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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 11:07PM

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 years old. 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 10, 2018 12:50AM 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 4/17/2016 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 02:08AM - edited Jan 10, 2018 02:09AM 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. Oncotype 12. 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 02:48AM - edited Jan 10, 2018 11:56AM 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 5/22/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 1/31/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jan 10, 2018 09:20PM 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 11/28/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/26/2017 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right
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Jan 10, 2018 11:24PM 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 years old. 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 10:06PM 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 Surgery 12/5/2016 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; 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 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 12, 2018 07:47AM 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) Radiation Therapy 5/8/2018 Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 14, 2018 01:38PM 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 years old. 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 30, 2018 09:03AM Katie55 wrote:

I just had my mastectomy on Jan. 25, so am still healing but had already decided against recon. Still wondering whether to bother with a stuffy bra or not. My other boob is not large and fairly saggy as I'm 55, so if I wear baggy clothes it isn't obvious. Maybe in the summer when I start wearing t-shirts and lighter clothes I will revisit the bra options. I do ride horses, so will probably need at least a sports bra for that But so far I have had zero issues or feelings of awkwardness from walking around braless.

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Feb 2, 2018 04:04AM Lunaru wrote:

I am 55 and entering my 12th year being half flat (uni-boob, I think someone else said) and it hasn't been without certain challenges emotionally and physically. Yet, probably the issues I grapple with most are those related to clothing and support-wear. Sharing emotions: after surgery I had to get used to the modified me (I refused recon because it seemed so invasive and I really didn't want extensive surgery etc. Besides, what if I got cancer in the other breast? I'd do recon again?! No thank you!) My husband supported my decision and he's remained very devoted. Today, I wear a foob, but I'm thinking about going half flat full-time. Physically, scar tissue healed well but I have had some mild lymphedema in armpit area. A physical therapist showed me how massage helps and it has. Swelling is not often, so hopefully it will remain that way. Ok, biggest frustration has been with prosthetics and bras, not to mention swimwear. I have experimented with many great ideas (must check out Coobie!) thanks to valuable advice on this forum. I started with the silicone prosthesis and they were too heavy and hot. Over time they stretched out the mastectomy bras too. I transitioned to lighter weighted foam breast forms and they're okay but in hot weather still too warm. Knitted knockers are super comfy and cleverly designed but can be warm in summertime. I tried crocheting one but stitches were too lumpy :) For daily wear, really been liking my Tatastogo -a nylon bag filled with lightweight beads which you can adjust size as needed. It breathes in warm weather yet isn't too heavy. And supposedly you can wear in regular bra without it traveling. This week I experimented and it seemed to stay put. Let's talk swim forms. My first was silicone with convex shape. Big mistake. Exiting the pool, the weight of it paired with wet suit resulted in one “breast" sagging down near my bellybutton. Tried small weighted foam form, yet too small; bead-filled triangular exercise form, which isn't bad, and the modified bathing scrunchy, which works well, but could use maybe a small weight. Still, every dressing situation requires a decision on best foob to use. My left breast isn't as large as it used to be (if only it could be smaller still!) and I think with a good sports bra I could just go out uni-boob style, to exercise or just do daily activities. Still I try to wrap my mind around why I feel uncomfortable going outside or to my job half flat? Afraid someone will ask me about having breast cancer? Wondering if younger kids in my extended family will ask questions...will I feel awkward? I'm fine with friends and older family members, though. Actually I did go out half flat a couple times recently, chatted with neighbors and honestly I don't think they even noticed. If I was full flat, that would be awesome but I don't want breast reduction surgery. No surgery, unless necessary. Many women have done clever things with clothes, and others do artistic tattoos which are very beautiful! I'd love a tattoo but worry about exacerbating the lymphedema. Sorry for the long post, it's a lot of history, but maybe it will answer some of your questions. I have no regrets of not doing reconstruction. For me, this was best decision. Wishing you all good health and peace in New Year

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Feb 2, 2018 03:56PM Moderators wrote:

Hi Lunaru, and welcome to Breastcancer.org,

We certainly appreciate you joining our Community and sharing your story. We know your experience will help others. Thank you again for posting and we look forward to seeing you around the boards and hearing more from you!

--The Mods

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Feb 2, 2018 05:08PM - edited Feb 2, 2018 05:13PM by Erica

Hi Lunaru,

Welcome and thanks for your interesting post. Although I've had a bilateral mastectomy, I can relate to your feelings of discomfort about going half flat. For me, even though I'm symmetrical, I feel uncomfortable for some of the same reasons you mentioned. Yet, I'm certainly glad I didn't have reconstruction.

Also, I was interested in the breast forms that you like -- Ta-tas To Go. I hadn't heard of them, even though I write about breast form options for my non-profit website, BreastFree.org. I looked at the Ta-tas To Go website and am interested in trying them out, but I couldn't figure out from the website how heavy they are. The site does say they can be worn "in a support bra of any kind." This sounds as if their weight might be comparable to silicone forms. Is that correct? I'm glad they've been comfortable for you and not too warm, as that's been my biggest problem with most breast forms.

BreastFree.org (breastfree.org); BreastFree Blog (breastfree.blogspot.com); Twitter @BreastFree
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Feb 2, 2018 05:23PM - edited Feb 5, 2018 09:15AM by Sam2U

I am in my 5th year of being half flat. I am miserable, but that's just me :)

I've had to re-think my wardrobe as a large portion of my C/D cup was in the upper part of my chest, with it gone on one side V-neck, scoop neck or open shirts make me very self conscious. Even camisoles are too low and I have to find ones with high necks. I am constantly adjusting my professionally fitted bras since they migrate to the side with a boob. No matter what I try the things wont stay put! I have lymphedema so wearing the bras bothers that, but going flat on one side makes people stare, and I HATE that.

One day the aggravation will overrule the fear of the reconstruction and I will change it !

Dx 10/9/2013, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 10/25/2013, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/12/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 12/13/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Dx 12/23/2013, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 2/40 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/16/2014 AC Chemotherapy 3/18/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 6/17/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/9/2014
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Feb 3, 2018 01:41PM - edited Feb 3, 2018 01:42PM by Lunaru

Hi Erica,

I have visited your website before and it is also a wonderful site! Very inspiring stories—thank you for providing such a great resource!

Your query as to the weight of the Tatastogo prompted me to do a comparison. Yes, they are heavier than the silicone forms, but because they breathe (even with the nylon outer pouch) I guess they feel lighter in that way. Also wearing a normal bra felt better for once! While it was a supporting bra, it did not have underwires (which I never wore much even before BC-wires were uncomfortable). I purchased a large Tata and I think it too big. Because I have so much extra beads, I might order just a medium empty pouch to try. My large pouch has more capacity than i use.

Re: comparison: I took pictures which I couldn't load —sorry!

(Photo of Still You, foam/silicone weight, size D, 8oz. & Activeflow, beads, size 8, 7.5 oz. & Tata, Large, beads, size C-D, 10.5 oz.)

(Photo of Tata measurement, approximately 6 inches around)

(Photo of Tata with velcro opening, some beads in a baggie and some individual beads scattered)

I used a kitchen scale to weigh these. The sandwich bag of beads weighs about 7 oz., so 3-4 oz. less than Tata. I included a view of the opening so you can add with a funnel or pour out/remove beads as needed. Over past few years, my remaining breast is a bit smaller (and saggier) so I removed some beads. If pouch were more compact, maybe one could use fewer beads. Still very comfortable to wear.

I use the Activewear/activeFlo for swimming and exercise; in sports bra it fills the space, breathes a little, but will travel if not restrained. Forget doing downward dog in regular sports bra. I'm sure any breast form will travel without mastectomy sports bra. BTW, I have never tried adhesive forms, but my skin is so sensitive to adhesive tapes, I think I would have allergic reaction. If you know of a good mastectomy sports bra, I would love to know!

Hope you find this helpful :)

Thank you!

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Feb 3, 2018 02:29PM Lunaru wrote:

Hi Sam2u,

Your situation with trying to dress nice and comfortably without exacerbating the lymphedema sounds very challenging. I’m sorry you are experiencing so many difficulties.

I wish there were more asymmetrical dress options! Like a blouse that has a ruffle down the flat side, or something. I’ve thought about wearing decorative scarf wrapped around, draped over flat side to mask the asymmetry.

I keep searching for creative solutions as well. Interesting about your bra migrating, if I understand you right. Mine does too! It maybe travels most an inch toward the breast side, but most of the time it’s not really noticeable...just if I wear a teeshirt. Actually before BC, my breasts were not exactly the same size anyway, so one side was slightly smaller. I doubt anyone noticed.

Have you tried the mastectomy bras with lace across the V? They do a nice job masking the cleavage area. I fill the lacey cups with same color inserts on both sides so it looks same. My skin color and breast form color are different colors. They do migrate a little though. But they are comfortable

Hope you can find some alternatives.


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Feb 3, 2018 06:57PM sm627 wrote:

Hi Lunaru,

Thank you so much for sharing all that you have been through with trying different foobs and what the ups and downs are to both. You are amazing and truly inspiring to me. Is the Tatastogo the one you wear daily for everyday activity or do you use other foobs for different occasion? Do you have to replace the foobs after a while or are some of them reusable that you can clean like the Tatastogo.

What kind of bras have you found most helpful to you with the different foobs? I have been having a hard time finding good bras my old ones I used to wear don't work as well anymore. The sports bras i have are okay sometimes but they can get to tight at times. When do you think you might try going half flat full time? I have gone out half flat for the past 7 months since my mastectomy and no one seems to notice. I do find myself looking at other women's breasts and either missing my breast when it was healthy or saying to myself enjoy your boobs while you still have them.

When you look back over the last 12 years how long do you think it took you to embrace your new uniboob normal?

Thank you for your uniboob wisdom you have helped me so much.

Take Care,

Sara


Diagnosed at 32 years old. DX 5/30/2017 Borderline Phyllodes Tumor 17cm. Surgery 6/27/2017 Mastectomy(right). Hormonal Therapy 9/25/2017 Tamoxifen
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Feb 3, 2018 07:40PM JO-5 wrote:

Ladies all

I have been uni for 2 and 1/2 years. I have issues that I won't go into here....one is that wearing a bra too long -- no matter what kind hurts my lat flap mastectomy scars, while going without hurts the remaining breast.

The main aggravating problem is the bra and side with the prosthesis gravating toward the "real" breast side on the left. (Right side mastectomy)

Here's how I solved the problem. I took a piece of 1" wide soft elastic, cut it 2 inches longer than the space between the bottom of the bra band and the waist band of my jeans/slacks or skirt. I pen one end over lapping about 1" to the bottom of the bra band just to the right of the middle. I pin the other end straight down to the pants or skirt band.

Don't make it too tight.....works without stretching the elastic, but the elastic gives as you move.

This keeps the bra from sliding sideways. It requires you to wear a tank or top out over the waist band ..... doesn't work with anything tucked in and doesn't work with a dress.

It's not perfect but helps.

JO-5

Org dx 04 lumpectomy rads arimidex stage 1 grade 3 no nodes er+pr+her- 2014 rads induced angiosarcoma, wide excision 2015 angio recurrence, rt mast. Lat flap, 1/3 flap went necrotic, skin graft leg to chest Seeing dr every 3 to 6 months.
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Feb 4, 2018 06:54AM Lunaru wrote:

Hi Sara,

Thank you for the kind words, but really, I learned all about foobs from the very brave and brilliant women on this site, as well as Breastfree, Knitted Knockers, etc. There are so many creative people here-they inspire me! It is sheer luck that I have avoided many complications because my treatment was minimal due to early detection. My heart goes out to all who have not only had to fight this evil disease, but must endure painful consequences of treatment. Kudos and peace to them.

You are in the SF Bay Area; have you ever been to The Next Step boutique? The women there are so wonderful and supportive. Marita, Tammy, and Julie are very knowledgeable and helpful. After my mastectomy, they really helped me. My surgeon recommended them. They have bras, lingerie, swimwear, plus wigs, hats for women undergoing chemo. They had several breast prostheses in silicone, foam...swim/sport types. They take most insurance too, when you get the bra prescription from your doctor. Their info:

Next Step: 15400 National Ave, suite 120, Los Gatos

408-358-8433

I can wash all the foobs, by hand, and I only had one silicone one start to leak, oddly. I was in Vegas, so guess what happens in Vegas will stay in Vegas. :) I did donate a couple I no longer used...need to do that again. All have held up well. I wear most the three mentioned in last post, plus knitted knocker, depending on what I’m wearing and activity I will be doing.

Bras: I wear quite often because they’re very comfy, but not sexy: Amoena Mona. They will wear out, stretch out, eventually. I have three, worn out four previously. Also have Amoena Isabel, that has lacey bit around the cleavage area, so I can wear lower cut blouses. Just purchased a Bali 3463/8540 non-mastectomy bra and tatas held well in that as well as Amoena Isabel. I have cute mastectomy leopard-print bra, probably Amoena...bought at Next Step. Occasionally wear a Playtex 18-hour 4608. While I don’t own Coobie bra, I do have Genie bras and they do have small opening to insert a foob. Sadly some went in the dryer and shrank, thus aggravates lymphedema when bra is tight. Should donate those. Don’t wear them often. The one I like the most has lacey front. Sport bras are non-mastectomy: Champion maxsupport 1602. I might attempt to sew a pocket.

I tried on some tops tonight and I do have some where it’s not noticeable that I’m half flat, due to the pattern and loose fit. Others that are snug and the top accentuates my asymmetrical front...I think I’d wear a foob with those. I experimented while wearing a genie bra. Anything with a cup would look lumpy, yes? I admire your confidence to go outside half flat! I bet if I did it more, it would get easier? However, if I lost the 20-30 pounds I need to lose, I think it would be enough to minimize difference of my half-flatness.

I think there are breast reduction exercises out there-has anyone tried them?

Uniboob normal...will I ever fully embrace it? Accept it, for sure. I liked my husband’s observation, something like people go thru life and sometimes one needs an amputation and you just try to accept, adapt, and move on. We have a friend with amputated leg and you’d never know it. He hikes and bikes and embraces life. He lost his wife to breast cancer...she was an amazing woman. :(

We lost our breasts, but we can move on...I think it’s difficult in such a breast-centric culture. And yet, so many women get this disease; I think the tattoos project for mastectomy patients was terrific at raising awareness and helping to empower women. Where once there was a breast, now there is art! A badge of strength! Still, I worry about tattoos and lymphedema...does it exacerbate the condition? Maybe apply temporary tattoos?

I go thru periods of wanting to be symmetrical or finding better solutions with foobs, bras, etc. but then those times pass and honestly, most days I barely give it a thought. When I see my surgeon and she tells me of new recon developments, I listen but then decide that, no, I don’t want more surgery. If I did opt for more surgery, I’d want breast reduction on remaining breast. Yet, if I were diagnosed younger, like in my 20s, would I have considered reconstruction? Possibly. In my 40s, though, no. I really didn’t see a need. I was ok with adapting to the change and, foremost, getting cancer-free. For everyone, it’s truly a personal decision and a life experience that we mull over. Maybe it’s really how to adapt this condition to our lives, rather than adapting our lives to this situation.

Hope you find this helpful, Sara-

Thank you!

:


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Feb 4, 2018 02:31PM - edited Feb 4, 2018 09:42PM by hanami

This Post was deleted by hanami.
Dx 8/1/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/17 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 4, 2018 03:35PM - edited Feb 4, 2018 03:39PM by Erica

Hi Lunaru,

Thanks for all the info about the Ta-tas To Go. They may be too heavy for me because I prefer not to wear structured bras, but sounds as if they are another good option for a lot of women. I'm like you -- even before breast cancer, I didn't wear bras with underwires. Since my mastectomy, I'm even more sensitive. And now that I haven't worn a structured bra in several years, I think it would be hard to adjust.

I'm glad you found BreastFree.org helpful. It's exciting to see a variety of resources for going flat (or half-flat), and articles in various papers and magazines.


BreastFree.org (breastfree.org); BreastFree Blog (breastfree.blogspot.com); Twitter @BreastFree
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Feb 5, 2018 09:29AM Sam2U wrote:

Lunaru--thanks for the ideas!

Yes my bra moves to the "real" breast side--maybe one to two inches. In my case it's more of a discomfort thing, as I have long ago given up just wearing a fitted shirt. Everything is layered now, even in the summer.

I have tried the bras with the lace across them, but because of the tissue removed during the mastectomy and the fuller shape of my natural breast, the concave area of the mastectomy side starts about 1.5 inches below my collar bone. Most of the lace coverage bras don't come that high. The fitter gave me some of the little pads to fill the gap, but even she said she didn't have a great open to "fix" the issue. Even tried the Amoena camisole/bras that work so well for other people. For me they are very comfortable, but I still have to wear a higher neck to camouflage the concave area.

So I just stick to the high camisoles, undershirts and such. Modesty4me makes some great high neck camisoles as does Van Huesen.

May try Jo-5's suggestion to anchor the bra!

Dx 10/9/2013, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 10/25/2013, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/12/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 12/13/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Dx 12/23/2013, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 2/40 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/16/2014 AC Chemotherapy 3/18/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 6/17/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/9/2014
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Feb 5, 2018 10:13PM sm627 wrote:

Hi Lunaru,

Wow thank you so very much for the uniboob bra wealth of information where to find them too. This has been incredibly helpful now i can try out some of the bras that have worked for you. Thank You! Glad to know you are from the Bay Area too. I will check out Next Step I have an appointment with my Breast Surgeon at the end of this month, so i will ask her about it then. Thank you for your wise words if you don't mind I am going to add your saying "Maybe it's really how to adapt this condition to our lives, rather than adapting our lives to this situation." to my breast cancer scrapbook i am making for myself. Your words and all the other wonderful strong women on this site inspire me so much. I like the temporary tattoo idea I don't think I could ever get a real one to scary about what might happen down the line.

So sorry that you lost a friend to breast cancer that is so sad. I lost a friend last year to pancreas cancer I guess every morning that we wake up we should be thankful that we are here to live another day.

Thank you again Lunaru! you have made my day.

All the best,

Sara


Diagnosed at 32 years old. DX 5/30/2017 Borderline Phyllodes Tumor 17cm. Surgery 6/27/2017 Mastectomy(right). Hormonal Therapy 9/25/2017 Tamoxifen
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Feb 12, 2018 01:52AM Lunaru wrote:

Hi Sam2u,

I too have concave chest wall, but doesn’t sound as severe as yours. I thought it would fill out a bit but my surgeon said it wouldn’t...kind of same response you got. Odd isn’t it that if you lose or gain weight, the breast gets smaller or larger a bit, but not the surgical area.

Jo-5’s strategy to prevent traveling bra was certainly creative-I would never have thought of something like that but it sounds like a good solution. Still, it must be warm wearing layers in summer, humid days...how do you cope

Thanks for recommending Amoena camis, Modesty4me, and Van Heusen (I thought they only had menswear, so definitely will check out!)

Best to you,

L.

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Feb 12, 2018 02:30AM Lunaru wrote:

Hi Sara,

What a great idea making a scrapbook! I wish I had done something like that when I was going through this back then. It’s a nice way to remember inspiring words, and seems therapeutic, as it is an emotional roller-coaster when you have cancer. By the way, have you ever heard of Matuschka? She was a model who had a mastectomy and became an artist/activist. Just looked her up (yay google and Wikipedia) and 22 years after her mastectomy I just learnedshe tried a controversial reconstruction, which had 6 surgeries! It’s odd she did this, as she used to be so open about it all.

I am sorry you lost a friend to pancreatic cancer...that one is especially bad, since survivor rates are so minimal. Sadly, I have lost more than one friend to breast cancer. At least, I believe breast cancer treatments are better now than 10 or 20 or even 50 years ago, so hopefully more women and men can survive.

Thank you again for your kind words. I hope you find the Next Step helpful. I still wish I could go out half flat more. On weekends I have tried it a little, but at my job, not so sure. Of course, why should I worry? I am in my cube all day! Seriously, I still wish there were some clothes that were strategically designed to obscure our half flatness.

I have come across some online, but they are either expensive or out of business. I think there is a local community college with a fashion design class. They sometimes have open house. I should share my woes next time!

You are right about every day we wake up, we should be thankful we are still here. Cheers to that! :)

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Feb 12, 2018 10:32AM Cpeachymom wrote:

question for you uni ladies- have you noticed any changes in your remaining breast since your mx? For example, my remaining nipple always seems to be erect, which I thought was weird but just chalked it up to the many changes with all the meds and stuff. The past few days I’m not so sure...I have had recent scans, so I don’t think there’s anything to be concerned over Right Now, but now it’s on my radar

39 at Dx. Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You can not withstand the storm.' The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.' Dx 6/21/2017, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/5/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 9/10/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 9/17/2017 Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Feb 13, 2018 08:05PM - edited Feb 14, 2018 09:50AM by JO-5

Lunaru,

In Summer, you don't have to layer.....wear a sleeveless long tank top, just over your shorts or jeans......can't be tucked in.

I use the elastic anchor every day and it works on any bra. You will have to experiment on where it works best for you.

Last time I was at the bra fitters she said she had never seen anything like it and said she was going to pass it on to other customers.

Now watch someone come up with something similar and make $$ from it. I don't care.....it works for me. Hope it works for you all.

JO-5

Org dx 04 lumpectomy rads arimidex stage 1 grade 3 no nodes er+pr+her- 2014 rads induced angiosarcoma, wide excision 2015 angio recurrence, rt mast. Lat flap, 1/3 flap went necrotic, skin graft leg to chest Seeing dr every 3 to 6 months.
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Feb 13, 2018 08:07PM - edited Feb 13, 2018 08:13PM by JO-5

REPOSTED HERE IN CASE SOME DIDN'T SEE IT


Here's how I solved the problem. I took a piece of 1" wide soft elastic, cut it 2 inches longer than the space between the bottom of the bra band and the waist band of my jeans/slacks or skirt. I pen one end over lapping about 1" to the bottom of the bra band just to the right of the middle. I pin the other end straight down to the pants or skirt band.

Don't make it too tight.....works without stretching the elastic, but the elastic gives as you move.

This keeps the bra from sliding sideways. It requires you to wear a tank or top out over the waist band ..... doesn't work with anything tucked in and doesn't work with a dress.

JO-5

edited to say......it doesn't work to pin it to your underwear either. My undies aren't that sturdy to hold it and it gives you a terrible wedgie! Shocked I have no idea where to pin it with a dress but I'm working on it. ;)

Org dx 04 lumpectomy rads arimidex stage 1 grade 3 no nodes er+pr+her- 2014 rads induced angiosarcoma, wide excision 2015 angio recurrence, rt mast. Lat flap, 1/3 flap went necrotic, skin graft leg to chest Seeing dr every 3 to 6 months.
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Feb 13, 2018 09:01PM pingpong1953 wrote:

I'll be joining the half-flat club on 2/27. I'm not interested in reconstruction at this point, and I'd have to erase the memory of surgical drains from my mind before I'd even consider an elective surgery like that. I' a C-cup, so I'm going to look quite unbalanced without something in the right side of my bra. My sister knitted me a couple of knitted knockers, so I'll start with that and do some experimenting. Thanks to everyone for sharing their ideas!

Dx 4/12/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/2/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 7/5/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 12/8/2017 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 2/27/2018 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right
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Feb 13, 2018 11:38PM sm627 wrote:

Hi Lunaru,

You can always share your woes here if you are feel comfortable. I have my own little woes that happened this weekend both my MO and BS called to reschedule my appointments with them, so now I won't be able to see them until April. I was looking forward to seeing them both they are now the most important doctors to me in the world or at lest my breast world. LOL

I know only having one boob gets you thinking differently about everything and how other people see you. Even if they don't say anything to you directly. There is always that feeling of do the notice that I am missing a boob or not. I am glad that you have been able to find prosthetics that have worked for you to make you feel whole again and confident going out into the world. How have you felt about the small steps you have taken going out half flat?

I haven't heard of Matuschka, but I will for sure look her up on google. I wonder why she made the choice to get reconstruction if she went for all those years being flat. 6 surgeries sounds crazy to me I don't think I could do all that just to get another breast.

I too wish that there were clothes and bras for our half flat selves to wear that would not brake the bank! It would be nice to not have to pay so much $ after all we have been through. Maybe one day some fashion designer will come up with something for us and make it be affordable.

If you don't mind me asking what do you do for work? It must be nice to work in a cube that doesn't talk back to you. I teach 20+ preschool children and they always keep me on my toes. I thought they would ask me so many questions about looking different, but they didn't the only question I got from them was where were you we missed you. My co-teacher on the other had have asked a lot more questions.

So sorry you have lost so many loved ones to breast cancer it sure would be nice to see a cure for it sometime within our life time. Breast cancer runs very strong on both sides of my family, so I always knew it could happen i just thought i might be lucky and have it skip a generation. I now know that was wishful thinking. Not much one can do about it now but try and look forward and not think about the BC to much. Although I am finding that some days are better then other when it comes to over thinking and just trying to put it out of my mind all together.

Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week.

Thank you and Hugs,

Sara


Diagnosed at 32 years old. DX 5/30/2017 Borderline Phyllodes Tumor 17cm. Surgery 6/27/2017 Mastectomy(right). Hormonal Therapy 9/25/2017 Tamoxifen
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Feb 13, 2018 11:56PM sm627 wrote:

Hi Sam2u,

Thank you for the suggestion to look into camisoles at Modesty4me. I looked at the website the other day and the camisoles look very nice how do they feel on your body? Do they have any kind of support for your other breast? What do you like about them the most? I am considering buying some to try them out.

Thank you! Hugs,

Sara

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

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