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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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Posts 4261 - 4282 (4,282 total)

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Apr 7, 2019 12:30PM Lezza13 wrote:

Whatjusthappened. Congrats on such nice microbeads. I hope they are a great solution for you.

Christene50: Just FYI I went to a physical therapist for my frozen shoulder and after several sessions it feels so much better. No reason it seems for you to have so much pain. Also check out the website on the post above. The knitted knockers might be the solution for you or those microbeads.

Dx 12/30/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 7/15/2012 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 8, 2019 01:54PM Horsemanski wrote:

for all of you thinking about living flat - I have a site to beware of. Berrylook is an England based company and I ordered blouses from them but alas they were the wrong size, material was not what I wanted and come to find out they will not refund my money or give me an address on where to return these unwanted items says it costs to much to return them.. If I had known this I would never have ordered from them.

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May 8, 2019 02:01PM KayaRose wrote:

Whatjusthappened, your forms are perfect.  I'm definitely going to try making them.  Thanks.

Just an FYI, I have Medicare and Blue Cross Supplemental and have bought microbead forms from TLC Direct.  I had no problem with coverage from either insurance.  I received reimbursement checks very quickly.

Dx 9/4/2014, ILC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/24/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 3/2/2015 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/31/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 4/2/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 7/17/2017 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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May 13, 2019 07:16PM Christene502 wrote:


I went to P/T for 3 days a week for 12 months. I purchased all the equipment, pulleys, weights, stretch bands, you name it... nothing helped my frozen shoulder... 3 Orth Surgeons said they won't touch the shoulder ( shoulder replacement) since I had a bad bone infection there... so now I fear having lymphedema in my "good' arm. Breast surgeon was impressed how well I am moving my left arm, being the severity of my breast cancer. He told me no lifting, no raising arms, just move the shoulder gently...

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May 14, 2019 09:01AM Lezza13 wrote:


Sorry the therapy did not work for you.. I only lift 2 pound weights. I guess I should have clarified I went to a physical therapist that specialized in lymphedema which I don't have/. She did pressure point therapy on my shoulder. What works for one person may not work for others. I still feel tightness in my right shoulder with those muscles. IF you do think you have lymphedema, there are other therapies to try and forums here about that subject. Best of luck

Dx 12/30/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 7/15/2012 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 15, 2019 11:48AM DebP59 wrote:

I've been making my own bra inserts using microbeads and weighted microbeads, both purchased at Joanns Fabrics. I have been using a this Dri-fit material purchased there for my "netting"(backing to keep in beads or inserts) I have gathered over the years, those little bra shape pieces they stick in sports bras, bras and swimsuits. You can also purchase them at Joanns. Set down the bra insert or formed bra, upside down on a piece of paper to get a roughly flat piece (that goes against your body) pattern. the first ones I hand sewed onto bra (tight stitches). but now I use machine. Leave a 1/2 inch opening somewhere along seam. I use a small funnel and add first 1/2 cup weighted and half cup regular microbeads. That makes a "B" cup. But I am very indented right now, could be more on you. I have these bra inserts from a Danskin  sportsbra (Walmart). Much bigger, wider, deeer bra insert. Today I am filling them, for a "C" cup insert. I use Tru &Co. bras. They are a lot like Coobie bras, but very soft and silky against your skin. I bought a size up (I fit in medium, and used them but next purchase will be large). Incredible bras. Coobies more reasonable for pricing. If this website lets me, I will post pictures of my new "bras". I also used my former formed cup bras (t-shirt bras). the work nicely too. I just found a little weight was needed to keep bra and inserts down on flat chest.  

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Jun 24, 2019 03:44PM redninrah wrote:


im in this group because i cant have any reconstruction as the radiation burnt my skin and 2 implant reconstructions failed. My DIEP failed too.

So I cant and wont have any more surgery. Its summer now, and im having issues with bathing suits and prosthesis that arent heavy or sink causing my chest to look wierd. What do you ladies do if your not going flat in pool? sorry if I shouldnt be asking this question here.

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Jun 24, 2019 06:14PM Wren44 wrote:

I got a mx swimsuit top from Lands End and wear a microbead foob. It needs to be in a pocket or pinned/sewn in because they float. They make swim foobs that are meant for wearing in the pool, but probably expensive. I also made a foob out of net twisted and sewed, but it's hard to get the right size.

Lumpectomy and re-excision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Five years of anastrasole completed.
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Jun 24, 2019 06:35PM Beesy_The_Other_One wrote:

redninrah, I second the Land's End mastectomy suits! I've been wearing them for years because of a previous surgery and now after the BMX, I wear prosthetics on both sides. I wear silicone prosthetics that are made for swimming--they stay put in the swimsuit pockets and insurance paid for them (you need an Rx from your surgeon, but they do this all the time).

1997: Phyllodes, R breast. 2018: IDC, L breast. TCHP, BMX, Radiation, Nerlynx. Dx 8/20/2018, IDC, Left, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC)
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Jun 25, 2019 11:58AM redninrah wrote:

Thank you I will look into this.

I bought a one piece and put a microbeaded prosthesis and the pocket in bathing suit was so big that when they got wet the prosthesis dropped to bottom of pocket and making my chest look horrible.

I also have bought bathing suits that the prosthesis rides high so that you can see the pocket lining sticking out of neck.

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Jun 25, 2019 12:05PM redninrah wrote:

I just looked at landsend and they only have 4 types.

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Jun 28, 2020 04:44PM MT1 wrote:


Have you seen this?

This moves us steps closer to having insurance companies accept flat as a valid reconstructive option, with specified results and the ability to properly bill flat revision surgeries!

This may also end ‘flat denial’!

It’s a good day!

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Jun 28, 2020 04:49PM Wren44 wrote:

Great news!! I hope all the women whose surgeons ignored what they wanted will be able to achieve flat.

Lumpectomy and re-excision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Five years of anastrasole completed.
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Jun 28, 2020 05:06PM kathindc wrote:


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Jun 28, 2020 09:38PM Aussie-Cat wrote:

I agree that's great!

Diagnosed with nerve pain (post mastectomy pain syndrome) July 2018. Twin sister died of breast cancer May 2019. Surgery 6/18/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 29, 2020 02:27PM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

MT1 - I did not know there was such as thing as flat chest surgery. I thought it was just not getting reconstruction. My bilateral with no reconstruction was almost 4 years ago. So is it a different surgeon than the one doing the bi-lateral?

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Jun 29, 2020 04:02PM Wren44 wrote:

I think it's in response to the women who asked for flat but their surgeons left all kinds of stuff so they could put in implants when they changed their minds. They're so sure we won't feel like real women without boobs. So condescending.

Lumpectomy and re-excision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Five years of anastrasole completed.
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Jun 30, 2020 06:20AM cyathea wrote:

I agree that this is progress by the NCI. However, I think they should update their description to include the fact that a flat reconstruction can include nipple grafts. (I love the fact that I have a flat chest and that it is not “blank”.) No one offered this to me as an option. I had to ask for it. I’m so glad I did and that my surgeon was willing to find a PS who could and would do the nipple grafts

Dx 6/17/2019, DCIS/ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 8/1/2019 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/1/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 10/9/2019 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 10/10/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 3/18/2020 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 4/16/2020 Other Radiation Therapy 6/1/2020 3DCRT: Breast, Lymph nodes, Bone Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Jul 2, 2020 07:14AM - edited Jul 2, 2020 12:30PM by MT1

Nine years ago, when I went flat, there was no name for 'flat closure'. It was called, 'no reconstruction', which places a value or bias toward breast mound reconstruction. Without a name, it is hard to ask for specific results. With no definition, it's hard to be clear that you do not want skin sparing mastectomy. Since starting this post years ago, I have been posing for articles in major magazines, as well as participating in television and video content, geared toward providing visibility for the flat and breastless option. Many others have joined in this fight for awareness. The placement of this definition in the NCI dictionary of terms is a boon. It will end what we call 'flat denial', where doctors, through paternalism or lack of skill, leave lumps and bumps, sometimes stating they did it 'just in case we change our minds'. Now, we can demand that skill sets be improved, make sure that insurance companies reimburse flat surgeries at a similar rate to breast mound surgeries. And we can stand proud in our choice, knowing that we are 'whole' and happy in bodies that reflect our choice.

Please check out Flat Closure NOW, a nonprofit I helped found.

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Jul 2, 2020 01:52PM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

MT1 - you are right on! Language/words make all the difference. When I opted for a bi-lateral with no reconstruction, the surgeon made it clear that there was no medical reason for doing a bi-lateral when Dx only identifies one breast, but that many women are starting to do this. Neither she nor the surgeons I consulted (plastic, DIEP) called it "flat closure", again reflecting the bias towards having breasts. Then again, one woman I talked to who wanted to know more about DIY cold capping felt very strongly about having reconstruction. When I mentioned that I would be 60 at the time, and did not feel a need, sne replied that she would be 65, and definitely wanted "breasts".

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Jul 3, 2020 08:04AM MT1 wrote:

Wanting breast mounds is perfectly ok. Getting ALL the information you need to make that decision is paramount. Doctors need to be very clear, moving muscle compromises the integrity of your body. Implants can cause certain cancers, and may flair autoimmune diseases. Breast mound surgeries often take -several additional surgeries- to “tweak and perfect”. Skin sparing mastectomy is not aesthetic flat closure.

I see doctors downplay the full picture, leave out options based on their bias toward the outcome they prefer. Often, the patient is rushed into the experience too, it is hard to make these decisions when you know there is cancer and that is the true issue at hand. But if you only have a portion of the information you need, you aren’t equipt to make an well informed decision about the necessary changes to your bod. It doesn’t help that there is a lobbying effort to get women to choose breast mound surgery and that doctors reinforce these bias when reading slanted studies.

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Jul 3, 2020 12:34PM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

I did not do reconstruction, but explored both plastic and DIEP. One thing I asked for, but it did not seem to be available, was a virtual tour of myself with what the options might look like. It was not clear if it did not exist or was just not available near where I live. I think a friend was able to get a virtual look at how breast reduction would look. Virtual imagery has come a long ways and it seems like there would be something out there to help with making decions. Also need to get very clear discussion with surgeons on risks, pos, cons, especially as they apply to you individually.

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