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Topic: Would You Wear Half a Swimsuit Top?

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: Sep 3, 2019 02:25PM

Miriandra wrote:

I am a L-UMX, my lymph node was clear, and I'm slated to start PT next week.

At the beginning of the summer, I was diagnosed with cancer. I immediately got on line to search out resources (like this one!) and options. One of the things I searched was "mastectomy swimsuits". Everything I found was, "It's higher on the sides to hide your scars, and here's a pouch to put your pillow." Which is great and wonderful for women who want a more normalized silhouette. But what about women who want to embrace what they've gone through, and be open about what they've survived? There was nothing available to the public to meet this potential need.

To that end, I have designed a line of half-chested swim wear. I wanted to incorporate the asymmetry into the styles without being gratuitous. I also strived to make the styles fun and pretty - something you would want to wear, not just have to wear because there was nothing else. The forum won't let me post images yet, so you'll have to trust me that they're cute and pretty. Winking

So should I try to make these ideas a reality? If this was something available through stores, would anyone here be interested in buying and wearing them? Thanks for the feedback!

Dx 5/31/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, 0/1 nodes, ER+ Surgery 8/14/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left
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Sep 3, 2019 06:28PM Betrayal wrote:

No.

Dx 1/7/2016, DCIS/ILC/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/31/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 1/31/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/3/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/30/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/24/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 5/18/2017 Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 3, 2019 06:39PM exercise_guru wrote:

I can't speak to this as I had a double mastectomy but I know there is a strong desire for swim tops that look nice on flat chested women. As far as a one sided uni swimsuit I think there is a desire to have the bare side covered but flat because of sun exposure. Not many of us want to have aunt damage on our scar areas.

Definitely swimming after mastectomies are a challenge

Age 42 05/15/2015 PALB2 mutation, DBL Breast Cancer Type 1A Grade 3 ER+PR+(right 1.3cm,.5cm) HERr+(left1.6 cm), 06/26/2015 BMX with TE 8/27/15 Chemotherapy TCH 12/30/2015 TAH/BSO/Reconstruction 1/29/16 Arimidex 3/1/16 Femara 5/6/16 Tamoxifen
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Sep 3, 2019 09:35PM sbelizabeth wrote:

Do your designs cover the scar with material or bare it to the sun/onlookers/the world?

For the same reason I wore a wig--well, for a couple of weeks only, because it was hot and itchy--and then attractive caps, I just didn't care to be "cancer girl" to the world at large. I can't even mentally picture a swimsuit that covers the remaining breast and bares the scar on the other side. Not to mention many of us have scars that are lumpy and uneven. Divots, dog ears, and dumpling-esque features. Gah. No thanks.

pinkribbonandwheels.wordpress.... Dx 10/20/2011, IDC/IBC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/21/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/15/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Sep 3, 2019 09:51PM wrenn wrote:

I may not be getting what you mean or described but do you mean that only the remaining breast is covered and the mastectomy side is bare?

If the point is to show scars then I don't think breast cancer is any different than others as far as showing survival. Like having openings in clothing in places where other scars might be...bladder, kidney, lung, colon, liver surgeries?

I have BMX and go flat but would not wear a shirt that only covered my abdomen.

I am probably way off on this or not understanding but just thinking out loud here. :-)


Metaplastic IDC Triple negative...Tumour is 1.5cm. BMX Aug. 16th. Chemo cancelled after one dose due to complications. Dx 7/25/2013, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/16/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Sep 3, 2019 10:15PM WC3 wrote:

I prefer swim shirts as I like to keep my arms coverer but I'm envisioning a pirate eye patch bikini top and I think it's great.

Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Sep 4, 2019 08:43AM sbelizabeth wrote:

Wrenn, you cracked me up. I'm trying to envision an ensemble that highlights my assorted scars and it's not a pretty thought. Shorts for the knee replacements, racer tops for the shoulder reconstruction, flip flops for the bunion. A chilly outfit in a Colorado winter.

pinkribbonandwheels.wordpress.... Dx 10/20/2011, IDC/IBC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/21/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/15/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Sep 4, 2019 09:02AM amygil81 wrote:

Some clothing designers once did something like that, with bikinis that covered the remaining breast and showed the mastectomy scar. You can see them online at https://www.today.com/slideshow/mastectomy-monokinis-swimwear-breast-cancer-survivors-55270634 . Most seem more decorative than practical. But they might be fun to try.

Osteosarcoma in left leg at age 13. DCIS in left breast at 33. IDC recurrence in left chest wall at 42. Dx 12/2000, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/9/2000 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx 12/2009, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIB, 3/10 nodes Surgery 12/17/2009 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 1/10/2010 CMF Chemotherapy 5/30/2010 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/30/2010 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Sep 4, 2019 09:46AM ksusan wrote:

Bilateral, but I cover up more now than I used to (UPF 50+ swim shirt with trunks) because my oncologist told me never to expose the radiated area, front or back, to direct sun.

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 4, 2019 09:50AM - edited Sep 4, 2019 09:57AM by ShetlandPony

When I read the OP I was envisioning a suit that was flat on one side so the wearer would not have to fill it up with a prosthesis if she finds a prosthesis uncomfortable or inconvenient. I could see a one-piece suit or a tankini top with some kind of embellishment on the flat side, or maybe a diagonal ruffle going from the shoulder on the mastectomy side to the opposite hip. The embellishment or ruffle not so much to hide but for balance. (Full disclosure — no pun intended — I myself have not had a mastectomy.)

2011 Stage I ILC ER+PR+ Her2- 1.5 cm grade 1, ITCs sn . Lumpectomy, radiation, tamoxifen. 2014 Stage IV ILC ER+PR+Her2- grade 2, mets to breast , liver. Taxol NEAD. 2015,2016 Ibrance+letrozole. 2017 Faslodex+Afnitor; Xeloda. 2018,2019 Xeloda NEAD
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Sep 4, 2019 10:19AM - edited Sep 4, 2019 10:25AM by Miriandra

Yes, Amy, I'm thinking along the lines of the Monokini Project. But I agree, many of those designs are more artistic and not good as a practical swimsuit. I also didn't want to be gratuitous, like just cutting out a panel over where the breast would be. I wanted to make the diagonal part of the overall composition.

I fully understand that this style wouldn't be for everyone, and I in no way frown on women who want to cover their surgical site. Everyone will have a different path, and there is no wrong way to reclaim your body.

Some of these styles would look really cute on a bilateral too, but half the chest would still be open. She could choose which side she wanted bare.

Dx 5/31/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, 0/1 nodes, ER+ Surgery 8/14/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left
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Sep 4, 2019 10:22AM Miriandra wrote:

Yes!! It let me post the files!

I looked up the precautions on sun exposure for scars. Docs recommend strong sun protection for at least 18 months after the wound heals.

Also, some women get tattoos over their chest and scar, and this would be a way to show their body art too.

Dx 5/31/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, 0/1 nodes, ER+ Surgery 8/14/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left

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