I'm taking Lyrica (pregabalin) for the nerve pain and it's not too bad but wearing a bra and forms makes the pain worse. It's spring in Australia and I'm feeling stressed about the idea of having to go flat in the hot weather that's coming. I've not worried too much about going flat during winter with all my layers of clothes. It's a good idea to try patterned clothes to disguise the flatness. I hope some other flat or half flat women will come to this thread and share their stories too.

Surgery 6/19/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 6, 2018 07:57PM ksusan wrote:

Welcome, Aussie-Cat. I've posted earlier in the thread, but want to say that I still find that most people don't notice.

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Oct 6, 2018 08:12PM kathindc wrote:

Aussie-Cat, I wear patterned, darted and knit tops. One thing I don’t miss is sweaty bras in the summertime. Believe it or not, the majority, and I do mean the majority, of people don’t notice you going flat. In almost six and a half years I’ve caught less than 10 people stare and all it takes is a hard stare back at them and you should see their faces when they’re caught. My mantra is, It’s all in your flatitude. I wear mine proudly! It is so liberating forme.

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Oct 6, 2018 08:14PM Aussie-Cat wrote:

Thanks, ksusan. That's what I've heard too but it's still hard to get used to being flat when it's such a contrast to how I used to look. How are you doing?

Surgery 6/19/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 6, 2018 08:34PM Snickersmom wrote:

Hi Aussie-Cat

I had BMX with no reconstruction. I had originally tried to wear the big old heavy mastectomy bras (my insurance pays for 9 a year for me!) with the nasty heavy silicone inserts. But they were uncomfortable and gave me a nasty kind of heat rash. The fitter at the hospital breast cancer boutique said "now don't you feel like your old normal self again?" I want to kill her now. What a horrible thing to say I just didn't realize it at the time. I think I was too numb and thought I wanted to try to look like I used to. I tried sports bras with knitted knocker inserts but those weren't comfortable ether

I soon realized that the summers here in Florida were perfect for braless, and that's the way I am now. Most of the time, I love it. I went out and bought a bunch of new tops and most are camouflaged with patterns and so I choose to think that people don't even notice I'm not wearing a bra. It's wonderful not having sweat running down between my boobs!!

I spent 6 weeks in Australia 4 years ago (mostly Sydney and the Alice Springs area) and I sure wouldn't have been comfortable in the mastectomy bras there either!!


Dx 3/24/2017, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/2/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 6/11/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Oct 6, 2018 09:28PM ksusan wrote:

Hey, Aussie-Cat. I'm doing well! 3.5 years out from active treatment, 3 years of Tamoxifen taken (1131 pills and counting), full range of motion. Now working on knocking my Tamoxifen weight gain down, ounce by ounce.

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Oct 7, 2018 01:25PM Aussie-Cat wrote:

Snickersmom, I'm sorry that silicone forms gave you a rash and the fitter was so unhelpful. It's a pity that Knitted Knockers weren't comfortable either. I can understand you wanting to go braless in Florida summers. Most of the time in Melbourne I'm too cold but it can get quite hot here (40C) in summer at times, so it will be nice for me to go braless a lot of the time. I tried on some silicone forms and I thought the lightest one was the best, so if I stop being sore I will consider getting some of those but I would have to get used to foam forms first. It's certainly nice not wearing them at home but I'll have to see how I go being flat over the summer. Thanks so much for telling me about your experiences and feelings.

susan, I'm so glad you're doing well! Good on you for working on your Tamoxifen weight gain. Life always has challenges.

Surgery 6/19/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 7, 2018 11:14PM beeline wrote:

Hi Aussie-Cat, I am new to this but wanted to reiterate what others have said about people not noticing. I had a umx nearly 10 weeks ago and between nerve pain and a seroma in my armpit have found bras of any type too uncomfortable to wear for long. I haven't bothered to get fitted for a form since I wouldn't be able to wear it comfortably anyway. So I have just gone about half flat. I think of it as my pirate boob look. I'm quite small on the other side, but am almost more self-conscious of being braless than I am of being flat. That said, it has been pretty easy to disguise with layers, even an open cardigan, just about anything that breaks up the line. With the weather getting warmer that is definitely harder. I think finding the right neckline helps a lot -- for me it's no v-necks and no t-shirt collars, something a bit more open or like a boatneck that emphasises my shoulders. Anyway, I def don't have all the answers but I know we will figure it out!

American in NZ. Dx’d at (only?!) 42 Dx 7/17/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 8/2/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Dx 8/21/2018, DCIS/IDC/Paget's, Right, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 10/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 9/17/2018 AC + T (Taxol)
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Oct 8, 2018 08:06AM - edited Oct 8, 2018 08:07AM by feelingfeline

Best of luck beeline. I am a uni also. DX'd at 44 6 years ago. Hope your recovery continues well. Those seromas are nasty! With nerve pain sometimes finding a different style of bra works. The light tee-shirt style crop top type can work for some, rather than the traditional back fastening bra, but I would not try anything too early. Keep up the pirate for now (Ooh aaargh. Where's me rum?) and let your body heal. XXX

Dx 1/20/2012, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 3/22 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 2/7/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 4/2/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 7/30/2012 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 8/5/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/31/2015 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Oct 8, 2018 08:18AM Aussie-Cat wrote:

Thanks, Beeline. I'm sorry you've had a seroma and nerve pain. That certainly makes it challenging and I hope you feel more comfortable soon. Today I wore a t-shirt plus an open blouse over the top, but I still looked fairly flat. I agree that most people don't notice but we don't know how many people may notice but not say anything. I was large-breasted before, so if I run into someone I haven't seen for a while, they will notice unless they are extremely unobservant.

Surgery 6/19/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right
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Dec 15, 2018 07:36AM MT1 wrote:

I am really thankful to have started this thread and that it still lives

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Dec 15, 2018 08:10AM Aussie-Cat wrote:

MT1, I'm glad you started this thread too and it's good to see you here. I hope things are going well for you.

Surgery 6/19/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right
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Dec 15, 2018 08:48AM feelingfeline wrote:

Hello MT1 Happy Christmas!

Dx 1/20/2012, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 3/22 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 2/7/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 4/2/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 7/30/2012 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 8/5/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/31/2015 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Dec 15, 2018 09:55AM kathindc wrote:

MT, I’m eternally grateful you started this thread. Wishing you all a wonderful, safe holiday season and a joyous, peaceful new year

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Dec 16, 2018 09:47AM MT1 wrote:

Flat Closure NOW

I am well. I started a group on FB called My Flat Friends. I continue to advocate for the flat reconstructive choice. I am still making art. It’s all good. :)

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Dec 16, 2018 09:50AM Aussie-Cat wrote:

That sounds good, I'm glad.

Surgery 6/19/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right

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