Bad Day in the Bra Dept--I need some help

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Chickadee1955
Chickadee1955 Member Posts: 356 Member
I decided I wanted to try again to get a bra to give a little lift and shape to my reconstructed breasts. I had bilateral mastectomy a year ago; reconstruction in December. The girls are misshapen with the typical horizontal scars, but also with some lumpy, bumpy areas. My original surgeon left lots of skin and tissue to aid in reconstruction, but it looks to me like it makes it harder to get uniform shape. One is also a little larger than the other and has a fold of fat that goes clear under my arm.

Anyway, I went to the lingerie dept and began trying on bras. I talked to the 'fitter' and she made some suggestions. Long story short is that about 20 bras later, in multiple sizes, shapes and styles, I gave up. When the fitter asked if I found something I just started crying; right there at the counter! She said she understood because her Mom had to deal with the same thing and it doesn't get better. I left so defeated. I had planned on wearing a jersey top and skirt to church on Easter and can't really do jersey with these. I have always known the foobs weren't going to be real breasts, but I thought they would resemble something more natural, and at least be 'tame-able' with a bra. I think this is one of the hardest days I've had in a long time. I feel so a-sexual. Not a woman, not a man, nothing.

Have any of you had this problem and found a solution? The fitter told me to check on line for Jodee products, but they seem to be designed for those wearing prosthetics. Anyone??

Chickadee

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  • forme
    forme Member Posts: 1,161 Member
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    Thoughts
    Hi Chickadee,
    I have a suggestion. My sister had a similar problem and was very discouraged. She ended up having some luck with sports bras. More coverage and support, also helped to hide her 'flaws'.
    Did you try any on. Don't give up, keep trying you will find a bra that works for you.
    Best of luck
    Lisha
  • marilyndbk
    marilyndbk Member Posts: 238 Member
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    HI chickadee
    I have been in the same boat. I had bi-lat mas with trap recon in Sept 09 with the exchange surgery in Feb 10. My skin on the cancer side was damaged by previous radiation and the graft did not take and I am not able to finish with the recon-no nipples--no aerola. I was sure I did not want to be flat so am grateful for what plastic surgeon was able to do. I have heard there is some program for free bras but have not been able to get any info. I asked ps twice. He says most of his patients wear the camisoles which is what I have been doing. My daughters and I have been on numerous bra fitting outings with no success. I also have excess skin on non cancer breast. I sometimes feel if I could find a comfortable and genuine looking bra I would feel more like real woman. I know boobs don't make me the beautiful person my kids and friends tell me I am, but I do feel there is something missing. Take care and maybe if you keep looking you will find something. The closest thing I found that I liked was the breast cancer bra at Macy'S. mARILYN
  • Chickadee1955
    Chickadee1955 Member Posts: 356 Member
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    HI chickadee
    I have been in the same boat. I had bi-lat mas with trap recon in Sept 09 with the exchange surgery in Feb 10. My skin on the cancer side was damaged by previous radiation and the graft did not take and I am not able to finish with the recon-no nipples--no aerola. I was sure I did not want to be flat so am grateful for what plastic surgeon was able to do. I have heard there is some program for free bras but have not been able to get any info. I asked ps twice. He says most of his patients wear the camisoles which is what I have been doing. My daughters and I have been on numerous bra fitting outings with no success. I also have excess skin on non cancer breast. I sometimes feel if I could find a comfortable and genuine looking bra I would feel more like real woman. I know boobs don't make me the beautiful person my kids and friends tell me I am, but I do feel there is something missing. Take care and maybe if you keep looking you will find something. The closest thing I found that I liked was the breast cancer bra at Macy'S. mARILYN

    Thanks, Marilyn. I'll try
    Thanks, Marilyn. I'll try Macy's when I can bring myself to try again. ACS and Susan G Komen sites didn't have much help to offer.

    :)
  • Chickadee1955
    Chickadee1955 Member Posts: 356 Member
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    Thanks, Marilyn. I'll try
    Thanks, Marilyn. I'll try Macy's when I can bring myself to try again. ACS and Susan G Komen sites didn't have much help to offer.

    :)

    Lisha,
    Thanks for the

    Lisha,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I do use sports bras, but they don't give any 'lift' and can't be worn under some shirts. I was just hopeful I could find a t-shirt bra that didn't reveal too much. I guess t-shirts will have to go and I'll just have to find more shirts with flaw-hiding ruffles.

    Chickadee
  • linpsu
    linpsu Member Posts: 747
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    Bali bra
    When I first had a mastectomy and reconstruction (one side only), I wore the kind of bra I had always worn - a Bali that comes in underwire or not, and is lightly filled with a little bit of padding. It has these concealer "petals" to cover the nips, which was a good thing since I had only one. This bra was a god-send and I would recommend it to anyone who needs a little shaping or concealing or making both sides even. I have since had a reoccurence and had to have the implant removed and have decided not to reconstruct at this time, so am dealing with the whole prosthesis thing. Good luck. Linda
  • Dawne.Hope
    Dawne.Hope Member Posts: 823
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    Nordstroms
    I am so sorry Chickadee. You are still a beautiful woman! Don't let those thoughts overwhelm you! Hugs and love to you, dear sister!!!!!

    Are you near a Nordstroms? If so, call and MAKE AN APPOINTMENT and ask for a SURGICAL FITTER. They have fitters especially trained for women who have reconstructed breasts or have a prothesis. You have to ask for one but they are there!

    If not, do you have a speciality bra/masectomy shop near you? They also can help you. There are bras out there that can help you ... you just need someone specially trained to find exactly what it is you need. Don't give up. Wear what you want on Easter ... don't let that day be ruined simply because you can't find a bra!

    Dillards and Macy have fitters too but I've had the best luck post-exchange with the fitters are Nordstroms ... they truly specially trained to help women like us.

    much love, hugs and prayers that you find what you need! xo
  • Double Whammy
    Double Whammy Member Posts: 2,832 Member
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    Nordstroms
    I am so sorry Chickadee. You are still a beautiful woman! Don't let those thoughts overwhelm you! Hugs and love to you, dear sister!!!!!

    Are you near a Nordstroms? If so, call and MAKE AN APPOINTMENT and ask for a SURGICAL FITTER. They have fitters especially trained for women who have reconstructed breasts or have a prothesis. You have to ask for one but they are there!

    If not, do you have a speciality bra/masectomy shop near you? They also can help you. There are bras out there that can help you ... you just need someone specially trained to find exactly what it is you need. Don't give up. Wear what you want on Easter ... don't let that day be ruined simply because you can't find a bra!

    Dillards and Macy have fitters too but I've had the best luck post-exchange with the fitters are Nordstroms ... they truly specially trained to help women like us.

    much love, hugs and prayers that you find what you need! xo

    So sorry!
    Dang! I hate to hear your frustration about your foobs. You've had a really tough time and I hate this for you. Wish I could make it better.

    I want to put this "out there" about a bra - and recognize that I don't have any idea what I'm talking about, but here it goes anyway. My daughter (does not, did not have breast cancer, she's just not happy with her breasts) was wearing a bra when I visited her that made me think of some of the disappointing results I've read about here because this bra made her breasts look nothing like her own breasts. She is very petite and has small/average sized breasts. Of course, that's not good enough for her, so off she goes to Victoria's Secret and purchases a bra that lifts, shapes and enhances her breasts. I think it's the Miraculous Push Up Bra. All I can say is Wow! I have no idea how it would work with reconstructed breasts, but I can't help but think it might help, especially if worn with the halter option (better support).

    Maybe someone who has had reconstruction can comment on this. You can check it out online.

    Suzanne
  • laughs_a_lot
    laughs_a_lot Member Posts: 1,368 Member
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    Well here goes
    I had a lumpectomy rather than a masectomy. This of course leaves one mismatched. I still use my sports bras but even myself out by using shoulder pads. I don't know if this will help you. The great thing about it for me is that I did not have to buy any new bras.
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
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    Well here goes
    I had a lumpectomy rather than a masectomy. This of course leaves one mismatched. I still use my sports bras but even myself out by using shoulder pads. I don't know if this will help you. The great thing about it for me is that I did not have to buy any new bras.

    Like Miss Dawne Hope suggested, Nordstroms --
    Living in Southern California, and having numerous store options (believe me I tried many 'speciality' stores) with no success. -- Nordstroms is very well EQUIPPED to help us .. Bilateral or single Mastectomy women.

    I wear sports bra's 24/7, however, I do enjoy putting on a nice bra when going out to shop, eat or have fun. Nordstrom helped me discover what 'true' sizes I need in sports bra's, as well as a regular bra - 2 different sizes in my case, due to the fit and support.

    Good luck -- and much success to you.

    Vicki Sam
  • Gabe N Abby Mom
    Gabe N Abby Mom Member Posts: 2,413
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    How very frustrating!
    How very frustrating!

    Chickadee, if you can come into Sacramento my fitter was amazing! She has been in business for 30 years and accepts lots of different insurance. She spends lots of her time at the major hospitals (kaiser, sutter, mercy, etc) while she has others at her store.

    My situation is different, because I need prosthesis. But we met about two weeks ago at Kaiser, spent an hour. I went home with prosthesis and a bra. But she also opened her shop (usually closed on Sat) and took the time to meet personally for another hour and a half. I went home with different prosthesis, another bra, and she's putting pockets into two more bras for me at no charge. I did no paperwork, and am only paying for the one bra not covered by insurance. I'll go back to her shop for swimwear, camisoles, additional bras.

    She is compassionate, kind, knows her products, has a good selection in the shop with reasonable prices, will special order things for you. And fittings is all she does. If you'd like more information, please send me a PM.

    I'm hope you find the right bra.

    Hugs,

    Linda
  • csr771
    csr771 Member Posts: 117
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    Sports Bra - KMART
    I had a mastectomy of the left breast in January. Needless to say when I look at it, I get somewhat sad, but I am cancer free. MY PS started me on sports bras. Actualy the ones I have been using are from KMART and cost about $8.00. Another plus is that they hook in the front. Sizes are off though. I used to be a 38C in a regular bra and the sports bra is a 46. It is cotton and gives some support but does not have an underwire which I could not tolerate anyway. Maybe a better sports bra will be the answer. Don't give up.
  • New Flower
    New Flower Member Posts: 4,294
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    csr771 said:

    Sports Bra - KMART
    I had a mastectomy of the left breast in January. Needless to say when I look at it, I get somewhat sad, but I am cancer free. MY PS started me on sports bras. Actualy the ones I have been using are from KMART and cost about $8.00. Another plus is that they hook in the front. Sizes are off though. I used to be a 38C in a regular bra and the sports bra is a 46. It is cotton and gives some support but does not have an underwire which I could not tolerate anyway. Maybe a better sports bra will be the answer. Don't give up.

    Soma bras
    I am sorry that you have had a very difficult day. I have had the very similar mode yesterday, because I looked at myself on the mirror without any bra. I almost cried. My reconstruction, DIEP Flap even considered as a successful need re-escision and non-affected breast needs a lift. I decided not not do it. I found Soma wireless with padding bras work for me. I also know about custom bras services, which you should check with your insurance, I am sure even you have had reconstruction you are illegible for those too.
    Wishing you a nice day
  • Gabe N Abby Mom
    Gabe N Abby Mom Member Posts: 2,413
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    Hi,
    I tried to send you a

    Hi,

    I tried to send you a message, but it says you don't accept replies. So here's the info...

    Linda Reib
    916-638-2508
    Enhance is the name of her store
    4811 Chippendale Drive, Suite 208
    Sacramento, CA 95841

    I would suggest you ask that she do your fitting, not one of her employees. Only because I haven't met any of her employees, and I don't know if they are as good as Linda.

    If you would like someone to come along for moral support or a second opinion, I would be happy to do that for you. I'm also always ready to eat too...

    I really hope this works for you.

    Hugs,

    Linda
  • Megan M
    Megan M Member Posts: 3,000
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    Well here goes
    I had a lumpectomy rather than a masectomy. This of course leaves one mismatched. I still use my sports bras but even myself out by using shoulder pads. I don't know if this will help you. The great thing about it for me is that I did not have to buy any new bras.

    Is there a shop in your area
    Is there a shop in your area that specializes in helping women with bc? There are a few around here and that is where I bought my bras. I had a lumpectomy, but, still wanted some bras that really fit me. I didn't want to just buy them from any department store. The sales ladies are trained to help women that have gone thru bc. Good luck.
  • Lynn Smith
    Lynn Smith Member Posts: 1,264 Member
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    Hi,
    I tried to send you a

    Hi,

    I tried to send you a message, but it says you don't accept replies. So here's the info...

    Linda Reib
    916-638-2508
    Enhance is the name of her store
    4811 Chippendale Drive, Suite 208
    Sacramento, CA 95841

    I would suggest you ask that she do your fitting, not one of her employees. Only because I haven't met any of her employees, and I don't know if they are as good as Linda.

    If you would like someone to come along for moral support or a second opinion, I would be happy to do that for you. I'm also always ready to eat too...

    I really hope this works for you.

    Hugs,

    Linda

    Sorry the problems
    I understand even though I had a lumpectomy.I need more on one side and a tad bit less on the other side.I've spent more time the last 1 1/2 years in the bra department looking for the right one. I'm sure the stores wonder WHY??? It is frustrating.I wore a sports bra once for a bone scan. I was in so much discomfort.I had my size but it hurt so bad(way to tight).I can't stand the underwire bras(and I heard a long time ago they aren't good).I want a bra with a little padding. I find them but many times they are underwire or I find what I am looking for but not 36D.

    A couple days ago I looked and now will be back this week. I will find one.Just going to buy one and make it do. I'm tired of looking.

    Lynn Smith