• Clouds and Silver Linings

    Asked by legaljen1969 on Friday, February 26, 2021

    Clouds and Silver Linings

    I got my custom prosthetic last week. I can wear a regular bra again. It definitely fits better against my body. It seems to move around a lot though. I am constantly having to adjust. I don't like being that weird person who seems like they are always adjusting body parts. I feel like I have to adjust my clothes and check everything every time I get up.

    Though with the way it fits, it definitely has a more normal and natural look- I have had so much angst. It's just another symbol and reminder that nothing will ever be the same again.

    I didn't think I would ever be considering enhancement/augmentation surgery, but I am so tired of my breast not being attached to my body where I don't have to adjust it. I find myself wishing they had just taken both so I would be "even." I know my insurance paid for my prosthetic it and the provider wrote off my cost share, so I am very grateful for that.

    Just feeling out of sorts right now. Grateful to be alive, but aggravated.

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      Forgive me for laughing at, "..I don't like being that weird person who seems like they are always adjusting body parts" (lol!) I am laughing, but I am also sympathizing because I know it must be driving you crazy!

      I have a very good friend who lost a breast to triple neg BC several years before I was diagnosed. She wanted them to take both breasts, but the insurance would not allow it. She eventually had a special prosthetic made and she told me the very same things you are writing about. But she did say it made a difference in that she was not experiencing back pain as she did when she was using *cosmetic* ones. She prefers to go braless and wear puffy vests (quilted down) so no one knows...of course that is easier to do in Michigan than in North Carolina!

      about 1 month ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @MarcieB, insurance would not have allowed removal of both breasts for me either. I wasn't blessed with much in that area as it is, so having it gone would not be all that big a deal.

      Obviously, it's not like I adjust myself in socially awkward situations or do it where someone else would be uncomfortable. I was at the gym the other day, literally the second day I had it, and I was changing and it fell on the ground. There was a little girl in there with her mom, only I didn't know they were there. The little girl (and I mean little like maybe 2 or 3 years old) picked it up and giggled and said "How did you booby fall off? Mommy, her booby was on the ground." The mom was horrified and started apologizing, but I just said thank you and took it back and put it back where it belonged. The little girl was just looking at me with this curious look. I told her it was okay and I was going to put it right back where it came from. I turned around away from them and put it back. ( I did have my bra on already). When I turned back around to pick up my bag, the little girl said "Oh, it's magic. Look mommy it popped right back" No big explanation needed.

      The mom said something to me later about maybe I should change in the bathroom where I could lock the door and not traumatize children. I told her that her daughter didn't look too traumatized, and I was sorry it had offended her so much. She went to the gym owner and started complaining LOUDLY, to the point that several other patrons tried to shush her. She must have pointed me out to at least three or four other people, all who have known me for several years and basically tried to ignore her. I usually do change in one of the bathrooms but both were occupied and I was trying to get to a class. I try to be more discreet.

      Anyhow, it's just something new for me right now. I think its the first time I have felt ashamed about it. I don't want to see her again, but I also shouldn't have to apologize. I didn't do anything WRONG. I have considered changing gyms. I don't want to do it, but if it's going to be a big issue.... I just want my "body" back but I am still not keen on having surgery just yet. Too much bed space needed for really "sick" people and I have a prosthetic I can use that looks pretty darn good. I think it's just that I know it is there.

      about 1 month ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      legaljen1969, you have no reason to be ashamed. That woman should be. I have one word for her, karma. Maybe she shouldn't bring her 2 year old to the gym. I can think of quite a few things that could happen there that a young child shouldn't see, and it has nothing to do with removable body parts. Shame on that woman and the scene she created.

      about 1 month ago
    • Gin's Avatar
      Gin

      legaljen1969, thank you so much for sharing this experience! I've used a prothetic for three years and haven't had that experience yet. Needless to say, I am sure you were traumatized by the entire event and for that I am so very sorry, but I love the little girl's statement, "Oh, it magic. Look mommy it popped right back". Kids are great! Let's adopt her attitude and just go with it. Wear that 'magic' part with confidence!

      about 1 month ago
    • JustForToday's Avatar
      JustForToday

      This post struck a cord with me. I, like you, am tired of apologizing. I think your post helped me to move forward a bit. You should not have to apologize. That woman should be told she is lucky she did not have to endure cancer and its aftermath. If beachbum5817 is right and karma takes effect, I hope you will be nearby to see it.

      Even with trekking poles I cannot hike as I used to because the chemo damaged my proprioception. The chemo damaged the hair cells in my ears and made my hearing loss difficult enough that I have to use a special device connected to the TV. My hearing aids cannot compensate enough to watch TV with others. My eyesight was damaged to the point that I have difficulty using my phone because the maps and lettering are small. Eyeglasses can only do so much. I am tired of apologizing to people that knew me "before" cancer and just keep saying "Surely, your doctor can do something about that". No they can't. Adriamycin, Cytoxan and Taxol saved my life. Along with that they took part of me that will never be returned.

      My husband went with me to my last hearing evaluation. It went a long way in helping him curb his exasperation with my struggle to hear. My newer friends that know me "post cancer treatment" do not have expectations that older friends do. I intend to nurture those relationships.
      Because of your post I have decided not to apologize to my friends with whom I cannot hike as I used to. I intend to simply tell them that at this point in my life that is not possible and they need to leave the challenging hikes for friends other than me.

      The way you were treated is unconscionable. i apologize for those who should know better and will not apologize. I will use your post to help me deal with my smaller, but tiresome issues and move forward

      Thank you.

      about 1 month ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      legaljen, I hope you don't think I was being flip when I said your remark about adjusting body parts made me laugh? It just made me think of all those awkward moments in life - like when a man gets up and quickly re-arranges himself, hoping no one notices...or trying to discreetly undo a wedgie...or how about when we come up out of a swimming pool and have to *uncling* those places that are giving people too much information...you know, those things?

      That child caught you in an unguarded moment and children do not know better so they can be given a pass. Their mothers, however, should know better (we feel sorry for them if they don't), so they do not get a pass. Neither do they get to dictate when or where you exercise or change your clothes.

      I picture her telling you that you should undress in a place that does not traumatize children and then I imagine you giving her a confident look and saying, "Oh, bite me, lady." (I couldn't have done that either, but let's pretend that happened!)

      about 1 month ago
    • Rustysmom's Avatar
      Rustysmom

      What that woman in the gym did was reprehensible. I'm sick of apologizing to those kind of people, since they clearly have no sense of compassion or understanding of the world, and worse yet, no intellectual curiosity to learn anything about it. I'm afraid that I probably would have said something worse than "Bite me, lady!". You have every right to occupy any space you choose, and be proud of the skin you're in.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      The woman at the gym was horrible. What an idiot. You don't owe her or anyone else an apology.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      Jen, there are wire-free bras with pockets for prostheses. (Sugar Candy and ThirdLove make them--ThirdLove's "leisure bra" has removable pads, which would allow you to slip your "foob" in, though you might have to enlarge the vertical slit along the side edge of the cup to accommodate it; Sugar Candy's pockets are at the bottom of the cup, with the generous horizontal opening below the cup's midline). I don't have prostheses, but like to sleep in these bras for support (or wear them in the daytime when I don't want an underwire).

      You could also use double-stick "fashion tape" on the inside of the cup and press your prosthesis against it.

      about 1 month ago
    • MLT's Avatar
      MLT

      I so identified with adjusting your foob! I never adapted to it and decided to have prophylactic Mx on other side and DIEP Flap reconstruction at age 63. Still happy with my decision. If I had double Mx at the time, I might have been fine with flat.
      That little girl was precious, Mom needs to take lesson from her! What a b## ch!
      Don't ever feel embarrassed! So sorry you had to deal with such a cruel person.
      You are AWESOME!

      about 1 month ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @Marcie. I definitely didn't think you were being flip about it. I have gotten to know you well enough (virtually) to know you mean nothing but kindness. I sort of feel the same way about the adjustments- like undoing a wedgie or a man getting re-oriented. LOL It's necessary but we try to be discreet about it.

      @Chicago Sandy, thank you for those tips. I will definitely check those bras out. I have some bras that I was using with my other prosthetic (not the custom one I have now). I may open the vertical slit a little more on one of those bras so I can more easily hide the foob. The lady who works with the prosthetic place was telling me I should be able to wear it with a regular bra. I have not found that to be the most practical. I may try to get another consultation with her when she comes back into town or check with the breast center next week when I go to my oncology appointment. They may have some tips as well. The foob was apparently sliding around the other day too and I didn't know it had displaced until a client who had come in to sign her POA was looking away awkwardly. When I got up to make copies, I realized what she was trying to avoid seeing or saying. I was so uneasy. I wanted to get my co-worker to take the POAs and copies back in to her, but I just took a moment to get "situated" and stayed present in that difficult moment and walked back in and finished the appointment. This woman and her husband are long time clients. She emailed me later and told me that she was sorry for being so awkward, but she knew personally how much they can move around. She told me not to give it another thought. Nonetheless, two "situations" in one week definitely signals it is time for a better arrangement. I did discover though that a cotton bra definitely decreases the slippage better than anything silky feeling.

      It's always great to come here and get good tips.

      about 1 month ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      @Chicago Sandy, is Third Love's bra called the "leisure bra?" I cannot find one with that name.

      about 1 month ago
    • Rustysmom's Avatar
      Rustysmom

      Have you taken a look at AnaOno? I think most of their bras have pockets for Foobs or prostheses. Lots of sizes and choices. I wear Coobie Bras. They all have pockets for pads or foobs. I like them because I'm two sizes, and can pretty much balance everything out easily.

      about 1 month ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      Oh, Jen, try a Coobie! (haha, my auto-correct just changed that to "Oh, Jen, try a Cookie!") of course, you are certainly welcome to try a bunch of cookies...but I have a coobie and it's very comfortable. I got one because I want to avoid underwires.

      about 1 month ago
    • Rustysmom's Avatar
      Rustysmom

      Oh, I think she should have a cookie, too! HaHa!
      I got an e-mail this morning with a St. Patrick's Day sale for the Coobie Bras. Total Stockroom calls them "Joybras". $20 off when you spend $60 + higher percentage if you spend more. Joybra.com Code word at checkout is: LUCK

      about 1 month ago

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