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All TopicsForum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy → Topic: New BCO Page: Going Flat: Choosing No Reconstruction

Topic: New BCO Page: Going Flat: Choosing No Reconstruction

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: Feb 28, 2014 03:23PM

Moderators wrote:

You asked for it, and we responded! Check out the new content on the main Breastcancer.org site on Going Flat: Choosing No Reconstruction.

We hope you enjoy!

--The Breastcancer.org Team

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Posts 781 - 810 (897 total)

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Sep 11, 2017 07:56AM Chloesmom wrote:

i have a drawer full of foobs but even though I went down to an A cup they drag on my scars and si i only wear them when wearing dress up clothes with darts. Otherwise I live the flat feeling. Have stretchy rank tops from Chicos that feel good as under shirts when it's cold outside. Have lots of shirts with chest pockets on both sides that help balance out the tummy.

On the other hand no one is looking at our chests. Just our eyes and smiles. If they ARE preoccupied with our chests they are creepy abd i don't want to know them. Most of people are preocvupied with their own appearance and wouldn't kotice if we were wearing a paper bag

No recon - Loving Flat & Free! Oncotype 25 (Note: ILC hides in the shadows- US, Mammo, MRI neg on "good" side but not really good after all!) Dx 11/21/2014, ILC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/25/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Surgery 12/12/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 2/3/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 11, 2017 11:53AM - edited Sep 11, 2017 11:53AM by Hogwarts

Hi beautiful 'flat' gals,

Just remembered a trick from Magnum P.I. and will get to that in a second. Was looking for really distracting prints locally. Kohl's had a good selection of summer tops but most were in synthetic fabrics (time to contact those designers since synthetics aren't comfortable in the heat, IMHO!).

Then I went online to find tropical camouflage shirts, à la Magnum. Amazon has lots of them and they have a good supply of colors and in cotton. They are comfy and they do the job. Talk about busy patterns and fool-the-eye. Wear a sweater or big shirt over them in cooler buildings and they are magically dressed up. Et voilà! Another wardrobe possibility.

Those in the paths of hurricanes, please be safe.

Cheers!

Hogwarts

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Sep 16, 2017 07:20AM SeeSwee6 wrote:

Thank you for your post. I went flat after infected implant removed. I am getting tired of the pocket bras & breast forms everyday. Different ones for the gym, for dresses, for different tops. They annoy me.

I never liked bras when I had breasts. Always preferred camis (I was small breasted).

I buy prints, various fabrics, don't wear solid cotton t-shirts anymore.

I guess I'm self-conscious that people are looking at my boob-less chest. But you're right, they don't care.

My only issue is that I'm single & want to date. Flat doesn't look too sexy when I'm dressed up to go out.

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Sep 16, 2017 07:22AM SeeSwee6 wrote:

what kind of stretchy tanks from Chico' s?

Also, what can I wear under tops in hot summertime?

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Sep 16, 2017 07:29AM SeeSwee6 wrote:

Me too at 65 flat chest with a little belly dies look a bit odd. But I suppose people aren't really looking that closely to our chest!

I Hate wearing all these pocket bras and forms. I'm going to wear cam is from now on.

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Sep 16, 2017 07:43AM bareclaws wrote:

SeeSwee6, I'm your age, widowed, and I've been thinking about this a lot, too. Our popular media culture has been focused on breasts for so long that we've bought into it. But even that changes, for instance the current shifting focus to big butts. I don't feel less sexy by not having breasts. It seems to be more dependent on feeling strong, energetic, mentally on top of things, which admittedly have been rare moments this last year. So sexy, to me, is more about what is between my ears than what is between my armpits. Also, I assume you're not looking to date 20-year-olds (although I could be wrong about that and if so, you go, girl!). Most people our age or older have some "war wounds" of their own.

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Sep 16, 2017 11:49AM Hogwarts wrote:

Hi SeeSwee6,

When it's hot, even cotton camis irritate my upper chest after a couple of hours, so I only wear them, or cotton tanks, when absolutely necessary. Now, at the end of the season, it's great to take advantage of the sales! I'm buying distracting print cotton knit tops to wear and don't bother about anything underneath. Too many layers and it's too uncomfortable in the hot summer South. However, it does feel strange not wearing anything after nearly 60 years of bras, but it's better than being hot and miserable.

Asked a therapist friend recently about if any man in their later 60s to 70s would want to date a woman without breasts. She said that at this age, folks are generally more interested in companionship. And I like the earlier comment that at this stage, we all have our 'war' wounds. But, I still feel self-conscious, though no one else seems to clock what's missing, thankfully.

Hogwarts

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Sep 16, 2017 12:24PM Wren44 wrote:

I think if the man cares so much that you don't have breasts, he's not a man you'd want to be with anyway. I think the therapist is right about companionship being more important. BTW, I'm almost 77.

Lumpectomy and re-excision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Five years of anastrasole completed.
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Sep 16, 2017 08:12PM SeeSwee6 wrote:

yes you're both correct

I'm sure the men I'll date will have their own medical issues. Also, I'm more interested in good companionship and fun at this stage in my life


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Sep 17, 2017 04:26PM Hogwarts wrote:

Hello,

All this affirmative talk about how being flat and feeling normal about it is helping me so much in coming to terms with my own new 'normal.' Please, keep the discussion going as every comment builds on the others and helps so very much!

Thank you all!

Hogwarts

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Sep 20, 2017 09:57AM SeeSwee6 wrote:

I went out yesterday first time w/no padding whatsoever. I was completely flat. Did some errands, shopping, post office, etc. No one looked. I actually tried on some tops in Kohl's fitting room w/o any cover on my chest! Didn't care. Felt free and unencumbered.

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Sep 20, 2017 11:38AM bareclaws wrote:

SeeSwee6, that's great! It gets easier and easier and will soon become your new normal. Throw your shoulders back, hold your head high and just go!

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Sep 22, 2017 12:18AM ksusan wrote:

Nobody much notices.

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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Sep 22, 2017 06:19AM - edited Sep 22, 2017 06:20AM by MrsWinnie

no one notices... Month since surgery... Saw friend known for 15 years talking away. I had no jacket on and just tshirt... Talked s good 20 mins before i told her.. She was shocked to hear and even more shocked when i rubbed my chest to show off my flatness. How awesome.

How long did you ladies wear compression? I have little bit of fuild on my sides and in back feels funny walking around without compression...

Dx 7/27/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 8/22/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 10/11/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Sep 22, 2017 11:10AM Hogwarts wrote:

Glad you guys are feeling so comfortable going flat and not having anyone notice! Yay!

Have been hitting the after-season sales for more soft cotton tops. Found some really affordable ones in Macy's to give me more of a wearing selection. Still haven't felt completely comfortable when I need a good arm and chest stretch but I suppose that will come with time.

Not sure I follow the thread about compression. Other than being tightly wrapping the week following surgery, till the drains were removed, there was no talk of needing compression, but I had sentinel nodes removed. Then in a couple of weeks, PT to restore range of motion and no one knew I'd had surgery, but did wear poofy foobs for a time.

Maybe more docs will tell their patients that more women are choosing to go flat and doing great!

Happy Friday, all!

Hogwarts


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Sep 22, 2017 05:27PM - edited Sep 22, 2017 05:28PM by MrsWinnie

never wore compression right out of hospital after drains came out i had bit of fluid build up in my sides n back. Felt like boobs bouncing when i walked. Doc suggested compression.. I can only wear it off and on. Tend to wear when out and about and busy... Then my scars will ache and burn some bad so I'll take compression off.. Anyways just wondering what others are doing. Thanks

Dx 7/27/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 8/22/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 10/11/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Sep 24, 2017 05:25AM MamaFelice wrote:

I too would love to hear about compression. I will be 3 weeks out from BMX on Tuesday and still have my lymph node drain in and production has gone up last several days as I have been moving more. I do feel myself swell on that side especially after I move around.... I take it this is normal? Should I be wearing/using compression to help this or not until drains come out? What is best to do to help drain incisions heal? Will compression around sides/chest be temporary?

Appreciate any help with all my questions! I too will look if there is a separate thread on this.

Hog warts, if you find one will you please let me know-- thanks!

Thank you all for the support!!

Dx 5/10/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/25/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 9/4/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Dx 9/13/2017, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 10/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/17/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes
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Sep 24, 2017 06:24AM - edited Sep 24, 2017 08:30AM by Castigame

Mamafelice,

I had double mastectomy, 17 nodes removed from my bad side and 2 from a good side, I turned 47 at Dx. My only medical condition at the time was thyroid.

As soon as I became drain free, I laid on my bed flat and did recommended exercise slow motion for hrs. It was meditation/exercise

Mastectomy bulge if you have it diminished very slowly I think it took a couple of months for me.

Compression sleeves are highly recommended even when you dont have lymphedema now. My bad arm swelled right after first chemo. That is when I started PT for LE. I started wearing sleeve as well as LE pump, chemo done so swelling almost went way. But radiation started so swelling came back as strong as chemo days. For the last six plus mos, I made habit of wearing sleeve min six hrs a day, My wearing habit is the reason which have saved me from LE. Knock on wood I never had LE issue. There are days i take it off briefly in the middle of the day and put it back on.

I achieved full range of motion at about 5 mos. (I had 17 removed so it is likely a lot shorter for you)


Also, please check w your insurance company re physical therapy. For the most part insurance companies allow 20 sessions per year. There are days I did not feel like moving but PT made me move.

Be gentle and consistent. This is a long battle.

Mimi




Mimi Dx 1/11/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes Dx 1/11/2017, IDC: Papillary/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy Chemotherapy 3/20/2017 Radiation Therapy 7/30/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 10/29/2017
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Sep 25, 2017 08:29AM - edited Sep 25, 2017 09:37AM by magiclight

This Post was deleted by magiclight.
Life is available only in the present...the here and the now. Thich Nhat Hanh Surgery 4/26/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+, HER2+ (FISH)
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Sep 25, 2017 10:29AM Hogwarts wrote:

Hi all,

Ran across these foobs some time ago and then forgot about them. Has anyone tried these; what did you think about them?

Thanks!

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Sep 30, 2017 10:30PM Chloesmom wrote:

Seeswee6. The tanks from Chicos they seem to have every year in different colors. They are smooth and soft so don't abrade my scars.

No recon - Loving Flat & Free! Oncotype 25 (Note: ILC hides in the shadows- US, Mammo, MRI neg on "good" side but not really good after all!) Dx 11/21/2014, ILC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/25/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Surgery 12/12/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 2/3/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 30, 2017 10:55PM bareclaws wrote:

Chloesmom, you look great

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Oct 1, 2017 01:29AM - edited Oct 1, 2017 01:29AM by ksusan

Looking great, Chloesmom! I like the Chicos tops, too, though I normally don't wear just a tank top out of the house (and I didn't before BMX, either).

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 1, 2017 02:07PM GrandmaV wrote:

Had my BMX with no reconstruction ,with sentinel node removal Friday.  I have two drains.  Nodes not involved.  I have my post op appointment October 12.  Won't know pathology until then.  My husband took a week off from work and is being soooo helpful.  I cleaned the house top to bottom before surgery so he could concentrate on me.  He does anything I want him to do.  I'm sleeping in my new recliner, probably until drains come out, since they are on each side, don't want to risk laying on them in bed.  Surgeon still optimistic that I won't need Chemo.  Hope that holds true.  I had my first shower since surgery and it felt soooo good.  Resting lots.  I'm so grateful for all of you on this thread for being there and helping me to stick to my decision.  Thank you

Dx 9/1/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 10/11/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Targeted Therapy 11/4/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/4/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/13/2012 Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole) Dx 9/1/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/29/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Oct 2, 2017 08:25AM - edited Oct 8, 2017 12:27PM by magiclight

This Post was deleted by magiclight.
Life is available only in the present...the here and the now. Thich Nhat Hanh Surgery 4/26/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+, HER2+ (FISH)
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Oct 2, 2017 09:59AM GrandmaV wrote:

Magic, I was in the hospital overnight.  I had the best nurses.  Thank you 

Dx 9/1/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 10/11/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Targeted Therapy 11/4/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/4/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/13/2012 Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole) Dx 9/1/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/29/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Oct 5, 2017 09:00PM MamaFelice wrote:

Keep on healin' Chloesmom! So lucky you could shower so early after surgery-- I had to wait until drains out which was almost 4 weeks! Felt so good!

GrandmaV --I was able to sleep just fine in my bed with a wedge pillow and pillow fort around me to keep in place. I wore a simple cami to bed and clipped the drains to the front of the cami and had no problem. See how you feel after a week in the recliner and is you have to wait another week for drains. Hopefully yours will come out fast since no lymph nodes. My lymph node drain is the one that took the longest. Hoping no chemo for you! Keep us posted!

My surgeon gave me a prescription for Neurotin to help the nerve pain across my chest. I take 100 mg at night and it has helped so much. I still a bit swollen at my sides. Surgery was 9/5.

Had fitting for prosthetics yesterday....even though I plan to hardly wear them since they are so heavy-- but will be nice to have for special occasions. My friend ordered me some camis from Uniqlo that has built in boob cups like you often find on the shelf of a swim suit. Anyway, they give a sweet little A cup form on my chest and I don't have to fill then with anything. Soooo soft and comfy! Here is the link to see them. I will try to take and post a pic of me in them.

https://www.uniqlo.com/us/en/women-airism-bra-cami...

Dx 5/10/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/25/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 9/4/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Dx 9/13/2017, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 10/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/17/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes
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Oct 6, 2017 11:57AM magiclight wrote:

Mama..agree prosthetics are heavy, but the camis you show do look soft.

Life is available only in the present...the here and the now. Thich Nhat Hanh Surgery 4/26/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+, HER2+ (FISH)
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Oct 6, 2017 12:58PM Wren44 wrote:

The silicone ones are heavy, but you can also get foam ones which aren't. I got silicone with my insurance and get the foam ones myself.

Lumpectomy and re-excision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Five years of anastrasole completed.
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Oct 6, 2017 01:12PM JuliaJazz wrote:

And you can get knitted knockers for free.  Very light.  Google it.  There is a national organization and many local ones where you can get these.

Dx 4/11/2017, ILC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/5/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Surgery 5/17/2017 Lymph node removal: Right Chemotherapy 6/23/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)

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