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Topic: Living a Breast-Free Life, Blog Piece by one of our own

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: Mar 28, 2014 08:48AM

Moderators wrote:

Thought you'd all enjoy this BCO Blog piece by one of our very own members!

Living a Breast-Free Life, March 25, 2014


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Posts 1 - 30 (54 total)

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Mar 6, 2016 04:41PM fresia wrote:

hi, everyone I thought living a breast-free life would be easy, every time I go out any where in public I get constant stares from teenagers, and men,women that makes me feel uncomfortable in public without a jacket, especially when I wear a tank top. Does anyone else feel this way.

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Mar 6, 2016 05:36PM ksusan wrote:

I do not get looked at and several people I've talked to have asked me, "Did you have one or two breasts removed?" which suggests that they're not very attentive about breasts.

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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Mar 6, 2016 08:19PM Moderators wrote:

fresia, we are standing by you, and understanding what you are feeling. Stand proud, and know you are not alone!

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Mar 7, 2016 11:19AM cke14 wrote:

Hi Fresia,

I do not think that anyone notices my lack of breasts. In the beginning I did ware a scarf most days to work and that helped.

I find my compression sleeve gets the most attention.

Being confortable and not spending any more time in hospital or recovering from surgery is most important to me.

Good luck

Dx 7/21/2014, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/28/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 12/14/2014 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/26/2015 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Mar 10, 2016 06:58AM lola11 wrote:

Sorry to hear people are looking at you but hold your head high and and your shoulders back! Sure you made the right decision for you I will be going from implants to flat in a few weeks and know so much of the recovery will be mental but I am in warrior mode and can do it so can you. Please keep us updated as you find strength each day.

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Mar 10, 2016 09:04AM rgc77 wrote:

Hi Fresia,

I'm sorry you've had a less positive experience with people. I can't say as I've ever had people indicate that they noticed any difference. However, I do sometimes find myself feeling self-conscious about what others may think. Time has shown me that most people don't notice. If it helps, wear patterned shirts sometimes. Also, avoid tops that draw the eye where you'd rather they not notice. If you walk with your shoulders back, with confidence and a smile on your face, even teenagers will get over it. I work with a bunch of 11- to 13-year-old boys and I don't know (and haven't asked) what they think. It helped that they have known me all the way through, from diagnosis to now.

I don't know what kind of support you have from close family and friends, but if they are fully behind your decision, draw your strength from that.

Wishing you joy and comfort in life as it is.

Dx 7/31/2014, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/5/2014 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 10/14/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/6/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 11/30/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/lungs/other, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2016 Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 1/23/2017 External: Brain Dx 2/6/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/1/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine) Chemotherapy 4/5/2017 Gemzar (gemcitabine) Radiation Therapy 5/31/2017 External: Brain
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Mar 10, 2016 11:34AM Moderators wrote:

Dear rgc77,

Welcome to the community. We are so glad that you reached out to Fresia and to the discussion boards. We look forward to hearing more from you. Please stay connected here and keep posting. The Mods

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Apr 1, 2016 08:33AM glennie19 wrote:

Bumping!! Loved the blog, Erica!

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 8/7/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx DCIS
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Apr 1, 2016 09:01AM woodstock99 wrote:

I am only 2.5 months from my BMX & due to a number of physical reasons can not wear any forms or fills yet. I was terrified going back to work after 4 weeks and bought lightweight forms but could not wear them so layered up and wore a big scarf. I still wear a scarf every day but in the past 6 weeks have taken a far more "I really don't care" attitude if people notice or not. I realized that at 63 in an office of people mostly more than half my age that no one was really looking at my boobs anyway, My close friends know and I really have not noticed anyone out in the world looking at me nor do I care. I have just recently (this weeK) joined a fitness center and spring/summer is coming so I am going to have to drop the scarves and may feel different being more "exposed", I have bought the Genie bras and most of the time take even their small cups out but I do at times leave them in for a touch of shape so I will probably just wear these FN. I found the lightweight forms too heavy and uncomfortable but I am also still seeing a PT for my cording and my chest wall is still very tight at times so I did not care for the feeling of the weight of the forms. I had thought by now I'd be in silicone forms but so much is not what I thought about this disease. Great blog! Happy Friday!

1/12/16 BMX. Stage 1/DCIS.
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Apr 1, 2016 04:37PM glennie19 wrote:

Balthus, have you tried Knitted Knockers? They are a great volunteer group that will send you a pair of knitted very lightweight forms for free,, or if you can afford it,, they appreciate a donation.

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 8/7/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx DCIS
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May 28, 2016 10:29PM DenvMom wrote:

I had HUGE breasts so not having them is heaven!  I am still 50lbs overweight but working on that, so now I just have a big tummy.  My coworkers all women have said nothing and don't stare.  I have never had anyone in public or otherwise ask me anything.  I have just learned about scarfs...l love them!  My breasts were so big I could never wear them and now I can and they look great on me...NOW!

Blathus, I am new to this forum but you are the first person that has said something about the tight chest wall.  I just keep stretching my chest it seems to be better after a year.  I will look up more on this subject since you mentioned it...I thought I was the only one with is situation.

I hope all of you get comfortable with your choice if it be flat , reconstruction or prosthesis. 

Dx 7/9/2015, DCIS/ILC, Left, 1cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Jan 10, 2017 09:28PM Rusty1201 wrote:

I hear you, I had a double Mastectomy little a year ago. I still am not comfortable going flat. I am very self conscious because my scar in not flat I have puffy bulge on both sides where they left a lot of skin just in case I wanted to do a reconstruction. which I told my doctor I did not want.... It looks like I have a very small cleavage just weird.

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Jan 11, 2017 09:51AM ravzari wrote:

If you're still not planning on reconstruction, you can have that extra skin removed under a revision; insurance generally does cover that as well as possibly scar revision to try and flatten your scar.

Prophylactic BMX no recon, June 2016, due to strong family history of BC. NF1 positive.
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Feb 2, 2017 11:06PM DenvMom wrote:

Rusty1201 I have the puffy bulge on both my sides too.  Dr. thought I should get rebuilt...NOT GOING TO DO.  I have a great plastic surgeon he has removed some of the "extra fat" under my arms.  My left underarm is still way too much fat and right has a little more to remove.  I hope he can get it all when I am on Spring Break.  I still love being flat!

Dx 7/9/2015, DCIS/ILC, Left, 1cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Feb 3, 2017 08:52AM pabbie wrote:

I had a right breast mastectomy in 2014. I've been living with one breast for three years, wearing a mastectomy bra & prosthetic. My left breast is a size D and hangs low and I get sweaty and rashes during the hot summer months.

I met with a PS but am not a good candidate for breast reconstruction because I've had surgeries on my stomach area, with radiation and chemo on my behind and part of my thighs because of color-rectal surgery 17 years ago.

I don't feel comfortable taking muscle from my back. I'm 59 years old.

So I decided to have another mastectomy on the left breast. I know I want it done but am feeling a little depressed in losing the other boob. This might be a weird question but did anyone feel weird with the surgery being close to their heart?

May 2017 Recurrent 1.1 centimeter IDC with multiple foci, treated with surgery & Aromasin. Dx 2/6/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 2/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/23/2014, IDC, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/23/2014 Mastectomy: Right Dx 5/4/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 26, 2017 05:21PM bareclaws wrote:

My BMX was only a week and a half ago but I think I look great. I've embraced the wardrobe challenge and really, don't most clothes look better on a flat chest than a big one? I look forward to getting back to running without the added weight of sweaty breasts. And if ever there was an incentive to get my waist smaller than my rib cage, this is it. (Not there, yet, but I'm working on it.) Question about that "puffiness" in the armpit region above scars. Does that tend to lessen with time? Weight loss? Fitness? It's not horrible, but I don't like it.

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May 25, 2017 03:17PM klt5817 wrote:

My MX (right) was 20 days ago. I was quite fit prior to DX and surgery so I think I'm healing well. I also noticed the "puffiness" above the scar in the armpit region. My surgeon said it should lessen overtime as I heal and can exercise the right arm. I've started to walk and bike (stationary) for 5 days now. Agreed w/ "bareclaws" that most clothes look better on flat chest than big one. I'm a A+ or B- cup so wearing a prosthesis and loosed clothing look fine with me. I'm still waiting for genetic test results. So, if I have BRCA mutation, I'll have MX of left breast as well. I never want reconstruction. I'm wearing prosthesis not because I'm ashamed of my body but I don't want people around me to be uncomfortable.

Dx 4/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/15/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 6/11/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 15, 2017 06:23PM chickdudefood wrote:

Hello all,

I haven't had my bilateral mastectomy yet, because I only found out I was BRCA2 positive on the day I had my lumpectomy in October 2016. (If we'd known before that, I would have had the BMX instead of the lumpectomy.) Chemo and radiation followed, and two weeks ago I had my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. I'm on the hormone blocker Anastrozole (since mid-April) and am having no problems or side effects, so now I'm just waiting for the surgeon to let me know when we can safely schedule the BMX--probably 3-6 months after the completion of radiation, which was in April. I have chosen no reconstruction for a number of reasons, including that I'm a yoga teacher and want/need to have full mobility as well as want all my muscles to be where they're supposed to be. I've been single for about 10 years with only a handful (pun intended) of "second base" events, so having reconstruction for sexual reasons seems, um, like wishful thinking. (If I do meet a man and he's put off by my being flat, he's not the right man anyway, correct?) Plus, surgical complications. Plus, you can't feel reconstructed breasts, they exist for cosmetic purposes and/or for other people.

This is not to say I'm not a little sad about losing the 36DDs I've had since age 14. They have given me much pleasure, fed my child, and oh man did I get a lot of attention in my teens, twenties, and thirties and forties. But I'm kind of looking forward to having all this treatment and preventive treatment in my rear view mirror. I suppose that if I'd had the BMX in the first place, I would have let myself be talked into the expanders, but having seen several women in my chemo cohort have terrible complications and their expanders removed, I'm relieved that I didn't go that route, not that I even had a choice.

And I'm kind of psyched about figuring out new ways to wear clothes. My daughter, who is 25 and very stylish, has promised to help, and that will be fun. I'm not sure I'll be going topless around the house, but you never know.

Love to all, and let's see how I feel after the deed is done. I am of course hoping for a truly flat chest with no sloppy flaps and I also want really good, even stitching. I haven't decided about having tattoos, which I gather is a choice that's growing in popularity, but there's an area where I wouldn't have a clue what I wanted anyway. Stars? Spirals? Fireworks? Flowers and Ivy? Drawn-on breasts? Too much to consider.

Love to all,


Kate Dx 9/15/2016, ILC/IDC, Right, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 9/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/23/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 4/18/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Jun 16, 2017 05:45AM - edited Jun 16, 2017 05:53AM by Castigame

I had BMX on 02/15/17. I remember telling my BS "this is the day" w smile. It has been four months but I have not shed a single tear at my scars. BS left me a possibilty that I may be able to get recon later.

From the day BC exploded, my one and only goal was healing. I will be done w 8 DD chemos w/o any delay and minmal side effect in 10 days. I look forward to getting radiation done. I was finally able to make snow angels which means my ROM is 95% plus. I can drive now w/o any ouches. Getting my freedom back in every way.

Do I miss my boobs? Yes I do. But the fact of the matter is my boobs tried to kill me. I am not the type who holds onto something which does not bebefit me. My small concern about not having boobs for social occasions was solved when I tried mastectomy bras w breast forms recently. Unlike the first time which gave me nightmares, I felt quite OK wearing the bras and forms. I really dont think I would get a recon now.

It has been quite taxing for me on this road but I know I am going to be a OK. From now on my one and only goal is healing.


Mimi Dx 1/11/2017, IDC: Papillary/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 1/11/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes Surgery 2/15/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal Chemotherapy 3/21/2017 Radiation Therapy 7/31/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 10/30/2017
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Jun 21, 2017 10:24PM Needinfo wrote:

Hi lola11, I am preparing in the next few months for bilateral mastectomy as I am high risk for bc due to family history.  With no actual bc diagnosis, I realized that I am blessed with options that so many aren't.  The most preventative option for me will be a bilateral mastectomy which I am hoping to have scheduled and be done with by the end of summer, barring OBGYN-MO doesn't decide oophorectomy/hysterectomy should happen first.  This might be the outcome as older sister had ovarian cancer twice before ever receiving bc diagnosis.  I have accepted the fact that I need these surgeries but I cannot come to grips with the after part.  I have visited with Natural Fit people about prostethes (sorry bout spelling) and felt very good with idea of staying flat even though I am currently 40D.  Next day I met with plastic surgeon regarding implant reconstruction.  Now my mind is again in a quandary.  Can you share with me the reason you are going flat after having immediate reconstruction.  I am almost 56 years old, a widow and do not have children.  I feel like I have accepted everything else that I must do but just can wrap my mind around the issue of being flat or being reconstructed.

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Jun 21, 2017 10:44PM Needinfo wrote:

Hi chickdudefood, can you elaborate on your statement about chemo cohorts having complications and having expanders removed due to those complications.  Does that mean that they didn't even get to the final implants being placed due to these complications?  I will be having bilateral mastectomy soon and just can't make the final decision on reconstruction or staying flat.  I haven't been diagnosed with cancer but am 58% risk due to family history of PALB2.  Will see OBGYN-Mo regarding oophorectomy/hysterectomy due to family history of ovarian cancer as well.  I am 55 years old and have been 40D most of my life. 

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Jun 23, 2017 03:36AM - edited Jun 23, 2017 03:40AM by Momine

Needinfo, I opted out of recon for various reasons. I do, however, wear small prosthetics on most days. I happen to have insurance that doesn't pay for recon (not in the US), so cost was one factor. But more importantly, by the time I was done with treatment (my surgeon had asked me to delay recon), I really was not in the mood for more surgery, and most recon involves multiple surgeries and the surgeries have high complication and failure rates, especially for someone like me who received extensive radiation. The delay had also given me the opportunity to research recon options and what they involved. I have been generally unimpressed with the recon jobs I have seen. I am not interested in having odd-looking breasts with scars across them. I am not interested in butchering my rear-end to make boobs out of it. My belly is not big enough for a DIEP, and besides, if it were, that would mean a massive scar across my abdomen. Theoretically it would be nice to have a new, built-in set, but until they come up with better methods, I will most likely refrain. Prosthetics can be a pain, but they also give you options. You can go big or small as you please, and leave them off if you don't feel like dealing with it.

As for men, they are off my to-do list anyway, because my belly has loose skin and stretch marks from the pregnancy with dd 25 years ago. No amount of exercise can get rid of that mess. Even if I still had breasts, I wouldn't want to get naked with anyone. If I ever have cosmetic surgery, it is more likely to be a belly clean-up than a boob job.

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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Jul 2, 2017 07:24AM - edited Jul 2, 2017 07:27AM by MamaOz

hi , i am fairly new to the living with no breasts I am just 6 weeks post surgery. I have done neoadjuvant chemo

And will start radiation in a week or so.. I really am ok with it , i finally found the cooby bras that have a wider band on bottom keep from riding up, my scar tissue is still sensitive and i just use a little fluff in the pad I dont think I will opt for large prothesis.. I was a B cup but will most likely go with an A when I get around to being fitted but im ok with the soft fluff for now

I am more. Concerned with moving forward and maintaining good health than having boobs .. my husband is ok with it , i just leep the little bra on ..i havent let him see the scars

Coobie makes a cute stretch one with a lace back ..

Im 63 , perhaps if I were much younger I would feel different but BC has made me look at things differently and wasting precious time with more surgeries is not an option forme

Mamaoz : chemo 1/.17-4/17 AC/.paxitacil : 3/29 nodes Dx 12/5/2016, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/19/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/7/2017 Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Apr 16, 2018 12:46PM Hogwarts wrote:

Hi all,

Hope I'm in the right group; glad to have found you. Had a BMX nearly 3 years ago, and still adjusting to being flat. Wearing my silicone foobs that hold the heat and moisture is an issue for me in the warm months here in GA. Also, the irritation can get really bad. Has anyone ever felt the edges of their silicone forms? I must be really super sensitive. My frame is small and the foobs are a size 2, but I do have depressions where my breasts used to be so maybe that's the problem. That's also my point of self-consciousness, that and slight bulges at the end of my scars. I was a small 34 A before surgery and grew up self-conscious about being so 'small.' Now I'm more than flat. Sigh...

Hopefully my fitter can find some foam forms without edges or seams, as that seems to give the most trouble. Even knitted knockers are uncomfortable after a time. I have modified some cotton sports bras to accept forms, as nylon seems to cause irritation. Seamless cotton bras would be a dream, but nothing like that is on the market, yet.

It's easy to go flat in the cooler months because I can dress in bulky layers, or at church wear scarves for camouflage. The summer is different as it's only comfy wearing one light layer and I haven't found enough casual cotton tops with busy enough patterns to wear every day. Just wish I could forget about it all and just get on with it. You'd think that at 71 it would be a non-issue, but having had the 'girls' for nearly 60 years, then not having them, is still a big emotional adjustment. I just want to be comfy in the heat and found large t-shirts with bold designs that I bought last summer. Rotated out the 3 designs I found that I liked. Wanted the volume of the size to hide behind.

Female friends tell me they don't notice when I dress with or without forms. I feel more confident when I do wear them, but they get really uncomfortable and I can now relate to the women who take their bras off as soon as they get home!

Your warrior attitudes are great and I would love to be able to 'mainline' them. LOL Any suggestions/stores/reasonably priced clothing lines would be welcome, as I had my first melt-down about being flat in public last week in anticipation of the warmer temps. Have only found a few dressy cotton knit tops with the right patterns. Just looking in the mirror without any forms makes me sad. Have you been 'there' and what did you do? I did not 'do' summer before surgery and like it even less now.

Hope this isn't rambling too much and makes sense. Thanks for your being here!!!


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Apr 17, 2018 05:19PM Hogwarts wrote:

Hi all,

While looking at a clothing catalog that just came in the mail, I thought it would be sooooo great if 'flat' models were used! Other minorities are beginning to show up in catalogs, why not us!? Lands' End has mastectomy swimsuits, maybe they'd be game.

Or, there should be a catalog of flattering clothes just for us!



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Apr 19, 2018 01:19AM Jedrik wrote:

There is this discussion, where @MT1 wishes for more women showing themselves in their new, flat normal, so that public acceptance might grow and bc-afflicted women could feel accepted without going through a reconstruction process, that further weakens them and can have dire complications. Or go out without dealing with foobs on a daily basis, however uncomfortable this is.

Reading through this (and most other threads in this subforum), it becomes very obvious, that there aren't that many of us who dare go bare and it seems to me that most of these are pretty unconventional and don't care much about fashion and rather find their own style. So there would be no return of investment for any fashion company advertising the flat style. But there is a lot of money in foobs, special bras, special swimwear, and reconstructive surgery.

Now go figure.

Dx 9/17/2015, IDC/Paget's, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 10/5/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/18/2015 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 10/18/2015 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 10/18/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 2/22/2016 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Apr 19, 2018 01:33AM Momine wrote:

Jedrik, that is probably all true. Having lived flat (but usually wearing some kind of minimal foobs) for almost 7 years by now, I have seen quite a bit of fashion aimed at our demographic. Thing is, being breast-less is only one factor, when it comes to clothing. For example, I don't wear ruffles. They make me feel like a lampshade. So all these items with ruffles everywhere to cover up the chest don't cut it for me. Body type plays into it too. Someone skinny needs different choices than someone carrying a bit of extra padding etc.

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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Apr 19, 2018 08:41AM Hogwarts wrote:

Hi Jedrik and Momine,

Wish I knew where the fashions aimed at us flat gals is, as I haven't seen that. Don't know about other women, but I've have to reinvent my summer fashion style, or lack of, to feel comfy going out in public flat. My opinion is that there are enough of us, who would come out of the clothes closet and embrace new ways of dressing, if we had more choices. The only time it really hits me is when I can't hide behind a couple of layers of bulky clothes, which I wear in colder weather, and perhaps then tell myself that I look okay, which is what I've been told.

In talking with a customer rep at LL Bean last year about showing more clothes for flat women, she agreed that we are a growing demographic and our needs should be addressed. We need to speak up to women's clothing mfgr. about our needs. With so much emphasis placed on having breasts (and more is considered better, at least from my vantage point) in the American culture, it's hard to feel normal not having any, especially not having much pre-mastectomy. I applaud the women who are confident enough to live flat, to heck with what others think. They are my rock stars! I would just be wonderful to see some role models out there who do (aside from Koo Stark and Kathy Bates) lead the way more visibly. And to have more press access other than the one Oprah piece, though that's an excellent start.

And I agree, it's more about the foobs and mastectomy bras bringing in the revenue, likely driven by those that assume that's what women still want, than our current demographic wants/needs. Ideas change but it's unfortunate that industry is slow to follow our lead.

Since my BMX, I've had to reinvent my summer wardrobe and it's a challenge to find attractive clothes/tops, should I not be able to wear foobs due to pain caused by the summer heat. And I still feel painfully self-conscious without that 'social security.' I know that this is a process, and there's an emotional learning curve, but it's just one more reminder to me that there was this hell I went thru and I'd like to put it behind me and feel normal again. That's an important healing element for me. The body is fine, it's the emotions that now wants help via flattering clothes that, for me, are either 1. hard to find, 2. not affordable and 3. not comfortable it the summer heat.


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Apr 19, 2018 01:26PM Momine wrote:

Hogwarts, I am back to thinking that how others see you is mainly about attitude. That holds whether you are titless, old, have a big nose (me) or whatever. A few weeks ago I was at the park with my daughter (25) and our dogs. I looked nice and I felt good. It was a beautiful day. It was nice to see my kid, the dogs were happy etc. A young man from the neighborhood came by. He knew us both, but didn’t realize we were mother and daughter. When he realized, he just lit up in a huge smile and said, “you are both exquisite!” Tits had nothing to do with it. The hard thing is finding that center again, after having body and mind put through the mill, but you will get there

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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Apr 19, 2018 02:19PM Egads007 wrote:

Just a crazy dumb thought here from a lumpectomy gal.... it’s basically down to the old saying “necessity is the mother of all invention”. In other words there is a NEED for ‘flat fashion’and awareness. Hell, if Dove can do it with their normal women of every shape, colour and age campaign, why can’t survivors? So many rapid changes in societal attitudes have taken place lately, so why not for those choosing to live flat? It could also be a strike out at the way all women are objectified by their sexuality.

It would take organization and strategic planning in the form of a campaign targeting the fashion industry (even simply by emails)with your needs/experiences/stories. There are thousands of members on these boards...a huge voice for this issue, a huge voice has power. Cancer stats say that your voices are a large portion of the market...something industry loves to cater to in order to make profits, so they may just listen. Why shouldn’t there be readily available and accepted clothing/advertising? It makes good sense and seems very doable with work. I’ll end with another old saying...where there’s a will there’s a way.

Just my dumb thoughts. Peace to allNerdy

"I base all my fashion choices on what doesn't itch" (Gilda Radner) Chemotherapy 3/19/2013 Doxil (doxorubicin), Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 8/23/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Radiation Therapy 10/31/2013 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Dx IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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