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 13, 2012 07:11AM Starak wrote:

Morning All - Saw these links on another thread.  First is to a pretty balanced article between reconstruction or not.

http://kroger.staywellsolutionsonline.com/RelatedItems/34,21020-2

The other article shows a picture of Linda Ellerbee, a public figure with no recon, who was the keynote speaker of the day.  Apparently she does or has worn breast forms but in the photo is not.  Love, Love, Love it!!!!!

http://www.gallery8010.com/news/index.php?id=5

A very good start to the day.

Outfield, I am so happy that you too found a compassionate PS who would do a tiny little curative surgery.  I fell all over myself telling mine how much my little surgery meant to my happiness and life.  I wish there were more who truly understand how important these little surgeriers can be to us, even more so to those trying to relieve pain.

Barbara

Freed 'em when they tried to kill me. BMX, no recon, center dog ears removed, currently living flat but still tending an extensive foob and mx bra experimental farm in the back of the closet.
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Nov 13, 2012 02:26PM Tina337 wrote:

Love the picture of Linda Ellerbee without forms! I think it looks so normal. One is first drawn to her face and the activity occurring when looking at the photo.

While the Kroger article is definitely more balanced than most, I think it is rather dated. A quick glance did not uncover when it was written, but the info presented on recon combined with the dates the women had their surgeries makes me think it was quite a while ago. First off, TRAM is no longer considered the "ideal" form of microsurgery. DIEP is. Most people no longer sign up for a full TRAM because it weakens the abdominal area and can be a risk for hernias. Most reconstructive surgery at this point that requires use of the ab muscle is done either when a PS is not competent to do a true DIEP, or tries to do a true DIEP and is not skilled enough to pull it off (during surgery has to resort to using a small piece of the ab muscle to avoid losing flap). Regarding the comment in the article about radiation being a risk for successful TRAM surgery - This may be true, but it is also true for implant surgery, which they fail to mention. I don't mean to be nitpicky, but some women do stop by here that are considering recon, and it would be helpful if they knew all their options and the current "ideal" standard. I know the recon forum has more info, but old info never does anyone any good.

I was glad to see the choice to not reconstruct discussed, as well as all the appropriate reasons most of the women here have mentioned. However, I can't help but wonder if this article were more current if it would have been that balanced!
"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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Nov 13, 2012 02:34PM - edited Nov 13, 2012 02:36PM by greenfrog

I hope everyone is well.

I have mentioned her before on this thread but she's worth mentioning again. Koo Stark (former actress and girlfriend of Prince Andrew) had BMX and has never worn prostheses. This article - featuring a photo of an entirely flat Koo - is all about unpaid parking fines and nothing to do with her conspicuously absent breasts. Her confidence with her flatness was inspirational to me when I opted to have the other breast removed.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-463952/Koo-Starks-fury-7-500-parking-fines--eco-car-thought-exempt.html

And this is what she has had to say on the issue:

"And I certainly don't allow my appearance to depress me. I've never been overly concerned with the impact my mastectomies would have on my body shape. I'm more concerned with the truth and health. I've never been a model, although people assume that, so my body has never really affected my career. Plus, I've never had enormous bosoms, so that's never been part of my persona.

Throughout the 25 years that I have had a public image, I've gone through some changes, but I've never had any surgery other than my mastectomies. I've learned to wear things that suit now, nothing with darts or anything decollete, and I don't wear clothes that announce the bosom. But that doesn't mean I can't dress in a feminine way.

Wearing prostheses doesn't appeal to me either. I think that would make it psychologically harder in a way. I have to be honest about my shape. I've asked a few questions about reconstructive surgery, but I'm not considering it at the moment. You have to remain free of the disease for a particular period of time before you can be considered cancer-free, so I'll get through that first."

Dx 5/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/19 nodes, ER+, HER2-
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Nov 13, 2012 03:42PM Dawn7 wrote:


Ladies,
Thank you for your personal stories regarding the individual differences in appearance of scars, flatness, etc after masectomy. I see now one should not expect a cookie cutter appearance. Plus looking at the links of women in the media " going flat" is inspiring. Way to go!


Surgery 10/25/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Nov 13, 2012 07:03PM crystalphm wrote:

Thank you so much for the information about Linda Ellerby and Koo Stark, I needed this today.

I well remember both women and never realized they are choosing to live breast free.

I feel stronger....

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Nov 13, 2012 11:36PM Granellie wrote:

I am thankful to have found this group ... that information is shared. It all makes me feel a whole lot less alone in this journey. Thank you all of you have posted links of photos and articles.

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 14, 2012 07:19AM - edited Nov 14, 2012 11:15AM by mt1

It was Shingles! I am taking an antiviral and am feeling better. Man, do I hate being sick and in bed now!

I am keeping a pinterest folder with both Breast Pockets and images of women in thier Flat Glory, http://pinterest.com/mellytesta/breast-pockets/

So I love seeing links in this forum! Thank you. I love the Koo is wearing a sheer blouse and that you can see her scars.

My scars are beautiful. They are pretty flat, not straight, the outter edge of each has a slight pucker. The back edge of both scars have what I lovingly call 'hamster ears', slight points that look pointy from a specific angle. You need to shake your head to blink 3 times to see them. The inner end of the scars, where my cleavage once was has a kiss shape on the right breast (this was the cancer side). My left breast, because the plastic surgeon worked that one, has more breast bed than the right. So I am slightly assymetrical. But, I mean, I am nit-picking for your benefit. As far as it goes, I think my chest looks awesome, mine are the results I would want if I were making this decision again.

I feel better on many accounts. Thanks to you gals for the help.

I am going to go to a prothesis fitter soon, I have a script, I am looking for a store. I am not sure this is right for me, so I have decided, I will go alone, I will get fitted, try bras and camis and different sizes of forms and then I will leave and emotionally evaluate myself before continuing with a purchase (if I do).

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Nov 14, 2012 08:00AM pip57 wrote:

Thank you to Koo and Linda Ellerbee!!!  There must be more out there.

PIP - multi focal, FEC100/Tax, rads, dble mast with no recon, ooph/hyst, arimidex Dx 2/1/2007, DCIS/IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 9/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 14, 2012 08:16AM - edited Nov 14, 2012 09:24AM by Starak

Melly - Good for you and hope the shingles resolve quickly.

As to the fitter, here is my Pep talk.  Go in with confidence and do not let them intimidate or run over you.  I like to wear something really fitted like a snug tshirt so that it gives me a good sense of how it looks and also makes it easier to evaluate if you put a different size on each side.  I also like to choose something that is going to look equally good with and without forms, again so you can better assess the differences and also what life would look like if you had on forms and decided to rip them off half way through the day.  I would not stop until you try on a size that you clearly say to yourself that it is too big and one that is clearly too small, then narrow from there.  If you are debating, I found it best to go up.  We have been flat for a long time and so anything will seem bigger than it really is in the beginning simply because it is different.  On the other hand, I have found it really common that fitters are inclined to choose a size bigger than we are comfortable with.  If you have any idea of going back and forth from flat to forms, the look is far more seamless and under the radar when you lean to smaller.  I also love that you will go home and think it over.  If you go back, try them on again with fresh eyes and perhaps a size up and down for comparison before making a final decision.  My two cents worth, I personally would never choose standard weight silicone.  I only choose lightweight or ultra-light.  Also, very very important, you have to tune out all the nonsense about needing to wear weight to avoid dropped shoulders, etc.  Just TUNE IT OUT!!!!!!

Oh yes, and I almost forgot, it IS okay to just say "No"...

Barbara

Freed 'em when they tried to kill me. BMX, no recon, center dog ears removed, currently living flat but still tending an extensive foob and mx bra experimental farm in the back of the closet.
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Nov 14, 2012 10:02AM Linda-n3 wrote:

On other word on fitters: Be SURE to check with your insurance to be sure the fitter is one of their providers. I went to the little Pretty in Pink boutique next to the breast center, they fit me, filled out insurance forms, did a custom sleeve (my arm is too skinny for any of the pre-made), and then let me walk out of the store with everything, then billed me for over $800 for the 2 boobs and a sleeve because the insurance company considered them "out of network" providers, so I had to pay the entire amount. I was (and still am) too damned tired to fight... still have not filed a formal complaint, but still may do so. Main point is: be sure that the "durable medical goods" provider is "in network" or you may be in for a huge bill.

Barbara's advice is excellent! I wish she had given it to me a year ago!

So I have the prostheses, don't wear them much, but have them if I want them. Nice to have choices!

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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