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All TopicsForum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy → Topic: How have you adjusted to being Half Flat?

Topic: How have you adjusted to being Half Flat?

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: Jan 9, 2018 10:07PM

sm627 wrote:

Dear Half Flat Sisters,

My name is Sara I am 33 years old and I have been living the Half Flat life for about 6 months now. My BS told me i can have reconstruction if i want to, but I am not sure if I want to have something not real on my body. I would like to know what your experiences have been like only having one breast? How have you emotionally felt about it and what are the physical pros and cons to only having one boob in the long term?

Thank you for sharing your stories with me reading what you have gone through will help me decide on if I want to continue being half flat.

Hugs and Love,

Sara


Diagnosed at 32. DX 5/30/2017 Borderline Phyllodes Tumor 17cm. Surgery 6/27/2017 Mastectomy(right). Hormonal Therapy 9/25/2017 Tamoxifen
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Jan 9, 2018 11:50PM Peregrinelady wrote:

Hi Sara, it depends on your own personal circumstances, of course, and many women are comfortable with one breast. I thought I would be okay with it and definitely did not want surgery as I had only been in the hospital to have children. However, my breast surgeon recommended I remove the other breast due to family history. I thought I would be okay with being totally flat, but after the first mastectomy, I was uncomfortable with the scar tissue and couldn’t imagine it would be much better with the scar all the way across. I also felt very unsymmetrical and got tired of adjusting the knitted knocker that I put in my bra. Long story short, I ended up doing the DIEP flap surgery and am very pleased with how it turned out. Any surgery is risky and there can be complications. I had a DVT/PE after the revision, but I am still glad I did it. With the DIEP you don’t have anything foreign in your body. Also, I read the breast reconstruction threads to prepare me and they were very helpful. Breast cancer involves a lot of major decisions and I wish you luck with this one.
Dx 4/24/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2015 Liquid tamoxifen (Soltamox) Surgery 4/18/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jan 10, 2018 01:08AM - edited Jan 10, 2018 01:09AM by Axolotl

Hi Sara,

I thought about going half flat when I had my mastectomy recently. In the end I decided to have a skin-saving DTI reconstruction. I'm still on the fence about what I would be most happy with long term. The reason I decided to go with reconstruction is that I thought I would regret not trying, and I wasn't sure how I would adjust to being half flat. If I'd had a bilateral mastectomy I might have chosen differently. I also wanted to get everything over in one surgery. I was not too keen to use tissue expanders, or have multiple or longer surgeries. I am still getting used to the reconstructed breast and it's still healing. At this point I just want it too heal without complications. But in the long-term, if I am not happy I will have it removed.

When I was looking for information, I didn't find much information about going-half flat. I'd be interested in hearing from women who made that decision. i have seen quite a few posts from women who are fully flat and feel confident about that choice.

Diagnosed at 37. Extensive DCIS (7cm) with scattered multifocal IDC. Dx 12/18/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 12/26/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Jan 10, 2018 01:48AM - edited Jan 10, 2018 10:56AM by Jennie93

I've been half flat for five years now. It was not by choice, it was the only option I had. But I can honestly say it has made zero difference in my life. I was never the sort to go bra-less, anyway. And I was only an A cup at best. Never even bothered to get an actual mastectomy bra or foob. Just wear a comfy stretchy sport bra with a little padding stuffed in the one cup. No biggie.

Edited to add: That’s not to say that various aspects of treatment haven’t basically destroyed my life. However, none of it had anything to do with having one breast.





49 at dx. Found on routine mammogram. Complications: cording, truncal LE. Dx 8/2012, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 4/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/5/2012 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 10/16/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/24/2013 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 5/23/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jan 10, 2018 08:20PM Hanging_in_there wrote:

This is my 9th month after a single mastectomy. I am so uncomfortable. I was not eligible for any of the autologous reconstruction (that I would do - I wanted Diep). I didn't want to have multiple surgeries with implants.

I lost 30 lbs during chemo. I had gained weight over 10 years and my breasts became large (they used to be A). But with the weight loss, my remaining boob is sort of hanging and causes pain without bra after awhile. While my mastectomy side still has pain from surgery and it hurts to where a bra (and I'm talking stretch non-support bra which is more comfortable). So no bra, my boob hurts, bra, my scar hurts. I'm going to discuss with surgeon to remove second one so I can go without any bra when I want and will not be in pain.

Dx 10/31/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/27/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/25/2017 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right
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Jan 10, 2018 10:24PM sm627 wrote:

Thank you all for your responses I very much appreciate your incite. Hugs to all, Sara

Peregrinelady: Thank you for sharing your feelings about how you felt about the scar tissue. I can totally understand how you feel I have some pretty major scar tissue issues myself that I hope to get fixed next month. There are so many different emotions that seem to come with breast cancer. I am glad that you are happy with your reconstruction, and can finally start to move on with life. Thank you for your support and good wishes.

Axolotl: Thank you for sharing your perspective. I like how you are giving it a try and if it does not work out for you to make a change later on. I see that you did have your surgery very recently. How is the healing process going for you? I wish you all the best in healing and getting back to what you enjoy in life.

Jennie93: It is not far when one does not have a choice about what happens to their body. I am sorry that you did not have a choice. Thanks for sharing your story with me. I am glad to hear that you are doing alright with just having one breast and that it has not negatively impacted your life. I am learning that Breast Cancer treatment in general has long term side effects and the healing process seems to take forever. In general how do you feel now being 5 years out from beating the BC monster?

Hanging_in_there: I understand your pain about wearing a bra vs not wearing one at all. I am having similar pain issues with my mastectomy side. Things are still sensitive and too much pressure hurts. I am sorry to hear that your remaining breast is causing you so much pain. I wish you the best in having it removed and finally being able to not have to worry about wearing anything. Thank you for sharing your story with me. Wishing you well and good thoughts.


Diagnosed at 32. DX 5/30/2017 Borderline Phyllodes Tumor 17cm. Surgery 6/27/2017 Mastectomy(right). Hormonal Therapy 9/25/2017 Tamoxifen
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Jan 11, 2018 09:06PM MexicoHeather wrote:

Hanging in: December was the 12 month anniversary of being Uni. I was pretty small to begin with, and I do have some other pain in the breast from a cyst and I can tell where all the calcification is. Big sigh. The surgeon offered to ultrasound the cyst, but I just can deal with it right now -- maybe in April. But, I am happy to have it still. I wear camisoles. I hate by foob.

Dios es Amor. Dx 10/1/2016, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/5/2016 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 1/19/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 5/10/2017 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 10/10/2017 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 12, 2018 06:47AM sswp wrote:

It's only been two months for me. For the last month, I've been wearing a coobie bra 9012 and 9042 with a fluff, it allows me to wear what I want as long as it's not too low cut. I also have an Amoena bra but it isn't nearly as comfortable. If I didn't have the coobie or one like it I would probably go without a bra most days and just wear baggy shirts. I'm small so that is a factor.



Dx 10/26/2017, ILC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/8/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 12/22/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jan 14, 2018 12:38PM sm627 wrote:

Thank you MexicoHeather, for sharing your experiences with me. I am sorry to hear that you are still going through so much with health whiles. I wish you all the best. What do you not like about your foob vs wearing your camisole? Take Care, Sara


Sswp- thank you for the suggestions about the coobie bra I will look into it. Glad that is working out for you. I wish you well in your healing process. By the way, I saw your singing video on another thread with your family you were amazing. Wishing you well. Take Care, Sara


Diagnosed at 32. DX 5/30/2017 Borderline Phyllodes Tumor 17cm. Surgery 6/27/2017 Mastectomy(right). Hormonal Therapy 9/25/2017 Tamoxifen

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