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May 13, 2017 10:18PM
I had a bilateral mastectomy 7 weeks ago and have been to 3 different establishments that claim to provide mastectomy products. I was given several places by treatment center. I called the one most likely to have several different products because they advertised everything. I was very disappointed, it was unprofessional and not very sympathetic to my personal issues. I brought clothes to wear but was told on the phone I could only bring one shirt, they only had an hour to spend with me. I explained my purpose was to be able to wear my former clothes. I recently (before my breast cancer) bought 4 new bathing suits and was hoping to be able to wear them as well as my blazers and bras.
I was a 42 DD. I am now completely flat. 37 inches around my chest.
I arrived at 10 am for my 10 am appointment and was met with a lot of commotion and a room full of people (5-6). Men and women both. I walked in and there was a woman behind the counter talking with another woman. I walked up to the counter, they continued to talk, no welcome or smiles or even an acknowledgement that I was there as they continued their conversation. I was within 2 feet of these employees, they could not have missed me. Eventually she asked me my name, and I stated I had an appointment for 10. She nodded, and continued her conversation with the other employee and as she talked to her, she motioned for me to look another direction and said I was to go with her.
There was no hi my name is or welcome to our store. I dutifully followed this person to a back room that looked more like a storage warehouse area. She was busily adjusting things, putting things away, and closing doors as I just stood there watching her. Then I decided to sit down, but was never invited to. Then she sat next to me busily got out paperwork and began firing questions at me (never did introduce herself) and demanding ID as well as insurance card. I expected to share those with her, but it just wasn't very welcoming or nice. Then she asked a lot of personal questions as well as my social security number, and I really was uncomfortable giving out my personal info. Why she needed to know my marital status and if I was in a relationship is beyond me. I was not asking for credit and they are not my doctor and my insurance pays in full.
Next she stated I was to take off my clothes as she left the room to copy my personal papers. She never told me what to take off or even why, I assume my coat, shirt and upper undergarments. There was no cover up to wear. The door was large and I would be visible to anyone on the other side when it opened. I sat there for a while, then decided this was not for me. I am just not ready for this yet. I just got up and asked for my papers back and left. I told them I just wasn't ready. Then I cried in the car and left with tears. It was bad. But I do need to be able to wear my clothes.
A few days later, I tried again at a Wright and Philippis out of town. I arrived on time and waited about 15 minutes. It was much more professional. I was called back to get fitted. I told her my former size and said it is most important I can fill out my clothes, but all the larger breast forms created a huge gap between my chest and the bra. They said that is the way they fit. So I left there with nothing. I did finish the appointment. I did not cry. I was more frustrated. Should there be a 1/2 in to 3/4 inch gap on your chest where I can see the breast form inside the bra, and so could anyone taller than me standing next to me?
Next, I went to a university teaching hospital prosthetic department. I had an hour appointment with them as well. It wasn't much better than Wright and Phillipis. However she was able to fit the bra next to my chest if I chose to be a "B" cup. Well, I was a "DD" that just is not going to do anything for my clothes. She thought I looked great in the "B". She seemed very upset, that I had too much criteria and she just doesn't have what I want. I wanted the bra to fit the prosthetic and fit against my chest with no gaps and fill out my clothes. At least a D, if a C fits my clothes, then a C. I don't want a padded bra or one with a wire, I was told no wires by my doctors. I also want the breast form to be in front of me and not wider than I am. I can't be comfortable with breasts that point outward towards my underarms. I never had my breast where I could feel them under my arms and that to me is just weird. She kept trying to fit the wrong breast forms in a different sized bra, using a B cup bra with a C or D prosthetic. They did not stock enough for larger people. So I left there with nothing as well.
Is there a way to find a prosthetic and a bra to fit? I can't use the internet, I won't know how it fits. I also need them to take my blue cross PPO. I can't believe this is so hard.
3/1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH)
3/22/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
3/28/2017 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right
5/17/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
6/27/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
6/27/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab)
6/27/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
9/11/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall